MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at Season's Midway Point

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at Season's Midway Point

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Believe it or not, we've already reached roughly the midway point of the 2014 MLB season, and the entire league still looks wide open at this point with no clearly dominant team.

    So far, the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers have been the top two teams in their respective leagues. A few weeks ago the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants were very much in that conversation as well, but they have both struggled the past couple weeks.

    There is once again a good deal of shifting in this week's rankings, as a large portion of the league continues to hover around the .500 mark. The Philadelphia Phillies were the biggest movers, as they have been playing terrific baseball of late.

    When putting together these rankings on a weekly basis, the following factors are considered:

    • Previous week's record
    • Quality of opponents
    • Key injuries/trades
    • Recent performance beyond the last week

    There is still a lot to be sorted out between now and October, and all of the close races should make for a busy trade season and exciting stretch run.

    All that said, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams currently stand. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

30. San Diego Padres (32-44, Previous: 30)

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    Mired in a 6-14 slide over their last 20 games, the Padres have not won a series since they took two of three games from the Chicago White Sox in a series that closed out on June 1. They did manage to split a home/road four-game series with the Seattle Mariners last week, though.

    With modest expectations for a possible winning record coming into the season, it's fair to say that 2014 has been a disappointing season so far for the Padres, and general manager Josh Byrnes was fired last week as a result.

    In a statement, Padres president and CEO Mike Dee said, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today

    This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play. Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Seth Smith (5-for-18, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jesse Hahn (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (32-47, Previous: 26)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    The Diamondbacks ran into some tough competition last week, as they welcomed the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants to Chase Field. They managed to win one game in each series, and they find themselves near the bottom of these rankings once again as a result.

    This team will be an interesting one to watch at the deadline, as it has some interesting pieces like Martin Prado, Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Hill if it does decide to aggressively sell.

    One guy who is not going anywhere is rookie shortstop Chris Owings, who has quietly put together a fantastic debut season. He's hitting .282/.319/.466 and currently finds himself neck-and-neck with Billy Hamilton as the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Chris Owings (8-for-19, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Wade Miley (1 GS, ND, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K)

28. Houston Astros (33-44, Previous: 21)

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    Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    The Astros have crashed back to earth a bit after making a nice run up these rankings, and a series loss to what was a struggling Tampa Bay Rays squad makes them the lowest-ranked AL team once again.

    That being said, there is no question that they are an improved team in all aspects of the game, as they have finally begun to see their rebuilding efforts pay off.

    Second baseman Jose Altuve remains the face of the team and their one legitimate star, and he has another terrific week last week. He's now hitting .336/.378/.443, and he leads the AL in batting average, hits (103) and steals (26).

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jose Altuve (13-for-24, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jarred Cosart (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

27. Tampa Bay Rays (31-46, Previous: 29)

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    After taking three of four games from the Houston Astros over the weekend, the Rays will look to keep things going with a three-game series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After that, they head out for a tough road trip that will see them face the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers over an 11-game span.

    This team is already being pegged as a seller at the trade deadline, and while a seemingly inevitable David Price trade will dominate the rumor mill, the more interesting question at this point may be whether or not the team will also explore possible trades for Ben Zobrist, who is a free agent after 2015 as well.

    Another intriguing storyline to keep an eye on will be who will represent the Rays in the All-Star Game. There is no slam-dunk candidate on this roster, with setup man Jake McGee being perhaps the most deserving of anyone. That said, don't be surprised if it winds up being someone like Evan Longoria or David Price, simply based upon name value alone.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Evan Longoria (8-for-27, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Archer (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

26. New York Mets (35-41, Previous: 28)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The Mets finished out last week strong, taking three of four contests from the Marlins in Miami, where they have been tough to beat this season.

    Zack Wheeler provided the highlight of the week, throwing a three-hit shutout in the opening game of the Marlins series. The 24-year-old had struggled his previous two times out, but he looked terrific in the first complete game of his career.

    "He showed you exactly what we've talking about all along -- plus stuff. Tremendous, great effort," Mets manager Terry Collins said in an AP report (h/t Fox Sports). "He went after them. It was his night."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B David Wright (12-for-27, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Zack Wheeler (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

25. Chicago Cubs (31-42, Previous: 25)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    They may not be challenging for a playoff spot, but the Cubs have been playing much better baseball of late, going 11-9 over their last 20 games after a 20-33 start to the season. They took a series from the Marlins on the road last week before returning to Chicago for a 10-game homestand.

    The biggest positive from last week was right-hander Jake Arrieta, who turned in perhaps the best start of his career on Wednesday, when he allowed just one run and struck out 11 in seven innings of work.

    Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles last season in the Scott Feldman trade, Arrieta has quietly gone 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in nine starts after opening the season on the disabled list. His peripheral numbers suggest that his hot start is no fluke, either, as he sports a 2.31 FIP, 2.7 BB/9 and 9.9 K/9.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Starlin Castro (9-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jake Arrieta (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

24. Chicago White Sox (35-41, Previous: 22)

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    As most expected, the White Sox have slowly fallen down the standings due in large part to their inconsistent starting rotation. They did manage to sweep the San Francisco Giants last week in a quick two-game series at home, but they followed that up by getting swept in a four-game series with the Twins in Minnesota.

    Third baseman Conor Gillaspie had another terrific week at the plate, and while he has yet to homer this season, he's still been a serious offensive weapon; entering the week, he's hitting .338/.383/.446 on the year with a team-high 17 doubles.

    Again, it's been the starting rotation that has held the White Sox back, as their starters sport an AL-worst 4.77 ERA on the season. Remove ace Chris Sale (6-1, 2.20 ERA) from the equation, and the rest of the starters have gone 17-29 with a 5.22 ERA.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Conor Gillaspie (10-for-25, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jose Quintana (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

23. Texas Rangers (35-40, Previous: 20)

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    It was a tough week for the Rangers, as they faced a pair of division foes on the road and lost two of three games to the Oakland Athletics to kick off the week before being swept by the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.

    It seems as though the injuries have finally caught up to them, as they now sit 11.5 games back in the AL West. They are still just 4.5 games back for a wild-card spot, but there are also seven teams ahead of them in the race at this point.

    They may be one more bad week away from solidifying themselves as sellers at the deadline, and veteran pieces like Jason Frasor, Joakim Soria and Alex Rios could fetch a decent return come July if they are shopped.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Elvis Andrus (9-for-24, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Nick Martinez (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

22. Colorado Rockies (34-41, Previous: 17)

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 0-6

    What started out as such a promising season for the Rockies has gone south quickly, as the team is in the middle of a 7-19 slide that has dropped it well below .500 and out of the NL West picture.

    They shot up the rankings last week after sweeping the San Francisco Giants and taking two of three games from the Atlanta Braves, but they drop right back down this week after being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

    For all the attention that Charlie Blackmon has received for his breakout offensive season, Corey Dickerson is actually having a better season, with a .351/.410/.669 line and 10 home runs in 148 at-bats. He's moved into an everyday role with Michael Cuddyer on the DL, and he just continues to hit.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Corey Dickerson (11-for-22, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jhoulys Chacin (1 GS, L, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

21. Minnesota Twins (36-38, Previous: 23)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    Though they were swept by the Boston Red Sox at the start of last week, the Twins managed to salvage things with a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at home over the weekend. That leaves them five games back in the AL Central and three games out for the league's second wild-card spot.

    Starter Kyle Gibson threw seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball in his last start, running his scoreless-inning streak to 22 in the process, as he has been fantastic here in June.

    "The stat for a pitcher is the quality start...That's what I'm going for every time," Gibson told Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press. "But it's been a pretty good stretch for me,I'm definitely keeping it in perspective because if I go out there and give up one run, yeah it's going to end the streak, but it's also going to be a good outing."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Kurt Suzuki (10-for-21, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kyle Gibson (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

20. Miami Marlins (37-38, Previous: 19)

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    Alan Diaz/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    Heading into last week, the Marlins were 23-13 on the season at home, as their ability to win in Marlins Park had been a major strength. However, they managed just one win each against the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets at home this past week.

    Top prospect Andrew Heaney made his big league debut on Thursday, allowing four hits and one run in six innings of work. He ended up as the tough-luck loser, though, with Zack Wheeler throwing a shutout on the other side, but it was a promising debut nonetheless.

    While Heaney stole the headlines last week, Henderson Alvarez remains the biggest story as far as the rotation is concerned. He has stepped into the role of staff ace with Jose Fernandez sidelined, and the 24-year-old currently ranks fifth in the NL with a 2.39 ERA.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Giancarlo Stanton (8-for-26, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Henderson Alvarez (1 GS, W, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

19. Boston Red Sox (35-41, Previous: 24)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    It's almost hard to believe now that the Red Sox led all of baseball in runs scored last season, as they have struggled to consistently plate runs all year. Even in a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins last week, they managed just five runs in total, relying on their pitching to do the heavy lifting once again.

    The Grady Sizemore experiment officially came to an end on Wednesday, when he cleared waivers and was released. In 185 at-bats, he hit .216/.288/.324 with 14 extra-base hits, and he was just 4-for-30 in June before being designated for assignment.

    In other outfielder news, Shane Victorino could be ready to return to the lineup for this coming weekend's series with the rival New York Yankees, according to Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. He's been sidelined since May 23 with a strained hamstring.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Dustin Pedroia (8-for-29, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP John Lackey (1 GS, ND, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

18. Philadelphia Phillies (34-40, Previous: 27)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    The Phillies are currently riding a 10-3 hot streak, and while they are still in last place in the NL East standings, they are just five games out in what is a wide-open division at this point. They swept the Braves in Atlanta last week and then split a four-game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis.

    Now they head home for a pair of four-game series against division foes in the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves, as they have a golden opportunity to gain some ground in the standings.

    This has all come without ace Cliff Lee, who could return before the All-Star break, per David Murphy of Philly.com. He has been sidelined for over a month now with a forearm strain.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Ryan Howard (10-for-29, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP A.J. Burnett (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

17. Cleveland Indians (37-39, Previous: 18)

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    It's been an up-and-down month of June for the Indians, as they were red hot at one point with a 9-1 stretch, but they have gone just 4-8 since. They took a series from the Los Angeles Angels to start last week, but then they were swept by the Detroit Tigers, the team they are chasing in the standings, over the weekend.

    The starting rotation behind Justin Masterson and Corey Kluber remains a major question mark, as consistency on a start-to-start basis has been hard to come by. That could wind up being their undoing, as the offense has come around of late and looks strong once again.

    Michael Brantley remains the biggest story of the season, as he has gone from solid player to bona fide star, hitting .325/.390/.520 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs and 49 RBI on the year.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Asdrubal Cabrera (8-for-24, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Justin Masterson (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

16. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-38, Previous: 15)

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    Still trying to dig their way out of the hole their 9-16 performance in April created, the Pirates have been playing better baseball of late, and a series win over the Chicago Cubs this past weekend boosted their record to 12-8 this month.

    Second baseman Neil Walker is expected to return from an appendectomy on Tuesday, per Tom Singer of MLB.com. His power bat has certainly been missed, but utility man Josh Harrison has done a terrific job filling in for him, hitting .342/.409/.474 with seven RBI in 10 games as the starter.

    With Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Locke both looking strong last week, the rotation finally seems to be finding some consistency at the back end, and things will only improve with the eventual return of Gerrit Cole from shoulder fatigue.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Josh Harrison (8-for-25, 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R, 3 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brandon Cumpton (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

15. Cincinnati Reds (37-37, Previous: 16)

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Reds are 12-8 in June and 15-9 in their last 24 games, as they finally have a healthy roster and are playing their best baseball of the season right now. They took series from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays at home last week, and they are now just three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for second place in the NL Central.

    Catcher Devin Mesoraco may not wind up on the NL All-Star team, as the 22 games he missed to injury have limited him to just 145 at-bats on the season, but he has been an absolute beast when he has been in the lineup. With 10 doubles and 12 home runs, his .628 slugging percentage trails only Corey Dickerson and Troy Tulowitzki among NL hitters with at least 100 at-bats.

    "We knew that he was ready to kind of take over the lion's share of the playing time behind the plate. We certainly couldn't have anticipated this type of offensive performance," manager Bryan Price told Meggie Zahneis of MLB.com. "We expected more than we've seen, but certainly not to the degree that he's hit at this point."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Devin Mesoraco (5-for-14, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Leake (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

14. Atlanta Braves (38-37, Previous: 8)

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    The Braves have managed to hang around the top 10 all season despite some inconsistency at the plate. But after being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies and splitting a series with the Washington Nationals last week, they slide to No. 14 this week.

    Their pitching depth has been tested once again, as Gavin Floyd suffered a fracture in his pitching elbow his last time out, and based on this picture (h/t Jake Rogers) it does not look like he'll be back any time soon.

    Alex Wood will take his spot in the rotation, but losing Floyd is a big blow, as he had been terrific in nine starts after starting the year on the DL while continuing his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He was 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA and six quality starts.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Freddie Freeman (13-for-33, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Gavin Floyd (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

13. Kansas City Royals (39-36, Previous: 11)

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    After winning 10 straight and spending three days atop the AL Central standings, the Royals have now lost four straight after being swept by the Seattle Mariners over the weekend. That makes this upcoming week a big one, as they can't afford to cancel out all the good they've done with an extended losing streak.

    It would appear that their offense has finally awoken, and Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain are all hitting over .300 this month. Gordon has been the best of the bunch, and he looks to be well on his way to another All-Star appearance.

    Their pitching remains solid from top to bottom, and with the Detroit Tigers lead in the division at just 2.5 games, they are very much a contendernot only for a playoff spot but for a division title as things stand here at midseason.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Alex Gordon (10-for-25, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jeremy Guthrie (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

12. New York Yankees (39-35, Previous: 13)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Yankees kicked off last week by sweeping the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays at home, and they are now just 1.5 games back and tied with the Baltimore Orioles for second place in the division. They take on the Blue Jays again this week in Toronto before squaring off against the rival Boston Red Sox this coming weekend.

    The need for another starting pitcher remains, as Vidal Nuno was again hit hard his last time out and now has a 5.29 ERA in 12 starts this season. The bullpen, meanwhile, has rounded into form nicely thanks to the setup duo of Dellin Betances and Adam Warren both stepping up.

    Offensively, the league appears to have solved the puzzle that was Yangervis Solarte, as he is hitting just .148/.270/.204 here in June. High-profile additions Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann are also hitting below the Mendoza line this month.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Brett Gardner (8-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Dellin Betances (3 G, HLD, 3.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K)

11. Seattle Mariners (40-36, Previous: 14)

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    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    After splitting a home/road four-game series with the San Diego Padres, the Mariners flexed their muscles with a three-game sweep of the red-hot Kansas City Royals. They are now 13-8 in June and are currently tied for the second wild-card spot in the AL.

    Offensive consistency remains a legitimate concern; while a big week from shortstop Brad Miller is certainly promising, the secondary pieces behind Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager have to step up if they are going to have a chance at contending.

    On to our weekly Taijuan Walker/James Paxton update: Walker was shelled for seven hits and seven runs in four innings in his last Triple-A start, while Paxton is just now starting to throw again and is likely still several weeks away from returning.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Brad Miller (11-for-24, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Roenis Elias (2 GS, 2 W, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)

10. Baltimore Orioles (39-35, Previous: 12)

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    With series wins over the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees on the road this past week, the Orioles are now just 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East and tied with the aforementioned Yankees for second place.

    Journeyman Steve Pearce made plenty of noise at the plate last week, as he has worked his way into regular at-bats while rotating between left field and DH with Nelson Cruz. Speaking of Cruz, two more home runs last week brings his season total to 23, one behind AL-leader Edwin Encarnacion.

    Miguel Gonzalez came off the DL on Tuesday, allowing four earned runs in five innings in his first start since May 30. The team will continue to go with a six-man rotation for the time being, and considering it doesn't have a true staff ace who can take the ball every fifth day, it's not the worst idea.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Steve Pearce (10-for-21, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kevin Gausman (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

9. Toronto Blue Jays (42-35, Previous: 5)

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    After posting a brilliant 21-9 record in the month of May, the Blue Jays are just 4-11 over their last 15 games, and their AL East lead has been cut to 1.5 games as a result. They kick off this coming week with a three-game series against the New York Yankees, with their place atop the division at stake.

    As expected, it's the starting rotation that has been the question mark, as the Blue Jays starters have fallen off significantly after a terrific start to the season. J.A. Happ and Liam Hendricks were both shelled last week, and veterans Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey were the only ones to turn in a quality start.

    Top prospect Aaron Sanchez was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo last week after posting a 3.82 ERA in 14 Double-A starts, and he could be a factor in the second half if he doesn't wind up being trade bait.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Edwin Encarnacion (7-for-23, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mark Buehrle (1 GS, L, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

8. Detroit Tigers (40-32, Previous: 10)

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    David Maxwell/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The Tigers briefly lost their hold on the AL Central lead, but they managed to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals with a win before sweeping the Cleveland Indians over the weekend.

    The acquisition of J.D. Martinez, who as signed as a free agent back in March after being released by the Houston Astros, has been one of the best under-the-radar moves of the year so far. Playing a platoon role in left field, he's hit .310/.344/.593 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI in 113 at-bats.

    "It's really the power that stands out," manager Brad Ausmus told Jason Beck of MLB.com. "He's the one guy that I've seen here, other than Miggy, that can drive the ball out to anywhere in the ballpark. Even to center at Comerica Park, he can hit it out."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF J.D. Martinez (12-for-27, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Rick Porcello (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

7. Washington Nationals (39-35, Previous: 9)

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Nationals have a tenuous 1.5-game hold on the NL East standings right now, but they will need to keep winning, as that division is tight from top to bottom, with the last-place Philadelphia Phillies being just five games back.

    They will square off against the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs on the road this coming week, and this could be their last week without Bryce Harper in the lineup. The plan as of now is to have him return around July 1, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.

    "We’re all itching for him to get back, and he’s itching to get back, too,” manager Matt Williams said, per Khurshudyan.

    Ryan Zimmerman will likely return to third base once Harper is back, with Anthony Rendon moving back to second and Danny Espinosa heading to the bench.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Anthony Rendon (9-for-25, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Doug Fister (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

6. San Francisco Giants (45-30, Previous: 3)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    After running their record to 42-21 with a 14-3 stretch, the Giants are just 3-9 over their last 12 games, dropping them from the top spot in these rankings last week and down to No. 6 this week.

    Closer Sergio Romo nailed down back-to-back saves over the weekenda positive sign, to say the least, after seeing him blow back-to-back saves two weeks ago. They will also have top setup man Santiago Casilla back from the disabled list, as he is set to be activated on Tuesday, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    It's a long season, and even the best teams run into some hiccups along the way. The Giants now have a 10-game homestand to get things back on track and re-establish themselves as one of the NL's elite teams.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Hunter Pence (8-for-22, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Madison Bumgarner (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

5. Los Angeles Angels (41-33, Previous: 7)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    Despite their solid overall record and another winning week, the Angels still sit five games back in the AL West standings, and they actually lost ground on the division-leading Oakland Athletics this past week.

    With the emergence of C.J. Cron, who homered three times last week and has an .846 OPS in 112 at-bats on the year, veteran Raul Ibanez was released over the weekend. He was hitting just .157 with a .523 OPS in 166 at-bats.

    The bullpen continues to be the team's clear weakness, as the unit blew a pair of saves last week and is now just 16-of-28 in save opportunities on the year with a 4.49 ERA (26th in MLB) as a group. Expect the Angels to go after whatever top relief arm winds up on the trade market, perhaps Huston Street or Jonathan Papelbon.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Mike Trout (7-for-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Matt Shoemaker (2 GS, 2 W, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 16 K)

4. St. Louis Cardinals (41-35, Previous: 4)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    It's fair to say the Cardinals have not lived up to the lofty expectations they entered the season with so far, but things have been clicking of late, as they are 10-4 over their last 14 games. They took a series from the New York Mets last week before splitting with the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend.

    It has certainly not been all good of late, though, as Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia both landed on the DL last week with shoulder discomfort. Neither injury is serious at this point, but it's concerning nonetheless. Carlos Martinez has moved to the rotation to fill one spot, with Tyler Lyons potentially being the one who will be called up to fill the other spot.

    Still, with the offense finally starting to put things together and plenty of pitching depth to draw from for the short term, this team looks to be in a better position than they were a month ago, when no one was hitting and quality starts were being squandered.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Yadier Molina (8-for-22, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Adam Wainwright (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (42-35, Previous: 6)

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    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter was the highlight of the week for both the Dodgers and MLB, as he became the second Dodgers hurler to throw a no-hitter this season, with the other being veteran Josh Beckett.

    It was a great all-around week for the Dodgers, as a sweep of the Colorado Rockies and a series win against the San Diego Padres trimmed 2.5 games off the struggling San Francisco Giants' division lead. The Dodgers are now just four games back in the division, and they'll look to put a further dent in that lead this coming week.

    Third baseman Juan Uribe was originally scheduled to come off the DL on Monday, but the team has pushed that back to Wednesday or Thursday, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN. Justin Turner has done a nice job filling in, but getting Uribe back will be a big help. 

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Hanley Ramirez (8-for-20, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

2. Milwaukee Brewers (47-30, Previous: 2)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    The Brewers went on the road last week, taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, and they walked away with a 6-1 record. That pushed their division lead to 5.5 gamesthe largest lead in any division right nowand that earns them the top spot at the midseason point among NL teams.

    The team's starting pitchers have fallen off a bit since their brilliant start, but they have managed to stay healthy to this point, and that goes a long way. The bullpen behind them remains a strength, with the trio of Francisco Rodriguez, Will Smith and Zach Duke leading the way.

    Offensively, the trio of Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy has been as good as any in baseball, and a big week from Aramis Ramirez gives them hope that they have another big weapon in the lineup if he can keep it up. All signs point to this team being in it for the long haul, and they have certainly been tough so far.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Aramis Ramirez (14-for-28, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yovani Gallardo (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

1. Oakland Athletics (47-29, Previous: 1)

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    With series wins over the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox last week, the A's widened their AL West lead to five games and maintained their hold on the top spot in these rankings. Their plus-135 run differential remains far-and-away the best in baseball, a full 86 runs better than the San Francisco Giants, who are second in that category.

    It will be interesting to see how many All-Star representatives this team winds up with. It looks like Josh Donaldson will earn the starting nod at third base, but you can make an argument for a number of guys to join him as reserves.

    Derek Norris, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Jesse Chavez and Sean Doolittle all have strong cases to be part of the AL roster. There will no doubt be at least one or two snubs from that group, but expect the A's to be well-represented in Minnesota.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Yoenis Cespedes (9-for-26, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jesse Chavez (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference and cover games from Monday, June 16, through Sunday, June 22. All injury information via MLBDepthCharts team pages.

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