By Kenny Howell
The Pirates taking four of five from the Cardinals and some other hot teams have moved things around a bit at the top of the MLB Power Rankings this week, but the Rays still hold the top spot for now. Each team will be followed by their record and what they were last week.
1. Tampa Bay Rays (65-45) (1) - The Rays are one game behind the Red Sox right now, but I still think they are the most powerful team in baseball. They are top five in record, OPS, WHIP and defensive efficiency. They are the most well rounded team by far.
2. Atlanta Braves (66-45) (6) - The Braves are the hottest team in baseball right now, winning nine in a row.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (66-44) (5) - Taking four out of five from the Cardinals changed the look of the NL Central, and put the Pirates back in control.
4. Detroit Tigers (63-45) (7) - The Tigers are hot too, winning their last seven games.
5. Oakland Athletics (64-46) (3) - A's continue to be consistently good, but drop a few spots because of the hot play of the Braves, Pirates and Tigers.
6. Cincinnati Reds (61-50) (4) - I think the Reds are the most talented team in the NL Central, the Cards and Pirates have just played better. If they ever gel, it could be their division.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (64-45) (2) - After weeks in the top three, the Cardinals take a dip after going 2-8 over their last 10.
8. Boston Red Sox (67-45) (9) - The Red Sox are keeping the Rays from taking over the division, but pitching an defense problems will eventually catch up with them.
9. Baltimore Orioles (61-50) (8) - Orioles just 4-6 over their last 10.
10. Los Angeles Dodgers (60-49) (12) - The Yasiel Puig effect is still propelling the Dodgers, as their lead in the NL West is getting bigger and bigger. They have won eight of their last 10.
11. Cleveland Indians (61-49) (13) - The Indians are hot as well, winning nine of their last 10.
12. Texas Rangers (61-50) (10) - The A's have control of the AL West, as the Rangers continue to play average ball.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks (56-54) (11) - The Diamondbacks have lost control of the NL West, and are just as far back in the Wild Card race, so they need to get things turned around soon.
14. New York Yankees (57-52) (14) - An AL East crown may be out of the question now for the Yankees who are 8.5 games out, but a run could get them in the Wild Card.
15. Kansas City Royals (55-52) (17) - The Royals are streaky, and they are on a winning one right now, taking nine of their last 10.
16. Washington Nationals (54-56) (18) - The Nationals could get into the Wild Card race with a good run.
17. Los Angeles Angels (51-58) (15) - The Angels have won three in a row, but were coming off a bit of a slump.
18. Seattle Mariners (51-59) (16) - Mariners have won just three of their last 10.
19. Chicago Cubs (49-61) (19) - The Cubs have dropped their last three.
20. New York Mets (49-59) (23) - The Mets are rising in the rankings because they are less terrible than some other terrible teams.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (50-60) (20) - The Blue Jays have dropped their last three.
22. Colorado Rockies (52-60) (22) - The Rockies have dropped seven of their last 10.
23. Milwaukee Brewers (46-64) (21) - The Brewers have lost their last three.
24. San Diego Padres (51-60) (26) - Padres playing a little better, winning six of their last 10.
25. San Francisco Giants (49-60) (27) - The Giants are still head scratchingly bad.
26. Chicago White Sox (40-68) (25) - The White Sox are on a 9-game losing streak.
27. Philadelphia Phillies (50-60) (24) - The Phillies are also terrible right now, losing nine of their last 10.
28. Miami Marlins (43-66) (28) - Marlins are slightly better than average over their last 10 at 6-4.
29. Minnesota Twins (47-60) (29) - Twins have won their last two, but just four over their last 10.
30. Houston Astros (36-73) (30) - The Astros are on their way to 100 losses this season.