Fresh MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Cincinnati Reds Claim Top Spot

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2012

Fresh MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Cincinnati Reds Claim Top Spot

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    As we enter the final hours leading up to the trade deadline, there are still a number of major trade chips on the market and plenty of contenders looking to fill holes in their rosters.

    The moves that are made in the next two days could go a long way toward determining the playoff picture, as have the many moves that have already been made.

    So here are this week's MLB power rankings. Be sure to check back here each Monday morning for an updated look at where your favorite team stands.

     

    *Note: Rosters taken from MLBDepthCharts.com.

30. Houston Astros (35-68, Previous: 30)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Jose Altuve
    SS Marwin Gonzalez
    LF J.D. Martinez
    3B Scott Moore
    1B Steve Pearce
    RF Brian Bogusevic
    C Chris Snyder
    CF Jordan Schafer
    Pitcher 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Lucas Harrell
    SP Jordan Lyles
    SP Bud Norris
    SP Dallas Keuchel
    SP Armando Galarraga
    CL Francisco Cordero

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-6

     

    Team Oulook

    The Astros continued dealing this past week, as Wandy Rodriguez was sent to the Pirates for a trio of prospects led by Robbie Grossman, and third baseman Chris Johnson was dealt to the Diamondbacks for a pair of minor leaguers.

    The Johnson trade could mean an extended look for former Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez at third base down the stretch as the team continues to evaluate its internal talent and move forward with the rebuilding process.

29. Colorado Rockies (37-63, Previous: 29)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Dexter Fowler
    SS Josh Rutledge 
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    RF Michael Cuddyer
    1B Todd Helton
    C Ramon Hernandez
    3B Jordan Pacheco
    2B DJ LeMahieu 
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation 

    SP Christian Friedrich
    SP Jeff Francis
    SP Drew Pomeranz
    SP Jonathan Sanchez
    CL Rafael Betancourt

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-5

     

    Team Outlook

    The return of Todd Helton from the disabled list means a return to the bench for Tyler Colvin (.278 BA, 13 HR, 41 RBI), but he figures to be a big part of the Rockies future as they'll look for a way to get his bat in the lineup every day moving forward.

    Shortstop Josh Rutledge has also looked terrific in 14 games since being called up, going 20-for-54 and recently being bumped to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. The Rockies have some good young talent, they just need to address their rotation.

28. Kansas City Royals (41-60, Previous: 27)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Alex Gordon
    SS Alcides Escobar 
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Mike Moustakas
    CF Lorenzo Cain
    1B Eric Hosmer
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    2B Chris Getz
    C Salvador Perez

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Bruce Chen
    SP Luke Hochevar
    SP Luis Mendoza
    SP Will Smith
    SP Jeremy Guthrie
    CL Jonathan Broxton

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-6

     

    Team Outlook

    The Royals continue to struggle, and while they were wary of moving closer Jonathan Broxton earlier this month as they hoped to string together some wins in the second half, there is now a 60-to-70 percent chance he is moved, according to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

    Meanwhile, Billy Butler (.306 BA, 20 HR, 63 RBI) continues to post fantastic numbers, and shortstop Alcides Escobar (.304 BA, 15 SB) has shown why he was a key piece in last year's Zack Greinke trade.

27. Minnesota Twins (43-58, Previous: 26)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Denard Span
    RF Ben Revere
    C Joe Mauer
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    DH Ryan Doumit
    3B Danny Valencia
    SS Brian Dozier
    2B Jamey Carroll 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Scott Diamond
    SP Cole De Vries
    SP Nick Blackburn
    SP Samuel Deduno 
    SP Brian Duensing
    CL Glen Perkins

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Twins finally dealt starter Francisco Liriano on Sunday, sending him to the division rival White Sox for a pair of solid prospects—infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez—who should be able to contribute right away. 

    Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (19 HR, .855 OPS) had his breakout season interrupted by a thumb injury, and the Twins recalled Danny Valencia to take his place. 

