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Aug 5, 2014

MLB Power Rankings - August 12, 2014

The Orioles, Mariners, Royals and Rays rise while the Dodgers, Tigers and Cardinals fall in this week's edition of the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings.

Jason Hammel

The Oakland A's continue to hold top spot in the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, the tenth straight week in which they have held the number one spot.

None of the closest challengers have been able to gain ground on the Athletics either. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had been closing the gap, but a recent slump knocks them to third, one spot behind the Washington Nationals, who have the best run differential in the National League, but have been generally mediocre over the past 20 games.

Among those jumping up this week, the Baltimore Orioles are up from nine to five, with a 12-4 record over the past 16 games as they pull away in the American League East.

The Seattle Mariners have won seven of their past eight games, with their only loss in that span coming in extra innings, so the Mariners made a big move, going from 12 to seven. Also rising five spots, the Kansas City Royals, who go from 15 to 10, after posting 11 wins in 12 games prior to Tuesday night's loss to Oakland.

Staying in the fight, even without David Price, the Tampa Bay Rays climb from 21 to 17, with one regulation loss in the past eight games. Pulling through for an extra-innings win or two would do the Rays a lot of good in their longshot bid for a playoff spot.

Heading in the other direction, the Los Angeles Dodgers drop from three to six. Even though they have won three in a row, the Dodgers also lost starting pitcher Josh Beckett and shortstop Hanley Ramirez to the DL, which knocks them down a few spots.

Similarly, the Detroit Tigers sink from five to eight, having lost six times in the past seven games as well as losing starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez to the DL.

The biggest fall of the week belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals, down from six to 11. The Cards have lost four of five and their new pitchers,John Lackey and Justin Masterson, have been crushed since coming over from the American League.

The Toronto Blue Jays dip from 10 to 12. They are 3-8 in August and really need some good health. Adam Lind has returned to the lineup andEdwin Encarnacion should be on his way soon.

 

Oakland Athletics

This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Record: 73-46

Team Stats

  • RS
    586
  • RA
    411
  • Diff.
    +175
  • OPS
    .727
  • ERA
    3.17

Not increasing their lead any, with a merely respectable 13-10 record since the All-Star break, but the A's remain the team to beat, with enough depth to put a starter who posted a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts this season (Jesse Chavez) in the bullpen. 

Key Injuries: RHP A.J. Griffin (elbow), RHP Jarrod Parker (elbow), OF Craig Gentry (hand).
 

Washington Nationals

This Week: 2 | Last Week: 3 | Record: 64-53

Team Stats

  • RS
    492
  • RA
    407
  • Diff.
    +85
  • OPS
    .702
  • ERA
    3.12

Even with one regulation win in the past seven games, the Nationals have increased their lead in the NL East, to four games, and have the best run differential (+79) in the National League. That they are doing this with limited contribution from LF Bryce Harper and a slumping Stephen Strasburg is all the more surprising. 
Key Injuries: 3B Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring).

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

This Week 3 | Last Week 2 | Record: 69-49

Team Stats

  • RS
    558
  • RA
    473
  • Diff.
    +85
  • OPS
    .734
  • ERA
    3.64

The Halos' only win in the past six games was a 19-inning effort against Boston Saturday. Pitching could be a problem, with RHP Tyler Skaggs requiring Tommy John surgery and LHP C.J. Wilson still struggling after returning from the DL. 
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Skaggs (elbow).

Milwaukee Brewers

This Week: 4 | Last Week: 7 | Record: 66-54

Team Stats

  • RS
    515
  • RA
    482
  • Diff.
    +33
  • OPS
    .721
  • ERA
    3.66
Taking back-to-back series against the Giants and Dodgers keeps the Brewers atop the NL Central, and their rotation has been boosted by rookie RHP Jimmy Nelsno (4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP in six starts), as well as Mike Fiers, who allowed one run in eight innings in his first start of the season. 
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Garza (oblique).
Baltimore Orioles

This Week: 5 | Last Week: 9 | Record: 68-50

Team Stats

  • RS
    513
  • RA
    457
  • Diff.
    +56
  • OPS
    .734
  • ERA
    3.66
11-4 in the past 15 games, the Orioles are pulling away from the AL East, holding a six-game lead on Toronto. While their overall pitching numbers are decent (3.66 ERA ranks 15th), a 3.03 staff ERA since the All-Star break ranks seventh, so it's getting better. 
Key Injuries: C Matt Wieters (elbow), RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (ankle), 3B Manny Machado (knee).
Los Angeles Dodgers

This Week: 6 | Last Week 3 | Record: 69-52

Team Stats

  • RS
    498
  • RA
    440
  • Diff.
    +58
  • OPS
    .723
  • ERA
    3.31

Injuries have hit the Dodgers a bit, forcing them to start newly-acquired Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez, but it's the Dodgers' seemingly-unlimited budget that at least allows them to get proven pros to fill the holes in the rotation. 
Key Injuries: RHP Chad Billingsley (elbow), RHP Josh Beckett (hip), SS Hanley Ramirez (oblique).

