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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2016

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

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    Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    With the All-Star break behind us and the trade deadline rapidly approaching, it figures to be a busy couple of weeks around the MLB landscape.

    This week's power rankings reflect just one series' worth of games, so there wasn't as much shuffling as usual. It was still a terrific few days for individual pitching performances, though.

    Matt Shoemaker, Adam Wainwright and Jacob deGrom each threw complete-game shutouts, and 11 other pitchers turned in at least six shutout innings in their first starts of the second half.

    Even in a short week, one thing remains true: These rankings are a fluid process, with teams moving up or down based on where they ranked the previous week. If a club keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

30. Tampa Bay Rays (35-56, Previous: 29)

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    SP Matt Moore
    SP Matt MooreKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Tampa Bay Rays managed to snap their eight-game losing streak Sunday with a win over the Baltimore Orioles, but they've still gone a dismal 4-24 in their last 28 games.

    As a result, it appears they're open for business leading up to the trade deadline.

    Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore and Drew Smyly are all valuable assets in a thin market for starting pitching, and as many as nine teams have contacted them already, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

    Odorizzi threw six strong innings on Sunday with scouts from the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers in attendance, per Bill Chastain of MLB.com.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Brad Miller (3-for-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Moore (L, 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)

29. Atlanta Braves (32-60, Previous: 28)

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    CF Ender Inciarte
    CF Ender InciarteBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Atlanta Braves finished the first half well enough to avoid the No. 30 spot in these rankings despite having the worst record in baseball. However, with a series loss to the Colorado Rockies last week, they're again in danger of falling to the cellar.

    The Braves' trade-deadline plans suffered a blow when they placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend with an oblique injury. He's still "quite available" on the trade market, though, according to Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

    Interestingly enough, the Braves could also look to do some buying at the deadline.

    According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the team is searching for a 2017 starting catcher and could address that need now via a trade. Jonathan Lucroy and Derek Norris are the top backstops on the market, and both are controllable beyond this season.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Ender Inciarte (5-for-10, 2 2B, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Julio Teheran (ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

28. Cincinnati Reds (34-58, Previous: 30)

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    SP Dan Straily
    SP Dan StrailySteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Cincinnati Reds picked up a series win against the Milwaukee Brewers to begin the second half, pulling within seven games of fourth place in the NL Central.

    Dan Straily threw a gem on Sunday and is now working on a modest string of three consecutive quality starts. He currently leads the team in innings pitched (108.1) and has turned in solid peripheral numbers with a 4.07 ERA, 1.182 WHIP and a .212 opponent batting average.

    The 27-year-old Straily joins outfielder Jay Bruce as a potentially valuable trade chip if the team opts to sell high on what was an offseason waiver claim.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joey Votto (6-for-12, 1 2B, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dan Straily (ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

27. Minnesota Twins (33-58, Previous: 26)

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    2B Brian Dozier
    2B Brian DozierMatt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Minnesota Twins entered the All-Star break with some momentum, having won three consecutive series. They were unable to keep that going over the weekend, however, as they dropped two of three to the Cleveland Indians.

    The Twins are now 7-23 (.233) against AL Central foes and 26-35 (.426) against the rest of the league, as their own division continues to beat them up.

    While they don't have many pieces to shop at the trade deadline, unloading one of Ervin Santana or Ricky Nolasco and freeing up some salary space would make for a successful July.

    "The Twins are also trying to shed salary and would take less if the team takes on the remainder of Santana’s $28 million after this season," Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Brian Dozier (4-for-11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tyler Duffey (ND, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (39-51, Previous: 23)

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    SP Zach Davies
    SP Zach DaviesBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Milwaukee Brewers slide back down these rankings following a series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. They exceeded expectations to a point in the first half, but this is still a team in the early stages of rebuilding.

    All eyes remain on Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun as two of the top trade chips on the market. They can be valuable assets in the Brewers' search for more young talent. 

    They did well at the trade deadline last year, acquiring a number of intriguing prospects, including right-hander Zach Davies, who is now a member of the starting rotation. 

    Outside of one clunker against the Los Angeles Dodgers (4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER), Davies has been terrific dating back to the beginning of June, and it's looking more and more like he can be a long-term piece of the puzzle.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Scooter Gennett (5-for-14, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Zach Davies (ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

25. Oakland Athletics (40-52, Previous: 27)

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    LF Khris Davis
    LF Khris DavisWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Oakland Athletics picked up a nice series win over the Toronto Blue Jays to begin the second half, but the ongoing health issues of Rich Hill remain a major concern.

    After having his second-half debut pushed back to Sunday due to a blister, he lasted just one batter and threw only five pitches before the blister problem resurfaced, forcing him out of the game.

    "It's frustrating for him because he looked like he was fine leading into the start," manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "We'll have to give him some time. We're not sure how long yet."

    Getting max value out of Hill on the trade market is getting increasingly difficult. A groin injury sidelined him for over a month, but he returned strong before the blister issue surfaced. Time is now a factor with the Aug. 1 deadline rapidly approaching.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Khris Davis (5-for-11, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Sonny Gray (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)

24. Arizona Diamondbacks (40-53, Previous: 24)

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    3B Jake Lamb
    3B Jake LambJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have been perhaps the most disappointing team in baseball this season. While they'll no doubt turn their attention to 2017 during the second half, they can still be a thorn in the side of contenders, as they showed with a series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

    The team finally pulled the trigger on optioning the struggling Shelby Miller to Triple-A, where he'll continue to try sorting his way through what has been a disastrous debut in Arizona.

    With Brad Ziegler already traded, the team is also open to moving fellow relievers Tyler Clippard and Daniel Hudson ahead of the deadline, according to Nick Piecoro and Sarah McLellan of AZCentral.com. The team is not willing to move starters Patrick Corbin or Robbie Ray, though, as they are both viewed as long-term pieces.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Jake Lamb (7-for-12, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Robbie Ray (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

23. Los Angeles Angels (40-52, Previous: 25)

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    SP Matt Shoemaker
    SP Matt ShoemakerBob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-0

    Only two teams came out of the All-Star break with a series sweep, and the Los Angeles Angels were one of them. They hosted the Chicago White Sox and outscored them 16-1 across the three-game series.

    Matt Shoemaker threw the first complete-game shutout of his career Saturday, striking out a career-high 13 batters in the 1-0 win.

    "That game was a lot of fun," Shoemaker told reporters afterward. "In that ninth inning, with the crowd getting into it like that, it's awesome. It was memorable."

    Since going 1-4 with a 9.15 ERA in five April starts, Shoemaker is 4-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.113 WHIP and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings in his last 13 starts. His 5.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio overall is good for third-best in the AL.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Albert Pujols (2-for-9, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Shoemaker (W, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K)

22. Philadelphia Phillies (43-50, Previous: 20)

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    SP Jerad Eickhoff
    SP Jerad EickhoffBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Philadelphia Phillies ended the first half with a 10-3 stretch of games that included three series wins and a four-game split. They were unable to keep that momentum going, however, as they dropped two of three to the New York Mets to kick off the second half.

    Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will be a player to watch leading up to the trade deadline, as he looks like Philadelphia's most valuable trade chip and a potentially hot commodity given the lack of mid-range starting pitching options. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over six innings Friday, and he'll take the ball next against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.

    Prospect Jake Thompson also pitched for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday, which perhaps suggests he would be lined up as a potential replacement in the big league rotation if/when Hellickson is traded, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Ryan Howard (2-for-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jerad Eickhoff (ND, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

21. Colorado Rockies (42-49, Previous: 21)

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    SP Jon Gray
    SP Jon GrayJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Colorado Rockies began their second-half slate with a series win over the Atlanta Braves. While they may not be legitimate contenders, they still have an outside shot at finishing the year with a winning record.

    That may not sound like much, but the Rockies have not posted a winning record since 2010. If nothing else, it would represent a nice step forward for a franchise that looks to have a promising future thanks to a deep farm system.

    As for the current roster, keep an eye on right-hander Jon Gray in the second half, as he's flashed front-line stuff at times but is still searching for a bit more consistency.

    With seven scoreless innings on Sunday, the 24-year-old is now 5-4 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.171 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 95.2 innings. He's recorded a quality start in 11 of his 16 appearances.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Nolan Arenado (4-for-11, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jon Gray (ND, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

20. San Diego Padres (41-51, Previous: 22)

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    RF Matt Kemp
    RF Matt KempJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-0

    Fresh off of hosting the All-Star Game, the San Diego Padres welcomed the San Francisco Giants to town and promptly swept what was the No. 1 team in these rankings at the break.

    The big news of the week was the trade that sent All-Star Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza.

    Baseball America ranked the 18-year-old Espinoza as the league's 15th-best prospect in its midseason top-100 update. He immediately becomes the top prospect in an improving Padres farm system.

    It's easy to look at his 4.38 ERA so far this year and say he's disappointed, but Espinoza was the youngest player in the Single-A South Atlantic League. He still has as much upside as any pitching prospect in the game.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Matt Kemp (4-for-13, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Andrew Cashner (W, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

19. Chicago White Sox (45-46, Previous: 17)

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    SP James Shields
    SP James ShieldsDavid Banks-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 0-3

    After suffering through a rough stretch of games in May, the Chicago White Sox were playing much better heading into the break, touting a 12-7 record in their last 19 games.

    That momentum didn't carry over to the second half, though, as the Los Angeles Angels shut them out twice and outscored them 16-1 in a three-game sweep. 

    The worst thing the White Sox could do is cling to the idea that they can contend in 2016 and ship off more young talent at the trade deadline as a result. The front office has a history of not knowing when to throw in the towel, and Chicago's 45-46 record has the team residing on the fringe of contention once again.

    Top prospect Carson Fulmer, who the White Sox selected No. 8 overall in last year's draft, joined the bullpen to begin the second half. He's worked primarily as a starter in the minors, but his max-effort delivery has led many to peg him as a future closer.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Adam Eaton (5-for-11, 3 2B, 1 RBI)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP James Shields (L, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)

18. New York Yankees (45-46, Previous: 18)

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    SP Masahiro Tanaka
    SP Masahiro TanakaBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    A series loss against the rival Boston Red Sox could bring the New York Yankees one step closer to being sellers at the trade deadline. For now, they continue to weigh their options, with the front office reportedly split over whether to buy or sell, per ESPN.com's Wallace Matthews.

    Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran represent two of the more attractive rental options on the market if they do decide to sell, while bullpen ace Andrew Miller is their most valuable trade chip.

    "The whole thing is a delicate balance, particularly for a franchise with such a proud tradition," wrote Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. "The Yankees almost certainly will not want to cut too deeply into their core—they will never do a full rebuild and should not, given their winning tradition and the size of their market."

    For the first time in a long time, though, it looks like they will be clearly identified as sellers.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Brett Gardner (4-for-12, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Masahiro Tanaka (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

17. Kansas City Royals (46-45, Previous: 19)

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    1B Eric Hosmer
    1B Eric HosmerRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Kansas City Royals move up a couple of spots in these rankings mostly due to other teams dropping below them, as they began the second half with a series loss to the Detroit Tigers.

    Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez put on a show at the All-Star Game, and they'll need to continue to shoulder the offensive load in the second half with Mike Moustakas sidelined and outfielders Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain both falling short of expectations.

    The starting rotation remains the biggest concern, though.

    The Royals currently rank 25th in the league with a 4.93 starter's ERA. Even with their dominant bullpen, it would be awfully hard to trust a rotation of Ian Kennedy, Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez and Danny Duffy in the postseason.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Eric Hosmer (3-for-11, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Yordano Ventura (7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

16. Seattle Mariners (46-46, Previous: 16)

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    SP Hisashi Iwakuma
    SP Hisashi IwakumaRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    With a .500 record two weeks removed from the trade deadline, the Seattle Mariners find themselves firmly entrenched in the gray area between buying and selling.

    Even if they don't make any significant outside additions, getting Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker back healthy should give the pitching staff a major boost. That could be reason enough for them to opt against selling.

    Upgrading the bullpen and perhaps adding another low-cost starter appear to be their biggest areas of need if they go the buying route.

    How they perform this coming week against the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays could go a long way toward determining their deadline plans.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Leonys Martin (3-for-9, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Hisashi Iwakuma (W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (47-45, Previous: 14)

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    SP Chad Kuhl
    SP Chad KuhlGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Pittsburgh Pirates went 12-4 to close out the first half, but they couldn't keep things rolling coming out of the break, dropping two of three to the Washington Nationals over the weekend.

    They now go back to PNC Park for an eight-game homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners that should give them a great opportunity to make up some ground in the standings.

    With starters Jeff Locke and Jon Niese being actively shopped, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it appears as though the club is ready to entrust prospect Tyler Glasnow with a rotation spot.

    However, they've also been linked to Nathan Eovaldi (per Biertempfel) and Matt Moore (per Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times) in recent trade rumors, so an outside addition to the staff is by no means out of the question.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Starling Marte (4-for-14, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chad Kuhl (ND, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

14. Detroit Tigers (48-44, Previous: 15)

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    2B Ian Kinsler
    2B Ian KinslerRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    A series win over the Kansas City Royals was a nice way for the Detroit Tigers to begin the second half, especially after stumbling into the All-Star break with a pair of series losses.

    With a thin farm system and a bloated payroll, the Tigers will likely enjoy a quiet trade deadline this year. Finding a way to add some low-cost starting pitching depth would be a nice move, though, considering how the back of the rotation has struggled.

    Michael Fulmer has been the team's best starter since being promoted from the minors. After eight strong innings on Sunday, he's now 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA, 1.075 WHIP and a .206 opponent batting average.

    Fulmer has never topped 124.2 innings in a season as a pro, and the Tigers intend to limit his innings in the second half, according to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. There's no clear-cut number at this point, but their place in the standings will certainly play a role.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Ian Kinsler (6-for-12, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Justin Verlander (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

13. St. Louis Cardinals (47-44, Previous: 11)

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    SP Adam Wainwright
    SP Adam WainwrightJeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    Adam Wainwright turned in his best start of the season Saturday with a three-hit shutout, but the St. Louis Cardinals dropped two of three to the Miami Marlins coming out of the break.

    For Wainwright, it was his 10th career shutout (fifth among active players) and his 22nd career complete game (tied for sixth among active players). He's once again pitching like an ace, with a 0.39 ERA in 23 innings over his last three starts.

    The bullpen remains the biggest issue for the Cardinals.

    Trevor Rosenthal blew his first save chance of the second half as his 2016 woes continue. Don't be surprised if flamethrowing prospect Alex Reyes gets the call from Triple-A to bolster the relief corps in the near future.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Tommy Pham (5-for-12, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Adam Wainwright (W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

12. Miami Marlins (49-42, Previous: 13)

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    RF Giancarlo Stanton
    RF Giancarlo StantonJeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    With an 8-4 record in July and fresh off of a series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Miami Marlins are currently tied with the New York Mets for the second NL wild-card spot.

    Those two will meet this coming weekend for a huge three-game series in Miami, as the Marlins look to prove they're serious contenders ahead of the trade deadline. They don't have the farm system to pull off a blockbuster deal, but adding another arm could go a long way.

    If nothing else, it looks like Giancarlo Stanton has finally snapped out of his early-season funk, and he could be in for a huge second half. Since the beginning of July, he's hitting .333/.423/.800 with four doubles, five home runs and 12 RBI in 52 plate appearances.

    More of the same from Stanton and continued breakout performances from Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto and Adam Conley should keep the Marlins in the thick of the playoff race.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Giancarlo Stanton (4-for-11, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Adam Conley (ND, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

11. New York Mets (49-42, Previous: 12)

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    SP Jacob deGrom
    SP Jacob deGromEric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The New York Mets kept pace with the Miami Marlins for second place in the NL East and the No. 2 wild-card spot last week with a series win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

    They continue their current road trip with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs before heading to Miami for an important NL East clash.

    For as good as Jacob deGrom was during the first two years of his career, he turned in his most dominant start yet on Sunday, when he threw a one-hitter for his first-ever career shutout. In the process, he lowered his ERA to 2.38 on the year, good for third in the NL.

    With Matt Harvey out for the season and both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz pitching with bone chips in their elbows, deGrom will need to continue carrying the staff in the second half.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Asdrubal Cabrera (5-for-13, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jacob deGrom (W, 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

10. Toronto Blue Jays (52-42, Previous: 8)

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    1B Justin Smoak
    1B Justin SmoakDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    Following a series loss to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays enter the week three games back in the AL East standings and one game up on the Houston Astros for the No. 2 wild-card spot.

    First baseman Justin Smoak is having a decent season with a .749 OPS, 10 home runs and 24 RBI, and Toronto rewarded him with a somewhat surprising two-year, $8.25 million extension last week ahead of his upcoming free agency.

    "We love Toronto, me and my family, and we wanted to stay here as long as we can," Smoak told reporters. "So we just wanted to get something done."

    Questions in the setup role and at the back of the starting rotation will need to be answered between now and the trade deadline as the Blue Jays look to live up to the lofty expectations they had entering this season.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Justin Smoak (4-for-10, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP J.A. Happ (ND, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (52-42, Previous: 7)

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    SP Brandon McCarthy
    SP Brandon McCarthyMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Los Angeles Dodgers started the second half with a series loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but on the bright side, their starting rotation is finally starting to look stable.

    Brandon McCarthy is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts since returning to action, Bud Norris is 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts since being acquired from the Braves and it's only a matter of time before Clayton Kershaw is back in action.

    The offense looks to be on the upswing as well, as key bats like Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal are all showing signs of life after disappointing first-half performances. L.A. is averaging 4.85 runs per game in July.

    Despite those in-house improvements, the Dodgers could still be busy at the deadline as they look to improve the bullpen and perhaps add another starter to the mix.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Justin Turner (5-for-13, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Brandon McCarthy (ND, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

8. Houston Astros (50-42, Previous: 10)

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    2B Jose Altuve
    2B Jose AltuveJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Houston Astros continue to climb these rankings, and this represents the first time they've cracked the top 10 since checking in at No. 6 all the way back on Opening Day.

    Jose Altuve (.346 BA, .968 OPS, 25 2B, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 70 R, 24 SB) is having an MVP-caliber season, and George Springer has quietly been a dynamic No. 2 option for the offense.

    The team inked Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel to a five-year, $47.5 million deal last week, and he should make an impact this season after shaking off some rust in the minor leagues.

    Futures Game standout Alex Bregman is also expected to arrive in Houston in the near future, leaving the Astros with an abundance of talented infield options. Not a bad problem to have.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jose Altuve (6-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Collin McHugh (W, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 10 K)

7. Boston Red Sox (51-39, Previous: 9)

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    SP Eduardo Rodriguez
    SP Eduardo RodriguezKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Boston Red Sox improved to 6-3 against the New York Yankees this season with a series victory over their rivals to begin the second half, pulling within two games of the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the AL East standings.

    Having already acquired Aaron Hill and Brad Ziegler, the Red Sox continued dealing last week when they shipped top prospect Anderson Espinoza to the San Diego Padres in exchange for All-Star lefty Drew Pomeranz.

    That addition, coupled with a strong start by Eduardo Rodriguez on Saturday, suddenly has the Red Sox rotation looking formidable.

    It bears watching whether the Orioles do anything to counter the Red Sox's move to acquire Pomeranz, because as things stand, it feels like only a matter of time before Boston overtakes them in the standings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Sandy Leon (3-for-7, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Eduardo Rodriguez (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)

6. Texas Rangers (55-38, Previous: 4)

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    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Cole HamelsCaylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-2

    The Texas Rangers have scuffled to a 4-11 record in their last 15 games, in large part due to injuries.

    One key piece returned to action last week, as Yu Darvish allowed two hits and two earned runs while striking out nine in 4.1 innings on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

    The Rangers will be careful to ease him back into the mix, but he has a chance to be a huge second-half addition to what was already one of the best teams in baseball.

    Even with Darvish back in the fold, expect the Rangers to be aggressive at the trade deadline. They have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball and could stand to upgrade at the back of the rotation and in the bullpen as they make a push for the AL pennant.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Ryan Rua (2-for-9, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Cole Hamels (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

5. Baltimore Orioles (53-37, Previous: 6)

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    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Chris TillmanBob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Baltimore Orioles picked up a series win over the struggling Tampa Bay Rays to maintain their hold on the AL East lead, but the Boston Red Sox are clearly gunning for them after trading for Drew Pomeranz.

    The Orioles have yet to make any additions on the trade market, but they did decide to move Dylan Bundy to the starting rotation after he posted a 3.08 ERA in 22 appearances out of the bullpen in the first half.

    He allowed five hits and four runs in 3.1 innings in his first career start Sunday, but he should get another crack at starting after showing some positive signs. Still, he can't be the only answer to improving the pitching situation.

    "No matter how well Bundy pitches going forward, however, the Orioles would be making a mistake to gamble on him being the only answer to the depth problem in their starting rotation," Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun wrote.

    The Orioles rank 28th in the majors with a 5.14 starter's ERA.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Pedro Alvarez (3-for-8, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chris Tillman (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

4. Chicago Cubs (55-36, Previous: 5)

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    SP Kyle Hendricks
    SP Kyle HendricksJerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    No team in baseball needed the chance to rest and reset during the All-Star break more than the Chicago Cubs. After looking like the best team in the majors for much of the first half, they stumbled to a 6-15 record over their final 21 games prior to the break.

    The time off gave injured center fielder Dexter Fowler a chance to pull closer to returning. It also afforded ace Jake Arrieta an opportunity to rest after he struggled to a 6.75 ERA while failing to turn in a quality start across his last four games.

    At any rate, they took the first two games of their series with the Texas Rangers before running into a strong start from Rangers ace Cole Hamels on Sunday.

    "We played a really good team and took two out of three. Don't let that get lost in the shuffle," manager Joe Maddon told reporters Sunday. "To take two out of three against them post-break, I think that is really impressive. That's what you're looking at in the postseason, is those kind of teams."

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Addison Russell (3-for-11, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kyle Hendricks (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

3. San Francisco Giants (57-36, Previous: 1)

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    2B Ramiro Pena
    2B Ramiro PenaThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Last Week: 0-3

    The San Francisco Giants had a short stay in the No. 1 spot, as they laid an egg coming out of the break and were swept by the San Diego Padres on the road.

    The vaunted trio of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.625 WHIP in the series. All three of them won't often struggle consecutively like that, but it was a tough way to come out of the break nonetheless.

    Expect the Giants to make a run at some much-needed bullpen help before the trade deadline passes, while the eventual returns of Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy from injury figure to bolster the offense.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Ramiro Pena (4-for-10, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Josh Osich (2 G, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

2. Washington Nationals (56-37, Previous: 3)

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    2B Stephen Drew
    2B Stephen DrewDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    The Washington Nationals take over the top spot among NL teams after a series win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They've now gone 13-5 in their last 18 games to build a six-game lead in the NL East standings.

    Stephen Strasburg improved to 13-0 with eight strong innings in his first start coming out of the break, while Tanner Roark turned in eight scoreless innings Saturday to lower his ERA to 2.82 on the year.

    While the Nationals are kicking the tires on various pitching options on the trade market, they also promoted prospect Reynaldo Lopez on Sunday, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

    Lopez can touch triple digits with his fastball and has a filthy curveball, though his changeup remains a work in progress. He'll make his debut on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the latest high-profile pitching prospect to debut in 2016.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Stephen Drew (4-for-11, 3 2B, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tanner Roark (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

1. Cleveland Indians (54-37, Previous: 2)

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    SP Josh Tomlin
    SP Josh TomlinMarilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-1

    Since the San Francisco Giants endured a rough week, the Cleveland Indians jump back into the No. 1 spot after taking care of business with a series win over the Minnesota Twins.

    For all the hype surrounding the trio of Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco—and understandably so—right-hander Josh Tomlin has been every bit as good.

    The 31-year-old is 10-2 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.105 WHIP in 107.2 innings of work, and he leads the AL in walk rate (1.0 BB/9) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.00).

    The Indians could still use a left-handed presence in the bullpen and may also explore options to take some pressure off of struggling catcher Yan Gomes, but all things considered, they appear to have the pieces to make a serious run.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Mike Napoli (5-for-12, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Josh Tomlin (W, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Hitter and pitcher of the week stats reflect games played from Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17.