MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the All-Star Break

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the All-Star Break

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    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    With the All-Star break in the rearview and the trade deadline right around the corner on July 30, it's time for MLB teams to definitively decide if they are contenders or pretenders in 2021.

    For some teams, the answer is clear, but for those positioned in the middle of our weekly power rankings, the next few weeks will go a long way in determining how the rest of the season will take shape.

    As you dig into this latest update, remember that it is all about performance rather than potential and future outlook.

    If a team is winning, it will climb the rankings. If a team is losing, a slide is inevitable. The beauty of this exercise is that it's a fluid process and things will continue to change.

    Off we go.


    Statistics and analysis reflect action through Sunday's games. Records include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Joey Gallo
    Joey GalloRay Carlin/Associated Press

    30. Arizona Diamondbacks (28-68)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The D-backs managed to avoid a sweep with a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, raising their win total to five in July after a 3-24 showing in June. Right-hander Zac Gallen was activated from the injured list on Saturday, and he allowed three hits and one earned run while striking out seven in 5.2 innings. Can he stay healthy the rest of the way?


    29. Kansas City Royals (37-55)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Royals are 22-46 since May 1. That should explain why they are ranked lower than several teams with worse overall records. They have dropped six of their last seven series and lost two of three to the Baltimore Orioles to begin the second half.


    28. Baltimore Orioles (31-62)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The O's picked up a series win Saturday with a 5-0 shutout of the Royals. Veteran Matt Harvey tossed six scoreless innings in his best start in an Orioles jersey, lowering his ERA from 7.70 to 7.13 in the process. A youth movement could be in full effect by the time the calendar flips to September.


    27. Texas Rangers (35-59)

    Previous Rank: 26

    Slugger Joey Gallo is "very likely" to be traded by the Rangers before the deadline, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN (via Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area). The front office will almost certainly look to sell high on All-Star Kyle Gibson as well, and closer Ian Kennedy is an obvious candidate to be flipped to a contender. The second half will be all about preparing for the future.


    26. Minnesota Twins (40-54)

    Previous Rank: 24

    Despite their struggles this year, the Twins are unlikely to move any controllable assets like outfielder Byron Buxton and right-hander Jose Berrios, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. In fact, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported they are talking an extension with Buxton. Swept by the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, they'll be battling to avoid the AL Central cellar, regardless of what they do at the deadline.

Nos. 25-21

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    Wily Peralta
    Wily PeraltaTony Dejak/Associated Press

    25. Pittsburgh Pirates (36-58)

    Previous Rank: 28

    All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier, closer Richard Rodriguez and starter Tyler Anderson are all prime candidates to be moved ahead of the trade deadline, which means the Pirates' time here on the second slide could be short-lived. A healthy second half from Ke'Bryan Hayes and more of the same from Bryan Reynolds should still give fans reason to cheer.


    24. Colorado Rockies (41-53)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rockies are now 2-8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers this season after avoiding a series sweep with a walk-off win Sunday. They now have more walk-off wins (10) than road wins (nine) on the year, according to Jeremy Frank, which has not happened over a full season in the past 100 years. Trade candidate Jon Gray (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) turned in a strong start in a no-decision.


    23. Miami Marlins (40-54)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Marlins dropped three of four to the Philadelphia Phillies coming out of the break, and they now look poised to sell at the trade deadline. After failing to come to terms on an extension with Starling Marte, the standout center fielder now looks like a prime candidate to be dealt. He'll be one of the top rental bats on the market.


    22. Washington Nationals (44-49)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Nationals were outscored 41-19 in a series loss to the San Diego Padres over the weekend, with Erick Fedde and Patrick Corbin both shelled before Max Scherzer was able to grind out seven innings to avoid a sweep. This team has shown flashes of contender potential this year, but it has not been able to string things together long enough to make up any ground in the standings.


    21. Detroit Tigers (44-51)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Tigers avenged their four straight losses to the Minnesota Twins heading into the break by sweeping a three-game series from them over the weekend. Veteran right-hander Wily Peralta has a 1.64 ERA in 33 innings after throwing seven shutout innings Sunday, and he could generate some interest at the trade deadline after starting the season in the minors.

Nos. 20-16

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    Joc Pederson
    Joc PedersonJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    20. Chicago Cubs (46-48)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The first domino fell on what will likely be a busy trade deadline for the Cubs when outfielder Joc Pederson was shipped to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for prospect Bryce Ball. Outside of long-term pieces like Nico Hoerner and Adbert Alzolay, expect them to listen on everyone in the coming weeks. How far will they fall?


    19. St. Louis Cardinals (47-47)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Cardinals started the second half on a high note by taking two of three from the San Francisco Giants behind strong starts from Kwang Hyun Kim (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Wade LeBlanc (5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) and stellar work from the bullpen. At nine games back in the NL Central and 7.5 back in the wild-card standings, these next few weeks will be huge.


    18. Atlanta Braves (45-47)

    Previous Rank: 18

    Despite entering the All-Star break with a sub-.500 record shortly after losing Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season, the Braves still appear to be buyers. They added veterans Joc Pederson and Stephen Vogt in a pair of trades last week, and bullpen help could be next on the shopping list.


    17. Los Angeles Angels (46-47)

    Previous Rank: 15

    While they continue to wait on the returns of Mike Trout and Justin Upton, the Angels plucked Chicago White Sox castoff Adam Eaton from the scrapheap and promoted top prospect Brandon Marsh to bolster the outfield contingent. Once those two return, along with third baseman Anthony Rendon, this team will be poised to make a second-half push.


    16. Cleveland (47-44)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Cleveland lost nine in a row in late June and early July before sweeping a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals to close out the first half. A series win over the Oakland Athletics coming out of the break was another step in the right direction. If it can tread water while Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale get healthy, this club still has a shot at wild-card contention.

Nos. 15-11

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    Jarred Kelenic
    Jarred KelenicTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    15. Philadelphia Phillies (47-45)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Phillies are above .500 for the first time in over a month after taking three of four from the Miami Marlins, and they entered the week just two games behind the New York Mets in the NL East standings with the Braves, Nationals and Marlins all trending in the other direction. Finding bullpen help is still a must if they're going to make a push.


    14. New York Yankees (48-44)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Yankees took two of three from the rival Boston Red Sox over the weekend, and the two teams will face off again this week for a big four-game series at Fenway Park. Their performance in that series could ultimately decide what course of action they take at the trade deadline. The Sunday lineup included Chris Gittens, Greg Allen, Ryan LaMarre and Trey Amburgey.


    13. Cincinnati Reds (48-46)

    Previous Rank: 10

    A series win over the Milwaukee Brewers vaulted the Reds into the top 10 heading into the All-Star break, but the Brew Crew returned the favor last weekend with a three-game sweep punctuated by a five-hit shutout on Sunday. MVP candidate Nick Castellanos is dealing with a swollen right wrist after getting hit by a pitch on Friday.


    12. New York Mets (49-42)

    Previous Rank: 11

    A two-run home run by Michael Conforto in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday saved the Mets from getting swept by the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates. Making matters worse, shortstop Francisco Lindor (strained oblique) and right-hander Jacob deGrom (forearm strain) both joined a long list of players currently residing on the injured list. Will this team be able to avoid the injury bug long enough to play to its full potential?


    11. Seattle Mariners (50-44)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Mariners took two of three from the Angels over the weekend, and they have now won seven of their last nine series dating back to the middle of June. Top prospect Jarred Kelenic is back in the majors with Jake Fraley going through COVID-19 protocol. The 22-year-old hit .306/.386/.622 with seven home runs and 23 RBI in 24 games at Triple-A following his last stint in the big leagues.

Nos. 10-6

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    George Springer
    George SpringerJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    10. Toronto Blue Jays (48-43)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Blue Jays outscored the Texas Rangers by a 25-2 margin in a three-game sweep, allowing just six hits in a Sunday doubleheader. That has the young club within 2.5 games of a wild-card spot. George Springer went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored in the series, and he could be a major second-half X-factor after an injury-plagued first half.


    9. Oakland Athletics (54-42)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Athletics might be a DH upgrade and a quality bullpen arm away from being a legitimate title contender. Imagine this team with Nelson Cruz hitting in the middle of the lineup and Ian Kennedy serving as one of the primary setup relievers alongside Jake Diekman. If they stand pat, this is still a dangerous club capable of catching fire.


    8. Houston Astros (57-38)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Astros were 2-5 in their last seven games entering play on Monday. The offense went quiet against the Chicago White Sox when they were outscored 14-1 in losses on Saturday and Sunday, but there is too much firepower in their lineup for that to be an ongoing issue. As long as the young pitching holds up, this team is a title contender.


    7. San Diego Padres (55-41)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Padres piled up 46 hits and 41 runs in a series win over the Washington Nationals, with impressive performances up and down the lineup. Yu Darvish made a quick recovery from hip inflammation and was activated Monday, but there is another spot in the rotation that will need to be sorted out after Ryan Weathers suffered a fractured ankle.


    6. Milwaukee Brewers (56-39)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Brewers are 27-17 against the rest of the NL Central after sweeping a three-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati over the weekend. Brandon Woodruff (5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 K) and Corbin Burnes (8.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 12 K) both came out of the break with strong starts, while Willy Adames (8-for-13, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI) continues to be a huge addition offensively.

Nos. 5-1

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    Lucas Giolito
    Lucas GiolitoJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    5. Boston Red Sox (57-38)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Red Sox have lost three straight series after dropping two of three to the Yankees, posting a 3-6 record and a minus-12 run differential. The offense scored more than four runs just twice during that stretch, and with an average-at-best pitching staff, the bats will need to continue to do the heavy lifting in the second half.


    4. Tampa Bay Rays (55-39)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Rays lost 12 out of 16 games in late June and early July, but they came out the other side to go 8-2 in their last 10 entering play on Monday. Questions remain about the rotation's ability to hold up to a heavy workload with Charlie Morton, Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow all absent from the starting staff. A healthy Chris Archer could be an X-factor as he embarks on a rehab assignment.


