Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Does Your Favorite Team Stand?

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Bryce Harper #34, Ian Desmond #20, Michael Morse #38, and Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Nationals Park on August 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

With the month of August coming to a close, where does your favorite team stand in this week's MLB power rankings?

img 1: Washington Nationals (77-50, Previous: 1)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

The Nationals had a down week, but they maintained the best record in baseball and a 4.5 game lead over the Braves. 

After two games with the Marlins to kick off the week, they have a big four-game series against the streaking Cardinals at home. With the best ERA in baseball and an offense that produces more than enough, they still have to be considered the favorites in the NL.

2: Cincinnati Reds (77-52, Previous: 2)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

The Reds lost two-of-three to the Cardinals in a big weekend series, as their NL Central lead has been trimmed to six games. 

Just 12 of their 34 remaining games are against teams with a winning record, so they are in great shape to capture the division title. The pending return of Joey Votto should only boost their status and they could enter October with more momentum than any team in baseball.

3: Texas Rangers (75-52, Previous: 5)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Rangers enjoyed a solid week against the Orioles and Twins, and they'll take on the Rays next week before kicking off a 10-game road trip.

The team continues to be carried by their potent offense, as Adrian Beltre (.433 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI) and Mitch Moreland (.360 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI) both had big weeks.

4: New York Yankees (74-53, Previous: 3)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

Starting pitching continues to be an issue in New York, as Ivan Nova became the latest arm to hit the disabled list, going down with rotator cuff inflammation.

The slow return of Andy Pettitte is moving ever closer to New York, but for now the team will have to rely on Freddy Garcia and David Phelps. Their offense is impressive, and has gotten a boost from Ichiro Suzuki (.296 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 9 R with the Yankees).

5: Atlanta Braves (73-55, Previous: 4)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

The Braves had a tough week facing off against the Nationals and Giants, but they have a cushy stretch in their schedule coming up as they will next face the Padres, Phillies, Rockies, Mets and Brewers.

The rotation has benefited from the return of Tommy Hanson, as Ben Sheets is now sidelined with shoulder inflammation. They are not without weakness, but top to bottom the Braves look to be in a great position to make the playoffs.

6: Chicago White Sox (71-55, Previous: 11)

Last Week's Record: 6-0

The White Sox held onto their lead in the AL Central despite a 5-1 week from the Tigers, as they swept the Yankees and Mariners at home.

They have a tough week ahead of them, facing the Orioles and Tigers on the road, and they will need to avoid a slip-up if they want to keep pace in the AL Central. They appear to be in a great position to be playing in October, and DeWayne Wise (.321 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI) has been one of the biggest surprise contributors of the second half.

7: St. Louis Cardinals (70-57, Previous: 10)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

Despite standing pat at the deadline, the Cardinals are making a solid late-season push with a veteran roster chock full of postseason experience.

All-Star starter Lance Lynn has been moved to the bullpen with Jaime Garcia back and Joe Kelly proving more than capable of holding down a rotation spot. The lineup is as deep as any in baseball, and the Cardinals are once again in a great position to enjoy October success.

8: San Francisco Giants (71-57, Previous: 12)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Giants were dealt a blow in losing Melky Cabrera, and that was followed by the Dodgers blockbuster deal with the Red Sox, but they remain atop the NL West standings by two games.

With a starting rotation that ranks among the best in all of baseball and an offense that is still significantly better than it was last season, the Giants are going to be tough to catch in the NL West.

9: Tampa Bay Rays (70-57, Previous: 6)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

The Rays have been among the hottest teams in baseball since Evan Longoria returned from injury, jumping from fringe contender to the No. 1 wild-card spot in the American League.

Getting Luke Scott back is another boost to the offense, and if the team can continue getting good starting pitching led by ace David Price (16-4, 2.28 ERA), they should be able to find their way into the postseason.

10: Detroit Tigers (69-58, Previous: 14)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

The Tigers had a solid week against the Blue Jays and Angels, but wound up losing a game in the standings to the White Sox who went 6-0 on the week.

