Jul 7, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) is congratulated by center fielder Jon Jay (19) after he stole home during the third inning at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Miami 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Week 14

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There was continuity at the bottom of the rankings, the Giants took a tumble, the Angels made a move upward, and the Pirates’ time at the top ended.

Here are the rankings for Week 14:

RANKING/TEAM/RECORD
LAST WK/CHANGE
THOUGHTS
1. St. Louis Cardinals (53-34)
3               ^ 2 The Cardinals have the best run differential in baseball (+122), are tied for the best winning percentage (.609), and had a 4-2 week to vault themselves back into the top spot in the rankings.
2. Boston Red Sox (54-36)
2                – Despite being blanked by the Angels last night, the Red Sox (who have the most wins in baseball) are holding steady atop the A.L. East, 4.5 up on the Rays and Orioles.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-34)
1               – 2 The Pirates lost 2 of 3 to cubs to fall into a first place tie with the Cardinals in the N.L. Central.  They have a 6 game homestand (3 against the A’s, 3 versus the Mets) to close out the first half.
4. Texas Rangers (51-37)
4                – Texas has used Jurickson Profar at DH and are now experimenting with him in left field.  With Ian Kinsler at second base and Elvis Andrus at shortstop, something really has to give here.  It would be foolish to DH Profar regularly, and his value is largely wasted in the outfield.
5. Oakland Athletics (52-37)
6              ^ 1
The A’s have gone 7-3 over their last 10 games to open up a half game lead over the Rangers in the A.L. West.
6. Cincinnati Reds (50-38)
9              ^ 3 The Reds are being overshadowed by the Pirates and Cardinals in the strong N.L. Central, but they’re hanging on to the Wild Card lead in the National League.
7. Atlanta Braves (50-38) 5               – 2 The first place Braves had a 2-4 week, and should be worried about the Nationals, who are nipping at their heels in the N.L. East (4 games back).
 

 

8. Detroit Tigers (48-39)



8                – The Tigers have a monster on offense (Miguel Cabrera) and two incredible starting pitchers (Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer).  If they can shake the pesky Indians, they should be home free in the A.L. Central.  However, they’re still in need of a reliable closer for when the Playoffs roll around.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (49-40)
10            ^ 1 The Rays had a 6-1 week, and are in a second place tie with the Rays, 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the A.L. East.  They close the half with 4 games against the lowly twins and 3 versus the dreadful Astros.
10. Baltimore Orioles (49-40) 7              – 3 The Orioles were having a rough week before Adam Jones‘ 2 run homer gave them a huge comeback win yesterday against Mariano Rivera in New York.
11. Washington Nationals (46-42) 13            ^ 2 It was noted last week that the Nationals should be able to break out by closing the first half against teams that are all under .500.  It appears they’re doing just that, having won 4 straight to pull within 4 games of Atlanta for first in the N.L. East.
12. New York Yankees (48-40)
14            ^ 2 The Yankees won 6 in a row before Mariano Rivera blew his second save of the season yesterday against Baltimore.  New York is in fourth place, 5 games behind Boston for the lead in the A.L. East.
13. Cleveland Indians (46-42) 11            – 2 The Indians had 2-4 week, but keep fighting back after rough patches to hang in the A.L. Central race.  They’re just 2.5 games behind Detroit, and wrap up a series against them tonight at Progressive Field.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (47-41)
12             – 2 Arizona had a good week, but dropped 2 spots because of the solid play of the Nationals and Yankees.  It appears (this week at least) that the Dodgers are Arizona’s stiffest competition in the incredibly weak N.L. West.
15. Los Angeles Angels (43-45) 19            ^ 4 The Angels have teased everyone before, so it’s fair to wonder if this 8-2 stretch will lead to them getting over the hump or if they’ll come crashing down yet again.
16. Toronto Blue Jays (43-45)
16              – Jose Reyes is back, but R.A. Dickey continues to struggle.  Last year’s Cy Young Award winner gave up 6 runs Saturday against the Twins, the 7th time he’s allowed 6 or more runs in a start this season.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (42-45)
20            ^ 3 The Dodgers, 7-3 over their last 10 games, have vaulted into second place in the N.L. West, 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks.  They open a huge 3 game series in Arizona tonight.
18. Kansas City Royals (41-44)
21            ^ 3 Like the Phillies below, Kansas City moved up 3 spots this week due to the laughable play of the 3 bottom teams in N.L. West.  The Royals, who are 6 games out in both the N.L. Central and Wild Card races, close the first half with a 7 game trip against the Yankees and Indians.
19. Philadelphia Phillies (43-46)
22            ^ 3 The Phillies had a 4-2 week, but lost Ryan Howard to the DL due to a knee injury.  It’s been rumored that Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon will be on the move, which would be the right choice for Philadelphia.
20. San Francisco Giants (40-47)
15             – 5 Like the Rockies and Padres, the Giants had a horrific week, going 1-6.  With Angel Pagan‘s season likely over and all of their starting pitchers aside from Madison Bumgarner under-performing, San Francisco’s season is in disarray.  Fortunately for them, they play in the N.L. West.
21. Colorado Rockies (42-47)
17             – 4 The Rockies had a 1-6 week and are falling out of it in the N.L. West (though what will it actually take to fall completely out of it)? Troy Tulowitzki is close to returning from the DL, so perhaps Colorado will wait a few more weeks before deciding whether or not to be sellers at the trade deadline.
22. San Diego Padres (40-49)
18             – 4 The three teams at the bottom of the N.L. West are seemingly in a battle to see who can perform worse.  The Padres have lost 9 in a row to fall 7.5 games out of first place.
23. New York Mets (37-48) 25            ^ 2 The Mets, who had a 4-3 week, welcomed Ike Davis back from his AAA exile after getting tremendous production from career minor leaguer Josh Satin.  Manager Terry Collins has pledged to find spots here and there for Satin in the lineup.
24. Chicago Cubs (38-48)
24             – The Cubs dealt Scott Hairston to the Nationals this morning.  There’s been talk of Theo Epstein potentially dangling shortstop Starlin Castro, but that would have to be seen to be believed.
25. Seattle Mariners (39-49)
26            ^ 1 Despite a low OBP (.305), Raul Ibanez has been an offensive bright spot for Seattle, clubbing 21 homers and driving in 49.  Seattle should look to cash in on that production at the trade deadline.
26. Minnesota Twins (37-48) 23             – 3 Minnesota, who had been hanging around the .500 mark despite lacking in talent, had a 1-6 week to fall 11 games under.
27. Chicago White Sox (34-51)
27              – The White Sox were 24-24 on May 26th.  Since then, they’ve gone 10-27 to fall into irrelevance.
28. Milwaukee Brewers (35-52) 28              – Milwaukee’s horrific team defense was on display this weekend as they dropped 2 of 3 at home to the Mets.  The Brewers also made it known in the last few days that pretty much everyone on their roster is available via trade.
29. Miami Marlins (32-55)
29              —
After going on a mini hot streak (relatively speaking), the Marlins were swept by the Cardinals over the weekend, scoring just 7 runs in the process.  Miami, due in part to a down year from Giancarlo Stanton, ranks last in the majors in every major offensive category.
 

30. Houston Astros (32-57)

30              – The Astros are 2-8 over their last 10 games, and things won’t get any easier as they wrap up the first half.  They hit the road to face St. Louis and Tampa Bay.
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