Every team thinks they are still alive in the playoff hunt. In one sense those teams are right; we still have lots of season left and teams still have plenty of time to go on a big run.
Furthermore, the trade deadline is still more than a month away. A few teams have sunk to the depths of status as sellers, but otherwise there is a glut of teams that still dream of a wild card run. That even includes teams like the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, and even the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the teams, that perspective is understandable. At this point you have to only be somewhere in the ballpark of a .500 record, the same area code really, to think you matter.
That said, you glance at the teams that are starting to rise and the teams that have regressed, and we are starting to get a clearer idea of which teams are actually good, parity or not.
As the Kansas City Royals and other teams have shown us, we are one winning streak away from a major shakeup in the whole situation. With that we present this week’s MLB Power Rankings, with an eye towards five interesting teams in the top 15.
1. Oakland A’s (47-29, no change)
2. San Francisco Giants (45-30, no change)
3. Milwaukee Brewers (47-30, +2)
The Brewers are good because of their elite starting pitching. That is why they move up the rankings and that is why they have staying power as contenders. With that said, their victories this week should be taken with a grain of salt because they played the Colorado Rockies, who spent the weekend doing things like this.
4. Los Angeles Angels (41-33, no change)
5. Toronto Blue Jays (42-35, -2)
6. Detroit Tigers (40-32, no change)
7. St. Louis Cardinals (41-35, no change)
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (42-35, +1)
The highlight of the week for the Dodgers was the no-hitter that Clayton Kershaw threw against those same Rockies. That outing involved 15 K’s, no walks, one three-ball count all night, and some of the nastiest curveballs you will ever see in your life.
It is not hyperbole to place what Kershaw did among the greatest pitching performances of all time, even if a Hanley Ramirez throwing error robbed him of a perfect game.
9. Washington Nationals (39-35, -1)
10. Baltimore Orioles (39-35, +1)
The Orioles inch ahead of the Yankees because they tout a better (and positive) run differential at +9, as opposed to -30 for the Yankees. They were also the first team to beat Masahiro Tanaka in New York thanks to great pitching and great glove work from Chris Tillman.
11. New York Yankees (39-35, +2)
12. Seattle Mariners (40-36, +3)
Coming off a sweep of the Kansas City Royals, the Mariners look to take advantage of the Boston Red Sox and their current downswing to generate some momentum in the tough American League West. Seattle’s +37 run differential is only five runs behind the second place Angels. Their wins this past weekend included some impressive work against the Royals’ devastating bullpen.
13. Atlanta Braves (38-37, -3)
14. Kansas City Royals (39-36, no change)
15. Cincinnati Reds (37-37, +2)
The Reds have won eight of their last 11 games and have crept their overall run differential for the season to the right side of zero (+4). And do you have any interest in betting against them if they hold a tight lead late in the game? If you do, you should probably reconsider.
16. Miami Marlins (37-38, -4)
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-38, +3)
18. Cleveland Indians (37-39, -2)
19. Minnesota Twins (36-38, +2)
20. Texas Rangers (35-40, -2)
21. Colorado Rockies (34-41, -2)
22. Chicago White Sox (35-41, no change)
23. Boston Red Sox (35-41, no change)
24. New York Mets (35-41, no change)
25. Houston Astros (33-41, no change)
26. Philadelphia Phillies (34-40, +1)
27. Chicago Cubs (31-42, +1)
28. San Diego Padres (32-44, -2)
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (32-47, no change)
30. Tampa Bay Rays (31-46, no change)
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians Colorado Rockies Houston Astros Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Milwaukee Brewers Minnesota Twins New York Mets New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Seattle Mariners St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals