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MLB Power Rankings Week 18: Second half is underway

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=Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of the Major League season is officially underway after a full slate of interesting games this past weekend and into the beginning of this week. A couple interesting series stood out in particular.

Things got contentious on Sunday night between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw plunked Matt Holliday in response to the fact that Hanley Ramirez was hit with a pitch earlier in the contest. That ripped the scab off some of the emotions of the playoff showdown between these two teams last post-season.

Each made a statement in the series: the Cardinals won two games and announced that, despite injuries to key players, they will still be in the thick of the playoff race. With a win on Sunday night, the Dodgers established their own intentions to take over as the class of the National League this season.

The Los Angeles Angels played tight games at home with the division rival Seattle Mariners, ultimately making a big statement with a series win. The Mariners easily could have won the series, but the victories seemed to appropriately illustrate the state of the AL West: the Mariners are close to the Athletics and Angels…but not that close.

That seems like the perfect point to launch into the rankings, as the Athletics and Angels also happen to be the two best teams in baseball.

Top heavy, confusing in the middle, and depressing at the end; that’s how one could reasonably describe how the teams shake out in week 18 of the MLB Power Rankings.

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