By Jacob Kornhauser on August 11, 2014
With just six weeks left in the season, teams in MLB are preparing for the stretch run of the year. Some are separating themselves while others are falling behind. Based on their performances over the past week and the year as a whole, here are the MLB power rankings for week 20.
Previous Ranking: 30
The Rangers have continued to go from bad to worse this season. With several underachieving veterans, this team doesn't appear ready to compete any time soon.
Previous Ranking: 29
Colorado has cooled off from their hot start on offense and that has made them absolutely abysmal given their truly awful pitching staff. Sitting in the basement of the NL West, the Rockies need to add some quality pitching before they can compete.
Previous Ranking: 28
Like they've done all season, the Astros have shown glimpses of the future. However, they haven't seen enough glimpses to be relevant this year. Nonetheless, it has to be reassuring that the team appears headed in the right direction.
Previous Ranking: 25
They were starting to recover from their awful start to the season, but the D'Backs ran into the red hot Royals and slipped in the standings once again. Arizona isn't far from contending in the future, but they need their starting pitching to get healthy for next year.
Previous Ranking: 27
This week marked the arrival of highly anticipated prospect Javier Baez. While he may not make a huge difference at the major league level this season, the excitement he brings should get Cubs fans through the last six weeks of the year.
Previous Ranking: 26
The Phillies have been one of the most active teams at the waiver wire with several veteran players available for trade. Even though they got a bite from the Cubs on Cole Hamels, but ended up not trading him, so it seems like they still haven't improved their future.
Previous Ranking: 24
Even though they were big winners at the trade deadline, the Red Sox have gotten even worse this season. With the season clearly lost, the team appears more focused on next season than on this one.
Previous Ranking: 21
While the Twins have a promising future, they're just too young and inexperienced to be competitive this season. Without a stable starting rotation, the Twins can't be great, but their young developing lineup is keeping them from being horrible.
Previous Ranking: 23
Flying under the radar, the Padres actually aren't playing bad baseball. They're just eight games under .500 and look like they could be a solid team if they can add some pitching over the offseason.
Previous Ranking: 19
With promising stars like Jose Abreu and Chris Sale, the White Sox have a solid core in place. However, until they surround Abreu with a deeper lineup and Sale with better supporting starters, the White Sox will be stuck hovering around .500.
Previous Ranking: 22
It must be frustrating for Mets fans to watch their team refuse to make a run in the mediocre NL East. They've been stuck in neutral for a while now as teams like the Nationals and Braves have continued to falter.
Previous Ranking: 20
It's impressive that the Rays have almost crawled back to .500 after starting 18 games under, but they might not have enough to claim a wild card spot. After screwing up the Price deal at the deadline, the team is more likely to compete next season than this one.
Previous Ranking: 18
Like every other team in the NL East, the Marlins are stuck where they've been for the last month. They're within striking distance of the division, but not if they don't make their move very soon.
Previous Ranking: 17
The Indians made it clear they weren't playing all or nothing this season when they traded Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera. Nonetheless, they will continue to fight. It's too bad they have too many teams to pass in order to claim a wild card spot in the AL.
Previous Ranking: 15
Even though they continue to dominate the division rival Nationals head-to-head, the Braves need to turn it on soon. The way they're playing, they're headed toward an early end to their season.
Previous Ranking: 9
The Giants' once-promising season may turn out to be a lost cause. Their rivals are pulling away in the division and they're faltering at the worst possible time. To make matters even worse, hurler Matt Cain is out for the season.
Previous Ranking: 16
Since starting off slow after the all star break, the Reds have leveled off their play. They still have three teams to jump in the division, but they've remained within striking distance with six weeks left to play.
Previous Ranking: 13
The Mariners appeared ready to fall off in the wild card race a week ago, but got back into it by putting together a good week. They're right in the thick of things in the AL and should figure into everything down the stretch.
Previous Ranking: 12
The Yankees' play is slowly improving and they're just one run away from climbing into the wild card chase. Even though they're within striking distance, their play will have to pick up if they hope to play in October.
Previous Ranking: 10
The NL Central race has become very interesting with the Brewers, Cardinals, Pirates and Reds all in contention. Even though they didn't do much at the trade deadline, they appear to be the team most ready to make a run out of that group.
Previous Ranking: 11
In an increasingly tough AL East, the Blue Jays are sticking around. Even though the Orioles are among the hottest teams in baseball, Toronto has stayed close in the division. Behind a young and talented pitching staff, they are right in the wild card race as well.
Previous Ranking: 8
Nobody in the NL East has decided to run away with the division and the Nationals are the ones most capable of doing it. They've been awful against the Braves and thus, the division still isn't decided.
Previous Ranking: 7
Despite losing key pitchers to injury as well as Yadier Molina, the Cardinals have stayed competitive in the NL Central. In what promises to be one of the most interesting races down the stretch, the Cardinals will be right in the thick of it.
Previous Ranking: 6
Even though everyone expects them to fall off, the Brewers continue to prove everyone wrong. Down the stretch, they will face stiff competition from the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates, but they will be in it until the end of the season.
Previous Ranking: 14
The Royals vaulted up this week's rankings because they didn't lose the entire week. They're winners of seven straight games and have climbed to within a half game of the division-leading Tigers. Even though Detroit has a stellar pitching staff, the Royals lineup is among the league's best when it gets hot.
Previous Ranking: 3
Even though the Tigers added David Price at the trade deadline, the level of play hasn't been noticeable on the field. While the Royals keep winning, the Tigers have just been average and it's about to cost them the division lead.
Previous Ranking: 4
The Dodgers are clearly the cream of the crop in the National League. No other teams in the league are elite and L.A. has to be looked at as the team to beat to reach the World Series out of the NL.
Previous Ranking: 2
Even though they continue to be one of the best teams in baseball, the Angels have faltered as of late. With the Athletics leading their division, the Angels continue to be cruelly reminded that they can't slip up if they hope to stay in the division race.
Previous Ranking: 5
The Orioles have finally put everything together. They climbed to the top of the division standings by playing well, but they continue to be there because they've taken their game to a new level. With the emergence of young pitching, the Orioles are very serious World Series contenders.
Previous Ranking: 1
With all of the trade deadline moves they made to bolster their already-talented roster, the Athletics aren't moving from the top spot anytime soon. They're four full games better than the next best team in the league and they will continue to dominate during the regular season. The playoffs? That remains to be seen.
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