MLB

MLB Power Rankings: An Updated Look at Where All 30 Teams Stand

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: An Updated Look at Where All 30 Teams Stand

1 of 31

    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The MLB trade deadline is now a matter of days away, as the non-waiver deadline is officially July 31 at 4 p.m. ET.

    The addition of the second wild-card spot has made things much quieter on the trade front over the past couple of years, as more teams are willing to stand pat in an effort to make a run at securing a postseason spot.

    That being said, there are still a number of impact pieces on the market this year, and what happens between now and Thursday could certainly shake up the playoff races. Heading into the deadline, things are very close across the league, with as many as 19 teams still in a position to call themselves contenders.

    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

    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.

    Also, there will be a special edition of these power rankings this week immediately following the trade deadline passing on Thursday evening, so be sure to check that out as well to see how all of the wheeling and dealing shook up the rankings.

30. Texas Rangers (41-64, Previous: 30)

2 of 31

    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    A rough week from the Houston Astros has the Texas Rangers in position to make a jump up to fourth place in the AL West if they can put together a solid stretch. They struggled this past week, though, dropping series to the New York Yankees and Oakland A's.

    The team traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, landing a pair of prospects who both now rank among the Rangers' top 10 in Jake Thompson (No. 6) and Corey Knebel (No. 7), according to MLB.com's Prospect Watch.

    That makes Alex Rios their top trade chip with the deadline closing in, and in a market that is incredibly thin on bats, he could bring a sizable return as well.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Adrian Beltre (7-for-28, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Nick Martinez (1 GS, ND, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

29. Houston Astros (42-63, Previous: 27)

3 of 31

    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    A series loss on the road against Oakland and a sweep at home against the Miami Marlins has the Astros clinging to a one-game lead over the Texas Rangers to avoid the AL West cellar.

    It's been a quiet July in Houston, as the team is finally past the aggressively selling stage of its rebuild and now features a roster made up of young, controllable talent that figures into its long-term plans.

    The Astros may still be selling off pieces before the deadline comes, though. Left-handed reliever Tony Sipp looks like a fairly safe bet to be moved, while the team appears set to retain veteran closer Chad Qualls, who is signed through 2015 with an option for 2016, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jose Altuve (13-for-28, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Dallas Keuchel (1 GS, L, 7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

28. Chicago Cubs (42-61, Previous: 29)

4 of 31

    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    After a decent 15-13 showing in June, the Chicago Cubs are just 7-15 in July. They are actually behind where they were at this point in the season last year, when they stood at 48-55, but it's hard to say this season hasn't been a more productive one.

    Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have re-established themselves as cornerstone pieces, while the first wave of minor league talent in the form of second baseman/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara and starter Kyle Hendricks has arrived on the scene.

    The team already pulled the trigger on dealing its two biggest trade chips in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but it has a number of secondary pieces that could be dealt. Relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright, utility man Emilio Bonifacio and outfielder Nate Schierholtz would appear to be the most likely candidates.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Anthony Rizzo (7-for-21, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kyle Hendricks (2 GS, W, L, 13.1 IP, 12 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

27. Colorado Rockies (43-61, Previous: 28)

5 of 31

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The Colorado Rockies split the week last week, dropping a series to the Washington Nationals before winning one against the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend.

    It was a tough week from an injury standpoint, though, as Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau both landed on the disabled list. They also had a hard time spelling their superstar shortstop's name in an embarrassing jersey giveaway, adding insult to injury.

    Reliever LaTroy Hawkins seems like the most likely candidate on their roster to be moved, while starter Jorge De La Rosa would appear to be staying put unless the team lowers its absurdly high asking price, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Nolan Arenado (7-for-22, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tyler Matzek (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (45-60, Previous: 23)

6 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    With series losses to the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies last week, the Arizona Diamondbacks are now nine games behind where they were at this point last season, when they sat at 54-51 and just 2.5 games back in the NL West.

    It's been a trying season, as they dug themselves a 9-22 hole before the calendar turned over to May, and they could sell as aggressively as anyone over the next few days as a result.

