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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2016

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

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    Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

    We've arrived at the quarter-pole mark of the 2016 MLB season, as we're now just a month-and-a-half away from the conclusion of the regular season and the start of another exciting slate of postseason baseball.

    However, before the playoffs begin, there's still an awful lot to be sorted out.

    The top teams took care of business last week, and the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians once again fill the top five spots in our rankings.

    There was a good deal of shuffling in the spots below them, though.

    The Seattle Mariners are making a strong push on the American League side of things, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are on their way back up after looking all but out of it a few weeks ago.

    Meanwhile, the offensively challenged New York Mets are heading in the wrong direction, and the Miami Marlins will be without slugger Giancarlo Stanton the rest of the way, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. 

    It might not take more than 85 wins to claim the final National League wild-card spot, though, so those two teams are still in the hunt.

    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 weekIf a club keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

30. Milwaukee Brewers (52-64, Previous: 30)

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    LF Ryan Braun
    LF Ryan BraunCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Milwaukee Brewers were on a nice 7-2 run leading up to the trade deadline on Aug. 1, but they've since been feeling the loss of catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

    After a four-game split with the Atlanta Braves and a series loss to the Cincinnati Reds last week, things won't get any easier as they hit the road to take on the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners.

    Ryan Braun turned in a huge game on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI, and he now ranks fourth in the NL in batting average (.328) and third in OPS (.962).

    If he can finish the year strong, it will be interesting to see if more teams come calling on the trade market this winter. His contract remains a sticking point, but impact bats will be at a premium.

             

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Ryan Braun (.962 OPS, 19 2B, 22 HR, 65 RBI, 61 R, 13 SB)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Junior Guerra (17 GS, 7-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 90 K, 107.1 IP) 

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Junior Guerra (17 GS, 7-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 90 K, 107.1 IP)

29. Atlanta Braves (44-74, Previous: 29)

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    SP Julio Teheran
    SP Julio TeheranJason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Atlanta Braves have quietly gone 11-8 in their last 19 games, although they were only able to split a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers last week before dropping two of three to the Washington Nationals.

    Freddie Freeman is having a terrific all-around season at the plate, and he's doing it with next to nothing in the way of protection in the lineup.

    He leads the team in a number of categories, but it's his substantial lead in OPS (.918) and home runs (23) that tells the story. Jace Peterson (.729 OPS) and Adonis Garcia (9 HR) check in at second in those categories, respectively.

    The Braves will look to improve on a 1-8 showing against the Nationals so far this year when they host them for a four-game series this coming weekend.

               

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Freddie Freeman (.918 OPS, 29 2B, 23 HR, 54 RBI, 66 R)

                

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Julio Teheran (21 GS, 3-9, 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 119 K, 134.2 IP)

              

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Mauricio Cabrera (22 G, 5 HLD, 2.78 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 7.9 K/9)

28. Los Angeles Angels (49-68, Previous: 23)

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    CF Mike Trout
    CF Mike TroutCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 0-6

    The Los Angeles Angels enter the week riding a 10-game losing streak after being swept by the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians last week.

    According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that's the longest losing streak under manager Mike Scioscia and the longest for the team since they dropped 11 in a row in July 1999.

    "It's frustrating, we lost 10 games in a row. But we have to get ready to play. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. Hopefully we can turn things around," Albert Pujols told reporters, per Jordan Bastian and Shane Jackson of MLB.com.

    They'll welcome a change by heading back home, where they're 26-29 on the year, after an 0-9 road trip. They'll look to get back on the right side of the ledger against the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees this coming week.

             

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Mike Trout (.973 OPS, 26 2B, 22 HR, 75 RBI, 90 R, 19 SB)

               

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Matt Shoemaker (23 GS, 6-13, 4.22 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 126 K, 138.2 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Jett Bandy (.787 OPS, 6 2B, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 15 R)

27. San Diego Padres (50-67, Previous: 27)

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    1B Wil Myers
    1B Wil MyersJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The San Diego Padres are 9-16 in their last 25 games, and they have lost six of eight series during that span, including dropping two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets last week.

    The team has yet to pull the trigger on promoting catcher Austin Hedges and outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe from Triple-A, and at this point, they may wait until the minor league playoffs are over since El Paso is sitting in first place.

    All three of those players figure to be vying for everyday jobs next season, so it stands to reason the team will want to get a long look at them down the stretch in what will be a low-pressure atmosphere.

    An August waiver trade of Edwin Jackson is also a distinct possibility, as he's gone 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA and .227 opponent batting average in five starts since joining the Padres.

            

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Wil Myers (.851 OPS, 24 2B, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 78 R, 21 SB)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Ryan Buchter (56 G, 16 HLD, 2.56 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 11.5 K/9)

              

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Ryan Buchter (56 G, 16 HLD, 2.56 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 11.5 K/9)

26. Tampa Bay Rays (47-69, Previous: 25)

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    3B Evan Longoria
    3B Evan LongoriaRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Tampa Bay Rays are now 5-8 in August after series losses to the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees on the road last week.

    Not many players are putting up better numbers since the All-Star break than Brad Miller, who has posted a 1.038 OPS with eight doubles, eight home runs and 20 RBI in 27 second-half games.

    "He's so valuable to our lineup. We know for us to be good, Brad Miller has to be there and be hitting right in the thick of things and doing what he's been doing all season long," manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    Matt Duffy, part of the package received from the San Francisco Giants for left-hander Matt Moore, made his Rays debut on Friday when he came off the disabled list, and he's gone 4-for-13 in three games since taking over as the everyday shortstop.

             

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Evan Longoria (.880 OPS, 31 2B, 26 HR, 70 RBI, 60 R)

              

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Jake Odorizzi (25 GS, 7-5, 3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 131 K, 142.2 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Blake Snell (11 GS, 3-5, 3.18 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 58 K, 56.2 IP)

25. Minnesota Twins (47-71, Previous: 22)

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    SP Ervin Santana
    SP Ervin SantanaBruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    The Minnesota Twins were riding a nice 8-3 stretch heading into last week, but they wound up turning in series losses to the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals to fall to .500 in the month of August.

    The team may have struggled last week, but second baseman Brian Dozier remained one of the hottest hitters in the game.

    With four more home runs last week, he now leads the majors with 12 bombs since the All-Star break. That leaves him with 26 on the season, just two shy of his career high from last year, and his .530 slugging percentage is 13th in the AL.

    The Twins overhauled their bullpen last week, as J.T. Chargois, Pat Dean and Ryan O'Rourke all got the call from Triple-A. Chargois will be one to watch with a triple-digits fastball and a chance to close down the line.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Brian Dozier (.871 OPS, 27 2B, 26 HR, 70 RBI, 70 R)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Ervin Santana (21 GS, 5-9, 3.62 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 93 K, 126.2 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Max Kepler (.842 OPS, 14 2B, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 40 R)

24. Arizona Diamondbacks (48-69, Previous: 28)

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    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    1B Paul GoldschmidtRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Arizona Diamondbacks kicked off last week with a sweep of the New York Mets, but the favor was returned over the weekend when the Boston Red Sox took three in a row.

    With a 5.58 ERA in 24 starts this year, Patrick Corbin was finally bumped to the bullpen after making it just 1.2 innings in his latest outing.

    Meanwhile, top prospect Braden Shipley was brilliant last week, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out seven over seven scoreless innings. He'll be looking to solidify his place in the 2017 rotation with a strong finish to the year.

    On the rehab trail, A.J. Pollock played the outfield for the first time last week, and he's now 6-for-13 with one double and two home runs in five games for High-A Visalia.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Paul Goldschmidt (.902 OPS, 25 2B, 18 HR, 74 RBI, 69 R, 17 SB)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Zack Greinke (19 GS, 11-4, 4.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 100 K, 117.0 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Jake Barrett (50 G, 4 SV, 3 HLD, 3.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 8.7 K/9)

23. Cincinnati Reds (48-68, Previous: 24)

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    LF Adam Duvall
    LF Adam DuvallKenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Cincinnati Reds are a respectable 19-17 with a plus-17 run differential since the beginning of July, and they split last week with a series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    After a mediocre first half, Joey Votto is hitting .463/.558/.726 with 14 extra-base hits in 120 plate appearances since the All-Star break.

    Meanwhile, Homer Bailey followed up a pair of subpar starts in his return from Tommy John surgery with a brilliant outing last week, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out 11 in six scoreless innings against the Brewers.

    Owed at least $68 million over the next four years, Bailey still factors prominently into the team's plans if he can return to his pre-injury form.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Joey Votto (.943 OPS, 23 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 72 R)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Dan Straily (22 GS, 8-6, 3.75 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 111 K, 139.1 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Josh Smith (21 G, 1-1, 4.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.9 K/9)

22. Oakland Athletics (52-66, Previous: 26)

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    RP Ryan Dull
    RP Ryan DullJohn Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Oakland Athletics entered last week on a 1-8 slide, but they were able to temporarily right the ship to take three of four from the Baltimore Orioles.

    While they followed that up with a series loss to the Seattle Mariners, a 4-3 week against a pair of contenders is still enough to earn them a nice bump up the rankings to the No. 22 spot.

    Khris Davis was among the MLB leaders with 21 second-half home runs last season, and he's at it again with 11 bombs since the All-Star break, which is second only to Brian Dozier (12).

    The 28-year-old is now at an even 30 home runs on the season, and he has a great chance of being the team's first 40-homer player since Jason Giambi hit 43 and took home AL MVP honors in 2000.

    "Thirty’s a nice round number," manager Bob Melvin told reporters, per Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area. "Obviously there’s a lot of games left. He could significantly pass that. But it’s a feather in his cap for sure."

              

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Khris Davis (.810 OPS, 15 2B, 30 HR, 75 RBI, 58 R)

               

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Kendall Graveman (23 GS, 8-8, 4.37 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 80 K, 134.0 IP)

              

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Ryan Dull (54 G, 10 HLD, 2.15 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)

21. Colorado Rockies (56-62, Previous: 16)

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    3B Nolan Arenado
    3B Nolan ArenadoBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-6

    The Colorado Rockies had worked their way into the middle of the pack in these rankings over the past few weeks, but a rough 1-6 performance sends them sliding back down to the bottom third of teams.

    They dropped three of four to the Texas Rangers before getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. Their slim postseason hopes took a significant hit in the process, as they are now six games back in the wild-card standings with four teams to pass.

    Trevor Story was an easy choice for the Rockies' top rookie honors, even with his season ending prematurely, but left-hander Tyler Anderson deserves some attention as well.

    The 2011 first-round pick has gone 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 12 starts, and a 54.3 percent ground-ball rate has served him well at altitude.

            

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Nolan Arenado (.910 OPS, 27 2B, 30 HR, 93 RBI, 85 R)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Tyler Chatwood (22 GS, 10-8, 3.75 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 88 K, 127.1 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Trevor Story (.909 OPS, 21 2B, 27 HR, 72 RBI, 67 R)

20. Chicago White Sox (56-61, Previous: 21)

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    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Jose QuintanaDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Chicago White Sox closed out last week with a series win over the Miami Marlins after dropping two of three to the Kansas City Royals in a battle for third in the AL Central standings.

    Chris Sale was knocked around on Sunday (6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER), and as a result, Jose Quintana has started to separate himself as the team's best Cy Young candidate.

    In a wide-open AL race, the underrated left-hander has to be among the favorites alongside a trio of fellow AL Central foes in Michael Fulmer, Justin Verlander and Danny Duffy.

    Miguel Gonzalez suffered a groin strain while lasting just one inning in his most recent start, and the White Sox will need to decide on a spot start for Wednesday's game as a result. Chris Beck, Carson Fulmer and Michael Ynoa are all options in the current bullpen, or Anthony Ranaudo could get the call from Triple-A.

            

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Melky Cabrera (.790 OPS, 27 2B, 9 HR, 54 RBI, 48 R)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Jose Quintana (23 GS, 9-8, 2.85 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 133 K, 151.2 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Tim Anderson (.698 OPS, 12 2B, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 32 R)

19. Philadelphia Phillies (56-63, Previous: 20)

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    CF Odubel Herrera
    CF Odubel HerreraEric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Philadelphia Phillies' early-season run at contention may have been an aberration, but they continue to play solid baseball, and a winning record is still within reach.

    After dropping two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, they responded by sweeping the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. Their current homestand continues this coming week, as they will welcome the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to town.

    Aaron Altherr will be a player to watch down the stretch as he looks to prove he belongs in the team's long-term plans.

    The 25-year-old is hitting .254/.333/.433 with three doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI in 75 plate appearances since returning from a wrist injury suffered during spring training.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Odubel Herrera (.784 OPS, 14 2B, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 64 R, 19 SB)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Jeremy Hellickson (24 GS, 9-7, 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 119 K, 143.0 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Edubray Ramos (24 G, 11 HLD, 3.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 10.5 K/9)

18. Kansas City Royals (57-60, Previous: 19)

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    SP Danny Duffy
    SP Danny DuffyJohn Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Despite what has been a disappointing season, the Kansas City Royals continue to battle. They picked up series wins over the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins last week to pull within three games of the .500 mark.

    Danny Duffy twirled his first career complete game last week, allowing seven hits and one earned run in a win over the White Sox.

    Duffy has gone 9-1 with a 2.79 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 106.1 innings over 17 starts since joining the rotation in mid-May. With that complete-game performance, he now qualifies for the ERA title, and his 2.82 mark ranks second in the AL.

    The Royals take on the Detroit Tigers and Twins once again this coming week as they look to chip away at a 7.5-game deficit in the AL wild-card standings.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Salvador Perez (.751 OPS, 23 2B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 42 R)

          

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Danny Duffy (33 G, 17 GS, 9-1, 2.82 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 138 K, 124.1 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Cheslor Cuthbert (.781 OPS, 18 2B, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 35 R)

17. Miami Marlins (61-56, Previous: 14)

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    SP Jose Fernandez
    SP Jose FernandezSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Miami Marlins' postseason hopes took a significant hit on Sunday when it was announced that Giancarlo Stanton would miss the remainder of the season with a Grade 3 groin strain, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

    "It means we've got to find another way to win, simple as that," manager Don Mattingly told reporters, per Frisaro. "We did it early in the year. Giancarlo early in the year was not really contributing, and he wasn't swinging well, but we were able to sustain. I think that's really what we have to do."

    Adam Conley, who has been one of the team's better starters this season behind ace Jose Fernandez, also landed on the disabled list with finger tendinitis.

    Those injuries served as salt in the wounds of what was a rough week on the field, with the team dropping series to the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox to fall out of the No. 2 wild-card spot.

    The Marlins now trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a half-game.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Christian Yelich (.879 OPS, 33 2B, 12 HR, 67 RBI, 61 R)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Jose Fernandez (22 GS, 12-6, 2.81 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 198 K, 137.2 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Kyle Barraclough (56 G, 23 HLD, 3.06 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 14.8 K/9)

16. Pittsburgh Pirates (59-56, Previous: 18)

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    LF Starling Marte
    LF Starling MarteAdam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    It looked like the beginning of the end for the Pittsburgh Pirates when they lost consecutive series to the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves and slipped to .500 in the process at 53-53.

    However, they've rebounded to win three consecutive series, including taking two of three from the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last week, and they're right back in the thick of the wild-card race as a result.

    Trading closer Mark Melancon at the deadline was a tough decision for a contending club, but Tony Watson has converted five of six save chances since inheriting ninth-inning duties, and he's more than capable of holding down the job.

    Ivan Nova has also quietly been a solid addition, going 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA in his first two starts as he looks to solidify the back of the rotation.

            

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Starling Marte (.838 OPS, 28 2B, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 63 R, 40 SB)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Gerrit Cole (18 GS, 7-8, 3.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 86 K, 102.1 IP)

             

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Jameson Taillon (10 GS, 3-2, 2.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 47 K, 60.0 IP)

15. New York Mets (59-58, Previous: 11)

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    SP Steven Matz
    SP Steven MatzBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The New York Mets were swept by a struggling Arizona Diamondbacks team to begin last week before rallying to take two of three from the San Diego Padres.

    The offense, or lack thereof, continues to be the big issue.

    Only the Atlanta Braves have had a harder time scoring runs this season. The Mets enter the week averaging 3.69 runs per game and hitting an MLB-worst .235 as a team. Their .204 average with runners in scoring position has been historically bad, and their terrific pitching staff isn't enough to offset those issues.

    Getting Yoenis Cespedes back healthy would help, and he's currently on the rehab trail from a quad strain. He's expected to return to the lineup on Friday against the San Francisco Giants, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Yoenis Cespedes (.910 OPS, 18 2B, 22 HR, 59 RBI, 49 R)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Jacob deGrom (21 GS, 7-5, 2.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 129 K, 133.1 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Steven Matz (22 GS, 9-8, 3.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 129 K, 132.1 IP)

14. Houston Astros (61-57, Previous: 15)

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

    Last Week: 4-3

    After a 3-11 rough patch, the Houston Astros finally kicked things into gear against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday last week, starting a four-game winning streak in which they outscored their opponents 37-17.

    They closed out the week with consecutive losses to the Toronto Blue Jays, though, leaving them 7.5 games back in the AL West and four back for the second AL wild card.

    Top prospect Alex Bregman is still adjusting to life in the big leagues, but he started to show signs of breaking through last week with a 7-for-29 performance that included three doubles. He's taken over as the everyday third baseman and No. 2 hitter, and he could be a real X-factor down the stretch.

    Meanwhile, another top prospect in Joe Musgrove has emerged as a key piece of the rotation with Lance McCullers on the disabled list. The 23-year-old allowed six hits and two runs over seven innings last week to earn the victory, and the Astros will continue to hand him the ball as long as he's pitching well.

         

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Jose Altuve (1.000 OPS, 32 2B, 19 HR, 73 RBI, 86 R, 26 SB)

          

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Doug Fister (23 GS, 11-7, 3.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 92 K, 142.0 IP)

         

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Chris Devenski (32 G, 5 GS, 1-4, 2.35 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 71 K, 80.1 IP)

13. New York Yankees (60-57, Previous: 17)

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    SP Masahiro Tanaka
    SP Masahiro TanakaTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    A new era began for the New York Yankees last week, as Alex Rodriguez rode off into the sunset and top prospects Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin began their respective MLB careers with a bang.

    Judge and Austin both homered in their debuts on Saturday, and Judge went deep again on Sunday. He'll have every chance to lock down the starting right field job for next season.

    The 6'7", 275-pound slugger ranks as the No. 27 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, and he showed off his tremendous power with a 457-foot blast to dead center field in his debut.

    Along the way, the Yankees picked up series wins against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, and they are now 8-5 since the trade deadline.

    They may have sold at the deadline, but they're far from out of the playoff hunt, as they sit 6.5 games back in the AL East and 4.5 back for the second wild-card slot.

            

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Didi Gregorius (.784 OPS, 24 2B, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 50 R)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Masahiro Tanaka (24 GS, 9-4, 3.40 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 128 K, 153.1 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Rob Refsnyder (.664 OPS, 8 2B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 21 R)

12. Detroit Tigers (63-54, Previous: 6)

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    SP Michael Fulmer
    SP Michael FulmerTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Detroit Tigers were arguably the hottest team in baseball heading into last week, going 10-2 in their last 12 games to pull within two games of the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians.

    Their momentum was brought to a screeching halt when they were swept by the Seattle Mariners, but they bounced back to take two of three from a good Texas Rangers team, so they still look like a team to watch on the AL side.

    Michael Fulmer needed six innings to qualify for the ERA title going into his Sunday start. He did that and then some, spinning a four-hit shutout against the Rangers.

    That lowered his season ERA to 2.25, staggeringly better than anyone else in the AL, as Danny Duffy (2.82) is second in that category.

    Only once in MLB history has a rookie taken home Cy Young honors—Dodgers phenom Fernando Valenzuela in 1981but Fulmer looks to be in a great position to make it two.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Miguel Cabrera (.935 OPS, 23 2B, 27 HR, 77 RBI, 66 R)

         

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Michael Fulmer (19 GS, 10-3, 2.25 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 103 K, 120.0 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Michael Fulmer (19 GS, 10-3, 2.25 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 103 K, 120.0 IP)

11. St. Louis Cardinals (62-56, Previous: 12)

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    3B Matt Carpenter
    3B Matt CarpenterJeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The St. Louis Cardinals salvaged their series against the rival Chicago Cubs with back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday, which could give them some solid momentum in the week to come.

    It doesn't get talked about much, but the offseason trade that sent outfielder Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Jedd Gyorko has quietly been one of the best moves of the winter.

    Gyorko's versatility on the infield has helped the team deal with multiple injuries, as well as an underperforming Kolten Wong, and he leads the NL with 10 home runs since the All-Star break.

    Meanwhile, Brandon Moss is back healthy, and he's racked up 21 home runs in just 308 plate appearances, the fewest of anyone with at least 20 long balls this season.

    On the pitching side of things, flame-throwing Alex Reyes has joined the bullpen, and fellow top pitching prospect Luke Weaver stepped into the rotation spot vacated by the injured Michael Wacha.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Matt Carpenter (.951 OPS, 26 2B, 15 HR, 56 RBI, 59 R)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Carlos Martinez (22 GS, 10-7, 3.34 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 112 K, 137.1 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Aledmys Diaz (.894 OPS, 25 2B, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 64 R)

10. Seattle Mariners (62-54, Previous: 13)

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    RP Edwin Diaz
    RP Edwin DiazJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    It was another great week for the hard-charging Seattle Mariners.

    They are now 8-1 in their last nine games after sweeping the red-hot Detroit Tigers and taking two of three from the Oakland Athletics last week.

    The fact that they're winning games with the likes of Wade LeBlanc, Ariel Miranda and Joe Wieland rounding out the starting rotation speaks to the job new general manager Jerry Dipoto has done building up the organization with usable depth.

    All three of those pitchers were either in the minors or with another organization at the start of the season, and the same can be said about the bullpen trio of Edwin Diaz, Drew Storen and Tom Wilhelmsen that is currently tasked with closing out games.

    Diaz has been terrific, posting a 1.69 ERA in 31 appearances and converting all six of his save chances since taking over for Steve Cishek. His 16.6 strikeouts per nine innings is tops among all pitchers with at least 10 innings of work. 

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Robinson Cano (.870 OPS, 27 2B, 26 HR, 74 RBI, 75 R)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Hisashi Iwakuma (24 GS, 14-7, 3.84 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 113 K, 150.0 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Edwin Diaz (31 G, 6 SV, 13 HLD, 1.69 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 16.6 K/9)

9. San Francisco Giants (66-51, Previous: 9)

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    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Madison BumgarnerTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The San Francisco Giants split the week with a series win over the Miami Marlins and a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles, maintaining their one-game lead in the NL West standings.

    However, their 9-17 record since the All-Star break is still the worst in all of baseball, and the fact that they are still division leaders despite that slide is a borderline miracle.

    Johnny Cueto (6 GS, 0-2, 4.84 ERA) and Jeff Samardzija (5 GS, 1-3, 5.52 ERA) have both struggled in the second half, and the team as a whole ranks 16th in the majors with a 4.08 ERA since the All-Star break.

    Buster Posey was a late scratch on Sunday with lower back tightness. The team can't afford for that to be anything more than an isolated incident because the lineup is finally healthy, and Posey's importance goes without saying.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Brandon Belt (.878 OPS, 30 2B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 57 R)

         

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Madison Bumgarner (25 GS, 11-7, 2.11 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 189 K, 170.2 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Derek Law (48 G, 9 HLD, 1.97 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8.5 K/9)

8. Baltimore Orioles (66-51, Previous: 8)

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    3B Manny Machado
    3B Manny MachadoKenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Baltimore Orioles wrapped up their recent 10-game road trip at 5-5, which, considering their 27-34 record away from Camden Yards this season, was probably the best they could have hoped for.

    Dylan Bundy has proved to be the difference-maker the Orioles were hoping for when they moved him out of the bullpen, as he has gone 4-2 with a 2.76 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and .174 opponent batting average.

    The question now is how many innings they're willing to tack onto his arm.

    He's currently at 70.2 innings on the year, which may not sound like much until you consider that he threw a grand total of 63.1 innings over the past three seasons. The 23-year-old is an X-factor for this year's team, but he's also a big part of the future.

    The Orioles will host the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros this coming week as they look to improve on their AL-best 39-17 record at home.

         

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Manny Machado (.915 OPS, 34 2B, 26 HR, 69 RBI, 81 R)

         

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Zach Britton (52 G, 37/37 SV, 0.54 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 10.6 K/9)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Dylan Bundy (28 G, 6 GS, 6-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 68 K, 70.2 IP)

7. Boston Red Sox (64-52, Previous: 10)

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    SP Rick Porcello
    SP Rick PorcelloJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Boston Red Sox pulled to within 1.5 games of the AL East lead with a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend.

    They have gone just 22-22 against fellow AL East teams this season, so they'll need to improve on that for the stretch run if they hope to walk away with a division title.

    In a wide-open AL Cy Young race, Rick Porcello is a name worth highlighting as a potential candidate.

    He currently leads the AL in wins (16) while ranking in the top 10 in ERA (3.30, 10th), WHIP (1.05, sixth) and innings pitched (158.0, fourth).

    The 27-year-old is also trending in the right direction, going 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in his last seven starts.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Mookie Betts (.914 OPS, 34 2B, 26 HR, 84 RBI, 91 R, 18 SB)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Rick Porcello (24 GS, 16-3, 3.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 129 K, 158.0 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Andrew Benintendi (.929 OPS, 3 2B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

6. Los Angeles Dodgers (65-52, Previous: 7)

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    SS Corey Seager
    SS Corey SeagerGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    A win on Sunday would have pulled the Los Angeles Dodgers into a tie with the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West standings, but the Pittsburgh Pirates came away with an 11-3 victory and a series win to wrap up a split week for the Dodgers.

    Corey Seager remains the front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year and a bona fide NL MVP candidate, but it's Justin Turner who has been the team's best hitter since the All-Star break.

    The 31-year-old has a 1.044 OPS with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI in 24 games. He's positioning himself for a substantial payday ahead of his upcoming free agency this offseason.

    Brett Anderson was activated from the 60-day disabled list last week, but he made it just one inning in his return to action, allowing five hits and five earned runs.

    Meanwhile, Brandon McCarthy was placed on the DL with hip stiffness, so the rotation carousel continues to spin.

         

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Corey Seager (.893 OPS, 32 2B, 21 HR, 56 RBI, 74 R)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Clayton Kershaw (16 GS, 11-2, 1.79 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 145 K, 121.0 IP)

          

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Corey Seager (.893 OPS, 32 2B, 21 HR, 56 RBI, 74 R)

5. Toronto Blue Jays (67-51, Previous: 4)

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    3B Josh Donaldson
    3B Josh DonaldsonTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Sunday marked just the second time all season that the Toronto Blue Jays held the outright AL East lead for consecutive days, with the other coming after their 2-0 start to the year.

    Series wins over the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros pushed the Blue Jays ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, and their lead stands at a half-game heading into the new week.

    Believe it or not, but Josh Donaldson might be having a better year than he did last year, when he took home AL MVP honors.

    He's raised his on-base percentage (.371 to .401) and OPS (.939 to .966) due to marked improvements in his walk rate (10.3 to 14.3 percent) and strikeout rate (18.7 to 16.8 percent)—just the latest step forward for one of the game's elite talents.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Josh Donaldson (.966 OPS, 26 2B, 28 HR, 79 RBI, 93 R)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Aaron Sanchez (23 GS, 12-2, 2.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 127 K, 152.1 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Joe Biagini (42 G, 3 HLD, 2.09 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.0 K/9)

4. Cleveland Indians (67-48, Previous: 5)

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    OF Tyler Naquin
    OF Tyler NaquinKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    The Cleveland Indians picked up a two-game split with the Washington Nationals and a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels, extending their lead in the AL Central standings to 4.5 games over the Detroit Tigers in the process.

    The Indians gave up a ton to add Andrew Miller to their bullpen at the deadline, and he's delivered so far with three holds and a save in six appearances while being used in a variety of roles. He's been called on in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, and manager Terry Francona will continue to utilize him in a number of roles.

    "However Tito wants to use me, I'll happily oblige" Miller told reporters, per Jordan Bastian and Shane Jackson of MLB.com.

    The homestand continues this coming week with a makeup game against the Boston Red Sox and series with the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Francisco Lindor (.812 OPS, 20 2B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 80 R, 15 SB)

            

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Corey Kluber (23 GS, 12-8, 3.21 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 156 K, 157.0 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Tyler Naquin (.972 OPS, 15 2B, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 40 R)

3. Texas Rangers (69-50, Previous: 2)

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    CF Ian Desmond
    CF Ian DesmondRay Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Texas Rangers lost a series to the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, but that's not enough to knock them from the top spot in these rankings among AL teams.

    Cole Hamels is another name that belongs in the AL Cy Young conversation, and he's been leaned on heavily this season with so many injuries to the Rangers' rotation.

    The left-hander is 12-4 with a 2.88 ERA (fifth in AL), and he's turned in 17 quality starts in 24 appearances, good for second-most in the AL.

    Meanwhile, fellow left-hander Derek Holland will make what could be his final rehab start on Monday, as he's eligible to be activated from the DL on Saturday. The team has some off days coming up as well, so expect the rotation to be shuffled one way or another for the stretch run.

           

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Ian Desmond (.817 OPS, 25 2B, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 82 R, 17 SB)

          

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Cole Hamels (24 GS, 12-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 149 K, 153.1 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Tony Barnette (45 G, 14 HLD, 2.09 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 6.6 K/9)

2. Washington Nationals (69-47, Previous: 3)

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    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Max ScherzerGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-2

    With an 8.5-game lead over the Miami Marlins, the Washington Nationals have the second-largest division lead in baseball behind the Chicago Cubs and their 12-game lead in the NL Central.

    They've played well on the road this season with a 33-24 record away from Nationals Park. That's good news as they get set to begin a nine-game road trip against the Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles.

    Daniel Murphy has to be considered the front-runner for NL MVP honors at the quarter pole.

    Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo may wind up splitting votes for the Cubs, and Corey Seager, Matt Carpenter, Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado are also in the conversation. But Murphy, with his career-best numbers across the board, looks like the leader at the moment.

    Prospect Reynaldo Lopez will get another start on Thursday in place of the injured Joe Ross. He was 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts earlier this season and has one of the best arms in the system with a fastball that touches triple digits and a plus curveball.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Daniel Murphy (1.003 OPS, 34 2B, 22 HR, 86 RBI, 70 R)

             

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Max Scherzer (24 GS, 12-7, 2.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 208 K, 163.2 IP)

           

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Trea Turner (.887 OPS, 6 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 20 R, 10 SB)

1. Chicago Cubs (73-43, Previous: 1)

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    SP Kyle Hendricks
    SP Kyle HendricksJerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Despite losing back-to-back games to the rival St. Louis Cardinals to close out the week, the Chicago Cubs are still an easy choice for the No. 1 spot this week.

    Prior to those two losses, they had rattled off an 11-game winning streak, with their lead in the NL Central swelling to as many as 14 games in the process.

    There is still at least one significant reason for pause, though: the bullpen

    Carl Edwards Jr. ran into trouble on Saturday after pitching brilliantly for much of the second half, Hector Rondon gave up a pair of home runs in his return to action on Sunday and Joe Smith has not been the answer in the middle innings, allowing three home runs in five appearances.

    Left-hander Joe Thatcher was the latest veteran bullpen arm signed to a minor league pact on Sunday, and they could speculatively take a look at signing the recently released Jonathan Papelbon. But one way or another, the bullpen needs to find some consistency.

    The offense is firing on all cylinders, the starting rotation has been fantastic and flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman has been fun to watch in the ninth; it's just a matter of bridging that gap.

          

    Quarter-Pole MVP

    Kris Bryant (.931 OPS, 28 2B, 28 HR, 72 RBI, 90 R)

           

    Quarter-Pole Cy Young

    Kyle Hendricks (22 GS, 11-7, 2.19 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 124 K, 140.0 IP)

            

    Quarter-Pole Rookie of the Year

    Willson Contreras (.797 OPS, 7 2B, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 22 R)

            

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted. Quarter-pole award stats current through Aug. 14.