MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at the 3-Quarter Mark

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at the 3-Quarter Mark

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    USA TODAY Sports

    After bypassing last week's Monday posting of MLB power rankings following a special edition of them immediately following the trade deadline, we've got some catching up to do.

    As a result, this week's rankings will reflect not just last week, but also everything that has happened over the 10 days since the non-waiver deadline passed.

    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

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

30. Texas Rangers (46-71, Previous: 30)

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    August Results: 3-6

    The Rangers solidified their spot as the worst team in the American League by dropping a series to the Houston Astros over the weekend, and at this point this has to be a franchise that is just anxious for 2014 to come to an end.

    Right fielder Alex Rios, who has been one of the few consistent contributors offensively this season, recently cleared waivers and seems like a decent candidate to be dealt in August, so that's worth keeping an eye on.

    Texas activated Geovany Soto from the DL last week, and left-hander Derek Holland is currently on a rehab assignment as the team looks to finish the year strong with some in-house reinforcements.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    IF Adam Rosales (8-for-16, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Colby Lewis (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

29. Colorado Rockies (46-71, Previous: 26)

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    August Results: 2-7

    The Rockies have lost seven of their last eight series and are a dismal 18-44 since the beginning of June. They appear to be destined for a third straight last-place finish in the NL West.

    Arguably the team's top three hitters—Troy Tulowitzki (hip), Carlos Gonzalez (knee) and Michael Cuddyer (shoulder)—are all currently on the disabled list, along with a trio of starters in Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder), Brett Anderson (back) and Tyler Chatwood (Tommy John surgery), and that has simply been too much for them to overcome.

    Another call-up for Eddie Butler and a September debut for Jon Gray should give fans something to get excited about, but this team has its work cut out for it to avoid having the worst record in the National League.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    3B Nolan Arenado (10-for-32, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Franklin Morales (3 G, 2 GS, L, 15 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 7 K)

28. Houston Astros (49-69, Previous: 29)

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-4

    The Astros have been playing some confusing baseball of late, as they took back-to-back series from the Oakland A's and Toronto Blue Jays but followed that up with a sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. They bounced back to win their series with the Texas Rangers over the weekend, keeping them in fourth in the AL West.

    Top pitching prospect Mike Foltynewicz made his big league debut on Aug. 2, as he's just the latest high-end young talent to debut in Houston this season. He can touch triple digits on his fastball, and while he's pitching out of the bullpen for now, he has front-line potential.

    With series against the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox this coming week, the Astros have a chance to continue what has been a solid stretch, sans the Philadelphia series.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    DH Chris Carter (13-for-37, 2 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Collin McHugh (2 GS, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K)

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (51-67, Previous: 27)

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    Ralph Freso/Getty Images

    August Results: 3-6

    For a team that was already having a rough season, losing superstar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to a fractured hand was really just piling it on for this year's Diamondbacks. They can be counted among the teams just looking forward to the year being over.

    It will be interesting to see what Tony La Russa does in his first offseason overseeing baseball operations, as there could be some wide-scale changes upcoming for this franchise.

    Third baseman Jake Lamb will be one to watch the rest of the year. The 23-year-old earned the call last week after hitting .327/.407/.566 with 39 doubles, 15 home runs and 84 RBI in the minors. He has a chance to lock down the hot corner for the long term, now that Martin Prado is gone.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    RF David Peralta (12-for-35, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Trevor Cahill (2 GS, W, 14 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 14 K)

26. Chicago Cubs (50-66, Previous: 28)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-4

    The Javier Baez era has officially begun for the Chicago Cubs, and for the first time in a while there is some genuine excitement surrounding the team.

    Baez wasted little time giving fans something to cheer about, hitting a game-winning home run in his debut and adding a two-homer game later in the week for good measure. The 21-year-old is going to strike out a ton—he already has 12 K's in his first 29 at-bats—but the bat speed everyone has talked about is for real, and he has legitimate plus power.

    His debut—coupled with bounce-back seasons from Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo and a strong showing from starter Kyle Hendricks (5 GS, 3-1, 2.10 ERA)—has the big league club finally starting to show signs of the long-awaited future.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    SS Starlin Castro (15-for-37, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Kyle Hendricks (2 GS, 2 W, 15 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

25. Philadelphia Phillies (53-65, Previous: 25)

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-4

    The Phillies finally traded someone last week, moving starter Roberto Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pair of players to be named or cash. That's a far cry from the full-scale rebuild that is needed, but it's a start.

    This is still a franchise with no discernible direction moving forward, and it will be interesting to see if much-maligned GM Ruben Amaro finally gets the ax this winter.

    Closer Jonathan Papelbon cleared waivers, while both Cole Hamels and Marlon Byrd were claimed and eventually pulled back. Papelbon is having a great season, and there is always a market for late-inning relievers, it's just a matter of whether Amaro is willing to be reasonable in what he's looking for in return.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Chase Utley (10-for-35, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Cole Hamels (2 GS, L, 14 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 11 K)

24. Minnesota Twins (52-64, Previous: 22)

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    August Results: 4-5

    The Twins pulled off two of the better under-the-radar signings this offseason when they nabbed Phil Hughes (12-8, 3.88 ERA) and Kurt Suzuki (.305 BA, .755 OPS). Both of those players are now signed through 2016 and could play a significant role in helping this team climb out of the cellar.

    Starting pitching remains the biggest issue for the Twins, as the rest of their starters outside of Hughes have posted a 24-43 record with a 5.29 ERA on the year.

    Top pitching prospect Trevor May (17 GS, 8-6, 2.93 ERA at Triple-A) made his debut on Saturday against a tough Oakland team, lasting just two innings and allowing three hits, seven walks and four earned runs. He'll likely get another shot here this week, as he remains an important part of Twins' future plans.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    3B Trevor Plouffe (13-for-33, 2 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Phil Hughes (2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 K)

23. Boston Red Sox (52-65, Previous: 23)

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    August Results: 4-5

    No one did more at the trade deadline than the Red Sox, unloading a number of veteran pieces while still setting the team up for a quick return to contention by acquiring big league players like Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.

    The biggest focus the rest of the way will be on evaluating their deep crop of young starting pitchers as they look ahead to their 2015 rotation. Edwin Escobar, Allen Webster, Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa are all currently on the big league roster, while Anthony Ranaudo made his debut earlier this month.

    That list doesn't include Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez and Matt Barnes, who should all debut at some point in 2015, if not receive a September call-up this season. It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox rotation looks like a few years from now, as there is definitely no shortage of options.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Dustin Pedroia (14-for-41, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Joe Kelly (1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)

22. Chicago White Sox (56-63, Previous: 20)

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    August Results: 3-7

    A 3-7 record in August has put a damper on the White Sox's hopes of posting a winning record here in 2014, but there is still plenty of reason for optimism moving forward.

    Jose Abreu has emerged not only as the AL Rookie of the Year front-runner, but also as a legitimate AL MVP candidate. Chris Sale also looks like the biggest competition for Felix Hernandez among AL Cy Young candidates.

    Add in strong seasons from young pieces like Jose Quintana, Conor Gillaspie and Adam Eaton and a potential late-season return by outfielder Avisail Garcia, and this team definitely has something to build around looking to 2015 and beyond.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    SS Alexei Ramirez (15-for-40, 6 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Hector Noesi (2 GS, W, 14.1 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K)

21. San Diego Padres (54-62, Previous: 24)

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    August Results: 6-2

    The big news for the Padres this past week was the selection of A.J. Preller as the new GM to replace the fired Josh Byrnes. Preller spent the past 10 seasons as a scout and player development executive for the Texas Rangers, and he brings a desperately needed outside perspective to the perennially rebuilding Padres.

    The team has an intriguing young core to work with, led by a starting rotation that ranks seventh in the MLB with a 3.44 ERA on the year. It's just a matter of continuing to infuse the big league roster with young talent, and Preller should be able to help do that given his background.

    As for this year's team, it's quietly gone 18-15 since the beginning of July, and with nine games left against the Los Angeles Dodgers and seven with the San Francisco Giants, the Padres could certainly make things tough on the two NL West contenders the rest of the way.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    1B Tommy Medica (11-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Eric Stults (2 GS, 2 W, 12.2 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 K)

20. New York Mets (56-62, Previous: 21)

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    August Results: 4-6

    The Mets are 19-16 since the beginning of July, but they dropped back-to-back series to the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals to kick off the month. They rebounded by besting the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend, though, and they still have an outside chance at posting a winning record this year.