    Infielders Martin Prado (.329 BA, .826 OPS) and Aaron Hill (.288 BA, .760 OPS, 10-game hitting streak) have both heated up at the plate here in July and look like the team's top two trade pieces as a result. Lefty reliever Oliver Perez could also be on his way out.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Martin Prado (9-for-22, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chase Anderson (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

25. Philadelphia Phillies (46-59, Previous: 26)

7 of 31

    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    After a nice five-game winning streak had them showing some signs of life earlier this month, the Phillies are now 4-8 in their last 12 games. They did close out last week on a strong note, though, wrapping up a series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

    With Cliff Lee (2 GS, 10.2 IP, 21 H, 9 ER) getting shelled in his two starts since returning from the DL, his chances of being moved at the deadline have shrunk considerably.

    Instead, outfielder Marlon Byrd and left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo look like the two most likely trade chips. Closer Jonathan Papelbon and starters Kyle Kendrick and A.J. Burnett could also be moved, though not as easily as Byrd and Bastardo.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Chase Utley (10-for-28, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Cole Hamels (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

24. San Diego Padres (46-58, Previous: 25)

8 of 31

    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The San Diego Padres have quietly put together a respectable month of July, going 10-11 after entering the month 11 games under .500. They won a series against the Cubs in Chicago early last week before dropping one to the Braves over the weekend.

    Rookie phenom Odrisamer Despaigne (6 GS, 2-2, 1.66 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, .203 BAA) was finally roughed up last week, allowing six hits and five runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings. He has nonetheless been a terrific find after signing for a $1 million bonus in the offseason.

    As far as trade chips, the Padres have already dealt two big ones in Huston Street and Chase Headley. Setup man Joaquin Benoit and starter Ian Kennedy could both still be moved, though the asking price on both is high, as neither is a free agent at the end of the season.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Yangervis Solarte (7-for-21, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tyson Ross (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

23. Minnesota Twins (47-57, Previous: 24)

9 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    The Minnesota Twins kicked off last week by beating what was a red-hot Cleveland Indians team before losing three of four to the Chicago White Sox at home over the weekend.

    Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who Minnesota signed shortly after the June draft on a pro-rated one-year, $12 million deal, was traded back to the Seattle Mariners, where he spent 2013. Things have gone full circle in what's been an odd year for the veteran slugger.

    Outfielder Josh Willingham and starter Kevin Correia are both set to hit free agency at the end of the season, and the team will likely take what it can get for them at this point. Catcher Kurt Suzuki is less likely to be dealt, as he remains a strong candidate to be re-signed.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Danny Santana (8-for-25, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Anthony Swarzak (1 GS, W, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

22. Boston Red Sox (48-57, Previous: 18)

10 of 31

    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    On the road against a pair of division foes, the Boston Red Sox lost series to the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, likely sealing their fate as sellers at the deadline. They are now 10.5 games back in the division and 7.5 back in the wild card.

    Boston already moved one key piece over the weekend, shipping Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants for a better return than most expected. The Red Sox acquired pitching prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree in the deal.

    The big rumor over the weekend was a potential Jon Lester-for-Matt Kemp deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, per a "club source." Nothing has come of that rumor so far, but with extension talks with Lester tabled, he may very well be moved. Lefty reliever Andrew Miller and outfielder Jonny Gomes could also be traded as free-agents-to-be.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH David Ortiz (8-for-28, 2 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP John Lackey (2 GS, W, L, 14 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

21. New York Mets (50-55, Previous: 21)

11 of 31

    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The New York Mets turned in a solid showing on the road last week, winning a series against the Seattle Mariners and splitting a four-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend.

    They are now 13-9 here in July, and a run at a .500 record this season is not out of the question if they can keep things going down the stretch. That's obviously not going to get them to the playoffs, but it could be enough to keep them from selling off any key pieces.

    Veteran starter Bartolo Colon still looks like the most likely trade piece. Outfielder Bobby Abreu could also be flipped, as he has exceeded expectations, making a comeback on a one-year deal, and could be a nice bat off the bench for a contender.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Lucas Duda (7-for-25, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jacob deGrom (2 GS, 2 W, 13.1 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K)

20. Chicago White Sox (51-55, Previous: 20)

12 of 31

    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The White Sox are another team that could opt to stand pat at the deadline in an effort to make a run at a winning record. They took three of four from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend to improve to 12-11 in the month of July.

    They won't be heading to the playoffs, but the White Sox could take home some significant postseason hardware. Jose Abreu (.963 OPS, 30 HR, 79 RBI) looks like a shoo-in for AL Rookie of the Year honors, while Chris Sale (10-1, 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 122 K, 110 IP) is right alongside Felix Hernandez as a front-runner for the AL Cy Young.

    If they do decide to sell at the deadline, starter John Danks may be their most intriguing chip. He's one of the better starters on the market, especially if the trio of David Price, Jon Lester and Ian Kennedy winds up staying put. Slugger Adam Dunn should also be moved, as he's in the final year of his current contract.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Tyler Flowers (8-for-18, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Sale (2 GS, 2 W, 15 IP, 12 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 20 K)

19. Cincinnati Reds (52-52, Previous: 14)

13 of 31

    David Kohl/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    The Cincinnati Reds were playing as well as any team in baseball heading into the All-Star break, riding an 8-3 hot streak. However, they opened the second half with a seven-game losing streak and have dropped eight of nine to fall six games back in the NL Central standings.

    Outside of the Texas Rangers, there may be no team hit harder by injuries this season, and that finally seems to be catching up to the Reds, especially on the offensive side of things. They hit just .167 (30-for-180) as a team this past week, scoring 10 runs total in their six games.

    Upgrading in left field and adding another bullpen arm topped their to-do list a couple of weeks ago, but they may not be as quick to trade off any young talent after their recent struggles and subsequent slide down the standings.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Billy Hamilton (5-for-22, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Johnny Cueto (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

18. Miami Marlins (51-53, Previous: 22)

14 of 31

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    The Marlins were 17-28 away from Marlins Park on the season heading into last week, but that didn't stop them from taking three of four from the Braves in Atlanta and then sweeping a three-game series against the Astros in Houston.

    That leaves them just seven games back in the NL East standings and 5.5 back for the second wild-card spot. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, that has the team looking to buy rather than sell at the deadline.

    A veteran starting pitcher and a second baseman capable of hitting atop the lineup and providing some speed are mentioned by Frisaro as the team's top priorities. Perhaps a reunion with Emilio Bonifacio could fill that second area of need.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Christian Yelich (10-for-27, 4 RBI, 7 R, 2 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brad Hand (1 GS, W, 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

17. Cleveland Indians (52-53, Previous: 10)

15 of 31

    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    The Cleveland Indians shot up to the No. 10 spot in last week's rankings after opening the second half by taking three of four from the Tigers in Detroit. That jump proved to be premature, though, as they slide back down this week after dropping series to the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

    That leaves them 6.5 games back in the AL Central and 3.5 back in the wild-card standings. Considering the issues they have had with their pitching staff and offensive consistency, things could be an awful lot worse.

    The team is looking for a starter and a right-handed-hitting outfielder, according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. The Indians could consider flipping shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for a starter if they are comfortable turning the position over to Mike Aviles and eventually to Francisco Lindor the rest of the way.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Carlos Santana (15-for-27, 3 2B, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Corey Kluber (1 GS, ND, 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)

16. Kansas City Royals (53-51, Previous: 19)

16 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    With a 5-2 performance last week, the Royals picked up two games in the standings on the Detroit Tigers, and they are now just five games behind the AL Central leaders. They kick off this coming week against the Minnesota Twins before a big weekend series in Oakland.

    A corner outfield bat with some power remains their biggest need, with Alex Rios, Marlon Byrd and Jonny Gomes among the names that they have been tied to over the past few weeks.

