Jun 21, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) throws during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

CttP's MLB Power Rankings: 7/7/2014

With very large trades occurring this past week, the scene is starting to set in for what baseball will be like following the All-Star Break. Several changes in this week’s rankings will reflect who made the big moves, both on and off the field this past week.

30. Philadelphia Phillies (37-51)

Last Week’s Rank: 30

Last Week’s Record: 1-5

Things continue to look bleak in the City of Brotherly Love, as the Phils have dropped nine of their last ten. This solidifies the Phillies as big time sellers, especially after the Cubs unloaded their two biggest deadline prizes. The Phillies play the Brewers and Nationals next week, making it extremely difficult to regain any momentum moving forward, proving this veteran core does not have any more championship runs left.

29. Houston Astros (36-54)

Last Week’s Rank: 24

Last Week’s Record: 0-7

A winless week for the Astros means that Houston really does have a problem, and after a seemingly much better first half than expected, the Astros brutally fell victim to the Angels and Mariners this week. With Texas and Boston ahead, things look to get a little better for the Astros this week.

28. Colorado Rockies (37-52)

Last Week’s Rank: 27

Last Week’s Record: 1-6

Another painful week for the Rockies makes their red hot start to the season look completely irrelevant. The Rockies will be forced to sell some of their pieces at the deadline, as any hopes of a postseason berth have disappeared. There is no harm in playing good ball approaching the All-Star break, as the Rockies hope to play well against the Padres and Twins.

27. Texas Rangers (38-50)

Last Week’s Rank: 23

Last Week’s Record: 1-6

The nightmare of 2014 continues for the Rangers, who have completely fallen apart, destroying whatever existing hopes there were for a playoff berth. Texas finds themselves extremely plagued by injuries, and with very little hope to savage the season, the Rangers should look ahead to next year.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (37-53)

Last Week’s Rank: 28

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

While a bad week for Arizona in all reality, the D-Backs haven’t had many positive events transpire this season to change the course of their motivation and ambition. Arizona made a big splash in the trade market, dealing struggling starter Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees. Other than that, nothing too strong happened in the desert this past week.

25. New York Mets (39-49)

Last Week’s Rank: 22

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

Another below average week for the Mets further proves the large amount of parity that exists in the MLB. With the race for the NL Wild Card still anyone’s game, the Mets’ continued poor play is one of the factors that leaves the race open. Getting swept by the division rival Braves this week did not help their minimal odds of turning their season around.

24. San Diego Padres (39-49)

Last Week’s Rank: 25

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

After sweeping the contender Reds at home, things were looking great for the Pads, but they later dropped two of three to the division rival Giants, putting a rough end to their week. The Padres have plenty of pieces to sell at the deadline, and will look to deal their chips in the upcoming weeks.

23. Boston Red Sox (39-49)

Last Week’s Rank: 17

Last Week’s Record: 1-5

An awful week for the Red Sox, including getting swept at home by the Cubs, is an exclamation point on a season of severe World Series hangover. While the BoSox were looking to buy, they may be much better off selling at the deadline, and perhaps pronouncing this season dead could do the Red Sox a huge favor long term.

22. Minnesota Twins (39-48)

Last Week’s Rank: 21

Last Week’s Record: 2-5

Another rough week in the Twin Cities, which seemingly solidifies them at the cellar of the American League Central, a fate they appeared destined to at the beginning of the season. The Twins should look to sell high on their deadline pieces, as with a powerful farm system, the future is very bright in Minneapolis.

21. Chicago Cubs (38-48)

Last Week’s Rank: 26

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

In what is much more a byproduct of other team’s failures, the Cubs make a substantial jump in this week’s rankings. A sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway was a great start to the week, and it was capped by dropping two of three to the Nationals in D.C. The biggest event of the week, however, was the blockbuster trade which sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics, returning a fleet of prospects for the Cubs.

20. Tampa Bay Rays (40-50)

Last Week’s Rank: 29

Last Week’s Record: 6-1

Never say die in Joe Maddon’s world, as the Rays are the hottest team in baseball, sweeping the Yankees in New York, and then proceeding to take three of four from the division leading Tigers. In a very weak MLB, the Rays still have a substantial chance at making a run for a playoff spot, a run that Joe Maddon had predicted a few weeks prior to this streak.

19. Chicago White Sox (42-47)

Last Week’s Rank: 18

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

A modest .500 week for the White Sox, which was capped by a series win at home against the Mariners, one that the South Siders hope can revive their season. Not wanting to completely give up, the ChiSox haven’t committed to buying or selling yet, and this upcoming week against the Red Sox and Indians will play a large role into that decision.

18. Miami Marlins (43-45)

Last Week’s Rank: 20

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

A good week for the Marlins helps in rehabilitating from their previous dry run, and with the Fins still very much alive in the Wild Card hunt, finishing the first half off strongly will help the Marlins substantially. With the Diamondbacks and Mets awaiting them, the Marlins shouldn’t need much to move forward before the All-Star break.

17. Cleveland Indians (43-44)

Last Week’s Rank: 19

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

A good week puts the third place Indians back into the mix for the AL Central. With a playoff appearance in 2013, the Indians have shown they are capable of a big run in the second half, and finishing out strong play in the first half will undoubtedly facilitate a successful second half. The Yankees and White Sox will come to Cleveland to serve as their challenge.

16. New York Yankees (44-43)

Last Week’s Rank: 16

Last Week’s Record: 3-4

Mediocrity does not fit well at this time of the year, as the Yankees are frantically searching for answers to ensure a postseason appearance. While October baseball was forever the norm in the Bronx, times are changing, and with an aging, injured team, the Yanks will need to have a strong second half to stay in the playoff hunt.

15. Cincinnati Reds (45-42)

Last Week’s Rank: 8

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

Another volatile team in this week’s rankings, the large drop is mostly due to the awful start of the week, getting swept by one of the worst offensive teams in years, the Padres. The Reds recovered nicely however, taking two of three from the Brewers, making a strong statement that the NL Central race is far from over.

14. Kansas City Royals (45-42)

Last Week’s Rank: 15

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

A mediocre week for the Royals, who find themselves stagnant in second place, but in need of substantial momentum to get their first playoff appearance since 1985. The Royals should look to buy big at the deadline, and with an elite farm system, have nothing stopping them from doing so. Finishing the first half strong is more important however, and the Rays and the Tigers await the Royals this week.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (47-43)

Last Week’s Rank: 9

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

It took a while, but the Bluebirds finally relinquished their lead in the American League East, and now have to search for ways to regain the dominance that they had in May. Toronto is still in position to make a big push for the playoffs, but much more must be done to make them a formidable opponent. The Angels and the Rays will close off the first half for the Jays.

12. St. Louis Cardinals (47-42)

Last Week’s Rank: 14

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

A mediocre week functioned as a gain in the rankings for this week, as the Cards are still very much alive in the race for the NL Central. The defending NL Champs will look to add more hitting at the deadline, as their offense still ranks among the worst in the MLB. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee will finish off the first half for the perennially competitive Cardinals.

11. San Francisco Giants (49-39)

Last Week’s Rank: 11

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

A .500 week is enough to keep the Giants where they were, but losing their seemingly everlasting lead in the NL West definitely hurts San Francisco, who now needs to fight back if they are still playing for the division title. Finishing the first half on a high note will carry the Giants well into the All-Star break. Oakland and Arizona await as challengers.

10. Seattle Mariners (48-40)

Last Week’s Rank: 7

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

The drop is mostly due to the top of the league multilaterally having strong weeks, and the Mariners didn’t play bad this week at all. The drop could have been aided by a series win in Chicago, as ending their week dropping two of three to the White Sox was not what the M’s had planned.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (52-37)

Last Week’s Rank: 4

Last Week’s Record: 1-4

A bad week for the Brewers may be signs of them finally coming back down to earth, and it’s also serving as an invitation for the rest of the NL Central to take advantage of the recent slump. St. Louis and Philadelphia await the Brewers to finish out the first half, and another week of struggles may spell trouble for the Brew Crew.

8. Detroit Tigers (48-37)

Last Week’s Rank: 3

Last Week’s Record: 4-3

The steep fall may be a bit harsh, especially after sweeping the best team in baseball, but dropping three of four to the Rays at home took a lot of the momentum away from the Motor City. The recent struggles are now reminiscent of what the early season was like in the AL Central, therefore leaving this divisional race wide open once again.

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (47-41)

Last Week’s Rank: 12

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

Despite the weak competition this past week, the Pirates took it to their full advantage, beating up on Arizona and Philadelphia in the Steel City. This puts the Bucs back in 2nd place, and with a strong finish to the half, they will be knocking on Milwaukee’s door, making the playoff hunt quite interesting. St. Louis and Cincinnati are opponents to close out the first half.

6. Los Angeles Angels (51-36)

Last Week’s Rank: 6

Last Week’s Record: 6-1

Even with such a great week, it’s hard for the Angels to move up, despite taking six of seven, due to the fact that they remain in 2nd place in the AL West.  But as Wild Card leaders in the American League, the Angels can become very dangerous shall they make the playoffs, and with a deadly combination of young talent and veterans, they may be suiting up for a dark horse run.

5. Baltimore Orioles (48-40)

Last Week’s Rank: 13

Last Week’s Record: 6-1

A very hot week from the O’s makes them prominent among the movers and shakers of this week’s rankings. What is the most vital part of this week, however, is the jump into first place in the AL East, and while they are still in dire need of pitching, the O’s may be able to coast to the division title with .500 ball for the rest of the season.

4. Washington Nationals (48-39)

Last Week’s Rank: 10

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

If it wasn’t for the Braves being even hotter right now, the Nats would be sitting atop the NL East. That’s not the case however, but with a hot streak in the nation’s capital, coupled with the return of young star Bryce Harper, the Nationals may be a big player in the NL Pennant race. As of right now, they are merely a Wild Card team, and some big purchases at the deadline will aid them.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (51-40)

Last Week’s Rank: 2

Last Week’s Record: 4-3

While a good week, it wasn’t outlandishly impressive, which lands them in the 3 spot this week. Taking the division lead in the NL West is a big gain, and keeping the foot on the gas is even more vital, with the lead being a mere half game. The Dodgers will look to plow through the rest of the first half, with Detroit and San Diego awaiting them.

2. Atlanta Braves (49-39)

Last Week’s Rank: 5

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

If it wasn’t for losing the series finale to the Diamondbacks today, the Braves would have closed out on a perfect week, and after winning nine of ten, it’s hard to find a team hotter than the Braves. With a small half game lead over the Nationals in the division, the pressure is still on for the Braves to add pieces within the next few weeks to compete. The Mets and Cubs close out the first half for the Braves.

1. Oakland Athletics (55-33)

Last Week’s Rank: 1

Last Week’s Record: 4-3

The A’s remain the best team in the league, and with the addition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel via trade, Billy Beane made it clear that he is going all in to win in 2014. The A’s will not be able to move on without competition, but with two of the biggest deadline prizes, it’s hard to bet against the A’s.

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