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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2016

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

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    Kyle Hendricks has been the Chicago Cubs' best pitcher all summer.
    Kyle Hendricks has been the Chicago Cubs' best pitcher all summer.Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

    Now that we've had some time to digest what went down at the MLB trade deadline and have seen how teams are faring with their new roster additions, it's time for another look at how all 30 teams stack up.

    The Texas Rangers briefly climbed into the No. 1 spot in these rankings thanks to their flurry of deadline activity, but their stay at the top was short-lived. We have a new top team once again this week.

    Further down the rankings, the Detroit Tigers have been the hottest team in baseball and have moved comfortably into the top 10, while the San Francisco Giants' struggles continued. They are now in danger of falling out of the top 10.

    The Minnesota Twins also made a nice climb after dominating the Cleveland Indians, while the Houston Astros continued to fall with another tough week.

    As always, 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. Milwaukee Brewers (49-60, Previous: 26)

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    SS Jonathan Villar
    SS Jonathan VillarBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    Series losses to the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks send the Milwaukee Brewers tumbling to the No. 30 spot in these rankings for the first time all year.

    The Brewers have actually played above .500 (30-25) at home this season, but they've been absolutely crushed on the road with a 19-35 record and a minus-60 run differential.

    While it hasn't been a great season for the Brewers from a win-loss standpoint, they do have two of the biggest surprise performers in all of baseball in Jonathan Villar (.306 BA, .845 OPS, 43 SB) and Junior Guerra (17 GS, 7-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.090 WHIP).

    At the very least, those two can be trade chips to help add more young talent to a suddenly loaded farm system.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Jonathan Villar (11-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R, 5 SB)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Garza (W, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

29. Atlanta Braves (41-70, Previous: 30)

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    CF Ender Inciarte
    CF Ender InciarteBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Atlanta Braves have quietly gone 8-4 in their last 12 games, and they picked up series wins against the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals last week.

    The Braves placed ace Julio Teheran on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained right lat muscle, opening the door for Rob Whalen and Roberto Hernandez to become the 13th and 14th different pitchers to start a game for them.

    Meanwhile, veteran reliever Jim Johnson (42 G, 8/11 SV, 3.70 ERA 1.258 WHIP, 8.5 K/9) remains the most likely player to be moved in an August waiver deal.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Ender Inciarte (12-for-26, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 9 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tyrell Jenkins (ND, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (45-66, Previous: 28)

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

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have won consecutive games just once since besting the Colorado Rockies on June 23 and 24, going a combined 9-26 since then and steadily sliding down these rankings as a result.

    Lost in the wildly disappointing season has been a solid performance from last year's big-money addition, Yasmany Tomas. The 25-year-old turned in a somewhat disappointing rookie campaign with a .707 OPS, nine home runs and 48 RBI in 426 plate appearances after signing a six-year, $68.5 million deal.

    This year, he has posted a .815 OPS with 21 doubles, 21 home runs and 48 RBI in 387 plate appearances to join Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb as a dangerous middle-of-the-order trio.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Yasmany Tomas (8-for-23, 4 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Braden Shipley (ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 2 K)

27. San Diego Padres (48-63, Previous: 29)

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    SP Edwin Jackson
    SP Edwin JacksonDenis Poroy/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    The San Diego Padres picked up a series win against the Milwaukee Brewers to begin last week but then dropped two of three to the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend.

    Unloading Matt Kemp has allowed them to give Alex Dickerson an extended look in the outfield. So far, he has posted a .912 OPS with six doubles, seven home runs and 21 RBI in 111 plate appearances.

    With Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe both knocking on the door, this might be the 26-year-old's one chance to prove he's deserving of a large role.

    Catcher Derek Norris earned the No. 1 spot among MLBTradeRumors.com's list of the top 20 August waiver trade candidates. Outfielder Jon Jay is also a candidate to be moved if he can make his way back from a fractured forearm he suffered in June.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Wil Myers (11-for-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Edwin Jackson (W, 8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

26. Oakland Athletics (48-63, Previous: 23)

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    1B Yonder Alonso
    1B Yonder AlonsoTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-5

    The Oakland Athletics are 1-8 in their last nine games after the Chicago Cubs swept them over the weekend. They've now fallen behind the Los Angeles Angels and into last place in the AL West standings.

    With Jesse Hahn (shoulder) and Sonny Gray (forearm) both landing on the disabled list last week, Oakland will need to decide on a starter for its Wednesday and Thursday games against the Baltimore Orioles. Jharel Cotton, who was part of the return package in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade at the deadline and currently ranks as the team's No. 16 prospect, per MLB.com, is among the candidates to get the call.

    Dillon Overton and Daniel Mengden have both seem time in the majors this year, while Raul Alcantara is also an option pitching alongside them in Triple-A.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Yonder Alonso (7-for-20, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Sonny Gray (L, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

25. Tampa Bay Rays (45-65, Previous: 25)

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    SP Jake Odorizzi
    SP Jake OdorizziDon Feria/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-4

    Despite selling at the deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have gone 7-4 in their last 11 games, and they continue to be a tough draw with a pitching staff that's capable of shutting down an opponent on any given night.

    Jake Odorizzi ran his scoreless streak to 20.2 innings with six shutout frames against the Kansas City Royals last week, and he'll look to keep it rolling against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

    How about Brad Miller for one of the surprise performers of 2016? The 26-year-old has posted an .809 OPS and ranks fourth among shortstops with 20 home runs, setting a franchise record in the process.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Brad Miller (8-for-25, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Odorizzi (W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

24. Cincinnati Reds (45-65, Previous: 24)

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    2B Brandon Phillips
    2B Brandon PhillipsBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Cincinnati Reds picked up a series win against the St. Louis Cardinals last week before dropping two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Joey Votto is once again putting on a second-half clinic with a .449/.565/.681 line since the All-Star break. He posted a .362/.535/.617 line in the second half last season to propel him to a third-place finish in NL MVP voting.

    On the pitching side, the trio of Anthony DeSclafani, Dan Straily and Brandon Finnegan has been on a roll lately, and the bullpen has found some semblance of consistency after an abysmal start to the year. Facing the Reds down the stretch won't be a cakewalk.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Brandon Phillips (12-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Brandon Finnegan (W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

23. Los Angeles Angels (49-62, Previous: 21)

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    CF Mike Trout
    CF Mike TroutDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    A series win against the Oakland Athletics was enough to propel the Los Angeles Angels out of the AL West sewer, even though they followed it up with a sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

    It would appear the Tim Lincecum experiment is over, as the Angels designated him for assignment over the weekend following another rough start Friday. He was 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in nine starts, and he did not record a quality start after his debut.

    Jhoulys Chacin is an option to move into the rotation once again after he was relegated to the bullpen; otherwise, the Angels could be calling on their 13th different starter this year.

    Third baseman Yunel Escobar and setup man Fernando Salas are both candidates to be moved in an August waiver deal, so they'll be worth keeping an eye on in the days to come.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Mike Trout (7-for-19, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Shoemaker (W, L, 14.0 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

22. Minnesota Twins (45-66, Previous: 27)

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    SP Ervin Santana
    SP Ervin SantanaJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    The Minnesota Twins had a solid week, picking up series wins over the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays. As a result, they climb five spots in these rankings.

    The offense exploded for 35 runs in the first three games against the Indians, and they are now 8-5 with a plus-12 run differential on the year against a team many consider to be one of the favorites in the AL.

    Outfielder Max Kepler is making a late push into the AL Rookie of the Year discussion with a 1.013 OPS and seven home runs since the All-Star break. All told, he has posted an .878 OPS with 13 doubles and 15 home runs in just 258 plate appearances.

    Keep an eye on closer Brandon Kintzler (37 G, 9/10 SV, 1.96 ERA, 1.009 WHIP, 5.4 K/9) as an August waiver trade candidate. The 32-year-old is on a cheap contract and is under team control through next season, so he would undoubtedly generate some interest.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joe Mauer (14-for-25, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ervin Santana (W, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

21. Chicago White Sox (53-58, Previous: 17)

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    1B Jose Abreu
    1B Jose AbreuGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    After losing three consecutive series, the Chicago White Sox have fallen to five games under .500, bringing them into a tie with the Kansas City Royals for third place in the AL Central. They've gone 30-48 since jumping out to a 23-10 start that saw them briefly climb as high as No. 2 in these rankings.