    Rehabbing ace Matt Harvey has begun throwing again, and while he won't be pitching at all this season, his progress continues to be closely monitored. Meanwhile, in his absence, Jake deGrom and Zack Wheeler have turned into a pretty promising one-two punch of young arms in their own right.

    In fact, deGrom (16 GS, 6-5, 2.87 ERA, 94 K, 100.2 IP) may be the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner at this point. The 26-year-old is 6-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last nine starts, turning in eight quality starts over that span.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Daniel Murphy (14-for-39, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Dillon Gee (2 GS, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 10 K)

19. Tampa Bay Rays (57-60, Previous: 15)

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    August Results: 4-5

    No one had a tougher draw than the Rays coming out of the trade deadline, as they faced the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics to kick off August, going 2-4 over that span.

    They rebounded to take two of three from the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, and they kick off this coming week against the AL-worst Texas Rangers. They are still just 6.5 games back for the second wild-card spot, though they will have to pass five teams to get there.

    Even with David Price gone, the Rays still have one of the better rotations in the American League, and if they can just get hot offensively at the right time, they still have a chance. Either way, they should be able to avoid taking a big step backward in 2015 and could actually be viewed as the AL East favorites again heading into next year depending on how the offseason shakes out.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Ben Zobrist (16-for-39, 6 2B, 2 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Chris Archer (2 GS, W, 12 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

18. Miami Marlins (57-60, Previous: 16)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    August Results: 4-5

    The Marlins have cooled off since they used a 9-1 hot streak to pull back to .500 at 53-53, but they are still within striking distance of an NL wild-card spot. A series win against the Reds in Cincinnati over the weekend left them five games out of the second position.

    If this team can find a way to sneak into the playoffs, one would think Giancarlo Stanton would become the NL MVP front-runner. He currently leads the league in home runs (29), RBI (79) and total bases (241) and is finally having the monster season everyone has been waiting for.

    The team should also have All-Star Henderson Alvarez back this week, as he's eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Friday and should not need any extra time on the shelf or a rehab assignment before jumping back into the rotation.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    RF Giancarlo Stanton (8-for-32, 1 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Nathan Eovaldi (2 GS, W, 15 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)

17. Cleveland Indians (59-59, Previous: 18)

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    August Results: 6-4

    A series win against the New York Yankees over the weekend kept the Indians at .500 heading into this week, and they are currently five games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second AL wild-card spot.

    Outfielder Michael Brantley has gotten the bulk of the attention offensively this season, and rightfully so, but catcher Yan Gomes deserves some recognition as well. A Gold Glove-caliber receiver, Gomes is hitting .285/.327/.482 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI on the year.

    That includes a .333/.373/.631 line with 19 extra-base hits and 24 RBI in 32 games since the beginning of July. Ace Corey Kluber has also been an absolute stud since the beginning of July, going 6-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 54.1 innings over seven starts.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    LF Michael Brantley (16-for-39, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Corey Kluber (2 GS, 2 W, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 17 K)

16. Cincinnati Reds (60-58, Previous: 19)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    August Results: 6-4

    The Reds continue to hang on the fringe of contention. They are clearly the fourth-best team in the NL Central at this point but are still just 2.5 games out of the second wild-card spot.

    They are still without injured stars Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, and coupled with an offensive drop-off from Todd Frazier (.244 BA, .589 OPS) and Billy Hamilton (.205 BA, .504 OPS) since the All-Star break, that has left them hard-pressed to consistently score runs.

    The starting rotation continues to be a strength, as it ranks second in the MLB with a 3.22 starter's ERA, but unless they can find a way to pick things up offensively, they may be on the outside looking in come October.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    C Devin Mesoraco (9-for-33, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Johnny Cueto (2 GS, 2 W, 17 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 15 K)

15. San Francisco Giants (62-56, Previous: 11)

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    August Results: 4-6

    The Giants were just 1-5 last week, as they dropped two of three to the Brewers in Milwaukee before being swept by the Royals in Kansas City over the weekend. That leaves them 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and a half-game back for the second NL wild-card spot.

    Center fielder Angel Pagan was activated from the DL on Thursday, and it's fair to say no one has been more important to the success of this team than him in recent years. Since the start of 2013, the team is 76-61 (.555) with him in the lineup, compared to 62-81 (.434) when he's been sidelined.