    The starting rotation will also get a boost whenever Jason Vargas returns, as he's been sidelined since undergoing an appendectomy on July 9. Bruce Chen has been starting in his place, and he was touched up for eight hits and six runs in five innings his last time out.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH Billy Butler (7-for-20, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Danny Duffy (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

15. New York Yankees (54-50, Previous: 16)

17 of 31

    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The Yankees put together a nice 7-1 stretch before losing back-to-back games to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. That leaves them just four games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles and one game out in the wild-card race.

    New York added Chase Headley to the mix last week in a trade with the San Diego Padres, and he promptly delivered a walk-off hit in his first game with the team. Even if he doesn't catch fire offensively, he still represents a significant defensive upgrade at the hot corner over Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte.

    Expect the team to add at least one more starter to the mix, even after seemingly striking gold with the Brandon McCarthy (3 GS, 2-0, 1.45 ERA) acquisition. John Danks of the Chicago White Sox is one name the Yankees have been tied to over the past week or so, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via SI Wire).

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Francisco Cervelli (9-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brandon McCarthy (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

14. Tampa Bay Rays (51-54, Previous: 17)

18 of 31

    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-1

    Back on June 11, the Tampa Bay Rays were 14 games back in the AL East standings and had the worst record in all of baseball at 25-42. Since then, they've gone 26-12, climbing to within 4.5 games of a wild-card spot in the process.

    That likely means David Price is off the market, as the team could just as easily wait until this coming offseason to move him and still get a huge haul in return.

    Ben Zobrist is the other player who has received significant interest on the trade market, and while the team could still entertain offers for him, there's a good chance he also sticks around. The Rays hold a $7.5 million option on the 33-year-old for next season.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Desmond Jennings (5-for-21, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Alex Cobb (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)

13. Seattle Mariners (54-51, Previous: 12)

19 of 31

    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    The Mariners have slipped to 11.5 games back in the AL West standings and are currently 1.5 games out for the second wild-card spot. Series losses to the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles last week dropped their record to 9-13 in July after a terrific 18-10 month of June.

    Seattle brought back Kendrys Morales in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, a nice low-cost move to upgrade the lineup, but this team is still in need of another impact bat. After watching the division-rival Oakland A's and Los Angeles Angels both pull off big trades, the Mariners could follow suit and go after someone like Matt Kemp.

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted"Right now, Matt Kemp is a backup plan for the Mariners. But their interest is very real. Idea would be to transition him to DH eventually."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Dustin Ackley (12-for-26, 4 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Young (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (56-50, Previous: 15)

20 of 31

    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    They didn't make up any ground on the Baltimore Orioles, who also went 5-2 on the week, but turning in series wins against the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees still constitutes a very successful week for the Blue Jays.

    Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind are all currently on the mend, and the lineup could conceivably be back to full strength within the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the starting rotation continues to benefit from the emergence of rookie Marcus Stroman, who is 5-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 10 starts after opening the year in the bullpen.

    Second base or third base, wherever Lawrie is not playing once he returns, is a clear area that could be upgraded at the deadline. Adding another starting pitcher to the mix wouldn't hurt either, though No. 5 starter J.A. Happ has thrown the ball well of late.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Jose Bautista (9-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Marcus Stroman (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-49, Previous: 11)

21 of 31

    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    After a 25-30 start to the season, the Pirates have gone an impressive 30-19 since the start of June, and they are currently just three games back in the NL Central and 1.5 games out for a wild-card spot.

    Despite their standing as a small-market team, the Pirates have been active at the deadline each of the past three years. They brought in Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick in 2011, Wandy Rodriguez in 2012 and Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd during the latter part of last year. First base and the bullpen are two areas that could be addressed this year.

    The team will get a big in-house addition once Gerrit Cole returns from a strained lat that has sidelined him since the beginning of the month. The right-hander will make his first rehab start Monday, according to Will Cleveland of the Democrat and Chronicle (via KFFL.com), and could be back sometime in early August.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Ike Davis (6-for-13, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Francisco Liriano (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

10. San Francisco Giants (57-48, Previous: 9)

22 of 31

    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    There is no question the Giants have struggled since opening the year 42-21 and looking like the best team in baseball, but they have also done a nice job of damage control, never trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by more than two games in the NL West standings.

