The last Power Ranking before the All-Star Break. It will be very interesting to re-visit this list in October.
*Stats and records through 07/12/2014
#1 – OAKLAND ATHLETICS, 58-36 (Last Ranking – #1)
The A’s have kind of been coasting the last couple of weeks (4-3 in each week), but they also still have the best record in baseball. The Angels keep inching closer, so if this malaise continues there very well may be a change at the top.
#2 – LOS ANGELES ANGELS, 56-37 (Last Ranking – #2)
The Angles tied for the best record of the week (6-1), closing the A’s lead in the AL West to just 1.5 games. They’ve also climbed into a tie with the A’s in combined WAR. They have established themselves as the clear #2 in the game, and they are knocking at the door for the top spot.
#3 – LOS ANGELES DODGERS, 53-43 (Last Ranking – #3)
The Dodgers were just 0.500 (3-3) last week. I considered jumping the Tigers over them but they are still 3rd in Combined WAR, and they are still extremely well balanced (7th in both team OPS and ERA). They are such a talented team, and I feel good about them in the number 3 spot.
#4 – DETROIT TIGERS, 53-37 (Last Ranking – #7)
The Tigers dominated last week (5-1), leading the majors in run differential (25). That monster week nearly doubled their overall run differential for the season. They are also 4th in combined WAR. As a result, they leap frogged the two NL East teams to move into number 4.
#5 – WASHINGTON NATIONALS, 50-42 (Last Ranking – #5)
The Nats pitching remains phenomenal leading the Majors at 3.10 ERA. Bryce Harper is back in the lineup and will hit in time. The needle is pointing up for this team.
#6 – ATLANTA BRAVES, 51-43 (Last Ranking – #6)
The Braves came back to earth (2-5), but it didn’t affect their ranking primarily because of what the teams around them did. They are going to struggle scoring runs on occasion, but they pitch very well (2nd to the Nats in FIP), and they play great defense. Those last two attributes are a winning combination.
#7 – ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 52-43 (Last Ranking – #8)
The Cards pulled themselves into a tie with Milwaukee for the NL Central lead, going 5-2 on the week. I was tempted to jump them over the NL East duo, but in light of the Yadier Molina injury, I chose to be conservative. Yady’s presence is likely to be felt more by the pitching staff than on offense, and I’d like to see how it plays out before giving them a big bump.
#8 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES, 51-42 (Last Ranking – Just Missed)
The O’s forced my hand this week. They extended their lead in the AL East, and they are improving in the statistical measures (up to 12th in combined WAR). They can really hit the ball (5th in team OPS), and that’s with Chris Davis being a disaster so far. I also think Tillman and Ubaldo are better than they have pitched up to now. This could be just the beginning for the Orioles.
#9 – SEATTLE MARINERS, 51-43 (Last Ranking – #9)
The Mariners weren’t especially good last week (3-4), but that didn’t affect their ranking. They still have the 3rd best run differential in baseball, and they still pitch well, so I think they deserve a spot in the Top 10.
#10 – MILWAUKEE BREWERS, 52-43 (Last Ranking – #4)
Milwaukee had a nightmarish week, going winless at 0-7, being outscored by their opponents by 25 runs, and watching their lead in the NL Central disappear. The chickens have really come home to roost with their pitching staff (6.24 ERA for the week), but their bats became lifeless as well (0.600 team OPS for the week). I really wanted to drop them from the Top 10, but ultimately the statistical measures put them ahead of the Giants. That will change if this trend continues after the All-Star Break.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, 51-43 (Last Ranking – #10) – The Giants just don’t have the statistical resume to remain in the Top 10.
CINCINNATI REDS, 50-44 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The Reds had a great week (6-2) and are knocking at the door of the Top 10.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES, 49-45 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – Cutch is hotter than Hades, and the Pirates are pitching just enough to keep the record on the winning side of the ledger.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS, 49-46 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The Blue Jays arrow is pointing decidedly downward, and with the Encarnacion injury, they are probably not long for this list.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS, 47-46 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The Royals are not playing well (2-5), but they are still very strong statistically, so they’re still on this list.
Enjoy the All-Star Game festivities, and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.