MLB Power Rankings 7/16/2012

With the All-Star break behind us, we begin the grueling summer stretch that will lead us into October. The playoff races are starting to shape up, and soon enough there will be some truly heated races down the stretch. So, here is this weeks power rankings, with a majority of the rankings being shaken up from last week, but the top 6 remains the same.

Power Rankings
Current Team Previous
1 Texas Rangers 1
 The Rangers now sit a half game behind the Yankees for the best record in baseball, but I still think they are the better overall team. There is no doubt that Texas has the best offense in baseball, but their pitching has been great too. 4 of their starters boast an ERA+ of at least 112, and a 5th, Derek Holland, has an ERA+ of 97.
2 New York Yankees 2
 Andruw Jones is currently on pace to have his best season since 2007 with Atlanta. The last time Jones played at least 95 games was 2010 with the White Sox, and before that 2007. He is currently on pace to do so this season.
3 Washington Nationals 3
 Adam Laroche is enjoying a fine season for the Nationals. Through Monday, he leads the Nationals in OPS, and his 15 home runs rank 2nd on the team.
4 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4
 Over the past month, the bottom half of the Angels lineup has really started to produce. Especially Erick Aybar, who has hit 3 home runs in his last 4 games. He has a .960 OPS in the month of July and has raised his batting average 69 points since May 18th.
5 Chicago White Sox 5
 Kevin Youkilis is getting on base at a .412 clip since his trade, good for a 146 OPS+.
6 Cincinatti Reds 6
Not that it involves the big league club, but top prospect Billy Hamilton hit an inside-the-park HR on Sunday off a simple fly ball to right field.
7 Atlanta Braves +1 8
The Braves have now won 7 in a row, and are just 3 games back from Washington in the division.
8 Pittsburgh Pirates -1 7
 Neil Walker is on a tear, as he has hit .474 with a 1.413 OPS in July so far. He has been a critical part of Pittsburgh’s 2012 playoff run thus far.
9 San Francisco Giants +3 12
After watching the Dodgers retake 1st place last week, the Giants have now won 3 in a row, to pull 1.5 games ahead of Los Angeles.
10 St. Louis Cardinals 10
 St. Louis has the best run differential in all of baseball, but they are still just 4 games over .500.
11 Los Angeles Dodgers -2 9
No team that is currently at or above .500 has scored fewer runs this season than the Dodgers. Overall, they rank 27th in the majors in runs scored.
12 Tampa Bay Rays +1 13
 The Rays offense currently features one player with an OPS+ above 100, or league average, in Ben Zobrist. If Evan Longoria can come back healthy and produce, the Rays could wind up in the playoffs, likely as the 2nd wild card in the AL.
13 Detroit Tigers +3 16
 Detroit has started to turn things around since a horrendous start to the season. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and now sit within striking distance of the White Sox in the AL Central.
14 Oakland Athletics +5 19
No team in baseball has been hotter than the A’s, as they have won 9 of their past 10 games. A pitching staff that ranks 4th in the majors in ERA is largely the reason why.
15 New York Mets -4 11
 The Mets have now lost 4 in a row, and sit 6.5 games back from Washington in the NL East.
16 Boston Red Sox -1 15
 The name-calling and mockery the Red Sox have openly used in the media this season is tearing apart a very talented team. Their September collapse from last season is obviously still affecting the clubhouse atmosphere. This is a case where makeup has truly hurt a team.
17 Baltimore Orioles -3 14
The Orioles seem to be falling back to earth. The loss of their ace, Jason Hammel, is devastating for this franchise that was hoping to make a playoff push this season. They’re not out yet, but the odds keep looking slimmer and slimmer.
18 Toronto Blue Jays 18
Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis have both been intentionally walked more than Jose Bautista has this season.
19 Cleveland Indians -2 17
Vinnie Pestano has been among the best relievers in baseball this season. He has a 1.70 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched this season.
20 Arizona Diamondbacks 20
 This last week, there were many rumors that Arizona was looking to trade star outfielder Justin Upton. I don’t get why you would trade a 24-year-old budding superstar, who has yet to hit his prime, when you are contending. He has had a disappointing season, but has played better of late and is locked into a relatively team friendly long-term deal.
21 Milwaukee Brewers +1 22
Japanese import, Norichika Aoki, has played quite well this season. He has an .810 OPS in 79 games and has stolen 11 bases. Not bad for a guy who is making just $1 million this season.
22 Miami Marlins -1 21
At least the Giants were contending last season when they were on The Franchise. The Marlins have just a 1.4% chance of making the playoffs.
23 Kansas City Royals 23
Before this season, Alcides Escobar had a career OBP of .295. This year, he has a .355 OBB and has raised his career OBP to .307.
24 Philadelphia Phillies -1 25
 Since Roy Halladay went on the Disabled List, the Phillies are 13-27. Halladay returns Tuesday in a start against the Dodgers struggling lineup.
25 Chicago Cubs +3 28
The Cubs are actually above .500 when they play at home, but are just 14-32 when they’re on the road
26 Seattle Mariners 26
 Hey, at least Felix Hernandez is having another excellent season.
27 Minnesota Twins -3 24
 In 12 starts this season, Scott Diamond is 7-3 with a 2.62 ERA and 154 ERA+.
28 San Diego Padres -1 27
 Yasmani Grandal has not walked in 43 big league plate appearances.
29 Colorado Rockies 29
Despite playing in Coors Field, Drew Pomeranz has been quite effective with a 3.06 ERA in 7 starts this season.
30 Houston Astros 30
 The Astros currently hold a 1 game lead over Colorado for the prize of the 1st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Could Mark Appel end up in Houston after all?

Biggest Jump: Oakland Athletics +5

Biggest Drop: New York Mets -4

You can follow Justin Millar on twitter at @justinmillar1, or email him at Justinmillar1@gmail.com. Comment below to join the discussion.

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Posted on July 16, 2012, in featured, Power Rankings. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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