With the All-Star break upon us, it's time to take a look back at the first half of the 2013 MLB season and see where each team stands in this edition of the power rankings.
Some teams are on the way up and some are sinking. Some clubs have battled through injuries and some will be done in by them. Some teams have far exceeded expectations and some seem to be quivering in the face of heavy expectations.
Let's take a look at each team and where they stand today.
1. St. Louis Cardinals (57-36)
Death, taxes and the Cardinals reaching the playoffs.
The Cardinals have five players hitting over .300, three players with double-digit home runs and five players with at least 45 RBI. Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook have formed an excellent rotation, while Edward Mujica has owned the closer role.
With the best record in baseball and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games, the Cardinals hit the break as baseball's best team.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (56-37)
The Pirates were supposed to be better this year, but not this much better. Behind excellent pitching and young stars Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, the Buccos are for real this year, folks.
3. Boston Red Sox (58-39)
Like the Pirates, most people didn't envision this Red Sox team being this good. But hey, when David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia are all healthy and doing their thing, this team is a force to be reckoned with.
4. Oakland Athletics (56-39)
The casual fan may not be able to name five Athletics, but with a pitching staff ranked seventh in ERA, fourth in quality starts, third in WHIP and fourth in batting average against, the A's look bound for the playoffs again this season.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (55-41)
The Rays come into the All-Star break on fire, having won 14 of their last 16. Tampa Bay is one of the more balanced teams in the American League and it's never wise to bet against a Joe Maddon club.
6. Atlanta Braves (54-41)
You may think the Braves live and die by the home run (114 dingers, fourth in baseball), but this is a team that has won with pitching this year. Atlanta is second in team ERA, third in quality starts, fifth in team WHIP and sixth in batting average against. This is a well-rounded, dangerous club.
7. Detroit Tigers (52-42)
The Tigers have some holes, but they have the star power to cover them.
Miguel Cabrera is the best baseball player on the planet and is hitting .365 with 30 home runs and 95 RBI. Prince Fielder has added 16 home runs and 67 RBI. Max Scherzer has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this year, while Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez have both been very good.
Don't be surprised to see the Tigers in the World Series again this year.
8. Texas Rangers (54-41)
The Rangers could be in some trouble after the All-Star break, as 10 of their players are on the disabled list, including seven pitchers. Seven! But despite the injury bug biting hard, the Rangers have kept themselves in the hunt and are as dangerous as ever.
9. Cleveland Indians (51-44)
If you aren't familiar with Jason Kipnis, get to know him. All he's done is hit .301 with 13 home runs, 57 RBI, 53 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. He's leading a young and talented Indians team that looks poised to crash the postseason this year.
10. Cincinnati Reds (53-42)
Behind Mike Leake, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey, the Reds are winning with pitching this season. They'll have a second-half battle on their hands to reach the postseason, however, and trailing the Cardinals and Pirates may mean they'll have to settle for joining the wild-card race.
11. Baltimore Orioles (53-43)
Chris Davis is hitting .315 with 37 RBI and 93 RBI. Despite how amazing Cabrera has been this year, Davis may end up being the AL MVP. As long as he keeps up this level of production, the Orioles will keep on winning.
12. New York Yankees (51-44)
Does anybody know how this team keeps on winning? They're old, have battled multiple injuries and play in the toughest division in baseball. The mystique of the Bronx Bombers lives on.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-45)
It's hard to see the Diamondbacks holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants—yes, the Giants should be better in the second half—down the stretch, but you have to give this team credit for having a solid first half.
14. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-47)
The Dodgers probably thought they had wheeled and dealed themselves into a better team than a .500 squad at the All-Star break, but the Dodgers have picked things up lately, winning 17 of their last 22 games. Don't be surprised when they win the NL West.
15. Washington Nationals (48-47)
The Nationals have been one of the most disappointing teams in all of baseball. With a stellar young pitching staff and a roster that, on paper, doesn't have many holes, the Nationals should be much, much better than they've been thus far.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (48-48)
Here is the team that National League clubs should be very wary of in the second half of the season.
While the Phillies no longer resemble the team that won five straight NL East titles, this is still a club that could crash the postseason. Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels have all underachieved, but the Phillies are still a .500 team.
Remember, the Phillies were 13 games below .500 at the All-Star break last year and finished 81-81. Yes, they'll be without Ben Revere, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay through August, but if this team can tread water and stay in the race until they return, the Phils could surprise some folks and reach the postseason.
17. Los Angeles Angels (44-49)
What has all that money in free agency the past two offseasons bought the Angels? A major task in the second half of the season, that's what.
18. Toronto Blue Jays (45-49)
The Blue Jays are this year's version of last year's Angels, though with Jose Reyes back in the lineup the team could be poised for a big second half.
19. Colorado Rockies (46-50)
Back in April, if you would have said that the Rockies would be above the Giants in the standings at the All-Star break, you would have been laughed out of the room. The Rockies have to be pleased with their first half.
20. San Francisco Giants (43-51)
Perhaps Tim Lincecum's no-hitter can spark a second-half resurgence for last year's World Series winners.
21. Kansas City Royals (43-49)
One of these days, the Royals and all the team's young talent will put it all together. One of these days.
22. New York Mets (41-50)
With Matt Harvey starting the All-Star Game for the National League at 24 years of age—and young aces like Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero still developing—the future sure looks bright for these Mets.
23. San Diego Padres (42-54)
When you take a look at the Padres roster, honestly, things could be far worse than a 42-54 record.
24. Chicago Cubs (42-51)
There is young talent to be excited about, Cubs fans. The future is bright, even if the present isn't overly promising.
25. Seattle Mariners (43-52)
Once again, Felix Hernandez (10-4 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 140 strikeouts) is one of the best pitchers in baseball. And, once again, the Mariners aren't very good.
26. Minnesota Twins (39-53)
Byron Buxton, Twins fans. Just keep saying his name to yourselves the rest of the season, and all of the losses will be easier to take.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (38-56)
The Brewers were probably never going to do anything in what has turned out to be a strong NL Central, but this team shouldn't be this bad. It's hard to find many teams more disappointing than Milwaukee this year.
28. Chicago White Sox (37-55)
See Brewers, Milwaukee.
29. Miami Marlins (35-58)
The Marlins are so bad, they should probably be renamed the Miami Tuna Fish. That joke was so bad, it was the Miami Marlins of one-liners. I would say "poor Giancarlo Stanton," but he hasn't been very good this year, either.
30. Houston Astros (33-61)
Mark Appel and Carlos Correa, Astros fans. Just keep saying those names to yourselves the rest of the season, and all of the losses will be easier to take.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are not the Miami Marlins of tweets. They're plucky, like the Arizona Diamondbacks of tweets.
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