Those two teams meet up seven more times this season, but the Tigers also have 13 games left against the Royals and Twins and are in a good position to enjoy some late-season success. 

img 11: Baltimore Orioles (69-57, Previous: 9)

Last Week's Record: 3-2

The Orioles refuse to let up and remain in the second wild-card position as of now. They are in for a tough week, as they'll face off against the White Sox and Yankees.

The starting rotation was finally addressed this past week, when the team acquired Joe Saunders from the Diamondbacks. It cost them a reliable reliever in Matt Lindstrom, but it certainly helps their chances moving forward.

12: Los Angeles Dodgers (69-59, Previous: 8)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

Any questions as to whether or not the Dodgers were all in on this season were put to rest last week when the team acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto along with the $270 million in salary they are owed.

Gonzalez represents a major upgrade over James Loney, and while Beckett has struggled this season, he has a history as a big-game pitcher. They face the Giants for six more games in what should be an exciting finish to the NL West race.

13: Oakland Athletics (69-57, Previous: 13)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

The A's keep winning games despite an underwhelming offense, and they finally filled the biggest hole on their roster by acquiring Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks to be the everyday shortstop.

Losing Bartolo Colon (10-9, 3.43 ERA) to a PED suspension certainly hurts them, but they have the horses (their staff ERA is 3.49) to overcome the loss and hold on for a postseason berth. The return of Brett Anderson could not have come at a better time.

img 14: Los Angeles Angels (66-62, Previous: 15)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

The Angels swept the Red Sox this past week before dropping two-of-three against the Tigers, and they are currently four games behind the A's for a wild-card spot and second place in the AL West.

The acquisition of Zack Greinke has not proven to be the difference maker they hoped it would, as he has struggled to a 5.22 ERA in six starts with the team. However, he was good in his last time out, and if they can get hot they can certainly still make the postseason.

15: Pittsburgh Pirates (68-59, Previous: 7)

Last Week's Record: 1-5

The Pirates took a hit this past week, dropping five-of-six against the Padres and Brewers to fall eight games behind the Reds and two games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

They meet the Cardinals and Brewers next week in what may very well be their biggest week of the season. They'll need to right the ship quickly if they hope to make the postseason this year, and a series win against the Cardinals would be huge.

16: Arizona Diamondbacks (64-64, Previous: 16)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

A down week pushed the Diamondbacks back to .500 on the season, and that leaves them seven games out of first place in the division and 6.5 games back in the wild-card race.

Starter Joe Saunders was traded to the Orioles for reliever Matt Lindstrom, as Tyler Skaggs pitched well in his major league debut and will likely be the team's fifth starter for the remainder of the year.

17: Seattle Mariners (61-67, Previous: 18)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

The offensively inept Mariners continue to find ways to win games of late, as they have gone 25-16 since the All-Star break.

Their farm system is among the best in baseball, and there are a number of players nearing the majors. Until the lineup is upgraded they won't be serious contenders, but they are a franchise headed in the right direction.

img 18: Boston Red Sox (61-67, Previous: 17)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

The Red Sox pulled off arguably the biggest blockbuster trade of all time, as they unloaded roughly $270 million in salary by sending high-priced veterans Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.

Along with the salary dump, they also acquired top pitching prospect Allen Webster, first baseman James Loney and a number of other solid pieces in the deal. Where the Red Sox head from here will be interesting to see, as they are a franchise in need of a major culture change and this trade was a big step in that direction.

img 19: Philadelphia Phillies (61-67, Previous: 20)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Phillies continue to play adequate baseball with a roster made up of overpriced stars and low-cost veterans.

Ace Cole Hamels (14-6, 2.99 ERA) has been a bright spot, but beyond his play this season there has not been much to get excited about in Philadelphia. There is a lot of work to be done to get the roster back in a position to sustain success.

20: Milwaukee Brewers (59-67, Previous: 22)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

The Brewers went 5-1 in their series against the Pirates and Cubs, and will face off against those same two teams next week.