    Their next three series are against the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies at home and then the Chicago Cubs on the road, so they have a prime opportunity to make up some ground on the Dodgers over their next eight games.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    3B Pablo Sandoval (14-for-41, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Madison Bumgarner (2 GS, W, L, 17 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 15 K)

14. Toronto Blue Jays (63-56, Previous: 14)

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    August Results: 3-6

    The Blue Jays rattled off an 11-2 stretch to close out the month of July, pulling within just 1.5 games of the Baltimore Orioles in the process. August has not been as kind to them, as they again find themselves five games back in the AL East.

    Edwin Encarnacion began a rehab assignment on Saturday and could return at some point during their upcoming road trip. Adam Lind is also on a rehab assignment and could be activated as early as Monday, so the offense should get a nice shot in the arm in the near future.

    They kick off this coming week with a big three-game series against the Mariners in Seattle, as both teams currently sit 1.5 games back in the wild-card standings and will be looking to improve their stock.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    LF Melky Cabrera (13-for-33, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Drew Hutchison (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

13. New York Yankees (61-56, Previous: 13)

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    August Results: 6-4

    The additions of Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, Chase Headley, Martin Prado, Stephen Drew and Esmil Rogers may not have grabbed many headlines, but the Yankees are undoubtedly a better team than they were a month or so ago.

    Michael Pineda is on the rehab trail and Masahiro Tanaka has begun throwing as well without any setbacks to this point, so a starting rotation that has been playing with house money of late could get a big boost heading into September.

    They square off against a pair of division foes in the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays this coming week, with both series on the road, before heading home to take on the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    RF Carlos Beltran (11-for-38, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Brandon McCarthy (2 GS, W, L, 12 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 K)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (62-55, Previous: 12)

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    August Results: 5-4

    The Pirates currently hold the No. 2 wild-card spot in the NL and are eyeing the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers at just 2.5 games back. However, they have a tough road ahead.

    They don't play a team with a losing record again until they take on the Cubs in Chicago from Sept. 5-7, kicking off a rough stretch with a home/road four-game series with the Detroit Tigers and a three-game series against the Nationals in Washington.

    Making matters worse, they will likely be without their top two hitters in Andrew McCutchen (fractured rib) and Neil Walker (back) for the bulk of those games. This looks like the turning point in the Pirates season as they try to keep their heads above water for the next three weeks.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    UT Josh Harrison (17-for-37, 4 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 11 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Edinson Volquez (2 GS, W, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 12 K)

11. Atlanta Braves (60-57, Previous: 9)

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    August Results: 2-6

    The Braves continue to beat up on the division-rival Washington Nationals, taking two of three from them over the weekend to improve to 9-4 on the year head-to-head. The trouble has been the other 28 teams, as the Braves are 51-53 against the rest of the MLB this season.

    Their series with the Nationals was preceded by an eight-game losing streak that featured series sweeps by the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. All that leaves the Braves 3.5 games back in the NL East and two games back in the wild-card chase.

    More outings like the one Alex Wood turned in on Sunday would go a long way, as the left-hander allowed five hits and one run while striking out 12 in 7.1 innings of work. Without a high-powered offense, the Braves can't afford struggles from their pitching staff, and their staff will be the key to the rest of their season.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    RF Jason Heyward (11-for-27, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Alex Wood (2 GS, W, L, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 17 K)

10. St. Louis Cardinals (62-54, Previous: 5)

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-4

    After series wins against the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox to open the month of August, the Cardinals were trounced by the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, allowing 22 runs in the first two games of the series before picking up the win on Sunday.

    It's been an inauspicious start in St. Louis for both John Lackey (2 GS, 12 IP, 20 H, 11 ER) and Justin Masterson (2 GS, 8 IP, 14 H, 10 ER), and that makes the potential return of Michael Wacha perhaps even more important than the return of catcher Yadier Molina.

    They take on the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres this coming week as they look to erase the Milwaukee Brewers' two-game lead in the NL Central standings.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Kolten Wong (12-for-40, 1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Lance Lynn (2 GS, W, 12.2 IP, 13 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

9. Washington Nationals (63-53, Previous: 4)

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-5

    The Nationals were again bested by Atlanta head-to-head over the weekend, but thanks to the Braves' recent slide prior to that series, the Nats still hold a 3.5-game lead in the NL East standings.

    The well-documented struggles of Bryce Harper (201 AB, .698 OPS, 4 HR, 16 RBI) reached a breaking point last week when manager Matt Williams was asked if the team would consider demoting the star outfielder to the minors. Harper responded with a walk-off home run in the next game, and perhaps that's the wake-up call he needed to finally get things going.

    Even with Harper struggling, Ryan Zimmerman injured and both Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg pitching below expectations, this still looks like one of the best teams in the National League. The Nats take on the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates this coming week.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    1B Adam LaRoche (13-for-39, 4 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Doug Fister (2 GS, W, L, 14.1 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 K)

8. Seattle Mariners (62-55, Previous: 10)

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    JOHN FROSCHAUER/Associated Press

    August Results: 6-3

    At this point, the Mariners are playing for a wild-card spot, as they trail the Oakland A's by 10 games in the AL West standings. That being said, they are just 1.5 games out of the second wild-card position, and they have been playing some very good baseball of late.

    It's a matter of how much the offense can provide, as it has the best team ERA in baseball at 2.99. Right field is still a hole, with a platoon of Endy Chavez and Chris Denorfia currently manning the position, and a run at Alex Rios is still not out of the question.

    The Mariners have outscored opponents 40-19 here in August, and they will need all the momentum they can get heading into a week where they will face the Toronto Blue Jays at home and the Detroit Tigers on the road.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    2B Robinson Cano (10-for-28, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Felix Hernandez (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

7. Kansas City Royals (63-53, Previous: 17)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    August Results: 8-1

    The Royals were the biggest risers in this week's rankings, climbing 10 spots from the No. 17 slot, thanks to an MLB-best 8-1 record since the trade deadline. They are now 15-3 in their last 18 games, trimming the Detroit Tigers' lead in the AL Central from eight games to just a half-game over that span.

    Losing Eric Hosmer to a fractured hand looked like it could be a crushing blow for this team, but it has instead rallied around it, and Billy Butler has found his offensive stroke with the move from DH to first base.

    We'll leave the Royals just behind the Detroit Tigers for now, but if they can come away from the upcoming week's slate of games against the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants with a winning record, they will likely find themselves inside the top five of these rankings next week.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    1B Billy Butler (13-for-34, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP James Shields (2 GS, 2 W, 17 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

6. Detroit Tigers (63-52, Previous: 2)

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    August Results: 5-5

    The Tigers shot up to No. 2 in these rankings post-deadline thanks to the addition of ace David Price. However, rather than running away with the AL Central like many thought they would, they have seen their lead trimmed to just a half-game by the red-hot Kansas City Royals.

    Price went 8.2 innings in his debut, allowing three runs and striking out 10, but he walked away with a no-decision. He followed that up with a subpar outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, allowing four runs in six innings for another no-decision.

    Coming off of their 19-inning marathon on Sunday, the Tigers face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game home/road series before taking on the Seattle Mariners at home this coming weekend. They hold off the Royals in these rankings for now, but this may be the last week they're slotted ahead of them if they keep playing like they have.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    DH Victor Martinez (13-for-38, 2 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Max Scherzer (2 GS, L, 15 IP, 13 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (67-52, Previous: 7)

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    August Results: 5-5

    The Dodgers took three of four from the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series last week but failed to build off of that momentum when they dropped a series to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. However, with the San Francisco Giants sliding once again, the Dodgers' lead in the NL West currently sits at 4.5 games.

    Shortstop Hanley Ramirez landed on the DL on Sunday with a strained oblique, and the team will use a platoon of Miguel Rojas, Justin Turner and recently acquired Darwin Barney to man the position for the time being.

    Manager Don Mattingly said of Ramirez, via Doug Padilla of ESPN.com:

    It's maybe something where he can play in 10 days and we're going to be sitting here for five days with him being ready to play. But we felt like if he was playing short for seven, eight, nine days and he did something worse to it, then we're kind of risking the rest of the year. I think we want to be cautious at this point to assure us he will be available down the stretch.

    The team takes on the Braves in Atlanta to start the coming week before a weekend rematch with the Milwaukee Brewers at home.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    1B Adrian Gonzalez (10-for-31, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2 GS, W, 14 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

4. Milwaukee Brewers (65-53, Previous: 8)

28 of 31

    H. RUMPH JR/Associated Press

    August Results: 5-4

    They've had their ups and downs, but the Brewers have had at least a share of the NL Central lead since the fifth game of the season, and they currently hold a two-game advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals heading into the week.

    Losing Matt Garza to a strained oblique at the beginning of the month was a significant loss, but Mike Fiers came through with a terrific outing in his place on Saturday. Keep in mind, this is the same Mike Fiers who posted a 3.74 ERA in 22 starts as a rookie back in 2012 and looked to have a bright future ahead of him. He could be an X-factor here down the stretch.

    Manager Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com after his outing:

    He's got a lot of deception. You saw tonight, most of his pitches are 90, 91 mph. There's a lot of 89s but they all have a lot of life on them. When he's feeling good physically and mentally, that ball really comes out well. That's a good-hitting team. He threw a lot of fastballs that were getting by guys.

    The Brewers take on the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers on the road this week as they look to maintain their division lead.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    3B Aramis Ramirez (18-for-38, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Mike Fiers (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

3. Los Angeles Angels (68-49, Previous: 3)

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    August Results: 4-6

    The Angels remain the best second-place team in baseball, which speaks more to just how good the Oakland A's have been this season, as the Angels are undoubtedly one of the better teams in the league this year.

    They were dealt a blow on Sunday, though, when it was announced, via ESPN.com, that left-hander Tyler Skaggs would undergo Tommy John surgery and be done for the year. That makes the recent struggles of C.J. Wilson (6 GS, 1-2, 11.03 ERA) an even bigger issue, as he will have to get on track for the stretch run.

    Manager Mike Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

    This is probably the worst C.J. has struggled since he's been a starting pitcher, so naturally, you're concerned. There's certainly been some head-scratching over his last seven or eight starts. But seeing how hard he works, seeing that it doesn't look like it's anything physical, we're very confident he's going to get back on that beam and do what we need him to do.

    The Angels have two off days this coming week, as they open things up with a quick two-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies before a weekend tilt with the Rangers in Texas.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    CF Mike Trout (12-for-41, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Garrett Richards (2 GS, W, 15.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 14 K)

2. Baltimore Orioles (67-50, Previous: 6)

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    August Results: 7-3

    The Orioles have won six straight series, all against contenders. They bested the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners both at home and on the road before taking down the Blue Jays in Toronto and the St. Louis Cardinals at home last week.

    Catcher Caleb Joseph made history last week, becoming the first Orioles catcher and first Orioles rookie to homer in five straight games. The 28-year-old has quietly done a terrific job filling in for the injured Matt Wieters, rating as one of the better defensive backstops in the AL and finally getting things going at the plate after providing little offensively early on.

    "It takes a little weight off him offensively," manager Buck Showalter told Jamie Ross of MLB.com. "He's not going to take his lack of experience or his so-so slow start and his good catching as an excuse not to hit."

    The Orioles will look to extend their division lead with series against the New York Yankees at home and the Indians in Cleveland this coming week.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    C Caleb Joseph (9-for-25, 1 2B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Chris Tillman (2 GS, 2 W, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K)

1. Oakland Athletics (72-45, Previous: 1)

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    August Results: 6-4

    I've officially lost count of how many weeks in a row the Athletics have sat atop these power rankings, and with two more series wins against the Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins last week, they are the clear choice for No. 1 once again.

    For all that was made about giving up Yoenis Cespedes, the platoon of Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld has held down the fort in left field, and right fielder Josh Reddick has picked up the run-production slack with a terrific month of August.

    "For me, the biggest thing is he’s been balanced," manager Bob Melvin told Jason Burke of SFBay.ca. "He’s using his legs and he has confidence. [Reddick] is seeing the ball well."

    The A's lead in the AL West currently sits at four games over the Los Angeles Angels, and they'll look to build on that when they take on the red-hot Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves on the road this coming week.

     

    Silver Slugger Since Trade Deadline

    RF Josh Reddick (12-for-36, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher Since Trade Deadline

    SP Jon Lester (2 GS, 2 W, 15.2 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K)

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and cover games from Friday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 10. All injury information comes via MLBDepthCharts team pages, per Baseball Prospectus.

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