MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Pre-Trade Deadline

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Pre-Trade Deadline

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    The return of Dexter Fowler provided the Cubs with an immediate spark.
    The return of Dexter Fowler provided the Cubs with an immediate spark.Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    We are now just one week away from the 2016 MLB trade deadline, and the rumor mill is in full swing as all 30 teams decide what to do ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline.

    With four of the top six teams in our rankings from a week ago posting a losing record last week, there was plenty of shuffling among the league's top teams in this week's MLB power rankings.

    So as contenders look to solidify their roster for a pennant push and rebuilding teams look to maximize their trade chips, what follows is an updated look at how all 30 teams stack up around the league.

    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. Atlanta Braves (33-66, Previous: 29)

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    3B Adonis Garcia
    3B Adonis GarciaBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-6

    After five consecutive weeks ranked No. 29 or higher, the Atlanta Braves are once again at the bottom of these rankings after being outscored 44-22 by the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies last week.

    All signs point to ace Julio Teheran staying put at the trade deadline, leaving the rebuilding Braves with little in the way of attractive movable parts.

    Erick Aybar could be of use in a utility role for a contender, and the team is also shopping lefty relievers Ian Krol and Hunter Cervenka, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Adonis Garcia (9-for-25, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Lucas Harrell (L, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

29. Tampa Bay Rays (38-60, Previous: 30)

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    SP Jake Odorizzi
    SP Jake OdorizziKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    A series win over the Colorado Rockies to begin last week snapped a string of four consecutive series losses for the Tampa Bay Rays, and that was enough to pull them out of the No. 30 spot in these rankings for the time being.

    The Rays are talking to as many as 10 teams about a potential trade for one of their starting pitchers, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Infielder Steve Pearce and swingman Erasmo Ramirez are also generating interest.

    Jake Odorizzi only further boosted his trade value last time out with eight scoreless innings, his best outing of the season.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Corey Dickerson (11-for-26, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Odorizzi (ND, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (41-57, Previous: 24)

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    LF Yasmany Tomas
    LF Yasmany TomasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-4

    Once ranked as high as No. 15, the Arizona Diamondbacks slide to their lowest point of the season after series losses to the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds last week.

    Shelby Miller was demoted to the minors earlier this month, and the team is now making him available for trade, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, just eight months after giving up Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte to acquire him from the Atlanta Braves.

    Meanwhile, top prospect Braden Shipley has been promoted to the majors, according to ESPN.com.

    The No. 63 prospect in the league, according to Baseball America in their midseason update, will make his debut on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

        

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Yasmany Tomas (8-for-20, 3 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

        

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Jake Barrett (3 G, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

27. Cincinnati Reds (38-60, Previous: 28)

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    SP Anthony DeSclafani
    SP Anthony DeSclafaniGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Cincinnati Reds have won three series in a row and four of their last five, quietly putting together a 9-9 month of July in the process.

    Jay Bruce remains a valuable trade chip for the Reds as we approach the deadline, but some rival executives have "struggled to traction even in cursory conversations" about a potential trade for the veteran outfielder, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

    Holding on to him would be a mistake. At this point, they need to simply take the best offer available.

    Meanwhile, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani is also an incredibly valuable asset as a controllable arm that has gone 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in eight starts this season. It remains to be seen if the Reds will seriously consider moving him, though.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joey Votto (9-for-17, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Anthony DeSclafani (W, 8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (41-55, Previous: 26)

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    LF Ryan Braun
    LF Ryan BraunCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Milwaukee Brewers continue to get hammered by the rest of the NL Central, as series losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs last week brought their in-division record to 13-23 on the year.

    Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, outfielder Ryan Braun and relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith are the top trade chips this time around for the Brew Crew.

    The team has been looking to get maximum value by packaging one of those bats with one of the bullpen arms, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    As for potential suitors, the New York Mets have shown interest in Lucroy and offered up a package built around catcher Travis d'Arnaud, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Ryan Braun (9-for-23, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 10 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Zach Davies (W, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

25. Minnesota Twins (37-61, Previous: 27)

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    SP Kyle Gibson
    SP Kyle GibsonMarilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Minnesota Twins have the worst record in the American League, but they picked up a series win against the Detroit Tigers and split a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox last week.

    With that, they are now 12-8 with a plus-31 run differential in July.

    It's too little, too late as far as their chances of contending are concerned, but building some momentum in the second half and heading into next season could go a long way.

    Unloading one or both of Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco ahead of the trade deadline would be a clear win for the organization, and that appears to be their main focus right now, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Max Kepler (8-for-25, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kyle Gibson (W, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

24. Philadelphia Phillies (45-55, Previous: 22)

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    SP Zach Eflin
    SP Zach EflinEric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    The Philadelphia Phillies are now 10 games under .500 after series losses to the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving their surprising early run at contention as a distant memory.

    Jeremy Hellickson is the team's top trade chip, and the Miami Marlins have shown significant interest, with the Phillies recently scouting the Marlins' rookie league affiliate, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    Relievers Jeanmar Gomez and David Hernandez could also be on the move before Aug. 1, with more than a few contenders in need of late-inning help.

    As for the long-term outlook of the team, Zach Eflin threw his first career shutout and second complete game of the season last week. The 22-year-old, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers last year for Jimmy Rollins, is now 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.053 WHIP in eight starts.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Odubel Herrera (9-for-27, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Zach Eflin (W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

23. San Diego Padres (43-56, Previous: 20)

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    SP Luis Perdomo
    SP Luis PerdomoJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    The San Diego Padres closed out last week on a high note, taking two of three from a good Washington Nationals team, but that came on the heels of a four-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Andrew Cashner has thrown the ball well in his last two starts, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out 17 in 11.2 innings. His stock is on the rise as a result, and he'll almost certainly be moved before the deadline.

    The team is also "pushing hard" to trade catcher Derek Norris, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

    Dealing Norris would open the door for Austin Hedges to take over as the team's primary catcher. The 23-year-old has been absolutely raking in Triple-A to the tune of a .361/.402/.717 line with 11 doubles, 17 home runs and 61 RBI.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Ryan Schimpf (7-for-22, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Luis Perdomo (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

22. Los Angeles Angels (43-55, Previous: 23)

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    SS Andrelton Simmons
    SS Andrelton SimmonsKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Los Angeles Angels have been playing significantly better baseball of late, putting together a 10-2 stretch before getting swept by the Houston Astros over the weekend.

    Could that be reason enough for the team to opt against selling at the deadline?

    "Three weeks ago, we were in a position of being opportunistic," general manager Billy Eppler told reporters, including Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "Today, we’re in a position of being opportunistic. Our objective is to do whatever we can to improve the organization."

    Even with their recent run of success, the Angels remain 13.5 games back in the AL West and 11.5 games out for the second wild-card spot.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Andrelton Simmons (11-for-21, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Jhoulys Chacin (2 G, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

21. Oakland Athletics (45-54, Previous: 25)

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    SP Sean Manaea
    SP Sean ManaeaJohn Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    It was a nice week for the Oakland Athletics, who picked up series wins over the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays—and did so in dramatic fashion with three walk-off victories.

    Despite that strong week of play, this team is still a clear seller at the deadline.

    With that in mind, Rich Hill does not seem to be any closer to returning from the blister that chased him from his last start back on July 17. Time is running out for him to prove he's healthy with one last start in Oakland.

    Outfielder Josh Reddick is the other marquee trade chip on the roster, with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians all showing some level of interest, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

    Hitter of the Week

    • OF Jake Smolinski (10-for-20, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Sean Manaea (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

20. Chicago White Sox (48-50, Previous: 19)

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    LF Melky Cabrera
    LF Melky CabreraMatt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    It was an interesting week for the Chicago White Sox, to say the least.

    The team dropped a series to the Seattle Mariners and split a four-game set with the Detroit Tigers, but it was what happened off the field that grabbed headlines.

    Just days after Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported the team was willing to listen on starters Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, Sale was hit with a five-game suspension for violating team rules, insubordination and destroying team equipment, according to the team.

    Sale had requested not to wear the throwback jerseys the team was scheduled to wear on Saturday because they were uncomfortable. When the team refused, he cut up all the jerseys in the clubhouse during batting practice, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    It's just more dysfunction from the White Sox clubhouse. The bigger story here is obviously the potential availability of one of the best pitchers in the game.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Melky Cabrera (11-for-30, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chris Sale (ND, 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

19. Colorado Rockies (47-51, Previous: 21)

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    SS Trevor Story
    SS Trevor StoryIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    The Colorado Rockies closed out last week with a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, improving to 10-10 in July and maintaining a shred of hope for contention with a six-game deficit in the wild-card standings to surmount.

    That's probably enough for the team to stand pat at the trade deadline, with outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon looking like the most valuable trade chips if the team does in fact change course and decide to sell.

    On a smaller scale, starter Jorge De La Rosa is in the final year of his contract and would likely be of interest to a contender looking for some rotation depth.

    As for roster additions, the team is set to promote outfielder David Dahl, according to Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Dahl, 22, checked in as the No. 16 prospect in baseball at midseason, according to Baseball America.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Trevor Story (11-for-23, 1 2B, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 10 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jon Gray (W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

18. Kansas City Royals (48-49, Previous: 17)

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    SP Danny Duffy
    SP Danny DuffyRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    With a loss on Sunday, the Kansas City Royals slipped below .500 for the first time since they were 18-19 back in May.

    So what does that mean for the defending champs' deadline plans?

    Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball wrote the following:

    As one person connected to the situation described it, the Royals “have to prepare on both fronts,” this deadline. That could mean selling off pieces such as bullpen stalwarts Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera, starting pitcher Edinson Volquez, and possibly even certain position players such as Lorenzo Cain.

    None of those players are set to hit free agency this coming offseason, so moving any of them would likely take a significant return. Kendrys Morales has a mutual option for next season and might make the most sense to be moved, while Dillon Gee and Chien-Ming Wang are both headed for free agency.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Cheslor Cuthbert (9-for-20, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Danny Duffy (W, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

17. Detroit Tigers (51-48, Previous: 14)

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    1B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Miguel CabreraKevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Detroit Tigers continue to struggle against AL Central opponents, as a series loss to the Minnesota Twins and a four-game split with the Chicago White Sox dropped their record to 18-23 against divisional foes.

    Despite that, they remain very much in the playoff hunt at six games back in the division standings and four back for the No. 2 wild-card spot.

    GM Al Avila recently told reporters the team will likely stand pat at the deadline.

    "I have been in contact with several GMs in sell mode. The asking price is too high right now, even for fifth starters," Avila said, per Jason Beck of MLB.com.

    Getting Jordan Zimmermann and J.D. Martinez back healthy could potentially give the team an in-house boost.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Miguel Cabrera (9-for-23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Justin Verlander (ND, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

16. New York Yankees (50-48, Previous: 18)

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    RF Carlos Beltran
    RF Carlos BeltranAnthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    The New York Yankees picked up series wins over the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants last week, but they remain 7.5 games back in the AL East standings and 4.5 back with three teams to pass for the second AL Wild Card.

    With that in mind, it's looking more and more likely that the team could consider dealing Carlos Beltran ahead of the deadline, especially after sending Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs on Monday, per Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

    In exchange for Chapman, the Yankees received pitcher Adam Warren and shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, along with outfielder prospects Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford.

    Torres was rated the No. 27 prospect by Baseball America in their midseason rankings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Carlos Beltran (10-for-24, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Michael Pineda (W, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

15. Seattle Mariners (50-48, Previous: 16)

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    DH Nelson Cruz
    DH Nelson CruzDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Seattle Mariners are back over .500 and into the upper half of these rankings after picking up series wins over the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays last week.

    They continue their current road trip with stops at PNC Park and Wrigley Field this coming week, leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline when the team is expected to be relatively quiet.

    The Mariners are one team that could kick the tires on an interesting shortstop market that includes the likes of Zack Cozart, Eduardo Nunez and Jed Lowrie.

    Incumbent Ketel Marte has hit just .273/.299/.358 on the year, and he was recently placed on the disabled list with mononucleosis. Even when he's fully recovered, he'll need time to get back into shape after losing six or seven pounds.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Nelson Cruz (8-for-23, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP James Paxton (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (51-47, Previous: 15)

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    SP Gerrit Cole
    SP Gerrit ColeCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    A 9-19 month of June left the Pittsburgh Pirates looking like potential sellers as trade season began, but they've recovered nicely to go 13-6 so far this month.

    The Pirates are now looking for pitching help and have been listed among the teams keeping an eye on the Tampa Bay Rays' stable of available starting pitchers, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    Gerrit Cole looked sharp in his second start back from the disabled list on Friday, and getting him back to front-line form could lessen the need to acquire an impact starter.

    With off days on Monday and Thursday, the team has some wiggle room with their rotation for the time being, but they have yet to decide on starters for their weekend series with the Milwaukee Brewers. 

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Matt Joyce (3-for-7, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Gerrit Cole (L, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

13. Miami Marlins (53-45, Previous: 12)

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    SP Jose Fernandez
    SP Jose FernandezEric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Miami Marlins took three of four from the Philadelphia Phillies to begin last week but lost their weekend series to the New York Mets.

    Despite that, they remain a half-game ahead of the Mets for the second NL wild-card spot while trailing the Washington Nationals by 4.5 games in the NL East standings.

    The Marlins have cast a wide net in their search for starting pitching help to slot behind ace Jose Fernandez, and they are also in the market for a left-handed reliever, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

    Adding speedy second baseman Dee Gordon back to the lineup will be like a deadline addition of sorts, though he won't be eligible for the postseason after serving an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Christian Yelich (12-for-31, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jose Fernandez (W, ND, 13.1 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 21 K)

12. New York Mets (52-45, Previous: 11)

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    3B Jose Reyes
    3B Jose ReyesSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    After losing two of three to the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets managed to pick up a series win over the Miami Marlins as those two continue to battle for a wild-card spot while keeping the Washington Nationals in their sights.

    Adding a quality arm to the bullpen tops the Mets' deadline to-do list, and they have shown interest in Joe Smith (LAA), Chris Withrow (ATL) and Jeremy Jeffress (MIL), according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

    If the team decides to make a splash, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy could be the target.

    According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the two sides have been discussing a deal that would send incumbent catcher Travis d'Arnaud and one of the club's top prospects to Milwaukee in exchange for Lucroy. A packaged deal that includes the aforementioned Jeffress could also make sense.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Jose Reyes (7-for-26, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Hansel Robles (3 G, 2 W, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

11. Toronto Blue Jays (55-44, Previous: 10)

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    SP Marcus Stroman
    SP Marcus StromanMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-2

    The Toronto Blue Jays remain within striking distance of the AL East lead, trailing the Baltimore Orioles by just three games after a 3-2 week that included a series loss to the Seattle Mariners.

    The Blue Jays hold the No. 2 wild-card spot with a half-game lead over the Houston Astros. The AL playoff picture remains crowded, to say the least.

    According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the team is targeting both starting pitching and relievers, and what the club decides to do with Aaron Sanchez and his innings limit will no doubt have an impact on their deadline plans.

    At any rate, a strong start from Marcus Stroman last time out—and in two of his last three starts—has to give the team some hope that things may finally be clicking for the young right-hander.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Edwin Encarnacion (4-for-17, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Marcus Stroman (W, 8.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

10. St. Louis Cardinals (52-46, Previous: 13)

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    2B Jedd Gyorko
    2B Jedd GyorkoBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    A four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres made it a good week for the St. Louis Cardinals, but they were unable to keep it rolling as they dropped two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers with a loss on Sunday Night Baseball.

    Jedd Gyorko has given the team a nice boost with Matt Carpenter sidelined with a strained oblique. Gyorko has absolutely demolished his former team this year, going 14-for-25 with one triple, six home runs and 11 RBI in seven games against the Padres.

    Chances are it will be a relatively quiet deadline for the Cardinals.

    The team could use some relief help with the bullpen in flux due to the struggles of Trevor Rosenthal, but chances are they won't make any flashy additions before the Aug. 1 deadline.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jedd Gyorko (10-for-27, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Carlos Martinez (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

9. Texas Rangers (57-42, Previous: 6)

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    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Yu DarvishDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    After getting swept by a surging Los Angeles Angels team, the Texas Rangers rebounded to take two of three from the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.

    With that, they maintain a 2.5-game lead in the AL West standings, but the Houston Astros continue to chip away at that deficit. Those two teams still have nine games remaining head-to-head, but the Rangers have dominated the season series so far at 9-1.

    The Rangers are casting a wide net in their search for starting pitching help, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Whether it's a blockbuster deal for a front-line arm or not, expect them to add a pitcher of some sort before the deadline.

    With Joey Gallo and Lewis Brinson headlining a deep Rangers farm system and a front office that has never shied away from the big summer trade, they're certainly a team to watch in the days to come.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Rougned Odor (10-for-25, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Yu Darvish (L, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

8. Houston Astros (54-44, Previous: 8)

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    SP Lance McCullers
    SP Lance McCullersThomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Houston Astros shot up these rankings during an 18-8 month of June, and they've continued to play terrific baseball in July with a 12-7 record and a plus-34 run differential.

    They closed out last week by sweeping a red-hot Los Angeles Angels team and are now just a half-game back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second AL wild-card spot.

    The Astros are among the teams looking for left-handed relief help at the deadline. Tony Sipp (38 G, 4.91 ERA) has struggled to match the success he's had the past few seasons, and he's the only southpaw to make an appearance out of the Houston bullpen so far this year.

    On the position-player side of things, top prospect Alex Bregman has finally been promoted, and he's set to make his MLB debut on Monday.

    He'll likely be used primarily at third base, but he could also see time in left field and as the team's designated hitter, according to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jose Altuve (14-for-25, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Lance McCullers (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K)

7. San Francisco Giants (58-40, Previous: 3)

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    RF Mac Williamson
    RF Mac WilliamsonCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-4

    The San Francisco Giants snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the New York Yankees on Saturday, but they still dropped their third consecutive series with a loss on Sunday. Things have not gone well since the All-Star break.

    Shortstop Brandon Crawford explained the Giants' recent struggles to reporters, including Chris Haft of MLB.com:

    I don't think it really mattered where we played these last eight games. We didn't play good baseball like we were before the [All-Star] break. Making too many errors, myself included, and just not really getting the big hits when we needed them. And then giving up a lot of home runs -- that doesn't help on the pitching side.

    The team is looking for a "meaningful piece" to add to the bullpen before the deadline, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area.

    Meanwhile, getting Hunter Pence and Joe Panik back healthy, among others, should give the offense a boost.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Mac Williamson (6-for-14, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Johnny Cueto (ND, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

6. Boston Red Sox (55-41, Previous: 7)

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    1B Hanley Ramirez
    1B Hanley RamirezKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    After sweeping a quick two-game series with the San Francisco Giants, the Boston Red Sox split a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins.

    That leaves them as the No. 1 AL Wild Card as things stand, though they are obviously still eyeing an AL East title at just 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.

    Even after acquiring Drew Pomeranz, the team is still searching for starting pitching help, according to Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald.

    There is certainly no shortage of attractive prospect talent in the Boston farm system. Even if the team decides to make both Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi untouchable, they could land another impact player before the deadline.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Hanley Ramirez (7-for-21, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Steven Wright (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

5. Washington Nationals (58-41, Previous: 2)

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    2B Daniel Murphy
    2B Daniel MurphyGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    After climbing to No. 2 in these rankings a week ago, the Washington Nationals slide back down a few spots following series losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

    Now they head out on a nine-game road trip, where they'll take on the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. They've been one of the better road teams in baseball this year at 27-21 away from Nationals Park.

    Adding a back-of-the-bullpen reliever appears to be the team's No. 1 priority, with Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball listing Wade Davis as their top target and David Robertson, Trevor Rosenthal and others as potential fallback options.

    Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles will all be untouchable, but a package built around Reynaldo Lopez or Erick Fedde would still be awfully attractive to a rebuilding club.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Daniel Murphy (9-for-21, 5 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Max Scherzer (ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-44, Previous: 9)

27 of 30

    3B Justin Turner
    3B Justin TurnerBrad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Los Angeles Dodgers picked up a pair of impressive series wins last week, besting the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals to climb to No. 4 in the rankings, matching their highest position of the season.

    While the team continues to hold its breath regarding the health of ace Clayton Kershaw and his balky back, the offense has come to life behind Justin Turner, Howie Kendrick and others.

    They're averaging 5.89 runs per game since the All-Star break after plating just 4.20 per contest during the first half of the season.

    Still, adding an outfielder at the deadline would make a lot of sense, and they've been linked to both Jay Bruce and Josh Reddick, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Justin Turner (11-for-28, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Scott Kazmir (2 W, 12.0 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

3. Cleveland Indians (56-41, Previous: 1)

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    CF Tyler Naquin
    CF Tyler NaquinDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Cleveland Indians were swept by the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, dropping them to No. 3 in the rankings after they had claimed the No. 1 spot for a second time this year.

    For all that has been made of the Indians being without All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley, his shoulder issues have opened the door for a breakout performance from Tyler Naquin.

    The 25-year-old rookie is hitting .321/.380/.626 with 11 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, 30 RBI and 32 runs scored in 207 plate appearances. He may not be the front-runner, but he's definitely in the conversation for AL Rookie of the Year honors.

    The Indians have had talks with the Milwaukee Brewers about catcher Jonathan Lucroy, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. They are also in search of some bullpen help, and incumbent closer Cody Allen is open to changing roles if the team lands one of the big fish, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Tyler Naquin (7-for-18, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Carlos Carrasco (W, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

2. Baltimore Orioles (57-40, Previous: 5)

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    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Chris TillmanJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Baltimore Orioles briefly held the No. 3 spot in these rankings back in May, but they now climb to the top spot among AL teams once again after sweeping the Cleveland Indians.

    After getting rocked in his first career start, former top prospect Dylan Bundy looked sharp last week as he allowed five hits, no walks and one unearned run in five innings of work. He has a chance to be a real X-factor in a starting rotation that desperately needs one.

    The Orioles and Padres were discussing a potential swap of Ubaldo Jimenez and Melvin Upton Jr. last week, with other pieces involved, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    Upgrading the starting rotation is still the most obvious need for the Orioles, but finding some outfield help figures to be on the docket as well.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jonathan Schoop (6-for-29, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chris Tillman (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

1. Chicago Cubs (59-38, Previous: 4)

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    SP Kyle Hendricks
    SP Kyle HendricksDavid Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    After a four-week hiatus, the Chicago Cubs are once again baseball's No. 1 team.

    All-Star center fielder Dexter Fowler returned to action on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

    "It's really apparent how important he is to us," manager Joe Maddon told reporters, including Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. "It's really good to have him in there. The guys feed off all that."

    The team acquired some bullpen help last week in the form of left-hander Mike Montgomery, who was picked up in a four-player deal with the Seattle Mariners. They weren't done dealing yet, though.

    They picked up flamethrowing Aroldis Chapman on Monday, per Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball, sending top prospect Gleyber Torres, pitcher Adam Warren and two outfielder prospects to the Yankees. 

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Anthony Rizzo (5-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kyle Hendricks (W, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted. Hitter and Pitcher of the Week stats reflect the week from Monday, July 18 through Sunday, July 24.