Milwaukee released Randy Wolf this past week with Shaun Marcum returning from injury, and it will be interesting to see how guys like Michael Fiers, Marco Estrada and Mark Rogers perform down the stretch as they compete for a rotation spot next season.

img 21: San Diego Padres (59-70, Previous: 26)

Last Week's Record: 6-0

The Padres are 13-6 in their last 19 games, and their decision to hold onto the likes of Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley and Huston Street is looking smart as they have the making of a team that could compete sooner than later.

Prospect Casey Kelly (3 GS, 0-1, 3.78 ERA, 18 Ks, 16.2 IP at Triple-A) will make his big league debut on Monday. He was acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez deal prior to the 2011 season.

22: New York Mets (59-69, Previous: 19)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

After a strong first half, the Mets are 13-29 since the All-Star break and have fallen to fourth place in the NL East behind the Phillies.

The team has a good offensive core and some good young pitching talent in the minors, but they lack a true impact star alongside David Wright. Prospect Matt Harvey has been sharp in six big league starts and Zack Wheeler could join him in the rotation soon.

23: Kansas City Royals (56-70, Previous: 23)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

The Royals are 14-10 in August and have played their best baseball of late. They have a total of 16 games left against the White Sox and Tigers, and as a result, they could play a big role in shaping the playoff picture.

The rotation remains a major question now, and moving forward, it will be interesting to see who they call up once rosters expand in September. Top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi could get a look as the team decides whether he's ready to start next season.

img 24: Miami Marlins (58-71, Previous: 25)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

The Marlins wrapped up an 11-game road trip against the NL West with a 5-6 record. They've played better baseball of late, but won't be able to climb out of the hole they dug earlier this season.

Pitching prospect Jacob Turner, who was acquired from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante deal, made his Marlins debut on Wednesday and pitched six strong innings.

img 25: Toronto Blue Jays (56-70, Previous: 21)

Last Week's Record: 0-5

The Blue Jays have been devastated by injuries this season and have fallen well out of contention in the AL wild-card race.

Ace Brandon Morrow returned from injury on Saturday and 23-year-old Moises Sierra (.283 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI) has made an impact in right field with Jose Bautista injured once again. The team still has a chance to finish the season on a strong note.

26: Cleveland Indians (55-72, Previous: 24)

Last Week's Record: 1-5

The Indians are mired in a 5-23 slide that has dropped them from fringe competitor to one of the worst teams in all of baseball as they have fallen behind the Royals in the AL Central.

The team has recalled Matt LaPorta in what could be one last shot for him to claim an everyday spot for next season. Also looking ahead, Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) looked much better in his last start allowing four runs in six innings of work.

27: Colorado Rockies (51-75, Previous: 27)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

It's been a long season for the Rockies, as the combination of Troy Tulowitzki's injury and lack of starting depth has been too much for the team to overcome all season long.

Jhoulys Chacin looked good in his return after having not pitched since May 1, going six innings and allowing just one earned run this past Tuesday against the Mets. The 24-year-old will be a big part of the team's future and getting him back at full strength would mean a lot down the stretch.

img 28: Minnesota Twins (52-75, Previous: 29)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

Last week saw the Twins sent down underperforming Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, while also moving Pedro Florimon Jr. into the starting shortstop role.

The 25-year-old played for the Orioles last season and was claimed off waivers by the Twins this past December. He's gone 9-for-28 with five runs scored in nine games with Minnesota, and has proven to be a better option than incumbent Alexi Casilla.

29: Chicago Cubs (49-77, Previous: 28)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

The Cubs will use the final months of the season to evaluate some of their internal talent, with Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson filling an everyday spot in the team's lineup.

On the pitching end of things, Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin have looked solid at times in a spot starting role and could get an extended look alongside Justin Germano down the stretch.

30: Houston Astros (40-88, Previous: 30)

Last Week's Record: 1-5

The Astros continue to stagger their way towards the end of the season. Their roster is made up largely of minor league veterans right now, and they have gone 8-45 over their last 53 games as a result.

One bright spot has been starter Lucas Harrell. The 27-year-old has managed to go 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA over his 25 starts this season. Aside from his performance and the hitting of second baseman Jose Altuve, it's been a long season in Houston.