    Starter James Shields and closer David Robertson both have to be considered viable August trade candidates, and the White Sox would be foolish not to seriously consider moving both guys.

    Their upcoming road trip will be huge when it comes to their chances of finishing the year with a winning record, as they take on the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Jose Abreu (9-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chris Sale (L, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

20. Philadelphia Phillies (52-61, Previous: 22)

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    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    SP Jeremy HellicksonBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Philadelphia Phillies put together a nice week with series wins over the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, including scoring a season-high 13 runs against the Giants on Tuesday.

    Jake Thompson, who was part of the return package for Cole Hamels last summer, made his MLB debut on Saturday, allowing seven hits and six runs in 4.1 innings of work.

    "Kind of typical for a guy in his debut," manager Pete Mackanin told reporters, via Matt Gelb of Philly.com. "He's 22 years old. You can't judge him on this outing."

    He'll get another start on Friday against the Colorado Rockies, and he's capable of more than he showed in his debut. The 22-year-old was 8-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.942 WHIP in the 11 starts leading up to his promotion.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Cameron Rupp (5-for-18, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jeremy Hellickson (W, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

19. Kansas City Royals (53-58, Previous: 19)

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    SP Danny Duffy
    SP Danny DuffyJohn Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    Despite posting a winning record last week thanks to a series win against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Kansas City Royals are still just 6-13 in their last 19 games.

    A dismal 19-38 record away from Kauffman Stadium is largely to blame for the Royals' disappointing performance so far this season, and the offense has been the biggest culprit. While they're hitting .282 as a team and averaging 4.65 runs per game at home, that dips to a .246 average and 3.07 runs per game on the road.

    Danny Duffy threw an absolute gem Monday, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a franchise-record 16 batters over eight innings. That was good for a 95 Game Score, tied for fourth-best here in 2016.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Paulo Orlando (13-for-26, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Danny Duffy (2 W, 14.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 22 K)

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-54, Previous: 18)

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    SP Ivan Nova
    SP Ivan NovaJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Pittsburgh Pirates followed up a series loss to the Atlanta Braves by taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds. They remain one game over .500 and three games back for the second NL wild-card spot.

    With Juan Nicasio and Jeff Locke working out of the bullpen and both Jon Niese and Francisco Liriano traded at the deadline, it's a different-looking rotation in Pittsburgh these days. Joining Gerrit Cole are Jameson Taillon, a healthy Ryan Vogelsong, newcomer Ivan Nova and rookie Chad Kuhl, who the Pirates will recall to start on Tuesday.

    Drew Hutchison and Steven Brault are also rotation options currently pitching in Triple-A, and the final two months will be as much about evaluating those pitching options with an eye on 2017 as anything.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Josh Harrison (5-for-15, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ivan Nova (W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

17. New York Yankees (56-55, Previous: 20)

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    1B Mark Teixeira
    1B Mark TeixeiraBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    It was an eventful week for the New York Yankees, to say the least.

    On Friday, veteran first baseman Mark Teixeira announced that he'll retire at the end of the season, as the laundry list of injuries he's dealt with the past few years have caught up to him.

    Two days later, Alex Rodriguez announced that he too intends to retire. The Yankees will release him following Friday's game, after which he'll assume an advisory role with the franchise through the duration of his contract, which runs through next year.

    Amid all of that off-the-field hubbub, the Yankees managed to split a four-game series with the New York Mets and took two of three from the Cleveland Indians.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Mark Teixeira (6-for-19, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Adam Warren (4 G, W, HLD, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

16. Colorado Rockies (55-56, Previous: 16)

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    RF Carlos Gonzalez
    RF Carlos GonzalezIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Colorado Rockies followed a series win against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a series loss to the Miami Marlins, putting them one game under .500 and four games back for a wild-card berth.

    All things considered, it's been a successful season for the Rockies to this point. They're searching for their first winning season since 2010 and perhaps more if they can mount a late push in the wild-card standings.

    The emergence of Jon Gray has given the Rockies the closest thing they've had to a front-line starter since Ubaldo Jimenez was at his best, and the 24-year-old still has plenty of room for improvement.

