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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand 1 Week Post-Trade Deadline

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2017

Boston Red Sox's Craig Kimbrel, left, and Christian Vazquez, right, celebrate after defeating the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers kept rolling, the Boston Red Sox flexed their muscles and the Baltimore Orioles made a strong opening argument that buying at the deadline rather than selling was the right decision in the first week of action after the MLB non-waiver trade deadline.

Less than two months remain in the regular season, and there are still 19 teams within six games of a playoff spot, which should make for an exciting stretch run.

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

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

 Updated Rankings 
1img Dodgers (79-32)img
2img Astros (71-40)img
3img Nationals (65-44)img
4img Red Sox (63-49)img6
5img Rockies (64-48)img2
6img D-backs (63-48)img2
7img Indians (59-50)img3
8img Yankees (59-51)img2
9img Cubs (58-52)img4
10img Brewers (59-54)img2
11img Royals (57-53)img2
12img Mariners (57-56)img1
13img Rays (58-55)img2
14img Orioles (55-56)img3
15img Angels (55-57)img1
16img Cardinals (55-56)img2
17img Pirates (54-57)img2
18img Marlins (52-57)img
19img Blue Jays (52-59)img
20img Rangers (53-58)img
21img Twins (53-56)img
22img Braves (51-59)img
23img Tigers (51-59)img1
24img Athletics (50-62)img2
25img Padres (49-61)img2
26img Mets (49-60)img1
27img Giants (44-69)img1
28img Reds (45-66)img1
29img Phillies (40-69)img2
30img White Sox (41-68)img

        

Biggest Risers

Eduardo Nunez is hitting .400 with a 1.229 OPS in 42 plate appearances since joining the Red Sox.
Eduardo Nunez is hitting .400 with a 1.229 OPS in 42 plate appearances since joining the Red Sox.Steven Senne/Associated Press

Boston Red Sox (Up 6 Spots)

A tidy 6-0 week that included a pair of walk-off victories has the Red Sox's arrow pointing straight up, and they're now three games ahead of the rival New York Yankees in the AL East standings.

Eduardo Nunez (42 PA, .400 BA, 1.229 OPS, 8 XBH) has been arguably the best trade pickup of the year, and top prospect Rafael Devers (49 PA, .349 BA, 1.033 OPS, 5 XBH) has made the transition to the big leagues look easy.

Dustin Pedroia's eventual return could complicate things a bit, as Nunez is playing second base, but manager John Farrell intends to keep both hot bats in the lineup.

"I think that's where [Nunez's] versatility really starts to come into play," Farrell told reporters. "And I certainly wouldn't rule out [Pedroia] DH'ing just to manage his overall volume and workload. The days off are one thing. But I think him in the DH slot, which I think he's only had one game at that position this year, that's also a possibility."

It's a good problem to have—and one the team will welcome with open arms.

Chris Sale struggled through his worst start of the season Tuesday as he gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in five innings. Boston still managed to walk away with a victory in a 12-10 slugfest with the Cleveland Indians.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees await as the Red Sox look to keep their perfect August intact.

          

Baltimore Orioles (Up 3 Spots)

The Orioles are 7-2 in their past nine games, and the decision not to sell at the non-waiver trade deadline is looking more and more like the right one.

A sweep of the Kansas City Royals and a four-game split with the Detroit Tigers leaves the O's one game under .500, but that's good enough to sit just 2.5 games back in the wild-card standings with three teams to pass in order to take over the No. 2 spot.

Jeremy Hellickson (1 GS, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) and Tim Beckham (14-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI) have both made terrific first impressions since being acquired at the deadline, and those pickups addressed two glaring areas of need.

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has continued his breakout performance as well, leading the AL with 28 RBI since the All-Star break while hitting .333/.379/.624 and slugging seven home runs.

It all boils down to whether they have enough starting pitching to keep things rolling.

Ubaldo Jimenez (5 GS, 1-3, 5.20 ERA), Wade Miley (5 GS, 1-2, 7.36 ERA) and Chris Tillman (4 GS, 0-2, 8.66 ERA) have all been hit hard in the second half.

They'll kick off a 10-game road trip at the Los Angeles Angels on Monday as they look to improve on a 20-33 record away from Camden Yards.

       

Biggest Fallers

Ian Happ has cooled considerably with a .200 average, .592 OPS and a 30.2 percent strikeout rate since the break.
Ian Happ has cooled considerably with a .200 average, .592 OPS and a 30.2 percent strikeout rate since the break.Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs (Down 4 Spots)

In their defense, the Chicago Cubs had a tough schedule this past week, as they welcomed two of the best teams in the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals, to Wrigley Field.

Still, losing both series was enough to drop them four spots after they climbed to No. 5 in the most recent standings.

The Cubs still hold a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, and their schedule looks awfully favorable over the next few weeks.

While they do take on the D-backs again in Arizona this coming weekend, the rest of their August slate includes the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds (twice), Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves—all teams that are under .500 and more or less out of contention.

That gives them the perfect opportunity to prove last week was a minor misstep and to get things trending back in the right direction.

        

Cleveland Indians (Down 3 Spots)

The Indians dropped a two-game set to the Red Sox and split a four-game series with the Yankees last week, which was enough to drop them three spots as the Colorado Rockies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox all leapfrogged them.

However, there's little doubt they're the team to beat in the AL Central.

The Kansas City Royals failed to seize a golden opportunity and struggled through a 2-5 week of their own, leaving the Indians with a 2.5-game lead in the division entering play Monday.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis finally returned to action Sunday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his first game since July 8, when he suffered a strained right hamstring. It's been a trying season for the two-time All-Star, but he could provide a huge boost to the team if he starts swinging it well down the stretch.

With the Rockies, Rays and a makeup game against the Red Sox on the upcoming slate, the Tribe will have a chance to show they belong back inside the top five in these rankings.

         

MVPs of the Week

AL MVP: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

Ben Margot/Associated Press

Stats: W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

If the season ended today, the Chris Sale vs. Corey Kluber debate for AL Cy Young honors would be a good one.

  • Sale: 22 GS, 13-4, 2.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 216 K, 153.1 IP
  • Kluber: 18 GS, 9-3, 2.77 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 172 K, 123.2 IP

It's still advantage Sale, but it's closer than the casual observer might think, and Kluber is trending in the right direction.

The 31-year-old tossed a three-hit complete game and struck out 11 against the Yankees on Thursday. It was his third complete game of the season and the 11th time he's tallied double-digit strikeouts.

He also became just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to record at least eight strikeouts in 12 consecutive starts, joining Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan in that club.

"All three are guys I grew up watching and idolizing," Kluber told reporters. "To be mentioned with them is definitely an honor, and it's cool."

His next start will come Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

       

NL MVP: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Stats: 10-for-22, 1 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 6 R

It was quite a week for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras.

"I've been locked in throughout my career in the minor leagues, but not at this level," Contreras recently told reporters. "Just simplifying things, doing simple things. I think that's the key."

To say he's "locked in" doesn't do it justice.

The 25-year-old is hitting .346/.414/.782 since the All-Star break. He's also tied for the MLB lead with 10 home runs, and his 29 RBI are tops in the majors. He's put the Cubs offense on his back over the past few weeks.

He's become the most important player on a roster that's overflowing with terrific young talent.

         

Stats of the Week

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

We'll start with Mike Trout, who followed Tim Salmon's lead to become one of the only two players in Los Angeles Angels history with six consecutive seasons of 20 or more home runs.

Trout still has a ways to go to chase him down for the franchise record, as Salmon hit 299 homers over the course of his 14-year career and Trout is sitting on 190.

Speaking of home runs, the Houston Astros lead the majors this year with 182 long balls, and that's not the only category where they reside in the No. 1 spot.

Their offense is also tops in team batting average (.291), on-base percentage (.351), slugging (.502), OPS (.857), hits (1,133), doubles (248), RBI (626) and runs scored (656), and they've struck out less (752) than any other team to boot.

With four more homers last week, Cody Bellinger became just the second rookie in Dodgers franchise history to top 30, joining Mike Piazza (35), who won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1993.

Many of those homers have come in the clutch.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Cody Bellinger (@Dodgers) has hit 16 HR in the 7th inning or later this season, tying Frank Robinson's modern-era rookie record (since 1900)

Cubs catcher Contreras is keeping pace with one of the best hitters in recent memory after his big week.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Willson Contreras' 32nd career HR in his 175th game is tied with Miguel Cabrera for most HR through 175 games by a Venezuelan-born player. https://t.co/ZRMr5w0tz3

Finally, what would our stats section be without its weekly nod to how ridiculously good the Dodgers have been lately?

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The @Dodgers are the first team to win 43 games in a 50-game span since the 1912 New York Giants. https://t.co/UMjUZMa4xX

There's still a lot of baseball to be played, but it's World Series title or bust for this Dodgers squad.

        

Must-See Upcoming Matchup

Luis Severino is 1-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 31.1 innings spanning five starts and one relief appearances against the Red Sox.
Luis Severino is 1-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 31.1 innings spanning five starts and one relief appearances against the Red Sox.Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

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

The 2009 season was the last time the Red Sox and Yankees both reached the postseason.

Now that rivalry is back in full swing, as Boston enters the week three games up in the AL East and New York has a 2.5-game cushion atop the wild-card standings.

The Yankees have a 6-3 lead in the season series, with the teams scheduled to meet 10 more times the rest of the way—three of which will be this coming weekend at Yankee Stadium.

Lefties Jaime Garcia and Eduardo Rodriguez go head-to-head in Game 1. The best matchup of the series comes in Game 2 when Luis Severino and Drew Pomeranz take the ball. The finale will be another battle of lefties as CC Sabathia squares off against Chris Sale.

Yankees fans will get their first look at Red Sox rookie Devers in this one, a player they figure to see plenty of in the years to come.

Nothing builds momentum for that final push like a big series victory over your archrival, so this matchup carries a bit more weight than your average three-game series in August.

               

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

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

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