    Said Dodgers team swept the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend, leaving them 1.5 games back and tied atop the wild-card standings.

    They acquired Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox to replace the injured Matt Cain in the rotation, though he took the loss in his Giants debut, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings.

    With the rotation hole plugged, second base is the clear area of need, evidenced by the fact that the Giants are currently running Atlanta Braves castoff Dan Uggla out there.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Buster Posey (7-for-26, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Madison Bumgarner (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

9. Atlanta Braves (57-48, Previous: 4)

23 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    The Braves lost three of four to the Miami Marlins last week before bouncing back with a series win against the San Diego Padres over the weekend. They are currently 1.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East and tied atop the NL wild-card standings.

    According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the team will be looking to add a left-handed reliever and a capable pinch hitter at the deadline. That's no real surprise given the production it's received from those two spots.

    Luis Avilan (47 G, 4.85 ERA) has been the only lefty in the bullpen for most of the year, and Atlanta recently optioned him to the minors in favor of rookie Chasen Shreve. As for the bench, it's hitting just .164/.234/.224 with eight RBI in pinch-hitting situations this year, with Ryan Doumit and Jordan Schafer the two biggest culprits.

     

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Justin Upton (7-for-24, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Ervin Santana (1 GS, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K)

8. St. Louis Cardinals (56-48, Previous: 6)

24 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    The Cardinals dropped a quick two-game series with the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays early last week before winning a series against the rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend. That leaves them two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central standings.

    St. Louis signed A.J. Pierzynski as a stopgap option for the injured Yadier Molina, and he was 3-for-4 with an RBI in his first game with the team. Another player the Cardinals were linked to, Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, is now off the market after joining the San Francisco Giants.

    That leaves them still in search of starting-pitching help, though Shelby Miller (5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) threw the ball fairly well in his first start back after a brief stint in the bullpen. The hope is still that Michael Wacha will come back strong in September, and Lance Lynn is quietly having a very good season, so they may just stand pat at the deadline.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Matt Carpenter (9-for-21, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Lance Lynn (1 GS, L, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

7. Detroit Tigers (57-45, Previous: 5)

25 of 31

    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    In a matchup of AL heavyweights over the weekend, the Tigers dropped three of four against the Angels in Los Angeles. They have a chance to regain some momentum this coming week, though, as they take on the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox at home.

    The Tigers' five-game lead over the Kansas City still represents the biggest division lead in baseball, but they are just two games over .500 (26-24) since the beginning of June, and the Royals have slowly but surely closed that gap.

    The team filled its biggest need when it acquired closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers this past week, and it may very well be finished dealing. If the Tigers do go after anything else, it will likely be another bullpen arm, specifically a left-handed one, as the trio of Ian Krol, Phil Coke and Blaine Hardy is not exactly lights-out.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Austin Jackson (11-for-32, 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Rick Porcello (2 GS, 2 ND, 14 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

6. Milwaukee Brewers (59-47, Previous: 13)

26 of 31

    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    The Brewers appear to have weathered the storm that was a disastrous 2-11 stretch heading into the All-Star break, and they have now gone 6-4 here to kick off the second half. That included a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and a split of a four-game series with the New York Mets this past week.

    The team has managed to stay fairly healthy this season, and now that top prospect Jimmy Nelson has supplanted Marco Estrada and his 27 home runs allowed as the No. 5 starter, there is no glaring hole on the roster.

    If there is one thing that can be pointed to as a need, it's a proven right-handed setup man to slot alongside Zach Duke at the back of the bullpen. Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg are both currently sidelined, so the team could look to upgrade over Brandon Kintzler (40 G, 3.44 ERA, .301 BAA, 1.39 WHIP) in that role.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Mark Reynolds (6-for-19, 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Matt Garza (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (59-47, Previous: 7)

27 of 31

    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    Nothing beats sweeping a bitter rival at their ballpark, and the Dodgers did just that in outscoring the San Francisco Giants 17-4 over the weekend.

    Clayton Kershaw (9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K) and Zack Greinke (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 10 K) showed why they're the best one-two punch in baseball right now, and Hyun-Jin Ryu (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 7 K) turned in his third straight quality start and seventh in his last eight games backing them up Sunday.

    As for trade targets, everything from blockbuster deals for David Price and Jon Lester to unloading high-priced outfielder Matt Kemp has been suggested. Despite all of those rumors, GM Ned Colletti said, per Mark Saxon of ESPNLos Angeles.com, that the Dodgers "may not do anything" at the deadline.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Adrian Gonzalez (10-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

4. Washington Nationals (57-45, Previous: 3)

28 of 31

    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Nationals turned in series wins against the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds on the road last week, but it wasn't all positive, as Ryan Zimmerman landed on the DL again with a hamstring injury.

    Zimmerman already missed 44 games earlier this season with a fractured thumb, returning at the beginning of June, and he had caught fire here in July. In 16 games, he was hitting .362/.418/.569 with six doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.

    That injury could put the Nationals in the market for a second baseman, as Anthony Rendon has slid back over to third base to replace Zimmerman. Danny Espinosa (.214/.281/.350) will start for now, but he has struggled to consistently produce at the plate. A left-handed reliever is also a clear need, with Jerry Blevins and Ross Detwiler currently holding down that role.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Ian Desmond (9-for-25, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tanner Roark (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

3. Los Angeles Angels (63-41, Previous: 2)

29 of 31

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    A series loss to the Baltimore Orioles bumps the Angels out of the No. 2 spot in these rankings. That being said, they rebounded nicely by taking three of four from the Detroit Tigers, and they are currently just two games behind the Oakland A's in the AL West.

    They have a chance to redeem themselves and jump right back into the No. 2 position with another series against the Orioles to kick off this coming week before they head to Tampa Bay to face the red-hot Rays.

    "We really like our team. The likelihood is that we'll do nothing, but we will stay in touch," GM Jerry Dipoto told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com about the trade deadline. The team acquired relievers Joe Thatcher and Huston Street earlier this month.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Kole Calhoun (8-for-28, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Matt Shoemaker (2 GS, W, L, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

2. Baltimore Orioles (58-46, Previous: 8)

30 of 31

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    The Orioles had a tough task last week, facing the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels on the road, but they managed to walk away with a pair of series wins, maintaining a three-game lead in the AL East standings in the process.

    It's no secret that the starting rotation has been the biggest question surrounding this team, so seeing the players combine to post a 1.96 ERA in 46 innings of work last week is about as big a positive as you can find for this team moving forward.

    At this point the Orioles are more likely to target starting pitching depth than a front-of-the-rotation arm. They could also look to add another bullpen arm and upgrade at catcher. Even if it stands pat, this club looks to be the team to beat in the AL East, especially if it can keep pitching like it has of late.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Adam Jones (6-for-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Wei-Yin Chen (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

1. Oakland Athletics (65-39, Previous: 1)

31 of 31

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    Another week and two more series wins by the Athletics, as they took care of business facing off against the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, who are currently battling to avoid the AL West cellar.

    As good as the A's have been this year, their lead in the AL West has never been more than six games and not more than 4.5 games at any point here in July. That lead is currently at just two games over the Angels, and with 10 more games against them head-to-head this year, there is still an awful lot of baseball to be played in that division.

    While the A's already pulled the trigger on their big deadline deal, they could still look to upgrade the black hole of offensive production that is second base, potentially making the league's best offense (5.04 RPG) even better over the final few months.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Yoenis Cespedes (7-for-21, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jeff Samardzija (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and cover games from Monday, July 21, through Sunday, July 27. All injury information comes via MLBDepthCharts team pages, per Baseball Prospectus.

    For all things baseball, follow me on Twitter:

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices