MLB Power Rankings 2014: Where Every Team Stands as All-Star Game Approaches

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

Oakland Athletics' Jeff Samardzija works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 6, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The word parity gets thrown around far too often in sports, but it truly does apply to the 2014 MLB season.

Entering play Monday, there were the six first-place teams and 17 teams within 10 games of them. Given the extra wild-card spot in the playoffs now, it will be difficult to separate some of the buyers and sellers when the trade deadline rolls around.

With that in mind, here is a look at the updated power rankings with the All-Star Game right around the corner. 

2014 MLB Power Rankings
RankingTeamComment
1Oakland AthleticsWelcome to the best team in baseball, All-Star Jeff Samardzija
2Los Angeles AngelsSome home-cooking (and games with the lowly Astros) paying dividends
3Milwaukee BrewersRyan Braun should give the lineup a boost
4Los Angeles DodgersSuperstars everywhere and will be in heated division race all year
5Seattle MarinersThe loaded top of the AL West is just unfair for King Felix and company
6Atlanta BravesThe streaky Braves are securely in the top 10 for now
7Detroit TigersIn first place with a middling Verlander, good luck when he gets back on track again
8San Francisco GiantsCould we get a Bay Area World Series?
9Washington NationalsRed-hot Nats on the way up
10Baltimore OriolesThis could be their year to take the division with Yankees and Red Sox struggling
11Toronto Blue JaysDitto from the Orioles
12St. Louis CardinalsIs there really any doubt they will find a way to be there at the end?
13Kansas City RoyalsLurking in the shadows of Detroit
14Cincinnati RedsAn injured Joey Votto could spell trouble for Cincinnati
15Pittsburgh PiratesPirates quietly playing excellent baseball
16New York YankeesSabathia could be done, but the weak division means the Yankees aren't yet
17Cleveland IndiansWith Manziel and the possible return of LeBron, will the city of Cleveland even remember it has a baseball team?
18Tampa Bay RaysSlowly climbing the standings...too little, too late?
19Chicago White SoxDoesn't really feel like they have a run in them this year
20Minnesota TwinsTwins struggling to avoid the bottom of these rankings
21Miami MarlinsCould realistically finish the season around or above .500
22Boston Red SoxSafe to say Boston won't be winning a World Series trophy this year
23San Diego PadresJust kind of playing out the string for the rest of this season
24New York MetsIf only the Mets had Matt Harvey
25Texas RangersThis is not the way the season was supposed to go in Texas
26Philadelphia PhilliesNosedive continues
27Arizona DiamondbacksAt least they have Paul Goldschmidt
28Chicago CubsA few years from now, the Cubs will be much higher on these type of lists
29Colorado RockiesSeems like ages ago that the Rockies were battling the Red Sox in the World Series
30Houston AstrosThe constant rebuild continues
Rankings are personal opinion

 

No. 28 Chicago Cubs

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06:  Denard Span #2 of the Washington Nationals slides into second base for a double in the eighth inning under the tag of Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on July 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. Washington won the
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Look at this as something of a therapy session, Cubs fans (and honestly, don’t all Cubs fans need some type of therapy?). 

Trading Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel was the final nail in the coffin to the 2014 season, but the future is about as bright as it comes in the majors. Starlin Castro is heading to the All-Star Game, and Anthony Rizzo is one of the candidates in the final fan vote, and they represent just two of the building blocks in the organization.

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus pointed out just how many prospects are waiting in the wings after the acquisition of Addison Russell from the Oakland Athletics:

Hammel was never supposed to be anything more than a one-year rental, and Chicago got the most it possibly could out of him. Samardzija is certainly a bit more painful because he realistically could have been a building block, but the prospects weren’t going to peak at the same time as the 29-year-old hurler. 

BOSTON, MA - JULY 1:  Luis Valbuena #24 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 1, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With Russell, Castro, Rizzo, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler, among others, the Cubs won’t be this low for long in these power rankings. Now all they have to do is find some young pitching.

 

No. 16 New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 02:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees forces out Desmond Jennings #8 of the Tampa Bay Rays at second base during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Get
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Yankees stand out on this list simply because they aren’t supposed to be in the bottom half.

After all, it’s the Yankees.

They are looking up at the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays in a unusually weak American League East and still have a chance to make a postseason push, but they rank in the bottom half of the majors in runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

The pitching, outside of Masahiro Tanaka, has been just as mediocre, if not worse. Now it looks as if C.C. Sabathia is out for the year as well, as manager Joe Girardi said, via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News: “I’m sure surgery is possible. They’ve got to talk about it and determine what’s next.”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 3: Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of the game on July 3, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins 7-4. (Photo by
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

New York is just mired in mediocrity, and it doesn’t look like things will improve much as the year continues. 

This season is and was all about Derek Jeter’s farewell tour, but it just doesn’t feel right that he may not make the playoffs in his final season.

 

No. 1 Oakland Athletics

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 06:  Craig Gentry #3 of the Oakland Athletics reacts after scoring on a double by Derek Norris #36 in the eighth inning of their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum on July 6, 2014 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics are going to be more than well represented at the All-Star Game.

They have seven All-Stars if you want to get technical about it. Samardzija was elected to the National League team as a Cub, so we are going to count him here. Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, Scott Kazmir and Sean Doolittle round out the rest of the list.

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 06:  Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by teammates after he struck out three batters in a row in the seventh inning of their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum on July 6, 2014 in Oakland, Ca
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The A’s were arguably the best team in the majors before acquiring two pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs. Now they are even better.

Oakland’s rotation will include Samardzija, Hammel, Kazmir and Sonny Gray, which is simply unfair. It will be incredibly difficult for anyone to top that in a playoff series, where pitching is so important.

The thought here is that the Detroit Tigers may represent the biggest challenge in the American League going forward, but that is only if Justin Verlander returns to his typical incredible form.

Oakland is second in the majors in ERA, and the no-name lineup leads the league in runs and is third in the Moneyball favorite on-base percentage. 

There is simply more talent in this club than any other in the league.

 

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