MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at the Quarter Pole

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2017

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina (4) is congratulated by Jose Martinez (58) and others after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

It was more of the same from the Los Angeles Dodgers as they continued their residence at the No. 1 spot in our weekly power rankings, but for the first time in weeks, we have a new No. 2 team.

The Houston Astros have gone 5-12 in their last 17 games, and the wide gap they opened alongside the Dodgers as the league's top teams closed in the process.

Meanwhile, there are also two newcomers to the top 10 as the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels have been on a roll of late. 

For now, remember these rankings are fluid and that teams rise and fall based on where they were ranked the previous week. If a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

Here's an updated look at where all 30 teams stand:

 Updated Rankings 
1img Dodgers (83-34)img
2img Nationals (70-46)img1
3img Astros (72-45)img1
4img Red Sox (67-50)img
5img Indians (63-52)img2
6img D-backs (65-52)img
7img Cardinals (61-57)img9
8img Rockies (65-52)img3
9img Angels (61-58)img6
10img Cubs (61-55)img1
11img Yankees (61-55)img3
12img Twins (59-57)img9
13img Brewers (61-59)img3
14img Royals (59-58)img3
15img Orioles (58-60)img2
16img Mariners (59-60)img4
17img Rays (59-60)img4
18img Blue Jays (56-61)img1
19img Pirates (58-60)img2
20img Rangers (56-60)img
21img Marlins (56-60)img3
22img Mets (53-62)img4
23img Athletics (52-66)img1
24img Braves (52-63)img2
25img Tigers (53-64)img2
26img Reds (49-69)img2
27img Padres (51-66)img2
28img Giants (47-72)img1
29img White Sox (45-70)img1
30img Phillies (43-72)img1

        

Biggest Risers

Where would the Cardinals be without Paul DeJong?
Where would the Cardinals be without Paul DeJong?Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals (Up 9 Spots)

Just 10 days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were 4.5 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs and tied for third in the NL Central standings.

One stellar eight-game winning streak later and things look a bit different.

After sweeping a four-game series from the Kansas City Royals and taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves last week, the Cardinals are now just one game back with momentum on their side.

The bullpen has really rounded into form of late thanks in part to the return of left-hander Zach Duke and continued dominance from Trevor Rosenthal in the closer's role.

The starting rotation has been a strength all season and continues to pitch well, while the offense remains a revolving door of unexpected contributors currently being led by unheralded prospect Paul DeJong.

Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger figures to run away with NL Rookie of the Year honors, but DeJong has quietly posted a .904 OPS with 16 doubles, 18 home runs and 42 RBI in 261 plate appearances and could see his fair share of second-place votes.

His production out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup has given the team a huge shot in the arm and really sparked the offense as a whole.

Of course, the real MVP last week was the rally cat.

          

Minnesota Twins (Up 9 Spots)

A 1-6 stretch of games leading up to the July 31 trade deadline convinced the Minnesota Twins to sell off All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler and recently acquired starter Jaime Garcia.

Now a 9-4 start to August has them looking like contenders once again.

A four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers and a weekend series win against the Detroit Tigers leaves them 4.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central and just a half-game out for the No. 2 wild-card spot.

The offense has produced an .800 OPS and is averaging 5.7 runs per game in August, led by Eddie Rosario (1.143 OPS, 5 HR, 12 RBI) and Brian Dozier (1.111 OPS, 6 HR, 13 RBI).

That's helped offset a shaky starting rotation that remains the team's biggest question mark in their push to land a playoff berth. The young duo of Jose Berrios and Adalberto Mejia, in particular, has struggled.

With that in mind, this current hot streak might not be sustainable, but it's still enough to send them shooting up the rankings for the time being.

The upcoming week won't be an easy one as they welcome the Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks to Target Field.

      

Los Angeles Angels (Up 6 Spots)

Could we finally see Mike Trout playing in October again this year?

The Los Angeles Angels are riding a six-game winning streak and have gone 12-4 in their last 16 games to climb into the second AL wild-card spot.

A healthy Tyler Skaggs has given the rotation a boost and surprise rookie standout Parker Bridwell (11 GS, 7-1, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) has been huge in helping solidify a banged up starting staff.

The return of Cam Bedrosian has also provided an in-house replacement for struggling closer Bud Norris.

Meanwhile, Trout has been raking this month (1.270 OPS, 4 HR, 10 RBI) and he's finally getting some help from the rest of the lineup.

The Angels are averaging 5.3 runs per game and hitting .264 with a .751 OPS in 13 August games.

They'll head east this coming week to take on the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles as they look to keep things rolling.

       

Biggest Fallers

Losing ace James Paxton to a pectoral strain is a huge blow to the Mariners' playoff hopes.
Losing ace James Paxton to a pectoral strain is a huge blow to the Mariners' playoff hopes.Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Seattle Mariners (Down 4 Spots)

The Seattle Mariners were two games over .500 and just 1.5 games back in the AL wild-card standings on Aug. 1.

While they're still just two games back, they're trending in the wrong direction at 5-7 with a minus-15 run differential in their last 12 games.

And now they'll be without ace James Paxton for the foreseeable future after he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a pectoral strain.

"Obviously it's disheartening news, no doubt," manager Scott Servais told reporters. "It's been a crazy season, really it has been, with all of the injuries. To put ourselves in the position we are now, a lot of it has to do with James Paxton. He's been really, really good, but we've got to find a way to keep it rolling here."

With Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly already on the DL, that Mariners are left with a rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Erasmo Ramirez, Ariel Miranda, Marco Gonzales and a yet-to-be determined fifth starter for Tuesday's game.

Not exactly a juggernaut of a rotation.

A pair of AL East foes in the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays await this coming week.

        

Tampa Bay Rays (Down 4 Spots)

The Tampa Bay Rays began the month of August by taking three of four from the Houston Astros and pulling within a half-game of the No. 2 AL wild-card spot.

Since then, they've gone 2-7 with a minus-18 run differential, scoring just 11 runs on offense during that nine-game span.

"What a putrid performance by the Rays," wrote Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Bay Times. "They departed the 2-7 Homestand of Shame for Toronto on Sunday night. They had their offense in a carry-on container, it being less than 3.4 fluid ounces."

With no regular hitting over .300 or sporting an OPS over .800 in the month of August, the lineup continues to undermine one of the better starting rotations in the American League.

Can they right the ship and climb back into the AL wild-card hunt before it's too late?

         

MVPs of the Week

AL MVP: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Stats: 2 GS, W, ND, 15.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 25 K

AL Cy Young front-runner Chris Sale turned in two more terrific starts last week for the Red Sox as he continues to be nothing short of dominant in his first season in Boston.

The left-hander added 25 more strikeouts to his MLB-leading total of 241 and he's on pace to become the first AL pitcher to eclipse the 300-strikeout mark since fellow Red Sox standout Pedro Martinez did it in 1999.

After allowing four hits and one run with 12 strikeouts in seven innings against the rival Yankees in a no-decision on Sunday, Sale now sports a 1.18 ERA over 76.1 career innings against the archrivals.

If he continues to dominate down the stretch, the conversation might shift from Cy Young to a potential AL MVP run before too long. 

"As dominant as he's been, with the exception of an outing or two, we're talking about a difference-maker in the standings, in the feel of the team," manager John Farrell told Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. "What he means to our team, yeah, he should be in that conversation."

       

NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Stats: 9-for-27, 1 2B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R

You can't help but feel bad for opposing pitchers when Giancarlo Stanton is locked in at the plate.

The 27-year-old has gone deep four games in a row and nine times this month, and his opposite-field shot on Sunday was his 42nd of the season, tying Gary Sheffield for the single-season franchise record.

"I really enjoyed watching him play as a kid," Stanton told reporters. "Definitely good company to be in. It's not something I'll fully appreciate until the year is over, but it's a cool thing to have under my belt, and I've got time to get more."

Sunday's long ball was also No. 250 of his career, tying Frank Robinson (27 years, 278 days) as the 10th-youngest player to reach that milestone, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN).

With 46 games left on the schedule, Stanton is on pace for 59 homers.

         

Stats of the Week

Let's dive into some of the better nuggets from around the league.

We'll start with a surprising note following the conclusion of last night's Red Sox vs. Yankees series.

Andrew Benintendi has been largely overshadowed by Aaron Judge this season, but he entered the year as the AL Rookie of the Year front-runner for a reason.

The 23-year-old is hitting .279/.360/.446 with 16 home runs, 66 RBI and 14 stolen bases. With Judge struggling mightily in the second half, the gap for top AL rookie honors is closing quickly.

Speaking of young stars, Trout turned 26 on Monday and celebrated with his 1,000th career hit. He's just the fourth player in MLB history to tally 1,000 hits, 500 runs and 500 walks prior to their age-26 season, joining a trio of all-time greats in Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle.

Not to be outdone, Bryce Harper also hit his 150th career homer on Monday. He's the 14th player to reach that total before his 25th birthday and only Albert Pujols and Giancarlo Stanton got there faster among active players.

And we'll finish up with our obligatory weekly nod to how ridiculously good the Dodgers are this season.

That's a 134-year history, folks.

        

Must-See Upcoming Matchup

Sonny Gray will take the ball for the Yankees on Sunday.
Sonny Gray will take the ball for the Yankees on Sunday.David Dermer/Associated Press

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox (Friday-Sunday)

Who's ready for Round 2?

After an exciting three-game series in the Bronx culminated with an extra-inning victory by the Red Sox on Sunday night, these two rivals will take things to Fenway Park for another three-game set this weekend.

The Red Sox lead has now swelled to 5.5 games in the AL East standings, but the Yankees still lead the season series 7-5.

It will be Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale and Doug Fister taking the ball for Boston and the Yankees countering with Jordan Montgomery on Friday and Sonny Gray on Sunday.

Saturday's starter has yet to be determined. Luis Cessa will take the ball on Monday in place of the injured Masahiro Tanaka, and if he pitches well, that would be his spot in the rotation.

At any rate, it should be another exciting weekend of baseball.

There was a playoff-type atmosphere at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, and it's clear there's been new life breathed into this rivalry here in 2017.

               

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and accurate through Sunday.

Looking for someone to yell at about where your favorite team was slotted in the latest rankings? I'll meet you in the comments section.