MLB power rankings: Angels on fire as season hits home stretch

Angels manager Mike Scioscia celebrates a victory over Oakland with catcher Hank Conger and outfielder Mike Trout.

Jae C. Hong/AP

In just one weekend series, the Angels all but secured first place in the AL West with a four-game sweep over the A’s.

In an effort to bolster the bullpen for the final stretch, the Orioles called up Joe Saunders from the minors. The lefty had a 1.50 ERA in 10 appearances in Triple-A after struggling with the Rangers earlier this season.

A sweep by the Phillies on the road didn’t bode well for the Nationals to start last week. After this week’s three-game series in LA, Washington has only NL East opponents remaining.

Despite maintaining the highest run differential in the league, the A’s offense has been struggling as of late. Will the bat of Adam Dunn be enough to lift Oakland out of the rut?

Hyun-Jin Ryu came off the DL by pitching four-hit ball and striking out seven over seven innings against the Padres on Sunday, in time to help the Dodgers keep first place in the NL West entering the final month of play.

A three-game losing streak over the weekend left the Royals with just a half-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central.

Miguel Cabrera left Saturday’s game early with a sore ankle and is day-to-day. Luckily, nothing seems too serious with Detroit needing his bat to break past the Royals in the division.

After not having played since July 9, Yadier Molina was activated from the DL on Friday, giving the pitching staff its anchor behind the plate once again for the final month of play as the Cardinals attempt to move past Milwaukee in the NL Central.

After a rough week against the Rangers and Nationals, the Mariners lost their place in the wild-card race. Eighteen of their last 27 games are on the road, but Seattle has played well away from Safeco Field.

After an extended slump, the Giants are quickly gaining ground and back in the thick of the playoff chase.

The Brewers finished off their six-game West Coast road trip with a five-game losing streak, knocking them off their first place seat in the NL Central.

While the Royals and Tigers have been stealing the show vying for the top spot in the AL Central, the Indians have quietly sneaked back into the race.

The Pirates begin September with a 10-game road trip after winning seven of their last 10 games to end August.

The Braves are relying on their pitching staff to lead them to the playoffs as the Atlanta offense continues to struggle, scoring the third-fewest runs per game in the majors. Point proven: They were no-hit by the Phillies on Monday.

The Yankees have a tough road ahead if they want to take one of the AL’s two wild-card spots, with 15 games remaining against above .500 teams, eight of which are against the division-rival Orioles.

The Blue Jays are likely on the outside looking in for the wild-card race, but they made a trade with the Phillies to acquire John Mayberry Jr. to help make a possible final push in September.

The Rays played their way back to .500 on Aug. 15 but have started sliding once again, dropping 10 of their 15 games since.

Billy Hamilton broke a 105-year-old club record by stealing his 54th base of the year for the Reds, one year after his first big-league call-up.

Jarred Cosart has been a great addition for the Marlins in a trade from the Astros. Since joining his new team in Miami, Cosart has a 1.64 ERA in five starts, going 3-1 while allowing no home runs.

The Padres are thriving in the role of spoiler as the calendar turns to September and playoff races heat up. Last week, San Diego took two of three each against the Brewers and Dodgers.

Curtis Granderson hasn’t worked out so well for the Mets this season. Entering the week, his strikeout rate (21.9 percent) is higher than his batting average (.214).

After standing pat at the July 31 trade deadline, the Phillies made a move, sending John Mayberry Jr. to Toronto on Sunday. Could this be a sign a roster fire sale is coming in the offseason for Philadelphia?

In his first career at-bat, Jorge Soler hit a 423-foot homer against the Reds on Thursday. The Cubs’ future looks bright.

With Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, and Gordon Beckham shipped from Chicago last week, the White Sox begin reshaping the roster for another rebuild.

The Astros have already shown they are a better team than last year’s squad, but that wasn’t enough for manager Bo Porter to keep his job.

Dustin Pedroia is likely going to miss a week of action due to showing symptoms of a concussion after taking an elbow to the face Saturday against the Rays.

Losers of seven of their last eight games, the Twins are settling in at last place in the AL Central for the third time in four years. Will manager Ron Gardenhire be around for another chance in 2015?

Coming back from two Tommy John operations, Daniel Hudson is returning to the Diamondbacks to work as a reliever. He last pitched for Arizona in June 2012, and had a 1.50 ERA in his Triple-A rehab appearances.

In a season where not much has gone right, rookie starter Tyler Matzek has shown his potential in his last two outings, throwing 14 innings and allowing just two runs for two straight wins.

Down to the final month of the season, who will be picking at No. 1 in next year’s MLB Draft? The Rockies and Rangers will likely go down to the wire for the "honor."