Jul 26, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Cardinals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Week 17

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The top five teams and bottom five teams stayed the same, and the Phillies and Giants both took a huge tumble.

Here are the rankings for Week 17:

RANKING/TEAM/RECORD
LAST WK/CHANGE
THOUGHTS
1. St. Louis Cardinals (62-40)
1              – The Cardinals were swept by the Braves in Atlanta over the weekend.  They open up a huge 5 game set with the second place Pirates (they’re 1.5 games up) in Pittsburgh tonight.
2. Boston Red Sox (63-43)
2              – Boston briefly fell out of 1st place during the week, but rebounded to beat the Orioles twice to regain control of the Division.  They host Tampa today in a makeup game that could cause another change atop the A.L. East.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (61-42)
3              – Closer Jason Grilli was placed on the DL early in the week with a strained right forearm, and his return date is unknown.  The Pirates open an enormous 5 game series with the 1st place Cardinals today in Pittsburgh.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (62-43)
4              – The Rays are still on fire.  They’re 8-2 over their last 10 games, and are a half game behind the Red Sox for 1st place in the A.L. East.  The Rays play the Red Sox in a makeup game today in Boston that will decide who will control 1st place heading into tomorrow.
5. Oakland Athletics (62-43)
5              –
Oakland took 3 of 4 from the Angels over the weekend to open up a 6 game lead over struggling Texas for 1st place in the A.L. West.
6. Atlanta Braves (60-45)
8             ^ 2 Atlanta suffered a big blow early in the week when they lost pitcher Tim Hudson for the season with a broken ankle.  However, the Braves are still in complete control in the N.L. East.  They’re the only team in the Division who are above .500, and lead the 2nd place Nationals by 8.5 games.
7. Detroit Tigers (59-45) 9             ^ 2 The Tigers had a 6-1 week, and are 3 games up on the Indians for 1st place in the A.L. Central.  Detroit, first in the majors in runs scored, batting average, and OBP, opens a 2 game set against Washington tomorrow at Comerica Park.
 

 

8. Cincinnati Reds (59-47)



7              – 1 While there continues to be space between the Reds and the two best teams in the N.L. Central (St. Louis and Pittsburgh), Cincinnati remains firmly entrenched in the 2nd Wild Card spot (they have a 4.5 game lead on Arizona).
9. Baltimore Orioles (58-48)
6              – 3 The Orioles have struggled a bit lately, falling to third place in the A.L. East.  They currently lead the 2nd Wild Card race by a single game (they’re tied in the loss column with Cleveland).
10. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-48) 14           ^ 3 Los Angeles has gone 9-1 over their last 10 games to open up a 2.5 game lead over Arizona in the N.L. West.  They welcome the Yankees to Chavez Ravine Tuesday for a 2 game set before hitting the road for 8 games against the Cubs and Cardinals.
11. Cleveland Indians (56-48) 11            – The Indians won 4 in a row to stay within striking distance of the 1st place Tigers (they’re 3 games back in the A.L. Central) and are on the heels of Baltimore for the 2nd Wild Card (1 game back).
12. Texas Rangers (56-49)
10           – 2 Texas had a 2-5 week to fall 6 games behind surging Oakland for 1st place in the A.L. West.  If the season ended today, the Rangers would be spending the Postseason at home.
13. New York Yankees (55-50) 12           – 1 The Yankees welcomed Alfonso Soriano back via trade, got Derek Jeter back from the DL, but also got more clunkers from CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes.  They remain on the outside of the playoff picture.  New York is 7.5 games behind Boston for 1st place in the A.L. East, and 2.5 games behind Baltimore for the 2nd Wild Card.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (54-51)
13           – 1 Arizona has played poorly lately to fall 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for 1st place in the N.L. West.  With their next 8 games against Tampa Bay, Texas, and Boston, the Diamondbacks will have to get their act together or risk being left in the dust.
15. Washington Nationals (52-54) 15            – The Nationals hit rock bottom Friday afternoon after losing to the Mets to fall to 49-54.  They rebounded by taking the next 3 games from New York, but the Nats still have a tough hill to climb.  They’re 8.5 games behind Atlanta for 1st place in the N.L. East, and trail the Reds by 7 games in the race for the 2nd Wild Card.
16. Kansas City Royals (51-51)
19          ^ 3 The Royals have won 6 in a row and 8 of 10 to climb back to .500 and to within 5 games of the 2nd Wild Card spot.
17. Colorado Rockies (51-55)
17            – The Rockies are just 6 games behind the Dodgers for 1st place in the N.L. West, but Los Angeles is threatening to run away with the Division.  If the Rockies hope to stay relevant, they’ll need to have a solid showing during their 9 game road trip against the Braves, Pirates, and Mets that kicks off tonight.
18. Seattle Mariners (50-55)
21          ^ 3 The M’s are 7-3 over their last 10 games, but are 12 games back in the A.L. West and 7.5 behind Baltimore for the second Wild Card spot.  This remains a transition year for Seattle.
19. Los Angeles Angels (48-55)
18           – 1 The Angels lost 3 of 4 to the A’s over the weekend, and may finally be willing to sell off a few pieces before Wednesday’s trade deadline.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (48-56)
23          ^ 3 Toronto rose in the rankings by default this week, simply because their potential (dwindling as it may be) is much higher than the teams below them.
21. Chicago Cubs (48-55)
24          ^ 3 The Cubs had a 5-2 week, but the big news was their trade of Matt Garza to Texas.  In return, Chicago received third baseman Mike Olt, pitcher C.J. Edwards, and two PTBNL.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (49-56)
16           – 6 Philadelphia’s performance has finally synced up with their run differential (-78).  They’ve lost 8 games in a row to fall out of a race only general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. thought they were in.
23. New York Mets (46-56) 22           – 1 The Mets had a lost weekend in Washington, but the most important development for them was the dominant performance by starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.  Mejia, 23, could give the Mets another high upside rotation arm if it’s finally clicked for him.
24. San Diego Padres (48-58)
26          ^ 2 San Diego has gone 6-4 over their last 10 to leave the Giants in their wake in the N.L. West.  There has been talk of late of the Padres dealing closer Huston Street, but this year’s market has been slow to develop.
25. San Francisco Giants (46-58)
20           – 5 The Giants had a 1-6 week to sink further into the abyss in the N.L. West.  They’re now in last place, 10 games behind the 1st place Dodgers.
26. Minnesota Twins (45-57) 25            – After falling from semi-relevance into oblivion, the Twins have rebounded to go 6-4 over their last 10 games.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (43-61)
27            – Milwaukee had a 2-5 week, but the Biogenesis related suspension of Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season overshadowed all on field happenings.
28. Chicago White Sox (40-62) 28            – The intrigue for the White Sox at the moment revolves around whether they’ll deal Jake Peavy and/or Alex Rios, and the type of return they’d be able to get.
29. Miami Marlins (40-63)
29            —
The Marlins, who are 27-22 since May 31st, lost rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna for the season.  In response, they called up a pair of highly touted AA outfielders:  Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick.
30. Houston Astros (35-69)

30            – The Astros had a 2-5 week, and are in great position to land the number one overall pick in next year’s amateur draft.  If you’re going to be horrible, you might as well get a top pick out of it.
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