By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
MLB Power Rankings: Week 17
1.) St Louis Cardinals (62-40) – A tough weekend series for the Cardinals getting swept in Atlanta, but they still hold the best record in baseball, and they did also get Outfielder Matt Holliday back in the lineup which will help them as they continue a tough part in their schedule.
2.) Boston Red Sox (63-43) – Boston saw their AL East lead slip away for a day, but they were able to get it back on Sunday with a win against the Orioles, which was an impressive series win on the road against a division rival. David Ortiz was a big part of Sunday's win going four for four with a home run.
3.) Tampa Bay Rays (62-43) – The Rays are looking like one of the best teams in baseball, as they had a good week on the road against the Red Sox and Yankees. A makeup game on Monday in Boston could allow the Rays to be in first place in the AL East with a win.
4.) Pittsburgh Pirates (61-42) – A huge home-stand starts on Monday for the Pirates, as they will host the Cardinals who they are trying to catch in the NL Central for five games, and then have two three-game series against the Rockies and Marlins.
5.) Oakland Athletics (62-43) – The A's are in first place in the AL West behind some great pitching in the last few months, and an offense that is in the top-10 in runs scored. Bartolo Colon amidst possibly being suspended is having a great season going 14-3 with a 2.54 ERA.
6.) Detroit Tigers (59-45) – Detroit has been rolling since the All-Star break winning seven of their last eight games, and on Monday they got some help for their bullpen, by bringing in Jose Veras from the Astros.
7.) Atlanta Braves (60-45) – An impressive three-game sweep at home of the Cardinals has to have the Braves feeling good about themselves, but losing Tim Hudson to injury is a tough blow that will have to be addressed before the trading deadline.
8.) Cincinnati Reds (59-47) – Arguably the Red best Pitcher Aroldis Chapman has only pitched one inning in the last nine games for the Reds. They will have a big weekend series coming up against the Cardinals, as they look to gain ground in the NL Central.
9.) Baltimore Orioles (58-48) – Since the All-Star break MVP candidate Chris Davis has really struggled hitting just .205 with zero home runs and four RBIs. The O's have made moves already to sure up their pitching, as they brought in Scott Feldman and Francisco Rodriguez.
10.) Cleveland Indians (56-48) – A rough road-trip after the All-Star break was made up for on the weekend by the Indians, who swept the Rangers at home. Things should stay good for the Indians in the begging part of the week, as the White Sox come to town.
11.) Los Angeles Dodgers (56-48) – A fantastic walk-off win on Sunday by the Dodgers and Yasiel Puig should give them even more momentum heading into the next week, as they host the Yankees for two games before heading on a road-trip to the Mid-West.
12.) New York Yankees (55-50) – The Yankees offense might be finally showing signs of getting better with Derek Jeter making his return to the lineup on Sunday, and the addition of Alfonso Soriano will help as well, but C.C. Sabathia looks really bad right now which is not a good sign for New York.
13.) Texas Rangers (56-49) – Texas has been struggling a lot lately to score runs, and are six back in the AL West, and rumors are starting to emerge that Closer Joe Nathan maybe dealt before the deadline. It would seem odd that Rangers are going to trade their closer being seven games over .500 and just bringing in Matt Garza.
14.) Arizona Diamondbacks (54-51) – A missed opportunity this week to win some games against poor teams like the Cubs and Padres has to be concerning for the Diamondbacks as they head out East to face the Rays and Red Sox, as they inch closer to falling to .500.
15.) Kansas City Royals (51-51) – Kansas City is now on a six-game winning streak and back to .500, an easy week an a half is coming for the Royals with two series against the Twins and one against the Mets. If Kansas City wants to make their move on the division and wild card now seems like the time.
16.) Washington Nationals (52-54) – Dan Haren has giving the back end of the Nationals rotation a boost since coming back from the DL and an awful start to the season. In July Haren is sporting a 3.13 ERA, but if the Nationals are going to put pressure on the Braves they better start scoring some runs quickly.
17.) Colorado Rockies (51-55) – A (5-5) home-stand for the Rockies against some of the National Leagues worst teams has to be considered a let down, and things could get rough in the upcoming week with series against the Braves and Pirates on the road.
18.) Seattle Mariners (50-55) – Nick Franklin is starting to emerge as rookie of the year candidate, as the Mariners Second Baseman is hitting .277 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs since being called-up.
19.) Chicago Cubs (48-55) – A good week for the Cubs this past week, as on the road they split a four-game series with the Diamondbacks, and then swept the defending champs in San Francisco. The Cubs have traded two of their better players in Alfonso Soriano and Matt Garza however so there over .500 play of late will probably drop.
20.) Los Angeles Angels (48-55) – A bad season for the Angels might be getting worse, as Albert Pujols season maybe done, and it appears that Pujols maybe starting to break down just two years into his 10 year contract with the Angels.
21.) Toronto Blue Jays (48-56) – The Blue Jays are sitting in last place in the AL East still, and the main reason for that has to be their Starting Pitching, which has had its fair share of injuries, but overall has just been a disaster.
22.) San Diego Padres (48-58) – Despite being in a pitchers ballpark for their home games the Padres are 25th in team ERA this season, and with just a middle of the road offense they are going to continue to lose games in the second half.
23.) Philadelphia Phillies (49-56) – The Phillies have fallen on their faces since the All-Star break losing eight straight games after winning the first against the Mets, and with a lot of pieces to possibly move like Michael Young, and Cliff Lee the Phillies could get a haul if they decide to sell.
24.) New York Mets (46-56) – Marlon Byrd has been a great surprise for the Mets this season, hitting a team-high 17 home runs and also racking up 59 RBIs, and it will be interesting to see if Mets GM Sandy Alderson decides to keep Byrd or try to move him for more prospects.
25.) Minnesota Twins (45-57) – The Twins seem ready to part ways with impending free agent and former MVP Justin Morneau, but they will be getting Joe Mauer back in the lineup after missing six games due to the birth of his twins.
26.) San Francisco Giants (46-58) – Last years World Series Champions have fallen hard this year, and are dead last in the poor NL West, and a return to the playoffs seem very unlikely for the Giants at this point.
27.) Milwaukee Brewers (43-61) – Brewers star Outfielder Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the season, which leaves the Brewers who weren’t playing very well to begin with in an even worse situation for the rest of the season.
28.) Chicago White Sox (40-62) – If the White Sox could get Chris Sale some run support he would be right in the conversation for AL CY Young, but the White Sox will be sellers at the trade deadline, which means Sale's already poor run support might get even worse in the coming days.
29.) Miami Marlins (40-63) – A (5-2) week for the Marlins against the Rockies and the Pirates is a nice accomplishment for a team that really struggles to score runs, but rookie Jose Fernandez looks like the real deal, as he had two wins this week, with 23 strikeouts.
30.) Houston Astros (35-69) – The last month has been very tough for the Astros, who are now starting to look like the awful team everyone thought they would be. In the last 28 games the Astros are just (6-22), and it may get worse as they will probably be trading some players at the deadline.