26. Milwaukee Brewers (45-56, Previous: 21)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Norichika Aoki
    CF Nyjer Morgan
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    1B Corey Hart
    2B Rickie Weeks
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    SS Cesar Izturis 
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Yovani Gallardo
    SP Randy Wolf
    SP Michael Fiers
    SP Marco Estrada
    SP Mark Rogers
    CL Francisco Rodriguez

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-6

     

    Team Outlook

    A terrible week finally pushed the Brewers to become sellers, and they shipped ace Zack Greinke to the Angels on Friday for a trio of highly regarded prospects in shortstop Jean Segura (No. 55 prospect overall, No. 2 Angels prospect) and right-handers John Hellweg (No. 4 Angels prospect) and Ariel Pena (No. 9 Angels prospect).

    They also dealt backup catcher George Kottaras to the A's for reliever Fautino De Los Santos, as they look to replenish a thin farm system and set themselves up for a return to contention sooner rather than later.

25. San Diego Padres (43-60, Previous: 23)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Logan Forsythe
    RF Will Venable
    3B Chase Headley
    LF Carlos Quentin
    C Yasmani Grandal
    1B Yonder Alonso
    CF Cameron Maybin
    SS Everth Cabrera
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Edinson Volquez
    SP Clayton Richard
    SP Jason Marquis
    SP Kip Wells
    SP Ross Ohlendorf
    CL Huston Street

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Padres opted against selling two of their biggest trade chips, instead extending left fielder Carlos Quentin (three years, $27 million) and closer Huston Street (two years, $14 million).

    Third baseman Chase Headley, on the other hand, is very much available, but his asking price is high and the Padres could hold onto him if they don't get the offer they're looking for, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

24. Chicago Cubs (42-58, Previous: 28)

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    Current Lineup 

    CF David DeJesus
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Bryan LaHair
    C Geovany Soto
    2B Darwin Barney
    3B Luis Valbuena
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ryan Dempster
    SP Matt Garza
    SP Jeff Samardzija
    SP Paul Maholm
    SP Travis Wood
    CL Carlos Marmol

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    As of Sunday, the Cubs had yet to pull the trigger on any trades at the deadline, as starter Matt Garza was recently shut down until sometime in August, and Ryan Dempster rumors run rampant.

    The team took two-of-three from the Pirates and Cardinals last week, capping things off with a walk-off home run from first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who continues to impress (.333 BA, 7 HR, 17 RBI) since being called up in late June.

23. Philadelphia Phillies (45-57, Previous: 24)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    CF Shane Victorino
    2B Chase Utley
    1B Ryan Howard
    C Carlos Ruiz
    RF Hunter Pence
    3B Ty Wigginton
    LF Juan Pierre
    Pitcher 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Roy Halladay
    SP Cliff Lee
    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Joe Blanton
    SP Vance Worley
    CL Jonathan Papelbon

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    Following a sweep at the hands of the Braves this weekend, the Phillies could look to sell off guys like Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton with the possibility that Hunter Pence could also be moved, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.

    The Phillies gave Cole Hamels a massive six-year, $144 million extension early last week, and while they fall under the category of seller right now, they are still expected to contend next season.

22. Miami Marlins (47-54, Previous: 22)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Emilio Bonifacio
    3B Donovan Solano 
    SS Jose Reyes
    1B Carlos Lee
    RF Greg Dobbs
    CF Justin Ruggiano
    LF Bryan Petersen
    C John Buck
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Josh Johnson
    SP Mark Buehrle
    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP Carlos Zambrano
    SP Nathan Eovaldi
    CL Steve Cishek

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    Once the Marlins decided to sell, they sold big. They started by dealing starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to the Tigers for a package headlined by right-hander Jacob Turner.

    The big move, however, was dealing Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. The former batting title winner has been a disappointment the past few seasons, and in moving him the Marlins dumped the two years and $31.5 million remaining on his contract.

    Will Josh Johnson get dealt next?

21. Seattle Mariners (47-57, Previous: 25)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Dustin Ackley
    LF Casper Wells
    C John Jaso
    DH Jesus Montero
    3B Kyle Seager
    CF Michael Saunders
    1B Mike Carp
    RF Carlos Peguero 
    SS Brendan Ryan

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Jason Vargas
    SP Kevin Millwood
    SP Hisashi Iwakuma
    SP Blake Beavan
    CL Tom Wilhelmsen

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Mariners pulled off the surprise move of the deadline so far when they sent Ichiro to the Yankees for a pair of prospects. The 38-year-old has spent his entire 12-year career with the Mariners, and he'll now have a chance to win his first ring.

    Meanwhile, the team continues to search for answers offensively, as they optioned first baseman Justin Smoak (.189 BA, 13 HR, 38 RBI) to the minors and activated Mike Carp from the DL. The team is looking for controllable hitters on the trade market, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

20. New York Mets (49-53, Previous: 15)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Ruben Tejada
    RF Jordany Valdespin
    3B David Wright
    1B Ike Davis
    2B Daniel Murphy
    LF Jason Bay
    C Josh Thole
    CF Andres Torres
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP R.A. Dickey
    SP Jeremy Hefner
    SP Matt Harvey
    SP Jon Niese
    SP Chris Young
    CL Bobby Parnell

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-5

     

    Team Outlook

    The Mets have been mired in a free fall since the All-Star break, going 3-13 in the second half and all but falling out of the playoff picture. They are currently 8.5 games out of the second wild-card spot in the National League.

    Top prospect Matt Harvey made his big league debut on Thursday and showed why he has a bright future, allowing just three hits and striking out 11 in 5.1 innings of work to earn the win.

19. Cleveland Indians (50-52, Previous: 20)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Shin-Soo Choo
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    CF Michael Brantley
    DH Travis Hafner
    C Carlos Santana
    LF Johnny Damon
    1B Casey Kotchman
    3B Jack Hannahan

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Justin Masterson
    SP Ubaldo Jimenez
    SP Derek Lowe
    SP Josh Tomlin
    SP Zach McAllister
    CL Chris Perez

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    With the Tigers getting hot and the White Sox playing well all season, the Indians find themselves on the outside looking in in the AL Central, although they are just five games out of the final wild-card spot in the AL.

    The Indians could still look to add a player before the deadline, but anything they do will be designed to help them in 2013. On the selling side of things, Shin-Soo Choo has drawn some interest (from MLB Trade Rumors).

18. Boston Red Sox (51-51, Previous: 19)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    LF Carl Crawford
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    1B Adrian Gonzalez 
    DH Cody Ross
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    RF Ryan Sweeney
    SS Mike Aviles  

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Jon Lester
    SP Felix Doubront
    SP Aaron Cook
    SP Clay Buchholz
    CL Alfredo Aceves

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Red Sox are on the fringe of contention, as they are 10.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East but just 4.5 games out of the second wild-card spot in the AL.

    However, despite not technically being out of the playoff race, the team does not look to be in a position to buy and is actually shopping right-hander Josh Beckett, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports. Beckett has full 10-and-5 rights, so he'd have to OK any trade that was made.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (51-51, Previous: 18)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Stephen Drew
    2B Aaron Hill
    LF Jason Kubel
    C Miguel Montero 
    RF Justin Upton
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    CF Chris Young
    3B Chris Johnson
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ian Kennedy
    SP Trevor Cahill
    SP Wade Miley
    SP Joe Saunders
    SP Josh Collmenter
    CL J.J. Putz

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-3

     

    Team Outlook

    For as much as the Giants and Dodgers have owned the headlines in the NL West this season, the defending division champion Diamondbacks are just 4.5 games off those two for the division lead.

    They filled their biggest hole, third base, by acquiring Chris Johnson (.279 BA, 8 HR, 41 RBI) from the Astros on Sunday. Now they will look to make a late-season push and return to the postseason, as they look to build off of the experience they gained last season.

16. Toronto Blue Jays (51-50, Previous: 17)

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    Current Lineup

    3B Brett Lawrie
    CF Colby Rasmus
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    DH Adam Lind
    2B Kelly Johnson
    SS Yunel Escobar
    LF Travis Snider
    C Jeff Mathis
    RF Anthony Gose 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ricky Romero
    SP Aaron Laffey
    SP Carlos Villanueva
    SP Henderson Alvarez
    SP Brett Cecil
    CL Casey Janssen

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The injuries just keep coming for the Blue Jays. Catcher J.P. Arencibia was shelved this past week with a fractured hand and will miss significant time, and shortstop Yunel Escobar is battling back problems.

    The Jays remain active on the trade market, and have most recently been linked to Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt (Jeff Pasan, Yahoo! Sports) and remain in on Marlins starter Josh Johnson as well (Jayson Stark, ESPN).

15. Baltimore Orioles (53-49, Previous: 13)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Nick Markakis
    SS J.J. Hardy
    DH Jim Thome
    CF Adam Jones 
    1B Mark Reynolds
    LF Chris Davis
    C Matt Wieters
    3B Wilson Betemit
    2B Omar Quintanilla

     

    Current Rotation 

    SP Wei-Yin Chen
    SP Miguel Gonzalez
    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Zach Britton
    SP Tommy Hunter
    CL Jim Johnson 

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-5

     

    Team Outlook

    While they are currently eight games behind the Yankees in the AL East, the Orioles are still in the thick of the postseason race, just two games back in the wild card.

    Chris Tillman (4 GS, 3-1, 1.66 ERA, 17 Ks) has given the rotation a big boost, while Nick Markakis is finally healthy and hitting his stride with a .362/.413/.478 line in July.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (53-49, Previous: 16)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Desmond Jennings
    CF B.J. Upton
    2B Ben Zobrist
    RF Matt Joyce
    DH Jeff Keppinger
    1B Carlos Pena
    3B Ryan Roberts
    C Jose Molina
    SS Sean Rodriguez

     

    Current Rotation

    SP David Price
    SP James Shields
    SP Alex Cobb
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    CL Fernando Rodney

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    Preparing for the worst regarding the slow comeback of Evan Longoria, the Rays acquired Ryan Roberts from the Diamondbacks to help get them by for the time being.

    Still, the Rays are a mess offensively, and even with their terrific pitching staff, they will need to pick things up with the bat if they want to remain in the playoff hunt. The team continues to listen to offers on starter James Shields, who could be moved before the deadline.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (54-48, Previous: 11)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Rafael Furcal
    CF John Jay
    LF Matt Holliday
    RF Carlos Beltran
    1B Lance Berkman
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    2B Skip Schumaker
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Kyle Lohse
    SP Adam Wainwright
    SP Lance Lynn
    SP Jake Westbrook
    SP Joe Kelly
    CL Jason Motte

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-3

     

    Team Outlook

    With the improved performance of their starting rotation and a lineup that is as healthy as it has been all season, the Cardinals are in a good position to make a late-season push without making a deal of any sort before the deadline.

    Rookie Joe Kelly (1-4, 2.96 ERA) has been a big reason for the new-found confidence in the starting rotation, despite what his record may indicate. He has recorded a quality start in each of his past seven starts.

12. San Francisco Giants (55-46, Previous: 8)

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    Current Lineup 

    RF Nate Schierholtz
    2B Ryan Theriot
    LF Melky Cabrera
    C Buster Posey
    CF Angel Pagan
    1B Brandon Belt
    3B Marco Scutaro
    SS Brandon Crawford
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Tim Lincecum
    SP Matt Cain
    SP Barry Zito
    SP Ryan Vogelsong
    CL Santiago Casilla

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Giants filled one major need in trading for Marco Scutaro, who was immediately forced into a starting role with Pablo Sandoval hitting the DL with a hamstring injury.

    They are still looking for bullpen help though, and according to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the team has shown serious interest in Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, who would likely take the closer's role from struggling Santiago Casilla.

11. Detroit Tigers (54-48, Previous: 7)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Austin Jackson
    LF Quintin Berry
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Delmon Young
    RF Brennan Boesch
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Omar Infante

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Doug Fister
    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Rick Porcello
    SP Anibal Sanchez
    CL Jose Valverde

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Tigers filled their two biggest needs with one trade, dealing top pitching prospect Jacob Turner and two other prospects to the Marlins for right-hander Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante.

    After claiming the AL Central division lead last week, they dropped two of three to the Indians and Blue Jays and were once again passed by the White Sox. The Tigers and White Sox will likely battle it out right down to the wire for the division title.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-47, Previous: 12)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Bobby Abreu
    2B Mark Ellis
    CF Matt Kemp
    RF Andre Ethier
    3B Hanley Ramirez
    1B James Loney
    SS Luis Cruz
    C A.J. Ellis
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Aaron Harang
    SP Chris Capuano
    SP Chad Billingsley
    SP Stephen Fife
    CL Kenley Jansen

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Dodgers looked poised to make a big move since the beginning of July, and they did just that in landing Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez, who is under contract for the next two years and will be a big part of the Dodgers' efforts moving forward.

    So far he is 7-for-21 with one home run and seven RBI, as the change of scenery looks to have done him good. Now the Dodgers will look to add a starter to round out their rotation before the deadline.

9. Oakland Athletics (55-46, Previous: 10)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Coco Crisp
    2B Jemile Weeks
    RF Josh Reddick
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    DH Seth Smith
    1B Brandon Moss
    3B Brandon Inge
    C Kurt Suzuki
    SS Eric Sogard

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Bartolo Colon
    SP A.J. Griffin
    SP Tom Milone
    SP Jarrod Parker
    SP Travis Blackley
    CL Ryan Cook

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    While it wasn't Hanley Ramirez, the A's made a nice under-the-radar move on Sunday in acquiring Brewers backup catcher George Kottaras for reliever Fautino De Los Santos. Kottaras has a .409 OBP on the season in 86 at-bats, and he provides decent power for the position.

    Shortstop remains a black hole in Oakland, and with Ramirez and Marco Scutaro now off the market, there doesn't appear to be much in the way of options for the A's to improve the position. Still, they look primed to make a run at a wild-card spot.

8. Chicago White Sox (55-46, Previous: 14)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Kevin Youkilis
    DH Adam Dunn
    1B Paul Konerko
    RF Alex Rios
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    2B Gordon Beckham 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Jake Peavy
    SP Francisco Liriano
    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Phil Humber
    SP Gavin Floyd
    CL Addison Reed

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-1

     

    Team Outlook

    Having already acquired Kevin Youkilis and Brett Myers, the White Sox landed one of the better starters on the market in Francisco Liriano on Sunday. 

    Liriano will slide into Chris Sale's rotation spot, as the White Sox will reportedly (Matt Snyder, CBSSports) shut down the All-Star temporarily while he deals with what they are deeming "dead arm" in his first year in the starting rotation.

7. Los Angeles Angels (55-47, Previous: 5)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Mike Trout
    RF Torii Hunter
    1B Albert Pujols
    LF Mark Trumbo
    DH Kendrys Morales
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    SS Maicer Izturis
    C Chris Iannetta

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Jered Weaver
    SP C.J. Wilson
    SP Dan Haren
    SP Zack Greinke
    SP Ervin Santana
    CL Ernesto Frieri

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Angles landed the prize of the deadline in Zack Greinke, and the acquisition is even bigger when you consider that the Rangers were among the other teams pursuing the right-hander.

    On Saturday, the team also got back catcher Chris Iannetta, who had not played since May 8 after suffering a fractured wrist. In his absence, the duo of Bobby Wilson (.226 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and John Hester (.212 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI) brought little in the way of offensive production.

6. Atlanta Braves (57-44, Previous: 9)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Michael Bourn
    LF Martin Prado
    RF Jason Heyward
    3B Chipper Jones
    1B Freddie Freeman
    C Brian McCann
    2B Dan Uggla
    SS Paul Janish
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Tommy Hanson
    SP Ben Sheets
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Kris Medlen
    CL Craig Kimbrel

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-1

     

    Team Outlook

    The Braves have now missed out on Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster (assuming he does not change his mind) and remain in the hunt for a starting pitcher to bolster their staff down the stretch.

    That said, they are playing as well as anyone right now, having won five straight and with a 16-8 record in July. Ben Sheets (3-0, 0.50 ERA) has done better than anyone could have hoped through his first three starts. He could be the answer to Atlanta's pitching problems.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (58-43, Previous: 6)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Starling Marte
    2B Neil Walker
    CF Andrew McCutchen
    RF Garrett Jones
    1B Casey McGehee
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    C Rod Barajas
    SS Clint Barmes
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Erik Bedard
    SP James McDonald
    SP A.J. Burnett
    SP Jeff Karstens
    SP Wandy Rodriguez
    CL Joel Hanrahan

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Pirates showed they are committed to making a playoff push this season by acquiring Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros for three prospects. However, the search continues for offensive help, although top prospect Starling Marte could provide a spark.

    Kevin Correia, who was bumped from the rotation with the acquisition of Rodriguez, is reportedly asking for a trade, and perhaps the team can use him to acquire some offensive help before the deadline passes.

4. Texas Rangers (59-41, Previous: 4)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    LF Josh Hamilton
    3B Adrian Beltre
    1B Michael Young
    RF Nelson Cruz
    DH David Murphy
    C Mike Napoli
    CF Craig Gentry

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Derek Holland
    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Matt Harrison
    SP Roy Oswalt
    SP Martin Perez
    CL Joe Nathan 

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Rangers remain in the hunt for a starting pitcher as the deadline approaches, and they were dealt a blow when Neftali Feliz was scratched from his rehab start on Sunday with discomfort in his throwing arm (ESPN).

    Zack Greinke landing with the Angels undoubtedly closes the gap between the two teams in the AL West, although both look poised for a postseason trip. In the end, the Rangers' unwillingness to move top prospects Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar (and justifiably so) will likely mean going on with the roster they have.

3. New York Yankees (60-41, Previous: 1)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Derek Jeter
    CF Curtis Granderson
    1B Mark Teixeira
    2B Robinson Cano
    RF Nick Swisher
    DH Raul Ibanez
    C Russell Martin
    LF Ichiro Suzuki
    3B Jayson Nix

     

    Current Rotation

    SP CC Sabathia
    SP Hiroki Kuroda
    SP Freddy Garcia
    SP Ivan Nova
    SP Phil Hughes
    CL Rafael Soriano

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Yankees made a splash last week, acquiring Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners to fill the void in left field with Brett Gardner likely out for the season. He's not the player he was in his prime, but Ichiro has only played in one postseason in his career, so he's no doubt hungry for a chance to play for a title.

    The team lost Alex Rodriguez to a fractured hand when he was hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch, and as a result, the team has made a long list of potential replacements, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports—one of which they will likely acquire before the deadline.

2. Washington Nationals (61-40, Previous: 2)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Steve Lombardozzi
    RF Bryce Harper
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    LF Michael Morse
    1B Adam LaRoche
    SS Danny Espinosa
    CF Roger Bernadina
    C Jesus Flores
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Stephen Strasburg
    SP Gio Gonzalez
    SP Jordan Zimmermann
    SP Edwin Jackson
    SP Ross Detwiler
    CL Tyler Clippard

     

    Last Week's Record: 6-1

     

    Team Outlook

    The Nationals released veterans Rick Ankiel and Xavier Nady this past week, as they will apparently go young with their bench down the stretch and rely on the likes of Tyler Moore and Corey Brown to provide a spark.

    Their pitching continues to be what carries them, but their offense is solid in its own right. Michael Morse is starting to heat up coming off of a .321 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI week that was capped with a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning and game-winning, two-run double in extra innings on Sunday.

1. Cincinnati Reds (61-40, Previous: 3)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Zack Cozart
    CF Drew Stubbs
    2B Brandon Phillips
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    3B Scott Rolen
    1B Todd Frazier
    C Ryan Hanigan
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Johnny Cueto
    SP Mat Latos
    SP Bronson Arroyo
    SP Homer Bailey
    SP Mike Leake
    CL Aroldis Chapman

     

    Last Week's Record: 6-0

     

    Team Outlook

    Winner of 10 straight and 17-2 in their last 19 games, the Reds are the hottest team in baseball right now without question, and they have a big three-game series with the Pirates coming up this weekend.

    The scariest part for opponents is the fact that the Reds have rattled off their current winning streak without superstar first baseman Joey Votto. They will be that much better once he returns from knee surgery.