MLB power rankings

By Shawn Ramsey

1 Pirates 51-30 +2

The Pirates, yes the Pirates, hold the best record in the majors entering this week. This team looks to have it all, with great pitching and an excellent lineup making the Bucs a team to fear once again after 20-plus years.

2 Rangers 48-34

Yu Darvish finally notched a win for the first time in eight starts, with help from young Rangers Leonys Martin and Engel Beltre. Both could find more playing time, given David Murphy’s struggles this season.

3 Red Sox 50-34 +2

The Red Sox have 50 wins entering July, the American League’s best record. The team continues to show resilience under the new direction of manager John Farrell, despite injuries and bullpen struggles.

4 Cardinals 49-32 -3

After weeks of domination, the Cardinals have hit a rough patch, a 2-6 stretch heading into this week. They lost the MLB’s best record and first place in the National League Central to the Pirates.

5 Athletics 48-35 +3

The A’s are a good team, but they need to consistently play at the level they did last week against two of the National League’s best teams, the Cardinals and Reds, to pass the Rangers in the AL West.

6 Orioles 47-36 +1

After a weekend sweep of the Yankees, the Orioles like where they sit in the division. If Baltimore can find another pitching piece before the trade deadline, it could take the AL East.

7 Braves 48-34 +3

The Braves railed for their 23rd comeback victory of the season Saturday against the Diamondbacks, tops in the National League. This team doesn’t quit when it gets down.

8 Reds 47-36 -4

The Reds will be looking to put June behind them after going 12-15 for the month.

9 Tigers 43-38 -3

Max Scherzer ran his record to 12-0 by defeating the Rays on Friday night. He became the first starting pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to open a season with the mark.

10 Indians 44-38 +5

Justin Masterson turned in his third shutout of the season Sunday, the most in the majors this season, while picking up his 10th win.

11 Rays 44-39 +5

David Price will make his return to the Rays after missing six weeks because of injury. The reigning AL Cy Young winner hopes he has regained some of last season’s sparkle during his time on the DL.

12 Yankees 43-39 -1

Robinson Cano is lacking firepower around him in the lineup. He’s on pace end the season with a career high in walks and will not get many good pitches to hit until the lineup gets bolstered.

13 Blue Jays 41-41 -4

Despite the team’s recent climb, the Blue Jays still sit in the basement of the AL East, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. They are only 8-1/2 games back of Boston with plenty of time to make up ground.

14 Nationals 42-40 +4

The Nationals reinstate Bryce Harper from the DL after he misses 31 games. He’s back just in time to help the team make a turnaround from a slow first half.

15 Diamondbacks 42-40 -3

The Diamondbacks came away with only one win last week but still continue to lead the weaker-than-expected NL West, with the other four teams hot on their heels.

16 Angels 39-43 +6

The Angels have a six-game winning streak entering the week, but the competition heats up with games against the Cardinals and Red Sox.

17 Rockies 41-42

The Rockies started out as a surprise team but now are mediocre at the halfway point. Luckily, the NL West is a weak division, giving Colorado a chance to still make some noise.

18 Royals 38-41 +1

Despite struggling recently, the Royals are far from being eliminated. They are only 4-1/2 games back of the division leaders entering this week. Maybe being buyers at the trade deadline can get Kansas City over the hump.

19 Dodgers 38-43 +5

The Dodgers are on the rise, finally, and it is thanks mostly to the rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, who seemingly has single-handedly given the team new life.

20 Padres 40-43 -6

The Padres’ surge was nice to see in a young, rebuilding team. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t going to last forever.

21 Giants 39-43 -8

This team isn’t looking like defending World Series champions, even with almost the same roster in place as last year. The Giants need to turn things around quickly or they will be watching the playoffs at home.

22 Phillies 39-44 -2

Domonic Brown, not Ryan Howard nor Chase Utley, is leading the Phillies in most offensive categories. Brown had 21 home runs, 57 RBI and an .866 OPS entering the week.

23 Twins 36-43 -2

The Twins finally have something to look forward to after the impressive debut of Kyle Gibson, who became Minnesota’s first first-round pick to win a start in his major league debut.

24 Mariners 35-47 11

The 41-year-old Raul Ibanez is leading the Mariners offensively, with 19 home runs and 45 RBI entering the week, while Seattle also looks to its future. Top prospects Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin are getting plenty of chances to shine.

25 Cubs 35-45 +2

Edwin Jackson started June with a 1-7 record but looks to be turning over a new leaf, going 3-3 for the month while gradually lowering his inflated ERA.

26 Mets 34-45

Zack Wheeler won in his major league debut in Atlanta, but his first start in New York didn’t go so well against the Nationals. Washington tagged the young right-hander for five earned runs, resulting in his first loss.

27 Brewers 32-49 -2

The Brewers managed only four hits Sunday in a 14-inning game against the Pirates, with three coming off the bat of Martin Maldonado. The lack of offense has helped Milwaukee settle into the basement of the NL Central.

28 White Sox 32-47

Chris Sale picked up another tough-luck loss, his seventh loss of the season, against the Indians on Sunday. The White Sox can’t manage to score runs for its respectable pitching staff.

29 Marlins 30-51 +1

The Marlins’ record for June was 15-10, the best for the month out of all NL East clubs. That makes things a little more exciting in Miami after a terrible start to the season.

30 Astros 30-53 -1

Brett Wallace, once a highly touted prospect, gets the call back to the big-league club after a stint in Triple-A. Let’s see whether he can produce this time around.