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MLB Arizona Diamondbacks

MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers Rising

The Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics are two of the hottest teams in baseball. But how do they affect the top 10? Or maybe even the top five?

1. New York Yankees (57-38)- Even though the Yankees got swept out of Oakland, losing every game by one run. For the first time in franchise history. The Yankees still swept the Toronto Blue Jays and remain at the top of the AL East as the best team in baseball.

2. Texas Rangers (56-38)- The Rangers played a huge series against their division rival the Los Angeles Angels this past week. The Rangers managed to take one game, but Mike Napoli had no problems. Since being traded from the Angeles, Napoli has hit .386/.491/.761 with eight home runs and 14 RBIs against his former squad. Roy Oswalt was scratched from his latest start due to a back injury.  No word yet if he’ll miss anymore time.

3. Washington Nationals (55-39)- They just keep winning and winning. The Nationals played in a pivtoal series against the Braves. They manged to take a spilt from the Braves and maintain their 3.5 game lead above them for first place. A message for opposing pitchers: Do not pitch to Ryan Zimmerman! Zimmerman is hitting a staggering .414 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs in the month of July.

4. Cincinnati Reds (55-40)- No Joey Votto? No problem. The Reds are 5-2 since Votto went down and have won 11 of their last 13 games. The Reds may have the best pitcher that no one ever talks about. Johnny Cueto quietly just keeps rolling along. Collecting his 12th win this past week. In the month of July, Cueto is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA.

5. Detroit Tigers (52-44)- The Tigers finally got where a lot of people expected them to be: First place. The Tigers have won five straight, and have won 15 of their last 20 games. No question one of the hottest teams in baseball. Tigers starters during the five game win streak have only given up eight earned runs in 36.1 innings. Miguel Cabrera is on pace for career highs in RBIs, and home runs. He also hit his 300th home run of his career on Sunday. Jacob Turner also won his first major league game.

6.Pittsburgh Pirates (54-50)- The Pirates have won five straight and are knocking on the front door of the NL Central, letting the Reds know they are not going anywhere. Andrew McCutchen remains unreal. Hitting .484/.542/.859 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs in the month of July. Still a few months away, but McCutchen is looking like the NL MVP.

7. Los Angeles Angels (52-44)- The Halos had a bit of a rough week, losing three of four to the Tigers, but still managed to take a huge series from the Rangers. As the deadline looms the Angels really need to think about getting some more starting pitching. Ervin Santana continues to struggle. In his last outing against the Rangers, Santana lasted 1.2 innings while giving up six earned runs. Three of them coming on long balls.

8. San Fransico Giants (53-42)- The Giants went into Atlanta and managed to shut down a team that had been on fire. Then go to Philadelphia and take a series from the struggling Phillies. Is Tim Lincecum finally back? In Lincecum’s last two starts he’s 1-0 with a 2.10 ERA, and has struck out 17 hitters in 15 innings between the two starts.

9. Atlanta Braves (52-43)- After winning seven straight games, the Braves have cooled off some. Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens both had a start they’d like to forget. Hanson against the Nationals went only four innings while giving up eight runs, and walking four. Hanson was let off the hook, thanks to the biggest comback in Braves history. Jurrjens was also roughed up by the Nationals. Only lasting 2.1 innings, while giving up six runs. Chipper Jones also made history. By becoming the all time leader for RBIs by a switch hitter.

10.Oakland Athletics (51-44)- No one expected the A’s to be only one game behind the Angels in mid-July. In fact, to say the A’s would have a winning record and be in contention for a Wild Card spot in mid-July, is hard to believe. But they are. The A’s are the hottest team in baseball and have the best record in the MLB since June. The A’s took a series from the Yankees in walk-off fashion. Beating the Yankees on a walk-off every game of the series.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for all the latest Detroit Tigers and MLB news: @JohnCzech