2014 MLB Power Rankings: Week 17 Edition

MLB Power Rankings: Week 17 Edition

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
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Baseball's All-Star break is over, games are on every day once again and teams are beginning to make their moves. It's almost time for the stretch run and the trade deadline is fast approaching. Teams are starting to separate themselves in the standings and in the power rankings. Here's how the latest power rankings shake up. Records are updated as of 5:00 p.m. CT on Sunday July 20.

30. Texas Rangers (39-59)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
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30. Texas Rangers (39-59)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
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Previous Ranking: 28

The Rangers have been the most disappointing team in the league this season. With a solid farm system, the team isn't far from being able to compete in a couple years if they trade away a few key veterans by the deadline.

29. Colorado Rockies (40-58)

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
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29. Colorado Rockies (40-58)

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
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Previous Ranking: 26

Even though they were competitive at the beginning of the season, the Rockies have come back down to earth recently. With no semblance of a starting rotation, Colorado doesn't seem ready to compete for quite some time.

28. Houston Astros (40-58)

Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins
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28. Houston Astros (40-58)

Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins
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Previous Ranking: 30

Even though they're still struggling overall, the Astros are showing reasons for optimism. Their young core of talented prospects have begun to show what they can do and fans should be looking forward to 2016 when the team should be relatively competitive.

27. Chicago Cubs (40-56)

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
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27. Chicago Cubs (40-56)

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
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Previous Ranking: 22

As has been the case in the past couple seasons, the Cubs are beginning to tank after trading key pieces away before the trade deadline. Even though they're not a good team anyway, these deadline deals have made their record look worse than it should be. Light may soon be at the end of the tunnel for this franchise, though, who should get plenty of help in 2015.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-56)

Cleveland Indians v Arizona Diamondbacks
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26. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-56)

Cleveland Indians v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Previous Ranking: 27

They've leveled off as of late, but the Diamondbacks' awful start put them in a hole they haven't been able to dig themselves out of. Arizona will have to wait until they get a healthy rotation next season to be able to compete in the NL West.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (43-54)

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies
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25. Philadelphia Phillies (43-54)

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies
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Previous Ranking: 29

It's rebuilding time in Philadelphia. The thing standing in their way is the fact that Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have full no-trade clauses in their contracts. Additionally, Cliff Lee can veto a trade to 20 different teams and Cole Hamels can veto 21 teams. If they can't convince their key pieces to move on, it could be a long few years for the Phillies.

24. San Diego Padres (42-55)

Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres
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24. San Diego Padres (42-55)

Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres
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Previous Ranking: 21

After trading away closer Huston Street, the team could be headed on a down turn. They are still likely to make more moves at the deadline, so they could be another team that ends up being better than their record indicates.

23. Minnesota Twins (44-52)

Minnesota Twins  v Cleveland Indians
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23. Minnesota Twins (44-52)

Minnesota Twins  v Cleveland Indians
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Previous Ranking: 23

With one of the best farm systems in baseball, the Twins should be good relatively soon, but right now they're not a great baseball team. It's a credit to them that they've been able to somewhat stick around in the AL Wild Card discussion, but it would be surprising if they made a serious run.

22. Tampa Bay Rays (46-53)

Pittsburgh Pirates v Tampa Bay Rays
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22. Tampa Bay Rays (46-53)

Pittsburgh Pirates v Tampa Bay Rays
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Previous Ranking: 20

Hovering around the fringe of the playoff race in the AL could end up costing the Rays. Since they're close enough in the playoff race, they're hesitant to trade ace David Price, but if they don't trade him and don't make the playoffs, it would be a disaster for the Rays as they would lose a lot of trade value.

21. Boston Red Sox (46-52)

Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox
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21. Boston Red Sox (46-52)

Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox
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Previous Ranking: 24

Boston has come out of the All-Star break red hot and ready to compete for the playoffs in the AL. It once seemed like they would be sure sellers at the deadline, but if they stay hot, they could become buyers in the next week or so.

20. Miami Marlins (45-52)

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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20. Miami Marlins (45-52)

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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Previous Ranking: 18

The Marlins have been the most pleasant surprise in baseball this season and are still hanging on in the NL Wild Card race. Even though there's an outside chance they stick around, the fact this extremely young team is already competitive could be scary for opposing teams in the future.

19. Chicago White Sox (47-51)

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
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19. Chicago White Sox (47-51)

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
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Previous Ranking: 19

Even though they were thought to be a year or two away, the White Sox are still hanging around. The one problem for the Sox is that they have too many teams to jump, but they've been above average as of late.

18. New York Mets (46-51)

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
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18. New York Mets (46-51)

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Previous Ranking: 25

Slowly but surely the Mets are sneaking back into the race in the NL East. Since the Braves and Nationals refuse to pull away in the division, if the Mets add a piece at the deadline, they could actually be competitive down the stretch.

17. Kansas City Royals (48-49)

Minnesota Twins v Kasnas City Royals
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17. Kansas City Royals (48-49)

Minnesota Twins v Kasnas City Royals
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Previous Ranking: 16

When they went on a 10-game winning streak in June, the Royals looked like one of the best teams in baseball. However, they can't ever seem to sustain success as their core of players underachieve. Their latest skid has pushed them below .500 and they're now on the outside looking in on the playoff picture.

16. Toronto Blue Jays (51-48)

Toronto Blue Jays  v Cleveland Indians
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16. Toronto Blue Jays (51-48)

Toronto Blue Jays  v Cleveland Indians
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Previous Ranking: 15

Toward the beginning of the season, the Blue Jays looked like one of the best teams in the AL. As of late, they've come back down to earth and look very average now. While they're right in the middle of the AL East race, the Blue Jays' true colors are beginning to show themselves.

15. Seattle Mariners (52-45)

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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15. Seattle Mariners (52-45)

Seattle Mariners v Miami Marlins
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Previous Ranking: 9

These next few weeks are going to be a true test for the Mariners. They appear primed to compete for a Wild Card spot in the American League, so they need to stay on track over the next couple weeks in order to ensure they're in the race down the stretch.

14. Cleveland Indians (50-48)

Colorado Rockies v Cleveland Indians
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14. Cleveland Indians (50-48)

Colorado Rockies v Cleveland Indians
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Previous Ranking: 17

One of the hottest teams in the league, the Indians are challenging the Tigers now in the AL Central. They made a similar run last season and claimed one of the Wild Card spots. This season, they could do the same or even claim the division title if they can pick up a couple nice pieces by July 31.

13. Cincinnati Reds (51-47)

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers
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13. Cincinnati Reds (51-47)

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers
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Previous Ranking: 13

The Reds, like everyone but the Cubs, are right in the race in the NL Central. While they've slowed down lately, a recent run put them back in the race and they should be close in the playoff race as the season enters its final two months.

12. New York Yankees (50-47)

New York Yankees v Houston Astros
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12. New York Yankees (50-47)

New York Yankees v Houston Astros
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Previous Ranking: 14

There's something about this being Derek Jeter's last season that makes it seem possible the Yankees could go on a run. However, for that to be possible, they need to make a deal at the deadline. Right in the thick of the AL East race, it remains to be seen who will separate themselves.

11. Atlanta Braves (53-44)

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
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11. Atlanta Braves (53-44)

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
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Previous Ranking: 3

As opposed to years past when they seemed like one of the best teams in the National League, the Braves seem very average this season. Even if they make the playoffs out of the NL East, they appear to be a team that lacks the mental fortitude to make a deep run.

10. Milwaukee Brewers (54-45)

Milwaukee Brewers v Colorado Rockies
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10. Milwaukee Brewers (54-45)

Milwaukee Brewers v Colorado Rockies
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Previous Ranking: 5

The Brewers are still in the top 10, but they are slowly slipping out. They've let the NL Central become a four-team race and they're the coldest one out of the four. Everyone was waiting for this surprising team to fall off, so now they have to either prove their critics wrong or continue to slide out of playoff contention.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-46)

Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins
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9. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-46)

Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins
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Previous Ranking: 11

The Pirates have been playing extremely good baseball lately and are right back in the NL Central race. Plenty of young talent has made this team dangerous heading into the season's home stretch.

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (54-45)

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
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8. Los Angeles Dodgers (54-45)

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
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Previous Ranking: 6

One of the flashiest teams in baseball, the Dodgers just haven't reached their full potential yet. With amazing performances every time out from ace Clayton Kershaw, the team figures to go down the stretch neck and neck with the rival Giants.

7. Baltimore Orioles (53-43)

Baltimore Orioles  v Tampa Bay Rays
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7. Baltimore Orioles (53-43)

Baltimore Orioles  v Tampa Bay Rays
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Previous Ranking: 8

In first place in the AL East for the first time since 1997, the Orioles really seem like the real deal. They aren't pulling away with the division, but with a deep lineup and solid rotation, the Orioles will be serious players down the stretch and into October.

6. Washington Nationals (53-43)

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
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6. Washington Nationals (53-43)

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
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Previous Ranking: 7

If they could just beat the Braves head-to-head, the Nationals would be pulling away with the division right now, but they refuse to do so. Instead, the Braves are right with them and the Mets and Marlins are sticking in there. Despite that, the Nationals appear primed to make a run as everyone is getting healthy.

5. St. Louis Cardinals (54-44)

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
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5. St. Louis Cardinals (54-44)

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
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Previous Ranking: 12

They were very mediocre to start the season, but in true Cardinal fashion, St. Louis has re-gained the lead in the NL Central. Even with all of their injuries, the defending NL champions look ready to make another run as they prepare to fend off three other teams in the division.

4. Detroit Tigers (54-41)

Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers
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4. Detroit Tigers (54-41)

Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers
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Previous Ranking: 4

Despite the fact that the Indians are closing in on them in the division, the Tigers are still one of baseball's elite teams. They have the deepest rotation in baseball along with the Athletics and that can't be understated come playoff time. If they can keep getting steady performances from their younger batters, the Tigers should compete for another pennant in October.

3. San Francisco Giants (54-44)

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants
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3. San Francisco Giants (54-44)

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants
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Previous Ranking: 10

Ever since they went on a lengthy skid in June, people have forgotten how dominant the Giants can be. They have leveled back off and while their bullpen is a question mark, they have one of the deepest rotations and lineups in all of baseball.

2. Los Angeles Angels (58-38)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
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2. Los Angeles Angels (58-38)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers
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Previous Ranking: 2

Finally, the Angels have realized their full potential. In the past two seasons, the Halos have been disappointing, but not anymore. A healthy and deep lineup as well as pitching performances from guys like Garrett Richards have keyed the team's resurgence to the top of baseball's elite.

1. Oakland Athletics (60-37)

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
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1. Oakland Athletics (60-37)

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
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Previous Ranking: 1

The Athletics made it very clear they mean business when they traded their top two prospects in order to land Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel and give themselves the best rotation in baseball to go along with the best lineup. In every way, the Athletics are the best team in baseball right now. They've done this before, but Oakland finally seems ready to make a run at the World Series this October.