    3. Chicago White Sox (57-37)

    Previous Rank: 3

    Lucas Giolito (9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K) and Carlos Rodon (7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 10 K) were dealing against a stacked Houston Astros lineup on Saturday and Sunday, and during that weekend news broke that Lance Lynn had agreed to terms on a two-year, $38 million extension with the South Siders. Despite all the injuries, this is shaping up to be the team to beat in the American League.


    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (58-37)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Dodgers stick in the No. 2 spot for now despite a series win over the Colorado Rockies last week. Next week's top team will likely be determined by the outcome in their latest head-to-head matchup with the NL West rival San Francisco Giants. Mookie Betts sat out Sunday's game with hip irritation, and it's an issue that has reportedly nagged him for the past month. Losing him for any extended period of time would be a huge blow.


    1. San Francisco Giants (59-34)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Giants can't seem to figure out the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping two of three to the Redbirds for the second time in as many weeks, but they maintain their hold on the No. 1 spot for at least one more week. Pitching has been the strength of this team, and they lost games 3-1 and 2-1 last week, so the arms are still doing their job. Losing Brandon Crawford to a strained oblique creates a major void at shortstop.

Complete Rankings

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

    1. San Francisco Giants
    2. Los Angeles Dodgers
    3. Chicago White Sox
    4. Tampa Bay Rays
    5. Boston Red Sox
    6. Milwaukee Brewers
    7. San Diego Padres
    8. Houston Astros
    9. Oakland Athletics
    10. Toronto Blue Jays
    11. Seattle Mariners
    12. New York Mets
    13. Cincinnati Reds
    14. New York Yankees
    15. Philadelphia Phillies
    16. Cleveland
    17. Los Angeles Angels
    18. Atlanta Braves
    19. St. Louis Cardinals
    20. Chicago Cubs
    21. Detroit Tigers
    22. Washington Nationals
    23. Miami Marlins
    24. Colorado Rockies
    25. Pittsburgh Pirates
    26. Minnesota Twins
    27. Texas Rangers
    28. Baltimore Orioles
    29. Kansas City Royals
    30. Arizona Diamondbacks

Highlight of the Week: Jake Cronenworth Hits for the Cycle

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    The San Diego Padres kicked off the second half with a bang on Friday, scoring a franchise-record 24 runs against the Washington Nationals.

    At the center of it all was second baseman Jake Cronenworth, who went 4-for-5 with four RBI hitting out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup. In the process, he became just the third player in Padres history to hit for the cyclejoining Matt Kemp (2015) and Wil Myers (2017).

    The 27-year-old lined out in his first at-bat against starter Erick Fedde, and by the time he came to the plate again in the top of the second, the Nationals had already gone to the bullpen.

    He doubled off reliever Andres Machado in the second, tripled to right field off Paolo Espino in the third, homered off Sam Clay in the fifth, and hit a soft roller to third base against the shift to complete the cycle with an infield single off Ryne Harper in the sixth.

    An All-Star for the first time this season, Cronenworth still benefited from two days off before the start of the second half of the season.

    "Definitely was pretty tired after those two days, but I got some rest here in D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday," Cronenworth told reporters. "I was just trying to put together good at-bats and get good pitches to hit."

Team of the Week

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    Juan Soto
    Juan SotoNick Wass/Associated Press

    C Will Smith, LAD
    (5-for-8, 2B, HR, 7 RBI)

    1B Freddie Freeman, ATL
    (6-for-12, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    2B Jake Cronenworth, SD
    (6-for-13, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Manny Machado, SD
    (6-for-12, 2B, HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Willy Adames, MIL
    (8-for-13, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Juan Soto, WAS
    (7-for-13, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Mitch Haniger, SEA
    (5-for-11, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Starling Marte, MIA
    (8-for-16, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI)

    DH Michael Brantley, HOU
    (3-for-9, 2B, HR, RBI)

    SP Lucas Giolito, CWS
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (1 GS, W, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

    SP Carlos Rodon, CWS
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)

    SP Max Fried, ATL
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

    SP Lance McCullers Jr., HOU
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

    RP Pete Fairbanks, TB
    (2 G, 2/2 SV, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

Award Rankings

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    Carlos Rodon
    Carlos RodonNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    AL MVP

    1. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
    3. Matt Olson, OAK


    NL MVP

    1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
    2. Max Muncy, LAD
    3. Trea Turner, WAS


    AL Cy Young

    1. Carlos Rodon, CWS
    2. Lance Lynn, CWS
    3. Kyle Gibson, TEX


    NL Cy Young

    1. Jacob deGrom, NYM
    2. Kevin Gausman, SF
    3. Brandon Woodruff, MIL


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Adolis Garcia, TEX
    2. Casey Mize, DET
    3. Luis Garcia, HOU


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Trevor Rogers, MIA
    2. Ian Anderson, ATL
    3. Patrick Wisdom, CHC


    Stats courtesy of and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.