We've reached roughly the midway point of the 2018 season, and the MLB All-Star Game is now right around the corner after the announcement of the rosters Sunday night.
Time might be flying by, but the league is still rife with parity as 18 teams boast a winning record heading into the upcoming week.
That should make for a busy trade deadline, as the addition of the second wild-card spot in each league continues to be a strong incentive for more teams to take on the role of buyer. For now, it's time to examine how each club stacks up in our weekly power rankings.
As always, this remains a fluid process. 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 heading into this week's action.
Teams That Impressed
With a 6-1 record last week and a 12-6 record in their last 18 games, the Milwaukee Brewers claim the top spot among NL teams this week as the revolving door for the No. 5 position in these rankings continues.
The Brew Crew called up top prospect Corbin Burnes over the weekend, and he'll provide a multi-inning relief option in the short term and perhaps a potential rotation upgrade looking ahead to the second half of the season. They also welcomed center fielder Lorenzo Cain back from the disabled list Sunday.
They face the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates during their upcoming road trip, giving them an excellent opportunity to solidify their place atop the NL heap.
The Philadelphia Phillies also made a move.
They made the most of a light schedule to go 4-1 against the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, pulling into a tie atop the NL East standings in the process.
With an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, and the Atlanta Braves trending in the opposite direction, they're in a good position with the All-Star break approaching.
Further down the rankings, the Colorado Rockies moved back to the positive side of .500 with an excellent week. They swept a three-game series from a hot San Francisco Giants team and then took two of three from the Seattle Mariners.
The rotation remains a work in progress, but lefty Tyler Anderson has climbed into the role of staff ace, and German Marquez (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) also looked sharp last week.
The Rockies will be one of the more interesting teams to watch at the deadline. With a deep farm system and their window of control of superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado shrinking, they could be more aggressive than some might expect.
The Boston Red Sox (6-0), Houston Astros (6-0), New York Yankees (4-2), Chicago Cubs (4-1) and Oakland Athletics (4-1) were the other teams to win both of their series last week.
Teams That Disappointed
The Atlanta Braves are one of a number of teams that have occupied the top spot among NL clubs so far this year, but they've limped along to a 7-10 record in their last 17 games.
The starting rotation that has been such a strength all season has struggled a bit with consistency during that stretch, and beyond All-Star Mike Foltynewicz, there are some serious questions that need to be answered on the pitching side of things if they're going to make a serious run this year.
With the Phillies playing well and the Washington Nationals still a dangerous team on paper, the NL East is shaping up to be quite the battle.
A 10-2 stretch of games propelled the San Francisco Giants into a top-10 spot last week, but a rough week that included a sweep at the hands of the Rockies and a four-game split with the St. Louis Cardinals sent them sliding back five spots.
At two games over .500 on the year, the next few weeks will go a long way in determining how the Giants handle the upcoming trade deadline.
Speaking of which, the Toronto Blue Jays (2-4) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5) may have cemented their places as sellers this past week. Both teams now sit seven games under .500 and well outside the realm of contention in tough division races, and that should add some intriguing trade chips to this year's market.
It's par for the course at this point, but the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox took their struggles to a new level last week. The three teams went a combined 1-18 with a minus-65 run differential, and it's unlikely they'll be climbing out of those bottom three spots any time soon.
MVPs of the Week
Hitter: RF Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox
Stats: 9-for-27, 1 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R
A breakout season made Avisail Garcia an All-Star for the first time in 2017 when he hit .330/.380/.506 with 27 doubles, 18 home runs and 80 RBI for a 4.6 WAR.
However, a lofty .392 BABIP raised some significant regression red flags.
Sure enough, he stumbled out of the gate to a .233/.250/.315 line over his first 18 games before missing roughly two months with a hamstring strain.
He's returned with a vengeance, though.
The 27-year-old is hitting .333/.347/.783 with eight home runs and 13 RBI in 72 plate appearances since he was activated from the disabled list on June 22, and he absolutely raked last week, despite a 1-6 showing from his team.
With team control through the 2019 season and the White Sox still in the process of rebuilding, it wouldn't be out of the question for the White Sox to entertain offers for him leading up to the deadline.
Pitcher: Tyler Anderson, Colorado Rockies
Stats: W, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Tyler Anderson opened the 2017 season with a 6.11 ERA over his first 13 appearances before missing nearly three months following arthroscopic knee surgery.
He returned down the stretch to play a vital role in the Rockies' push for a playoff spot, though, posting a 1.45 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in three September starts.
Fully healthy to begin the 2018 campaign, he's built on that performance by going 6-3 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 101.2 innings.
That includes back-to-back starts of eight shutout innings against a pair of NL West rivals in the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
The struggles of Jon Gray have made his performance that much more important as the Rockies try to hang around in the NL playoff picture.
Video Highlights of the Week
Longest Home Run: Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (453 feet)
Joey Gallo might be a one-dimensional power hitter, but it's awfully fun to watch when he squares up a pitch.
After hitting 41 home runs last season, he's well on his way to another gaudy longball total with 21 home runs on the year.
However, it's come with a brutal .188/.294/.446 batting line that has rendered him essentially a league-average performer in terms of overall production.
There's no question he's working with legitimate 80-grade power, though.
Just ask those fans who thought they were well out of harm's way sitting in front of the outfield concourse at Comerica Park.
Best Defensive Play: Keon Broxton, Milwaukee Brewers
Keon Broxton has 11 DRS in 79.1 innings in the outfield this season.
Let that sink in for a minute.
That's one defensive run saved about every 7.2 innings.
To give it a bit more context, there were just 12 outfielders total who reached 11 DRS during the 2017 season. Eight of them needed at least 1,000 innings to get there, and none did it in fewer than 566.2 innings (Juan Lagares, 15 DRS).
The catch highlighted here carried some extra value, as Minnesota Twins slugger Brian Dozier was robbed of a home run in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory for the Brewers.
"He's making a play a day," manager Craig Counsell told reporters. "Sometimes it feels like you're exaggerating, but he's really making a play a day."
With starting center fielder Lorenzo Cain activated from the disabled list Sunday, Counsell will have to figure out how to work Broxton into the lineup going forward. It's a good problem to have.
Must-See Upcoming Matchup
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros (Monday-Thursday)
It's put-up-or-shut-up time for the Oakland Athletics.
On the heels of a disappointing 75-87 2017 season—their third straight losing record and last-placed finish in the AL West—little was expected of the A's.
However, a 16-4 showing in their last 20 games has pushed their record to 10 games over .500 and vaulted them into a top-10 spot in these rankings.
Now, they'll look to prove that recent run of success was no fluke against the reigning World Series champion and division-rival Houston Astros.
The Astros have absolutely dominated the season series to this point, going 8-1 with a staggering plus-42 run differential. They haven't met in nearly a month, though, and it's fair to say this is a different Oakland team.
Tuesday will be the pitching matchup to watch, with Justin Verlander (9-4, 2.15 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 154 K, 125.2 IP) taking the ball against Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.33 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 78 K, 113.2 IP).
With the series being played at Minute Maid Park in Houston, even a 2-2 split would be big for Oakland as the A's try to cement their status as contenders.