Seattle Mariners

This Week: 7 | Last Week: 12 | Record: 64-55

Team Stats

  • RS
    471
  • RA
    384
  • Diff.
    +87
  • OPS
    .677
  • ERA
    2.97
Six wins in seven games, with the only loss coming in extra innings against the White Sox Saturday, thrusts the Mariners back into the playoff picture, one game out of a wild card spot. A staff ERA of 2.25 since the All-Star break is one reason that they can't be counted out. 
Key Injuries: RF Michael Saunders (oblique).
Detroit Tigers

This Week: 8 | Last Week: 5 | Record: 63-54

Team Stats

  • RS
    536
  • RA
    499
  • Diff.
    +37
  • OPS
    .755
  • ERA
    3.99
Five losses in six games has cost the Tigers the lead in the AL Central. With Anibal Sanchez on the DL and Justin Verlander a mess, it's no sure thing that they'll recapture it either. 
Key Injuries: SS Jose Iglesias (shins), LF Andy Dirks (back), RHP Anibal Sanchez (pectoral).
Pittsburgh Pirates

This Week: 9 | Last Week: 8 | Record: 64-55

Team Stats

  • RS
    505
  • RA
    489
  • Diff.
    +16
  • OPS
    .729
  • ERA
    3.69
Leading the way for the Pirates is man-without-a-position Josh Harrison, who has started more than 10 games at second base, third base, left field and right field this season and has a .374 batting average with a 1.084 OPS since the All-Star break. 
Key Injuries: RHP Gerrit Cole (lat), CF Andrew McCutchen (ribs).
Kansas City Royals

This Week: 10 | Last Week: 15 | Record: 64-54

Team Stats

  • RS
    478
  • RA
    460
  • Diff.
    +18
  • OPS
    .688
  • ERA
    3.59
11 wins in the past 12 games lifts the Royals to the lead in the AL Central. One of the unheralded, yet significant, parts of the Royals' charge is the work of setup man Wade Davis, who has 25 holds and a matching 0.88 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 49 games this season. 
Key Injuries: 1B Eric Hosmer (hand).
St. Louis Cardinals

This Week: 11 | Last Week: 6 | Record: 62-56

Team Stats

  • RS
    436
  • RA
    447
  • Diff.
    -11
  • OPS
    .690
  • ERA
    3.60
Pitching has been a problem for the Cardinals, who have a staff ERA of 4.52 since the All-Star break, and newcomers John Lackey and Justin Masterson have combined to allow 16 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings (8.31 ERA) since coming over from the American League. 
Key Injuries: RHP Michael Wacha (shoulder), LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder), C Yadier Molina (thumb).
Toronto Blue Jays

This Week: 12 | Last Week: 10 | Record: 63-58

Team Stats

  • RS
    542
  • RA
    526
  • Diff.
    +16
  • OPS
    .749
  • ERA
    4.09
Hanging around, two games out of a playoff spot, but desperately need to get their injured bats back in the lineup. If Lind and Encarnacion return soon, and they should, then the Jays have a fighting chance. Otherwise, there's not enough beyond Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera to sustain the offence. 
Key Injuries: RHP Brandon Morrow (hand), 1B Edwin Encarnacion (quad), DH Adam Lind (foot), 2B Brett Lawrie (oblique).
San Francisco Giants

This Week: 13 | Last Week: 11 | Record: 62-57

Team Stats

  • RS
    458
  • RA
    436
  • Diff.
    +22
  • OPS
    .679
  • ERA
    3.41
Losers of four straight, and getting outscored 19-7 in that span, the Giants are struggling to score, though the return of CF Angel Pagan from the DL should help that eventually. 
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Cain (elbow), 1B Brandon Belt (concussion), 2B Marco Scutaro (back).
Cincinnati Reds

This Week: 14 | Last Week: 17 | Record: 60-59

Team Stats

  • RS
    452
  • RA
    423
  • Diff.
    +29
  • OPS
    .675
  • ERA
    3.35
They're not hitting a lick, so it's good for the Reds that they are getting strong starting pitching -- the rotation has a combined 2.85 ERA in 23 starts since the All-Star break. 
Key Injuries: 1B Joey Votto (quad), 2B Brandon Phillips (thumb).
New York Yankees

This Week: 15 | Last Week: 16 | Record: 61-57

Team Stats

  • RS
    471
  • RA
    504
  • Diff.
    -33
  • OPS
    .696
  • ERA
    3.88
When your starting staff is decimated by injuries, it sure helps to have acquisitions like RHP Brandon McCarthy and LHP Chris Capuano, who have combined to post a 2.77 ERA in 10 starts since donning the pinstripes. 
Key Injuries: LHP Ivan Nova (elbow), RHP Michael Pineda (back), LHP CC Sabathia (knee), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), RHP David Phelps (elbow), C Brian McCann (concussion).
Atlanta Braves

This Week: 16 | Last Week: 13 | Record: 60-59

Team Stats

  • RS
    441
  • RA
    444
  • Diff.
    -3
  • OPS
    .677
  • ERA
    3.41
With two wins in the past dozen games, the Braves are now a four games out in the NL East and sinking; a team OPS of .648 since the All-Star break ain't helping any. 
Key Injuries: RHP Kris Medlen (elbow), RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow), RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow).
Tampa Bay Rays

This Week: 17 | Last Week: 21 | Record: 58-61

Team Stats

  • RS
    467
  • RA
    458
  • Diff.
    +9
  • OPS
    .704
  • ERA
    3.52
Even without the contributions of David Price, the Rays' pitchers have a 2.24 ERA since the All-Star break, and LHP Drew Smyly -- part of the return for Price -- has allowed three earned runs in 13 innings over his first two starts for Tampa Bay. 
Key Injuries: LHP Matt Moore (elbow), RF Wil Myers (wrist), LF David DeJesus (hand), C Ryan Hanigan (oblique).
New York Mets

This Week: 18 | Last Week: 20 | Record: 57-63

Team Stats

  • RS
    460
  • RA
    464
  • Diff.
    -4
  • OPS
    .669
  • ERA
    3.57
It's a testament to the rest of the Mets that they are remaining somewhat competitive even while 3B David Wright is mired in a horrible slump, with an OPS of .517 since the All-Star break and without a home run since July 11. 
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Harvey (elbow), RHP Bobby Parnell (elbow), RHP Jacob DeGrom (shoulder).
Cleveland Indians

This Week: 19 | Last Week: 14 | Record: 59-59

Team Stats

  • RS
    522
  • RA
    513
  • Diff.
    +9
  • OPS
    .721
  • ERA
    3.84
He may not have household name recognition yet, but RHP Corey Kluber has the second-best Fan Graphs WAR among pitchers this season, behind only Felix Hernandez. 
Key Injuries: CF Michael Bourn (hamstring), RF David Murphy (abdominal), 1B Nick Swisher (knee).
Miami Marlins

This Week: 20 | Last Week: 19 | Record: 59-60

Team Stats

  • RS
    478
  • RA
    509
  • Diff.
    -31
  • OPS
    .695
  • ERA
    3.86
Injuries prompted the Marlins to bring 36-year-old Brad Penny back to the bigs. Penny, who pitched for the Marlins from 2000-2004, had a 2.28 ERA in five Triple-A starts then got a win with five innings of one-run ball in his MLB season debut. 
Key Injuries: RHP Jose Fernandez (elbow), 2B Derek Dietrich (wrist), RHP Henderson Alvarez (shoulder).
Chicago White Sox

This Week: 21 | Last Week: 18 | Record: 57-63

Team Stats

  • RS
    510
  • RA
    564
  • Diff.
    -54
  • OPS
    .722
  • ERA
    4.36
Lost five of six and CF Adam Eaton -- their second-best position player behind rookie 1B Jose Abreu -- goes to the DL. Now 8.5-games out of a playoff spot, the White Sox are probably done for this year. 
Key Injuries: RF Avisail Garcia (shoulder), CF Adam Eaton (oblique).
Philadelphia Phillies

This Week: 22 | Last Week: 23 | Record: 53-67

Team Stats

  • RS
    463
  • RA
    538
  • Diff.
    -75
  • OPS
    .666
  • ERA
    3.99
LHP Cole Hamels has a 0.73 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. With RHP Roberto Hernandez now gone to L.A., the rest of the Phillies' starters have a 6.07 ERA in 16 starts in the season's (unofficial) second half. 
Key Injuries: LHP Cliff Lee (elbow).
San Diego Padres

This Week: 23 | Last Week: 22 | Record: 56-62

Team Stats

  • RS
    382
  • RA
    394
  • Diff.
    -12
  • OPS
    .632
  • ERA
    3.05
9-3 in the past dozen games, the Padres on a veritable offensive surge, with 1B Yonder Alonso and 1B/OF Tommy Medica posting an OPS over 1.000 since the All-Star break and 2B Jedd Gyorko (.860 OPS) coming around after a horrible start to the year. 
Key Injuries: LHP Cory Luebke (elbow), RHP Josh Johnson (forearm), LHP Robbie Erlin (elbow), RHP Andrew Cashner (shoulder), LF Carlos Quentin (knee).
Minnesota Twins

This Week: 24 | Last Week: 24 | Record: 53-65

Team Stats

  • RS
    497
  • RA
    536
  • Diff.
    -39
  • OPS
    .700
  • ERA
    4.38
Converted SS Danny Santana is adjusting nicely to centre field for the Twins, leading the club with an .873 OPS since the break and, while his work in the field can improve, it's not terrible
Key Injuries: RHP Mike Pelfrey (groin), RHP Ricky Nolasco (elbow).
Chicago Cubs

This Week: 25 | Last Week: 25 | Record: 51-67

Team Stats

  • RS
    455
  • RA
    501
  • Diff.
    -46
  • OPS
    .682
  • ERA
    3.80
2B Javier Baez burst onto the major league scene with three home runs in his first three games. He had 23 homers and an .833 OPS at Triple-A before getting called up, so the power appears to be legit. 
Key Injuries: None.
Boston Red Sox

This Week: 26 | Last Week: 26 | Record: 53-65

Team Stats

  • RS
    447
  • RA
    503
  • Diff.
    -56
  • OPS
    .682
  • ERA
    3.85
Probably time to give CF Jackie Bradley Jr. -- 0-for-32 since July 26, dropping his OPS to .571 for the season -- a good long break from major league pitching. 
Key Injuries: RF Shane Victorino (back), RF Allen Craig (ankle).
Arizona Diamondbacks

This Week: 27 | Last Week: 27 | Record: 51-67

Team Stats

  • RS
    476
  • RA
    559
  • Diff.
    -83
  • OPS
    .700
  • ERA
    4.31
Pitching has been a season-long problem for the Diamondbacks, but rookie RHP Chase Anderson (3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in 14 starts) is doing his part. 
Key Injuries: LHP Patrick Corbin (elbow), CF A.J. Pollock (hand), RHP Bronson Arroyo (elbow), SS Chris Owings (shoulder), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (hand).
Houston Astros

This Week: 28 | Last Week: 28 | Record: 50-70

Team Stats

  • RS
    476
  • RA
    -566
  • Diff.
    -90
  • OPS
    .697
  • ERA
    4.38
All-or-nothing LF Chris Carter has a .999 OPS since the break, his seven homers tied for second and 21 RBI ranking second in MLB in that time. 
Key Injuries: CF Dexter Fowler (intercostal), RF George Springer (quad), LF Alex Presley (oblique).
Colorado Rockies

This Week: 29 | Last Week: 29 | Record: 46-73

Team Stats

  • RS
    549
  • RA
    625
  • Diff.
    -76
  • OPS
    .768
  • ERA
    4.99
While the Rockies have managed three wins in their past 15 games, two of those wins have come in extras. One regulation win in 15 is pretty rough, but still not bad enough for the basement. 
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Chatwood (elbow), RF Michael Cuddyer (shoulder), SS Troy Tulowitzki (hip), LF Carlos Gonzalez (knee), LHP Brett Anderson (back).
Texas Rangers

This Week: 30 | Last Week: 30 | Record: 47-72

Team Stats

  • RS
    479
  • RA
    601
  • Diff.
    -122
  • OPS
    .699
  • ERA
    4.76
The crazy part is that the Rangers have the RBI leader since the All-Star break and it's C J.P. Arencibia, who had a .415 OPS prior to the break, but has an .825 OPS with 22 RBI in 22 games since he was recalled from the minors. 
Key Injuries: 1B Prince Fielder (neck), C Geovany Soto (knee), 2B Jurickson Profar (shoulder), LHP Derek Holland (knee), LHP Matt Harrison (back), LHP Martin Perez (elbow), 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle).