MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the All-Star Break

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the All-Star Break

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The second half of the 2014 MLB season kicked off Friday, with all 30 teams back in action following the All-Star break.

    That made for an significantly smaller sample size to work with for this week's MLB power rankings, but there was still a good deal of movement, as teams came out of the break looking to build some momentum for the second half.

    When putting together the 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

    Now that All-Star festivities are wrapped up, all eyes will turn to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. This week's slate of games will go a long way in pushing teams that are on the fence one way or the other, and it certainly looks as though we'll have more action than we did at the deadline last year.

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

30. Texas Rangers (39-59, Previous: 30)

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    The Rangers opened the second half by dropping a series to the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, and with a number of pieces likely to be moved, the second half could be as bad or worse than the first for them.

    A .500 team on June 16, when they sat at 35-35, the Rangers have gone a horrendous 4-24 since, as the myriad of injuries they've suffered has simply been too much to overcome.

    Closer Joakim Soria and right fielder Alex Rios are their two biggest trade chips, and both guys are already generating interest, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Reliever Neal Cotts, a free agent at the end of the season, is another guy who could be dealt.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Rougned Odor (4-for-10, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yu Darvish (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)

29. Chicago Cubs (40-57, Previous: 29)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 0-3

    The Cubs have now dropped each of their last four series following a sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks this past weekend. That being said, success for them won't be measured by wins and losses in the second half.

    Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara and right-hander Kyle Hendricks, two of the team's better secondary prospects behind their highly touted trio, will both open the second half on the big league club.

    They could soon be joined by Javier Baez, and there will be plenty of buzz surrounding his debut, regardless of the team's record.

    As for further trading on the heels of the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel blockbuster, the Cubs don't have a ton of pieces left to shop. Nate Schierholtz will be moved for whatever the team can get, and one of the lefty relievers (James Russell and Wesley Wright) is likely to be traded, but that could be the extent of Chicago's activity between now and August.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Anthony Rizzo (5-for-11, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jake Arrieta (1 GS, L, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

28. Colorado Rockies (40-58, Previous: 26)

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    Last Week's Results: 0-3

    Another team that has struggled mightily since the middle of June, the Rockies were just one game under .500 at 34-35 back on June 15. Since then, they have gone 6-23, and they are currently riding a five-game losing streak.

    Big offseason pickup Brett Anderson was finally activated from the 60-day DL coming into the All-Star break, and he looked good in his second start back. It's too little too late, though, for a team once again done in by its lack of reliable starting pitching.

    Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa looks to be the Rockies' top trade chip, while veteran relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Belisle could also be of interest to a contender. It could be an interesting offseason in Colorado, as this organization has to do something to shake things up.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Josh Rutledge (3-for-7, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brett Anderson (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

27. Houston Astros (41-58, Previous: 27)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    All things considered, the Astros were better than expected with a 40-56 record at the All-Star break, and avoiding another 100-loss season would constitute a step in the right direction for the rebuilding franchise.

    Dropping two of three to the Chicago White Sox to start the second half was not the best way to start toward that goal, and the Astros now take on baseball's best team in the Oakland A's for six of their next nine games.

    At this point there's not much left to trade as far as veteran talent is concerned.

    Left-hander Tony Sipp is probably the most likely guy to be dealt, while closer Chad Qualls and all-or-nothing slugger Chris Carter could be shopped as well. 

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jose Altuve (5-for-14, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Josh Fields (2 G, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

26. Philadelphia Phillies (43-55, Previous: 24)

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    With a series loss to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, the Phillies are now 11 games back in the NL East standings. If ever there were a time to finally start rebuilding, it is now.

    One of their biggest potential trade chips, Cliff Lee, will rejoin the rotation Monday, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly. That gives teams two starts to evaluate him and decide whether it's worth committing the prospects and the $37.5 million he's owed to acquire him.

    Outside of Lee, there is no shortage of potential trade chips.

    Outfielder Marlon Byrd and reliever Antonio Bastardo look like the two easiest pieces to move, while bigger pieces like Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon could also be dealt for the right price.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Grady Sizemore (7-for-12, 1 2B, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Cole Hamels (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

25. San Diego Padres (43-55, Previous: 28)

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    The Padres have quietly played decent baseball of late, going 7-8 so far in July, and they opened the second half with a series win over the New York Mets.

    Pitching remains their biggest strength, as All-Star Tyson Ross had a strong start last week and rookie Odrisamer Despaigne carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning Sunday.

    San Diego shipped closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels last week in the first of what figures to be many deals for the Padres. Third baseman Chase Headley, setup man Joaquin Benoit and outfielder Chris Denorfia also look like prime candidates to be moved, while right-hander Ian Kennedy could be flipped for the right price.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Will Venable (4-for-11, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tyson Ross (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

24. Minnesota Twins (44-53, Previous: 20)

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 0-3

    Props to the Twins and the city of Minneapolis for doing a great job hosting All-Star Weekend, but now it's back to the regular season and a Twins team that sits 11 games back in the AL Central.

    They may not be in contention, but with a ton of games left against the Detroit Tigers (11), Cleveland Indians (12) and Kansas City Royals (10), their play in the second half could certainly have a bearing on how things shake out in the AL Central.

    With catcher Kurt Suzuki looking like a candidate to be re-signed, the team's top trade chips are a pair of expiring contracts in outfielder Josh Willingham and starter Kevin Correia. They could also try to flip midseason addition Kendrys Morales.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Trevor Plouffe (3-for-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Samuel Deduno (1 G, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

23. Arizona Diamondbacks (43-56, Previous: 25)

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-0

    Sweeping the Chicago Cubs at home was a nice way to kick off the second half for the Diamondbacks, but they have a long way to go to salvage a season that began with high hopes after a busy offseason of retooling.

    Arizona activated slugger Mark Trumbo from the DL just before the break after he missed 71 games with a stress fracture in his foot. Starter Trevor Cahill is also back after spending roughly a month in the minors and will look to re-establish his spot in the rotation.

    The team is still in a position to sell, and infielders Aaron Hill and Martin Prado are two guys that could be on the way out. Veteran reliever Brad Ziegler is also an attractive trade chip as one of the most reliable setup guys in all of baseball the past several seasons.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Paul Goldschmidt (4-for-10, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Josh Collmenter (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

22. Miami Marlins (45-52, Previous: 21)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    For a team coming off of a 100-loss season, the Marlins have been a pleasant surprise here in 2014. However, at just 3-7 in their last 10 games, they have quickly slid from potential buyer to likely seller.

    The young team is currently 8.5 games back in the NL East standings and 8.5 out for the second NL wild-card spot. They aren't in a position for another fire sale by any means, and superstar Giancarlo Stanton is not going anywhere, but they could look to move a few guys.

    Third baseman Casey McGehee would be as easy as anyone to trade, as he's cheap and productive. Closer Steve Cishek and setup man Mike Dunn have also seen their names pop up in recent trade talks, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Giancarlo Stanton (3-for-10, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brad Hand (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

21. New York Mets (46-52, Previous: 19)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    Remember when Sandy Alderson said the 2014 Mets could win 90 games back in spring training? Well, they just need to go 44-20 the rest of the way to make that pipe dream a reality.

    To be fair, Alderson was one of the few guys with legitimate expectations for this year's team. The focus of many has been on the 2015 season, when Matt Harvey returns and the team figures to boast one of the best young rotations in the game.

    Between now and then, the Mets will need to sort out the shortstop position and the bullpen if they have any chance. As for what they'll do at the deadline this year, veteran starter Bartolo Colon looks like their biggest trade chip. They could entertain offers for Daniel Murphy, but their asking price will likely be steep enough that no one bites.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Lucas Duda (3-for-10, 1 2B, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Zack Wheeler (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

20. Chicago White Sox (47-52, Previous: 22)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    Thanks to a solid 26-22 record at home this season, the White Sox are still just nine games back in the AL Central standings and in a position to perhaps make a run at a .500 season if nothing else. A series win over the Houston Astros this week was a nice start.

    There is still a lot of work to be done, but it's hard not to like the core they've assembled on the South Side with Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton and eventually Avisail Garcia looking like a solid group.

    After a busy trade season last year saw them move Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, things figure to be quieter this time around. Slugger Adam Dunn with his expiring contract is the most likely guy to be traded, while Dayan Viciedo or Alejandro De Aza could also be moved.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Adam Eaton (6-for-11, 1 3B, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Zach Putnam (2 G, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

19. Kansas City Royals (48-49, Previous: 16)

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    Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 0-3

    At 3-7 in their last 10 games and coming off a sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, the Royals need to right the ship quickly or risk falling out of things in the AL Central.

    They have a big four-game series coming up later this week at home against the Cleveland Indians, who have been playing terrific of late and currently sit 1.5 games up on them in the standings. First they will need to get past a three-game set against the White Sox in Chicago.

    The team desperately needs to find a way to add more pop to the lineup, and upgrading in right field seems like the best way to do that. Should the Royals continue to slide over the next week, there's an outside chance that free-agent-to-be James Shields could find his way onto the trade market, and there would be no shortage of teams interested in his services.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Eric Hosmer (5-for-12, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Danny Duffy (1 GS, L, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)

18. Boston Red Sox (46-52, Previous: 23)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-0

    Don't look now, but they've finally started playing some baseball in Boston. It may be too little too late, but in a wide-open AL East, it could also be enough for the team to change gears here at the deadline.

    With a sweep of the Kansas City Royals at home, the team has now won seven of its last eight, and that puts the Sox just 7.5 games back in the division. They head on the road this coming week to face the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, as they look to stay hot and claw back into things.

    If they sell, reliever Andrew Miller and starters Jake Peavy and John Lackey could all be on the way out. If they buy, another veteran starter and some outfield production will be their biggest targets.

    It's fair to say this upcoming week will go a long way in determining where the second half is headed for Boston.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Mike Napoli (4-for-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jon Lester (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

17. Tampa Bay Rays (47-53, Previous: 17)

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-0

    With a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, the Rays are now 11-4 in July, putting them 7.5 games back in the AL East.

    This has complicated matters, as they are still on the outside looking in for a playoff spot but have played well enough to at least consider standing pat at the deadline and trying to make a run here in the second half.

    According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the market for ace David Price is a three-horse race among the Dodgers, Cardinals and Mariners. The versatile Ben Zobrist is Tampa Bay's other big trade chip, and there are a number of places he could wind up.

    That's all moot, though, if the team decides not to sell.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B James Loney (7-for-12, 2 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP David Price (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

16. New York Yankees (50-47, Previous: 18)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-0

    Coming off a three-game sweep of what was a hot Cincinnati Reds team heading into the break, the Yankees are somehow just three games back in the AL East standings. That should be more than enough to make them buyers at the deadline.

    With Hiroki Kuroda the only man left standing from the Opening Day rotation, it's a miracle the team isn't 20 games under .500, and pitching figures to be the Yanks' main target before the deadline.

    Brandon McCarthy has looked sharp since coming over from the Diamondbacks, and the young duo of Chase Whitley and Shane Greene has far exceeded expectations, but the team needs a front-line arm if it is going to seriously contend.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury (6-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 3 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brandon McCarthy (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

15. Toronto Blue Jays (51-48, Previous: 15)

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    It had not exactly been smooth sailing for the Blue Jays heading into the All-Star break, as they were just 2-8 in their last 10 games. They managed to open the second half on a positive note with a series win over the reeling Texas Rangers and now sit three games back in the AL East.

    Despite its recent struggles, this team is really just a mid-level starter away from being a serious contender for the division title. Another step forward by Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman, the latter of whom is 4-2 with a 2.50 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation, could make this staff a formidable one.

    At this point there is really no reason to trade top prospects Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris. If the Jays can just land someone in the Bartolo Colon neighborhood, that could be enough to shore things up and position them for a strong second half.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Melky Cabrera (7-for-13, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Marcus Stroman (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

14. Cincinnati Reds (51-47, Previous: 7)

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 0-3

    The Reds were one of the hottest teams in baseball heading into the break, putting together a 22-10 stretch to close out the first half.

    A three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees put a screeching halt to that, though, and they kick off this coming week with a big series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

    When you consider that it's been Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton leading the way offensively and Alfredo Simon slotted alongside Johnny Cueto in the rotation, it's impressive that the Reds have managed to keep pace in the NL Central.

    Adding another bat in left field and another arm or two to the bullpen would go a long way, but getting guys like the injured Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey producing as they are capable of producing would be even bigger.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C/1B Brayan Pena (3-for-11, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Johnny Cueto (1 GS, ND, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

13. Milwaukee Brewers (54-45, Previous: 11)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    The Brewers entered the All-Star break in a 2-11 tailspin, and a series loss to the Washington Nationals to open the second half has done little to quell the concerns of them sliding even further.

    They head home to take on the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets this coming week, and with the top four teams in the NL Central separated by 2.5 games, another bad week could drop them from first to fourth.

    In terms of talent, all the pieces are there for this team to be one of the best in baseball. The Brewers need to sort out the No. 5 starter spot and could use some more bench depth, but overall the deadline will likely be a quiet one in Milwaukee, as it's just a matter of getting the in-house talent back on track.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Ryan Braun (3-for-10, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kyle Lohse (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

12. Seattle Mariners (52-46, Previous: 9)

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    Even with their busy offseason, it's fair to say the Mariners have been one of baseball's biggest surprises so far this year. Dropping two of three to the Angels on the road last week is not a huge deal, though winning that series would have been a great way to kick off the second half.

    As good as they have been, this team is at least one run-producing bat away from being a legitimate contender. A right-handed hitter to slot between Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager would be ideal, but really anyone capable of consistently driving in runs would be fine.

    After an aggressive offseason, there's no reason to think the Mariners will ease off the accelerator at the deadline. The team has been linked to David Price, Ben Zobrist, Marlon Byrd, Dayan Viciedo and Josh Willingham, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Dustin Ackley (5-for-14, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Felix Hernandez (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 9 K)

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-46, Previous: 13)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-0

    The Pirates made the most of playing the struggling Colorado Rockies at home over the weekend, opening the second half with a three-game sweep. They are now just 1.5 games back in the NL Central and set to kick off this week with a big series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    As a whole, the team's pitching staff has simply not been as good as it was last season. That being said, the emergence of Vance Worley and Jeff Locke, coupled with a healthy Francisco Liriano, has the Pirates looking much better off than they were a month ago.

    They could still look to add another veteran arm, and perhaps a reunion with A.J. Burnett would make sense for everyone involved. Another late-inning reliever would help as well, with Mark Melancon still best suited to be an eighth-inning guy.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Neil Walker (7-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Francisco Liriano (1 GS, ND, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

10. Cleveland Indians (50-48, Previous: 14)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-1

    No one boosted their stock more to open the second half than the Indians, as they took three of four from the division-leading Detroit Tigers to pull within 5.5 games of them in the standings.

    They are now riding a nice 11-5 streak, and while the Indians still have a lot of work to do if they hope to make a return trip to the playoffs, there is no question that momentum is on their side right now. They stay on the road to take on the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals this week.

    Big picture, this team still doesn't appear to have the starting pitching to be serious contenders. Corey Kluber is a stud, and Trevor Bauer has thrown the ball well since rejoining the rotation, but the rest of the staff is a major question mark.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jason Kipnis (5-for-15, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Corey Kluber (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

9. San Francisco Giants (54-44, Previous: 12)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    Despite their struggles down the stretch in the first half, the Giants still managed to keep things from getting out of hand in the NL West. After a series win against the Miami Marlins this past weekend, they are again tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the standings.

    They open this coming week with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, but it is their weekend matchup with the aforementioned Dodgers that fans are circling on their calendars.

    An upgrade at second base, another bullpen arm and some low-cost starting-pitching depth make up their trade-deadline wish list, but getting Angel Pagan healthy remains their biggest priority moving forward. He's been sidelined for a month with a back injury and is not expected back until at least August.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Buster Posey (5-for-11, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Madison Bumgarner (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

8. Baltimore Orioles (53-44, Previous: 5)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    Despite losing a series to the Athletics in Oakland over the weekend, the Orioles are still 11-5 over their last 16 games. Their lead in the AL East currently stands at three games, and they will look to hold on to that as they stay out west to face the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners this coming week.

    If there's one name to watch on this team in the second half, it's Kevin Gausman. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 3.29 ERA since joining the rotation full-time at the beginning of June, and he's capable of being the front-line starter the team so desperately needs in the second half.

    That being said, counting on Gausman to carry the staff alongside Chris Tillman is asking a lot, and the Orioles could aim to add an arm at the deadline.

    They still look like the favorites to win the AL East at this point, but it's hard to call them serious title contenders without a bona fide ace.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS J.J. Hardy (4-for-9, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Tillman (1 GS, ND, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (55-45, Previous: 4)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-2

    Despite an underperforming offense, a shaky bullpen and a questionable back of the rotation, the Dodgers still look as dangerous as any team in the National League heading into the second half.

    With Yasiel Puig (hand) and Hanley Ramirez (arm) both suffering injuries on hit-by-pitches in the team's weekend series, the lineup could continue to struggle this coming week. X-rays came back negative on both injuries, but they could be slowed nonetheless.

    With Josh Beckett on the DL and Dan Haren struggling of late, the team will almost certainly be looking to add a starter as well as a bullpen arm or two. The Dodgers remain very much in the David Price sweepstakes, and they would be able to put together a better prospect package than the St. Louis Cardinals or Seattle Mariners if they go all in.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Dee Gordon (5-for-13, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

6. St. Louis Cardinals (54-45, Previous: 10)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    With a win Sunday night, the Cardinals could have moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central, but instead they enter the week tied atop the standings with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    For all the injuries and offensive struggles the team has endured this season, it is still tied for the fifth-best record in the National League. A solid week from Matt Holliday might have been the biggest story of the weekend, as getting him going would be huge for the St. Louis offense.

    This still looks like a team that could make a serious splash at the deadline, and pulling the trigger on a deal for both David Price and Ben Zobrist makes an awful lot of sense. It's simply a matter of whether or not the Cardinals are willing to part with some young, high-end talent, something that has been the lifeblood of their organization for years now.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Matt Holliday (3-for-8, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Joe Kelly (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

5. Detroit Tigers (54-41, Previous: 3)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-3

    The AL Central was the only division with a clear top team heading into the All-Star break, but that notion was flipped on its head this past weekend when the Cleveland Indians rode in to Detroit and took three of four.

    The bullpen remains the Tigers' biggest concern, and closer Joe Nathan reminded them of that by allowing three runs in his first appearance of the second half, picking up the loss in the process Saturday. He bounced back with a scoreless inning Sunday, but for a team looking to win it all, he's simply too unreliable to keep handing the ball to in the ninth.

    Joakim Soria and Joaquin Benoit are currently the team's top two targets, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It wouldn't be overly surprising to see the Tigers add both, as they are each controllable beyond this season and could help keep the bullpen from being an issue again in 2015.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Torii Hunter (4-for-11, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Drew Smyly (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

4. Atlanta Braves (54-44, Previous: 8)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    The Braves have not played a team with a winning record since they split a four-game series with the Washington Nationals back on June 19-22, so it's hard to put too much stock in their current 16-7 stretch.

    That said, you have to consistently beat the bad teams if you want to make the playoffs, and they have taken care of business on that front. They take on two more teams with losing records this coming week in the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres.

    Though they currently sit tied atop the NL East standings with the Nationals, the Braves still look to be one impact starter away from being serious title contenders. The rotation is pitching nowhere near the level it was over the first two months of the season and has actually become a weakness behind Julio Teheran.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Chris Johnson (4-for-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Alex Wood (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

3. Washington Nationals (53-43, Previous: 6)

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers struggling, and the St. Louis Cardinals still trying to string together some sort of winning streak, the Washington Nationals look like the best team in the National League right now.

    After a 17-11 month of June, they have gone 9-5 in July, taking a series from the Milwaukee Brewers at home over the weekend. They dealt with a lot of injuries in the first half, but they are healthy now, and they won't be trying to dig themselves out of a hole in the second half this time around.

    The bullpen needs a left-hander, and the team could explore moving Denard Span to free up an outfield spot for Ryan Zimmerman, but the biggest thing for the Nats will be staying healthy.

    The emergence of Tanner Roark gives them one of the best rotations in baseball, and they could be awfully dangerous come October.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Ryan Zimmerman (6-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tanner Roark (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

2. Los Angeles Angels (59-38, Previous: 2)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    A series win against the Seattle Mariners was a nice way to start the second half for the Angels, but the big news last week was the acquisition of All-Star closer Huston Street from the San Diego Padres.

    "Huston brings us a quality ninth-inning presence that really enhances our team," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told Matthew DeFranks of MLB.com. He added, "That back end [of the bullpen] gets deeper and deeper. It gives us the opportunity to make games shorter."

    The team is likely still in the market for another starting pitcher, with legitimate concerns over Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs reaching career-high workloads here in the second half and perhaps burning out down the stretch.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Mike Trout (6-for-16, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Garrett Richards (1 GS, ND, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

1. Oakland Athletics (61-37, Previous: 1)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-1

    Another week, another winning record for the A's, who became the first team to 60 wins when they beat the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

    Their rotation features three guys with ERAs under 3.00 on the year in Scott Kazmir (2.38), Sonny Gray (2.72) and Jeff Samardzija (2.91) and another who is close by in Jesse Chavez (3.14). The lineup has eight guys with at least 30 RBI on the year, led by Josh Donaldson (70) and Brandon Moss (67).

    To put it simply, they are the most balanced and talented team in baseball top to bottom, and there is a reason they still carry a ridiculous plus-150 run differential.

    Their next nine games are against the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and the Astros again, so expect that number to climb.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Josh Donaldson (4-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Sonny Gray (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and cover games from Monday, July 14, through Sunday, July 20. All injury information comes via MLBDepthCharts team pages, per Baseball Prospectus.

     

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