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2014 MLB Power Rankings Week 20

Updated on August 18, 2014

MLB Power Ranks Week 20

The dog days of August are upon us. The baseball season is roughly 2/3 of the way complete and it's time to truly start separating the contenders from the pretenders. It all starts with a change at the top of the rankings for the first time in what seems like forever. Mired in a five-game slide the Oakland A's have lost their stranglehold on top. That doesn't mean they won't be a force come October. It just means they have to work a little harder to get there. Let's take a look at some other teams gearing up for the playoff push over the last few weeks of the season.

*Note ~ As always all stats and records are through Sunday's games.

*Double Note ~ There won't be an update next week as I will be on vacation. See you in two for the next rankings post.

1. Los Angeles Angels (72-50) ~ By a mere .001 of a percentage point the Angels find themselves atop the American League West. Mike Trout and his squad look poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. (Last Week's Ranking 2)

2. Oakland A's (73-51) ~ Oakland's longest losing streak of the season has them out of first place for the first time since April. They return home for two against the New York Mets before the first place Angels come to town for what is now a huge series. (LWR 1)

3. Baltimore Orioles (70-52) ~ It's looking more and more like the AL East is Baltimore's to lose. Imagine what their lead could be if they were getting any kind of production out of Chris Davis. (LWR 4)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-56) ~ For the first time in his career Clayton Kershaw took a loss in a complete game over the weekend. It was his league leading sixth complete game of the season and 17th of his young career. (LWR 3)

5. Washington Nationals (69-53) ~ The Nats are firing on all cylinders and are cruising atop the National League East akin to Jayson Werth getting a speeding violation for doing in excess of 100mph in a 55 zone. (LWR 6)

6. Milwaukee Brewers (70-55) ~ Sweeping the Dodgers in L.A. and handing Kershaw the complete game loss has to give the Brew Crew confidence that they can win the competitive NL Central. (LWR 7)

7. Kansas City Royals (68-55) ~ Kansas City is 13-3 in August which is best in the bigs and has vaulted them to the top of the AL Central. The Royals in first? Oh Lorde. (LWR 10)

8. Detroit Tigers (66-56) ~ The Tigers handed out Miguel Cabrera bobbleheads last week depicting the slugger holding his two consecutive MVP awards. The problem? They were labeled National League MVP. Oops. (LWR 5)

9. Seattle Mariners (67-56) ~ If the season ended today the Mariners would be in the playoffs and the Tigers would be sitting home. Think about that for a minute. Or two. (LWR 11)

10. San Francisco Giants (65-58) ~ AT&T Park is one of the nicest in the bigs. The Giants may need some more home cooking (i.e. garlic fries!) to improve on their pedestrian .500 record at home. (LWR 8)

11. St. Louis Cardinals (66-57) ~ Last week saw Yadier Molina catch a bullpen session and Michael Wacha throw off a mound. If they can both come back for the stretch run it would be a huge boost to St. Louis' playoff chances. (LWR 12)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-60) ~ Gerrit Cole, out since early July, is slated to come off the disabled list this week. The Buccos could certainly use him as they try to stop from fading out in the NL Central. (LWR 9)

13. Atlanta Braves (64-60) ~ Can someone please explain the rollercoaster Braves to me? They had a horrendous 0-8 west coast road trip and then took two of three from the Nationals. They promptly lost three of four to the Dodgers only to then sweep the A's. What is going on? (LWR 14)

14. New York Yankees (63-59) ~ Starting tomorrow the New York Yankees will have metal detectors for all fans to pass through at the gate. This will be the norm for all teams starting in 2015. (LWR 15)

15. Toronto Blue Jays (64-61) ~ Edwin Encarnacion is back after missing six weeks with a quad injury. Will his bat be enough to help the Jays climb back into the playoff race? (LWR 13)

16. Tampa Bay Rays (61-63) ~ Continuing with the AL East the Rays climbed all the way back to .500 this week becoming just the fourth team in history to do so after being 18 games under in a season. They will try to become the first of those to finish with a winning record. (LWR 16)

17. Miami Marlins (62-62) ~ Speaking of .500 the surprising Marlins have pulled their record back even on the year. They are only 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot. (LWR 18)

18. Cleveland Indians (62-61) ~ Michael Bourn was activated from the disabled list but his hamstring issues have kept him from doing what he does best. Since coming to Cleveland at the start of the 2013 season he has stolen 31 bases while being caught 15 times. (LWR 19)

19. Cincinnati Reds (61-63) ~ Yet another injury to a key player as Homer Bailey has been placed on the disabled list. At this point they may as well be called the Cincinnati Red Cross. Amirite? *deafening silence* (LWR 17)

20. Chicago White Sox (59-65) ~ Word on the street is their top draft pick this year, Carlos Rodon, is being promoted to AAA. Could the young starting pitcher be a surprise September call-up? The White Sox moved Chris Sale quickly up the ranks and we all know how that worked out. (LWR 20)

21. San Diego Padres (58-65) ~ The Padres have scored an MLB-low 407 runs this season. To put that in perspective, the 29th place team in runs is St. Louis which has scored 461. I'm no math expert but that's a difference of 54 runs. That's a big gap. (LWR 22)

22. New York Mets (59-66) ~ For some reason Matt Harvey wants to try and pitch in the big leagues this season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Look at the standings Matt. Save yourself for 2015. (LWR 21)

23. Boston Red Sox (56-67) ~ For the fifteenth year in a row the Red Sox have lost on Ben Affleck's birthday. I don't even know what to say about that. (LWR 23)

24. Minnesota Twins (55-67) ~ Top prospect Byron Buxton has been diagnosed with "only" a concussion after a scary collision earlier this week. Ask Twins fans how they feel about hearing "only a concussion." (LWR 24)

25. Chicago Cubs (53-70) ~ Fans may be clamoring for stud prospect Kris Bryant (and his 40 home runs this year) to be called up but I don't think he will see the pros until 2015. He just might crack the Opening Day lineup next year. (LWR 25)

26. Philadelphia Phillies (54-70) ~ Rumor has it that the Philies are interested in keeping Grady Sizemore around for next season. Just what they need, another aging, injury-prone player on the roster. (LWR 26)

27, Arizona Diamondbacks (53-71) ~ Unless you are a fan of the D-Backs go take a look at their current roster. If you can honestly tell me you know who half of these players are then I applaud you. This gutted team is just playing out the string to 2014. (LWR 27)

28. Houston Astros (52-73) ~ Houston picked up their 52nd win of the season Sunday. Why is this important? They only won 51 games all last year. Houston we have improvement. (LWR 28)

29. Texas Rangers (48-76) ~ Did you happen to see Miss Texas' first pitch the other day? For once the Rangers weren't the worst thing on the field. It made 50 Cent look like Nolan Ryan. (LWR 29)

30. Colorado Rockies (49-75) ~ Michael Cuddyer was activated from the disabled list and showed no signs of rust by hitting for the cycle in his second game back. Not too shabby. (LWR 30)

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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 2 years ago from Cape Cod

      Nice job on this. I am picking the Boston Braves to win it all again this year. It was one hundred years ago this year they did just that. The Miracle Braves were in last place in July and went on an historic run to first place and the world series. Their little ball park could not hold all the fans, so they rented Fenway Park from the Red Sox. The next year, they opened the biggest ball park in the country. But their days were numbered, and in 1954 or so, they went to Milwaukee where they won one World Series. A few years later they went to Atlanta where they won one world series. The Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves remain the only major league team to win a world series in three different cities.

    • Rich White profile image
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      Rich 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      As a Braves fan I love this comment!

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