By Jacob Kornhauser on August 18, 2014
The power rankings were majorly shaken up this week with a lot of shifting going on at the top of most divisions. As the stretch run approaches, the teams involved in these races need to solidify their play. Here are the power rankings based on last week's play and every team's outlook for the rest of the season.
Previous Ranking: 30
Even though the Rangers showed signs of life this week by walking off against the Angels, they're still the worst team in baseball. However, they're not as far ahead in that category as they were this time last week.
Previous Ranking: 29
The Rockies' highlight to their season may have come on Sunday. They won both games of a doubleheader against the Reds, taking the first game in walk-off fashion. Then in the second game, Michael Cuddyer hit for his second career cycle.
Previous Ranking: 28
Ever since starting the season off slowly, the Astros have been playing borderline .500 baseball. That's not bad for a team trying to get all of their young players some quality playing time before they're ready to seriously compete.
Previous Ranking: 27
The disappointing season in Arizona continues. Ever since Paul Goldschmidt was knocked out for the year with a broken hand, the team doesn't even have a major attraction to go and see at the ballpark.
Previous Ranking: 26
The Cubs' future is bright, but their present remains bleak. Even though they've had some more exciting moments in the past week or two, it's not showing in the win column. However, 2015 should provide optimism for a desperate Cubs fanbase.
Previous Ranking: 25
Once again, the Phillies continue to fall in because they've been unable to trade any of their veteran players so far. Until they do, they will be stuck in futility.
Previous Ranking: 24
Even though they've improved their future, the Red Sox remain a below-average team in the present. They've patched together a pitching staff, and it could be a long end of the season for the Boston faithful.
Previous Ranking: 23
Since getting off to a slow start, the Twins have actually leveled off. Their playing with an extremely young and inexperienced team, so the fact they're not worse than they are is actually worth mentioning.
Previous Ranking: 20
They had such an open window for climbing back into contention, but they never did and now they're tanking. Mets fans' frustration will continue to rise, but with a promising trio of young pitchers primed to all be up next season, the future is slightly less bleak.
Previous Ranking: 21
The White Sox aren't a bad team, but they're not a good team either. They're stuck in baseball purgatory and until they add elite free agents or groom talent in the minors, they will be stuck there.
Previous Ranking: 22
The Padres are the most impressive bad team in baseball. While they're by no means good, they're flying under the radar as a pretty decent team since the All-Star break. If they can add some hitting, they could be dangerous in the near future.
Previous Ranking: 14
The Reds have begun to tank and take themselves out of the playoff picture. There's still time to recover, but the Reds are officially in panic mode and have to turn on their A-games before the season is wasted.
Previous Ranking: 19
The Rays became the first team in baseball history to reach a .500 record after being 18 games under at any point in the regular season earlier in the week. However, they've lost two straight since then and again find themselves on the outside looking into the AL playoff picture.
Previous Ranking: 18
Who would've thought the Marlins would be a .500 baseball team at this juncture of the season? Not a lot of people, but nonetheless the Marlins amazingly find themselves just 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot in the NL.
Previous Ranking: 10
The Blue Jays have fallen all the way to third place in the AL East and are in an uphill climb for the playoffs. Since they fell out of first place, they've been in a free fall, and it's beginning to look like they're not going to break out of it.
Previous Ranking: 17
Even though the Indians are barely over .500, they're working their way into the playoff picture. They've got quite a few teams to jump in order to play in the postseason, but at five games out, they're still in it.
Previous Ranking: 16
Since appearing to be in free fall last week, the Braves have leveled off. Unfortunately for them, the Nationals have been on fire lately and are beginning to pull away in the NL East.
Previous Ranking: 11
The Brewers keep on winning and the Pirates keep on treading water. While they're still within 5.5 games in the division, Pittsburgh really needs to figure some things out if they still want to be in the divisional discussion in September.
Previous Ranking: 12
Everyone is patiently waiting for the Derek Jeter-led Yankees to make a run at the postseason. People can't fathom Jeter retiring without one more playoff appearance, but that's pretty likely to happen as of right now.
Previous Ranking: 15
The Giants have recovered since completely blowing the NL West, but still trail the Dodgers by 3.5 games in the division. It could be worse for the Giants though, and if they can stabilize their play, they could create a very interesting NL West race down the stretch.
Previous Ranking: 8
Everyone has been waiting on the Cardinals to make a run at the Brewers, but it just hasn't happened yet. They've been decimated by injury and if they can't recover from that, they may have to fight tooth and nail just to claim a Wild Card spot in the NL.
Previous Ranking: 5
It's officially time to panic in Detroit. Since acquiring David Price, they'e gone into a free fall as the red-hot Royals have taken over first place in the division. If they don't figure something out soon, this team could be majorly re-worked in the offseason.
Previous Ranking: 13
No team improved their playoff chances more in the past week than the Mariners did. They appeared to be slipping out of the playoff picture a week ago, but now they currently hold the second Wild Card spot in the AL. At just 5.5 games back, they're not even out of the divisional race either.
Previous Ranking: 4
After being swept by the Brewers, the Dodgers don't appear to be clear-cut favorites to win the NL West anymore. While they are still the front-runners, the rival Giants are beginning to breathe down their necks.
Previous Ranking: 6
There is no team in baseball even close to being as hot as the Royals. They've gone 20-5 in their last 25 games and now own a 1.5-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. If they can stop being so streaky and actually sustain success, the Royals could be very dangerous in October.
Previous Ranking: 7
Once again, the Brewers refuse to go away in the NL. In fact, they trail the Nationals by just half a game for the best record in the Senior Circuit. It's a good bet they'll be a Wild Card team at the very least, which is more than anyone would've guessed from this team going into the season.
Previous Ranking: 9
Finally. The Nationals are at last starting to pull away in the NL East. They're clearly the most talented team in the division, and they're finally starting to play like it. They lead the Braves by six games and own the best record in the NL. Now they just need to stay consistent.
Previous Ranking: 2
Baltimore caught a tough break when they lost Manny Machado to a knee sprain, but it isn't nearly as bad as the team initially thought. He will miss a few weeks, and as long as the team can manage without him, he will be back well in time for the playoffs.
Previous Ranking: 1
It's been a few months since the Athletics weren't the top team in baseball, but after losing five games in a row, they're not even the top team in their division anymore. The Angels have been on their heels for a while now, and the Athletics are just now finally starting to feel the heat.
Previous Ranking: 3
They've finally climbed all the way to the mountaintop. Now tied with the Athletics atop the division, the Angels have set up a very interesting September division race. With the Mariners lurking, who knows, it could become one of the best three-team division races in recent memory.
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