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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2014

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

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    This week's MLB power rankings again feature a new No. 1 team.

    The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels had the featured matchup last week as they continue to battle it out for the AL West lead and the majors' best record. There will be terrific in-division matchups the rest of the way as teams battle it out over the final month.

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

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

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

30. Texas Rangers (50-79, Previous: 30)

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    David Maxwell/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-3

    The Texas Rangers are now two games up in the race for the No. 1 pick in next year's draft. They split a two-game series with the Miami Marlins and lost two of three to the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.

    Ace Yu Darvish is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday, but he has not yet begun a throwing program to work toward a return from elbow inflammation. At this point, the team really has no reason to rush him back and risk further injury.

    Another big week has Adrian Beltre in position to contend for the AL batting title, as he's now hitting .327 on the year. That puts him in third place behind Jose Altuve (.334) and Victor Martinez (.328) and just ahead of Robinson Cano (.326).


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Adrian Beltre (10-for-19, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Scott Baker (1 GS, W, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)

29. Colorado Rockies (52-77, Previous: 29)

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-2

    Bright spots have been few and far between for the Colorado Rockies here in the second half, but a series win against the Marlins and another strong showing from Nolan Arenado are certainly positive takeaways.

    Arenado is hitting .388/.462/.688 with seven doubles, five home runs and 12 RBI this month as he continues a breakout season offensively that was unfortunately interrupted by a 37-game DL stint in the first half.

    On the subject of injuries, Michael Cuddyer landed on the DL on Sunday, his third trip in a season where he has played just 34 total games. The free-agent-to-be will be one of the more interesting cases on the market this winter, as he has still been very productive in the limited action he's seen.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Nolan Arenado (12-for-22, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jorge De La Rosa (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (55-76, Previous: 27)

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    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-5

    The red-hot Washington Nationals swept the Arizona Diamondbacks to begin last week, but the D-Backs bounced back to win a series against the San Diego Padres over the weekend.

    Josh Collmenter snapped out of a rough patch that saw him go 0-2 with an 8.50 ERA in his last four starts, as he tossed 8.1 innings of shutout ball versus the Padres on Friday.

    He's one of a number of pitchers trying to prove they belong in the rotation plans for 2015, as at least a few arms figure to be squeezed out by the return of Patrick Corbin and the impending call-up of top prospect Archie Bradley.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Miguel Montero (7-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Josh Collmenter (1 GS, W, 8.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

27. Boston Red Sox (56-74, Previous: 22)

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Last Week: 0-7

    With an MLB-high eight-game losing streak, the Boston Red Sox are currently on pace to lose 92 games, just a year after winning 97 and riding that success to a World Series title.

    The big news last week was the signing of Cuban defector Rusney Castillo, a highly sought-after outfielder who agreed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal. The 27-year-old is expected to make his way onto the Red Sox roster at some point in 2014, and he joins Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts in the running for the long-term center field job.

    "He's a center fielder and he's got a lot of skills," general manager Ben Cherington told reporters. "We think he can impact the game in a number of different ways. He runs well, has a good solid average throwing arm, good power, can play strong defense, and has a good offensive track record in Cuba and international play."


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH David Ortiz (11-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Joe Kelly (1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

26. Chicago White Sox (59-71, Previous: 23)

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Last Week: 0-6

    It's been a rough month for the Chicago White Sox, as they are 6-15 with an MLB-worst minus-60 run differential in August. But they are still clinging to fourth place in the AL Central by a game over the Minnesota Twins.

    The team finally cut ties with second baseman Gordon Beckham last week, trading him to the Los Angeles Angels. The No. 8 pick in the 2008 draft hit .270/.347/.460 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 378 at-bats as a 22-year-old rookie in 2009, but his career never took off the way most expected it to.

    "This trade, quite frankly, was more about creating an opportunity for some of our young players to come up here, get some playing time and become part of this next core of White Sox players that we have put together over the last several months and are going to continue to work on over the next several months," GM Rick Hahn told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago.

    Marcus Semien, Carlos Sanchez and Micah Johnson could all get a look at second base in September, with a shot at winning the job for next year.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Jose Abreu (8-for-22, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Sale (2 GS, L, 12 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 15 K)

25. Houston Astros (55-76, Previous: 26)

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Houston Astros picked up a nice series win against the Yankees in New York last week. They are now 11-11 with a plus-13 run differential in August, as they continue to be a substantially improved team compared to the last few years.

    The unlikely one-two punch of Dallas Keuchel (10-9, 3.12 ERA) and Collin McHugh (6-9, 3.02 ERA) continue to impress atop the rotation, and it will be interesting to see how the team fills out the rotation around them and veteran Scott Feldman (7-9, 4.37 ERA) in 2015.

    Rookie George Springer took batting practice last week, moving closer to returning from a quad injury that has sidelined him since July 20. He has an .804 OPS and 20 home runs in 295 at-bats on the year.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Jake Marisnick (6-for-19, 1 RBI, 2 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Scott Feldman (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

24. Minnesota Twins (58-72, Previous: 24)

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    Tom Olmscheid/Associated Press

    Last Week: 3-5

    The Minnesota Twins offense exploded for 42 runs in a crazy series against the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, and the Twins are now a respectable 10-13 this month, pulling within a game of moving out of the AL Central cellar.

    Brian Dozier officially joined the 20/20 club with a stolen base Wednesday. He is just the 14th second baseman in MLB history to reach that milestone.

    "I think it's pretty cool. I'd be lying to you if I said that was one of my goals at the beginning of the year," Dozier told Tyler Mason of Fox Sports North. "It's awesome. I'm very blessed and pretty thankful for it and everything, but if you're not winning games, it doesn't really taste as good at the end of the day."


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Trevor Plouffe (11-for-30, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Phil Hughes (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

23. Philadelphia Phillies (58-72, Previous: 28)

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    Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Philadelphia Phillies climb up several spots in this week's ranking after a pair of impressive series wins against contenders in the Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals.

    Jerome Williams was impressive in a pair of starts last week, winning back-to-back games for the first time since he won four straight for the Los Angeles Angels last September. The Phillies are his third team this year, as he opened 2014 with the Astros and also made two starts for the injury-plagued Rangers.

    The Phillies will look to continue playing the role of spoiler this coming week. They kick things off with a three-game series against the division-leading Washington Nationals before a three-game tilt with the New York Mets.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Jimmy Rollins (6-for-20, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jerome Williams (2 GS, 2 W, 15 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 9 K)

22. San Diego Padres (60-69, Previous: 20)

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-4

    Despite a pair of series losses on the road to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks last week, the San Diego Padres are still an NL West-leading 12-9 this month with a plus-18 run differential that ranks second in the NL.

    Opening Day starter Andrew Cashner returned Saturday after missing over two months with shoulder inflammation. He threw 88 pitches in five innings of work, allowing seven hits and two runs to walk away with a no-decision.

    A rotation fronted by Cashner and All-Star Tyson Ross and also featuring some combination of Ian Kennedy, Odrisamer Despaigne, Eric Stults and Jesse Hahn should make the Padres a tough draw down the stretch as they look to play spoiler.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Yasmani Grandal (3-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tyson Ross (1 GS, L, 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

21. Chicago Cubs (58-72, Previous: 25)

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Last Week: 5-2

    With a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at home over the weekend, the Chicago Cubs improved to 13-10 for the month. And on a larger scale, they are now just one game under .500 at 38-39 since the beginning of June.

    The team has gotten more than it could have ever imagined out of 33-year-old rookie Tsuyoshi Wada, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning his last time out and is now 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in eight starts.

    Wada signed a two-year, $8.14 million deal with the Orioles prior to the 2012 season after going 16-5 with a 1.51 ERA in his final season in Japan. He never threw a pitch at the big league level for the Orioles, though, as Tommy John surgery cost him time, and he joined the Cubs on a minor league deal this past offseason.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Anthony Rizzo (9-for-26, 4 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tsuyoshi Wada (2 GS, 2 W, 11.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

20. New York Mets (61-70, Previous: 21)

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Last Week: 2-4

    It has not been a great year for the New York Mets, who are in danger of dropping to the NL East cellar after a strong showing by the Phillies last week, but there have been plenty of positive takeaways.

    Chief among them is a breakout season from Lucas Duda at first base, as he is hitting .260/.355/.507 with 26 home runs (third in NL) and 76 RBI (sixth in NL). The team clearly made the right choice when it decided to move Ike Davis and hold on to Duda.

    Duda has a .930 OPS and 12 home runs since the All-Star break, and the team will be banking on him to put up similar numbers in the middle of the lineup next season when it may be in a position to legitimately contend.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Lucas Duda (8-for-23, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Bartolo Colon (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

19. Cincinnati Reds (63-68, Previous: 19)

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-5

    It was another rough week for the Cincinnati Reds, who are now 12-24 since the All-Star break, slipping to 9.5 games back in the NL Central and six back for a wild-card spot in the process.

    A dismal offensive attack is almost entirely to blame, as their .604 team OPS is worst in the majors in the second half, and they have averaged just 3.28 runs per game during that span.

    First baseman Joey Votto is eligible to come off the disabled list a week from Thursday, but he has yet to begin baseball activities, and it remains to be seen if he will return at all this year.

    "I wish I was on the field doing my part helping the team out," he told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via USA Today). "Unfortunately I'm not able to and I'm trying to get to a point where I can come back and help out and play like everyone's used to me playing. I'm not there yet."


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Todd Frazier (7-for-25, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Leake (2 GS, W, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 11 K)

18. Miami Marlins (64-65, Previous: 15)

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-3

    The Miami Marlins can't afford to drop series to teams like the Colorado Rockies in their pursuit of a playoff spot, but that's exactly what they did over the weekend. That leaves them four games back with three teams ahead of them for the second NL wild-card slot.

    Marcell Ozuna continued his breakout offensive season last week; he is now hitting .266/.319/.448 with 21 doubles, 19 home runs and 70 RBI. The 23-year-old joins Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich to form what may be the best young outfield in the game.

    The team has a tough draw this coming week, as it takes on the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves on the road. The fact that the Marlins are playing meaningful games, just a year after posting 100 losses, remains impressive.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Marcell Ozuna (11-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tom Koehler (1 GS, 7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

17. Toronto Blue Jays (66-64, Previous: 17)

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-3

    After dropping a series to the Tampa Bay Rays at home over the weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays are now 5.5 games back for the second AL wild-card spot.

    Edwin Encarnacion is just 5-for-31 with one home run since coming off the disabled list, and the team needs him to return to his first-half form if it is going to pull off a big late-season push and reach the playoffs.

    It's the pitching that has been the issue in the second half, though, as the Blue Jays rank 27th in MLB with a 4.43 ERA since the break. J.A. Happ (3.28 ERA) is the only starter with an ERA under 4.00, while both Mark Buehrle (6.23 ERA) and Drew Hutchison (6.13 ERA) have struggled mightily.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Colby Rasmus (5-for-18, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Drew Hutchison (1 GS, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

16. Tampa Bay Rays (64-66, Previous: 18)

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Tampa Bay Rays jump ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays after besting them over the weekend, but they still have a long road ahead if they are going to be playing in October, with a 7.5-game deficit in the AL wild-card standings to make up.

    Alex Cobb has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since the All-Star break, going 5-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in seven starts. The 26-year-old seems like a prime candidate to be extended this offseason, as he will be first-time arbitration-eligible.

    The Rays kick off next week with a big four-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore before matching up with the Red Sox over the weekend as they look to climb back over .500.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Ben Zobrist (7-for-24, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 6 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Alex Cobb (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-63, Previous: 14)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up a big series win against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on the road over the weekend, and that leaves them just 1.5 games out for a wild-card berth.

    It was a big week for injury returns, with both Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole coming off of the disabled list. Cole went seven innings and allowed five hits and two runs in his first start since July 4, and he's capable of giving the staff a huge boost down the stretch.

    "He had four pitches to go to tonight, very efficient work," manager Clint Hurdle told Stephen Pianovich of "Really good to see him out on the mound."

    The Pirates take on the Cardinals and Reds at home this coming week, with a chance to move into a wild-card spot if things go well.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Starling Marte (10-for-23, 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Gerrit Cole (1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K)

14. Cleveland Indians (66-63, Previous: 16)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Cleveland Indians took care of business last week, picking up series wins against the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros. They are now 13-8 with a plus-12 run differential in August.

    The starting pitching has been the key to turning things around, as they have pitched to a 2.58 ERA as a group this month. Corey Kluber continues to be the ace, but it's guys like Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco who have made a difference of late.

    The favorable schedule continues into this week, as the Indians kick things off with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox before a big weekend matchup with the Royals in Kansas City. They enter the week five games back in the AL wild-card chase.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Mike Aviles (6-for-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Carlos Carrasco (1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

13. New York Yankees (67-61, Previous: 12)

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    After losing a series to the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees managed to salvage last week by sweeping the Chicago White Sox. They are now 3.5 games back in the AL wild-card hunt.

    Brandon McCarthy continued his brilliant work since joining the team, throwing a four-hit shutout against the Astros on Thursday. He is now 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA in eight starts since joining the team, and he's making a strong case to be re-signed this offseason.

    "He’s been really, really good from his first start all the way through," manager Joe Girardi told reporters, per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. "He's given us distance. He's gone deep into games and they've all been quality starts."

    The Yankees spend this coming week on the road, with a one-game makeup with the Kansas City Royals before series with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Martin Prado (10-for-25, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

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

12. San Francisco Giants (68-61, Previous: 13)

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    After a 42-21 start to the season, the San Francisco Giants very easily could have rolled over after a terrible 5-18 stretch in June, but they haven't gone away and currently have a one-game lead for the second wild-card spot in the NL.

    The offense has started to pick things back up, with Buster Posey, Michael Morse, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Travis Ishikawa all posting an OPS over .800 here in August.

    This week, the Giants match up against the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers at home as they look to chase down the Los Angeles Dodgers, who hold a 4.5-game lead in the NL West standings.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Buster Posey (9-for-22, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Madison Bumgarner (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

11. Atlanta Braves (68-63, Previous: 10)

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    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Last Week: 4-3

    At eight games back in the NL East, and with the Washington Nationals playing their best baseball of the year, it looks like the Atlanta Braves are playing for a wild-card berth at this point. After splitting a four-game series with the Reds over the weekend, they are currently one game behind the Giants for the second spot.

    Mike Minor carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning his last time out, and he now has three straight quality starts to his credit. That after going 4-7 with a 5.42 ERA in his first 17 starts of the season, as he finally seems to be hitting his stride.

    "I kind of threw away everything and kind of went out there like my old self last year," Minor told Manny Randhawa of "I don't think about my previous starts—I think that's what I was doing earlier in the year. I was kind of leaning on those starts and hoping I didn't repeat that, and kept on going all year, one bad start after the other."

    The Braves get the Mets on the road and the Marlins at home this coming week as they look to move into one of the wild-card spots and build some momentum heading into the final month.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Justin Upton (10-for-30, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Minor (1 GS, 7.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

10. St. Louis Cardinals (70-59, Previous: 11)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    After sweeping the Reds to kick off the week, the St. Louis Cardinals dropped a series to the Phillies over the weekend. They still managed to gain a game-and-a-half on the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central standings, though, and they are now just 1.5 games back.

    With the team still eyeing the September return of both Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha, the Cards have been playing some good baseball of late, with a nice 8-3 stretch of games. Perhaps most importantly, the offense has finally shown signs of life, averaging 4.91 runs per game over that span.

    The Cardinals take on the Pirates in Pittsburgh and then the Cubs at home this coming week. With seven games remaining against the Brewers, they will have every chance to close out the year strong and walk away with another division title.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Jhonny Peralta (8-for-25, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Lance Lynn (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

9. Seattle Mariners (71-58, Previous: 6)

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    With a sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend, the Seattle Mariners now hold a one-game lead over the Tigers for the second AL wild-card spot. Losing a series to the Phillies to kick off the week keeps them behind Detroit in these power rankings for the time being, though.

    A big second half from Dustin Ackley (.319/.357/.533) and the acquisition of Austin Jackson have given the team a solid one-two punch atop the lineup, while Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager continue to produce in the middle.

    It's all about the pitching staff for the Mariners, though, as they enter the week with the best team ERA in all of baseball at 2.95. That includes a dazzling 2.38 mark from the bullpen, as manager Lloyd McClendon has done a fantastic job handling the relief corps.

    The Mariners kick off next week against the lowly Texas Rangers before tough series back-to-back with the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Dustin Ackley (9-for-21, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Fernando Rodney (4 G, 3-of-3 SV, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

8. Detroit Tigers (70-59, Previous: 9)

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    Brian Blanco/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Tigers took a series from the Rays and split a four-game tilt with the Twins last week, leaving them two games back in the AL Central and one game back in the AL wild-card standings.

    Rick Porcello threw his AL-leading third shutout of the year Wednesday and continues to enjoy the best season of his career. He is now 14-8 with a 3.10 ERA.

    "There's a stage in most good pitchers' careers where they turn a corner, so maybe we're seeing that with Rick," manager Brad Ausmus told David Adler of

    Porcello matches up against the New York Yankees and Brandon McCarthy (who also threw a shutout in his last start) on Tuesday. After three games at home with the Yankees, the Tigers take on the White Sox in a four-game road series.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH Victor Martinez (10-for-28, 1 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Rick Porcello (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

7. Baltimore Orioles (73-55, Previous: 4)

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Orioles spent last week in Chicago, and after sweeping the White Sox to kick off their trip to the Windy City, they endured a sweep of their own at the hands of the Cubs.

    They still have plenty of wiggle room, with a six-game lead in the AL East standings, but they will be without third baseman Manny Machado the rest of the way after he underwent surgery on a partially torn ligament in his right knee.

    The team has moved Chris Davis to third base, Steve Pearce to first base and Delmon Young into the starting lineup as a result, but it will no doubt miss Machado.

    As the Orioles look to build on their division lead, they take on the Rays and Twins at home this coming week.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Steve Pearce (8-for-25, 4 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Tillman (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

6. Milwaukee Brewers (72-58, Previous: 2)

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-3

    After winning five straight, including a sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles, the Brewers lost three in a row last week and saw their division lead trimmed to just 1.5 games as a result.

    Mike Fiers continues to be the story of August, as he has gone 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA since replacing the injured Matt Garza in the starting rotation. He's not the only one throwing the ball well, though, as the rotation as a whole continues to be one of the best in the league.

    It's also worth mentioning that Aramis Ramirez has been on fire this month, hitting .416/.458/.558 to lead the National League in August.

    The team heads west this week to take on the Padres and Giants as it looks to put some distance between itself and the rest of the NL Central pack.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Aramis Ramirez (7-for-17, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Fiers (2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 13 K)

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (74-58, Previous: 8)

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Dodgers made the most of a favorable draw last week, taking series from the Padres and Mets to extend their lead in the NL West to 4.5 games over the Giants.

    Hanley Ramirez rejoined the team Sunday, and Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to be activated as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 29 or shortly after. Slowly but surely, the Dodgers are getting healthy for their stretch run.

    Juan Uribe is still on the shelf, but Justin Turner has done a fantastic job filling in for him, hitting .352/.453/.481 this month. His versatility continues to make him one of the better under-the-radar pickups of the offseason.

    As for the week ahead, the Dodgers go on the road for a quick two-game series with the Diamondbacks and then a three-game tilt with the Padres over the weekend.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Justin Turner (7-for-17, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

4. Kansas City Royals (72-57, Previous: 3)

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    Mike Stone/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Royals just keep winning. They are now 24-11 in the second half after winning a weekend series against the Rangers. That's enough to give them a two-game lead in the AL Central with six games left against the Tigers.

    The Josh Willingham pickup may very well go down as one of the best waiver deals of all time, as he's hit .324/.410/.618 with six extra-base hits and eight runs scored in 11 games since joining the Royals and given them a clear offensive spark in the process.

    "I hate to use the term 'a professional hitter,' but he gives you a solid at-bat every time he gets up," manager Ned Yost told Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star. "And he may strike out. But he gives you a solid at-bat every time up. And he has a chance of doing damage every time up."

    The Royals kick off a 10-game homestand with a makeup game against the Yankees on Monday, followed by series with the Twins and Indians.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Josh Willingham (6-for-15, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jeremy Guthrie (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

3. Los Angeles Angels (77-52, Previous: 1)

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    Last Week: 5-2

    The Angels won Sunday night to stake their claim to the best record in baseball, but that win was also to avoid being swept by the division-rival Athletics, and they drop below Oakland in this week's power rankings as a result.

    That's not the only reason the Angels drop, though, as the loss of ace Garrett Richards to a season-ending knee injury also has to be taken into account. A torn patellar tendon is expected to sideline him for six to nine months, and that is a serious blow to the team's postseason rotation plans.

    That will mean Jered Weaver will have to step up and again pitch like an ace, while rookie Matt Shoemaker will need to continue to deliver starts like the 7.2 innings of shutout ball he turned in his last time out. There is still a ton of talent here, but the loss of Richards can't be overstated.

    The Angels head home this week to take on the Marlins before another series with the Athletics. They will have a chance to prove they deserve to be slotted ahead of the A's in next week's rankings.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Josh Hamilton (6-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Matt Shoemaker (1 GS, W, 7.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

2. Oakland Athletics (76-53, Previous: 5)

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-2

    After dropping out of the top spot last week, the Athletics climb back up to No. 2 after besting last week's No. 1 team, the Angels, in a big weekend series.

    There are still concerns about their lack of offensive firepower since they traded Yoenis Cespedes, but the A's managed to plate 22 runs in five games last week, which is a step in the right direction.

    On the injury front, closer Sean Doolittle landed on the DL with a strained intercostal, and it remains to be seen who will assume ninth-inning duties in his absence.

    The Athletics kick off a road trip this week with a three-game series against the Astros before heading to Los Angeles for another big weekend series with the Angels. The two teams continue to battle it out for AL West supremacy.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Coco Crisp (7-for-23, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jon Lester (1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

1. Washington Nationals (75-54, Previous: 7)

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    Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

    Last Week: 6-1

    At 15-3 in their last 18 games, the Nationals are undoubtedly the hottest team in baseball right now. That span included a 10-game winning streak and a stretch with five walk-off wins in six games, as they are simply finding ways to win games.

    The offense is averaging 4.87 runs per game this month, while the pitching staff leads the National League with a 2.72 ERA. The depth of the Nationals roster has been on full display here in August.

    Their eight-game lead over the Braves is the largest division lead in baseball right now, and they currently have the best record in the National League.

    The Nats will look to stay hot and remain in the No. 1 spot with series against the Phillies and Mariners this coming week.


    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Jayson Werth (11-for-26, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)


    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Gio Gonzalez (1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)


    Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of and cover games from Monday, Aug. 18, through Sunday, Aug. 24. All injury information comes via MLB Depth Charts team pages, per Baseball Prospectus.

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