    The Rockies currently rank 27th in the majors with a 4.78 ERA as a team. Nothing to write home about on the surface, but a marked improvement over the 5.04 ERA they put up a year ago.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Carlos Gonzalez (8-for-20, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tyler Anderson (W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

15. Houston Astros (57-54, Previous: 13)

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    2B Jose Altuve
    2B Jose AltuveTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    The Houston Astros were the hottest team in baseball a few weeks ago, but they've gone 3-10 in their last 13 games to fall back to third in the AL West standings.

    While they have an AL-best 2.31 ERA so far in the month of August, the offense has not done its part, hitting .210 and averaging 2.14 runs per game.

    Despite those recent struggles and the fact they're on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, second baseman Jose Altuve might still be the favorite for AL MVP at the moment. He's hitting .356/.423/.567 with 29 doubles, 19 home runs, 67 RBI, 80 runs scored and 25 stolen bases, emerging as one of the most dynamic all-around offensive players in the game.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jose Altuve (10-for-29, 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dallas Keuchel (W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

14. Miami Marlins (59-52, Previous: 12)

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    LF Christian Yelich
    LF Christian YelichSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    After a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins bounced back to take two of three from the Colorado Rockies, leaving them with a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL wild-card spot.

    The Marlins moved David Phelps into the starting rotation, at least for now, after he put together a dominant season out of the bullpen. In 50 appearances, he went 5-5 with a team-high 22 holds to go along with a 2.65 ERA, 1.141 WHIP and 11.4 K/9. He threw 4.1 scoreless innings in his first start of the year on Friday.

    A big series with the San Francisco Giants in Miami kicks off the upcoming week of action.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Christian Yelich (11-for-26, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tom Koehler (ND, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

13. Seattle Mariners (57-53, Previous: 15)

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    SP James Paxton
    SP James PaxtonCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    The Seattle Mariners are now 10-6 in their last 16 games after splitting a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox and then sweeping the Los Angeles Angels last week.

    That leaves them four games over .500 and 3.5 games back for the second AL wild-card spot, and they're finally getting close to full health with Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker back from the disabled list.

    Rookie Edwin Diaz has taken over the closer's role in place of the injured Steve Cishek and was 4-for-4 on save chances last week. In 28 total appearances, he has a 1.86 ERA and a whopping 56 strikeouts in 29 innings for a 17.4 K/9.

    Catcher Mike Zunino is also back after spending the bulk of the season in the minors, and he's posted a 1.177 OPS with three doubles and six home runs in 16 games so far.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Mike Zunino (4-for-13, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP James Paxton (W, ND, 16.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

12. St. Louis Cardinals (58-53, Previous: 8)

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    SP Jaime Garcia
    SP Jaime GarciaAnthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The St. Louis Cardinals dropped a pair of series to last-place teams last week in the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, causing their deficit in the NL Central to swell to 11.5 games.

    The Cardinals' struggles at home this year continue to be one of the most puzzling anomalies in baseball. Last year, they were one of the league's best home teams with a 55-26 record at Busch Stadium, but they have already lost more games there this season with a 26-32 record.

    This coming week will begin with a chance to avenge last week's series loss to the Reds. A huge four-game series with the rival Cubs in Chicago follows.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Brandon Moss (8-for-25, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jaime Garcia (W, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

11. New York Mets (57-54, Previous: 10)

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    2B Neil Walker
    2B Neil WalkerRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The New York Mets began last week by splitting the four-game Subway Series with the New York Yankees, but they proceeded to drop two of three to a streaking Detroit Tigers team.

    They're now 10-13 since the All-Star break and two games behind the Miami Marlins for both second place in the NL East and the No. 2 wild-card spot.

    Jay Bruce is off to a 4-for-24 start since coming over in a deadline deal with the Cincinnati Reds, but he has homered twice and driven in four runs. With the Mets' offense averaging 3.39 runs per game since the All-Star break, they desperately need him to be an impact bat if they're to have any chance of chasing down the Washington Nationals.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Neil Walker (11-for-30, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jacob deGrom (W, ND, 13.2 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K)

10. Boston Red Sox (60-50, Previous: 9)

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    SP Steven Wright
    SP Steven WrightJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Boston Red Sox are 6-11 in their last 17 games after dropping two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, leaving them three games back in the AL East and a half-game behind the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card slot.

    July trade prize Drew Pomeranz has been a mixed bag in his first four starts with the Red Sox. He's been sharp in two starts and hit hard in two others en route to a 6.20 ERA during his time in Boston.

    Meanwhile, outfielder Andrew Benintendi is off to a nice start to his pro career, with a 5-for-13 showing in his first five MLB games. He has a chance to lock down the starting left field job the rest of the way, which would allow Brock Holt to return to the super utility role where he thrived in the past.

    The rival New York Yankees come to town for three games to kick off the upcoming week looking to play spoiler.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Mookie Betts (12-for-30, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Steven Wright (W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

9. San Francisco Giants (63-48, Previous: 5)

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    1B Brandon Belt
    1B Brandon BeltIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The San Francisco Giants have gone an MLB-worst 6-15 since the All-Star break, and their struggles continued last week with series losses to the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.

    With Joe Panik and Hunter Pence back healthy and the trio of Eduardo Nunez, Matt Moore and Will Smith acquired at the trade deadline, the Giants theoretically should be hitting their stride right about now.

    Nunez has posted an .808 OPS with two doubles and two home runs, but Moore walked six in a shaky no-decision in his Giants debut and Smith allowed three hits and two earned runs with a loss in his first three appearances.

    Things won't get any easier this week as they take on a pair of contenders in the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles, but something needs to change soon with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers having pulled within one game in the NL West standings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Brandon Belt (6-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Johnny Cueto (ND, 7.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

8. Baltimore Orioles (63-47, Previous: 14)

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    SP Dylan Bundy
    SP Dylan BundyEvan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Series wins against the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox move the Baltimore Orioles back inside the top 10 after their quiet trade deadline cost them a handful of spots a week ago.

    Credit the Orioles' ability to beat fellow AL East foes as a big reason why they currently sit atop the division standings, as their 26-19 in-division record is among the best in the AL.

    Dylan Bundy has given the starting rotation a much-needed shot in the arm since transitioning from the bullpen, having gone 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA, 0.852 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 27 innings over five starts. The big question now is how far Baltimore will stretch the 23-year-old, who is finally healthy after throwing just 63.1 total innings the past three years.

    "A healthy Bundy could make the Orioles contenders down the road," wrote Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. "An effective Bundy as a starting pitcher could solidify the Orioles as contenders this year. How the latter influences the former could be a seminal stretch for the entire Orioles franchise."

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Pedro Alvarez (8-for-16, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dylan Bundy (2 W, 13.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 16 K)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-49, Previous: 6)

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

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged their week with a win against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball, and they even managed to close the gap on the San Francisco Giants as their deficit in the NL West now stands at just one game.

    Justin Turner remains one of the hottest hitters in baseball, putting up a 1.073 OPS with nine doubles, seven home runs and 21 RBI in 20 games since the All-Star break. The 31-year-old is a free agent at season's end and is setting himself up for a nice payday if he can keep things rolling.

    The Dodgers will look to catch and pass the Giants this week as they host the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates for three games each.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Justin Turner (8-for-24, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Kenley Jansen (3/3 SV, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

6. Detroit Tigers (61-50, Previous: 11)

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    1B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Miguel CabreraRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    At 10-2 in their last 12 games, the Detroit Tigers have the best record in baseball over the past two weeks, and they have climbed into the second AL wild-card spot as a result.

    Getting J.D. Martinez back healthy has been a big addition to the lineup, but injuries continue to be an issue. Jordan Zimmermann returned to the disabled list with a neck strain and Nick Castellanos joined him after suffering a fractured hand.

    Castellanos, who has put together a breakout season at the plate, will miss at least a month, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

    The Tigers called up veteran Casey McGehee from Triple-A, and it appears as though he'll get the first crack at taking over the third base job. The 33-year-old was hitting .322/.376/.449 with 37 doubles, five home runs and 49 RBI in 449 plate appearances for Toledo.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Miguel Cabrera (10-for-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Anibal Sanchez (W, ND, 14.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)

5. Cleveland Indians (62-47, Previous: 3)

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    SP Corey Kluber
    SP Corey KluberKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    After getting absolutely hammered by the Minnesota Twins at the start of last week, the Cleveland Indians then dropped two of three to the New York Yankees.

    The Tribe were outscored 55-39 last week as their vaunted pitching staff allowed double-digit runs four different times. They also lost All-Star Danny Salazar to elbow inflammation, with right-hander Mike Clevinger set to take his place in the rotation.

    Time will tell if this is just a bump in the road for the Indians or something more, but in the meantime, the streaking Detroit Tigers have pulled within two games in the AL Central standings. 

    The Indians begin an 11-game homestand on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, and with a 31-20 record at home on the year, this could be exactly what they need to get back on track.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Mike Napoli (9-for-27, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Corey Kluber (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

4. Toronto Blue Jays (63-49, Previous: 7)

27 of 30

    2B Devon Travis
    2B Devon TravisJohn Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Toronto Blue Jays currently have a two-game cushion in the No. 1 AL wild-card spot, but they undoubtedly have their sights set on catching the Baltimore Orioles, who they currently trail by a single game in the AL East standings.

    The Blue Jays are now 9-5 in their last 14 games after taking three of four from the Houston Astros last week, though they did close out the weekend with consecutive losses to the Kansas City Royals.

    It appears as though the plan to move Aaron Sanchez to the bullpen to limit his innings has been scratched in favor of a six-man rotation, with newcomer Francisco Liriano joining the current five-man staff, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

    "We laid out a plan in spring training we thought was the perfect plan back then," manager John Gibbons told reporters, including Davidi. "Sanchie’s been so good and so strong, he hasn’t labored, so things started changing."

    Sanchez is currently at 145.1 innings with an AL-best 2.85 ERA to show for it. He threw just 102 innings between the majors and the minors last year, which was a new career high.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Devon Travis (11-for-31, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Marco Estrada (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

3. Washington Nationals (66-45, Previous: 4)

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    C Wilson Ramos
    C Wilson RamosMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    The Washington Nationals remain the class of the NL East, and their lead over the Miami Marlins has swelled to seven games after series wins against the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants last week.

    With the addition of Mark Melancon at the deadline to solidify the back of the bullpen, it's hard to find an obvious weakness on the Nationals' roster. They look to be well-positioned for a strong finish to the season and a legitimate playoff push.

    They have the benefit of off days on Monday and Thursday this coming week, which will allow them to go with a four-man rotation while Joe Ross continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury. He's been sidelined since July 3 and was pulled from his latest rehab assignment. 

    After outscoring their opponents 39-16 last week, they'll look to keep it going against the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves this week.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Wilson Ramos (10-for-19, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Gio Gonzalez (W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

2. Texas Rangers (65-47, Previous: 1)

29 of 30

    C Jonathan Lucroy
    C Jonathan LucroyGreg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Texas Rangers split the first week with their new-look roster, dropping two of three to the Baltimore Orioles and then besting the Houston Astros over the weekend.

    Jonathan Lucroy (6-for-20, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI) and Carlos Beltran (7-for-21, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI) both kicked off their Rangers careers in style, and what was already a good offensive attack now looks great.

    Derek Holland is finally on the rehab trail after shoulder inflammation sidelined him on June 21, as he pitched two scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Friday. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 20 and could be an X-factor over the final month.

    The Rangers will look to extend their seven-game lead in the AL West this week, but it won't be easy. They take on two teams playing very well right now in the Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Jonathan Lucroy (6-for-20, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Yu Darvish (ND, L, 13.1 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 17 K)

1. Chicago Cubs (69-41, Previous: 2)

30 of 30

    SP Kyle Hendricks
    SP Kyle HendricksPatrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 6-0

    The Chicago Cubs were briefly supplanted as the No. 1 team in these rankings after the Texas Rangers made the biggest splash of anyone at the deadline, but a pair of series sweeps has them back on top.

    Kyle Hendricks was terrific again last week with a pair of brilliant starts, and he's now second in the NL with a 2.17 ERA on the year. Going back to June 19, he's gone 7-1 with a 1.06 ERA, 1.045 WHIP and a .212 opponent's batting average, breaking out as one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball.

    The new-look bullpen remains something of a work in progress as the Cubs continue to sort out roles ahead of Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman, but it's a talented stable of relievers and should be a strength down the stretch.

    Their division lead stands at 11.5 games, and they'll welcome the second-place St. Louis Cardinals to town this coming weekend.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Dexter Fowler (9-for-24, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kyle Hendricks (2 W, 16.1 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted. Hitter and pitcher of the week stats refer to the week starting Monday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 7.

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