MLB power rankings

By Shawn Ramsey

1 Dodgers 77-54 +1

The Dodgers have lost four of their last eight games and lost a series for the first time since June over the weekend, but that doesn’t take away from the fact LA is still the hottest team in baseball.

2 Braves 78-52 -1

The Braves have the best record in the league entering the week, and the schedule works in their favor for the rest of the season.

3 Tigers 77-54

Miguel Cabrera’s stats are better this season than last season’s Triple Crown-winning year. Only one problem? Baltimore’s Chris Davis is somehow hitting more home runs.

4 Cardinals 77-54 +4

Adam Wainwright picked up his 15th win of the season against Atlanta Friday night and the righthander moved past Chris Carpenter to third on the all-time franchise strikeout list.

5 Red Sox 77-55 +1

Was the Interleague matchup of the Dodgers and Red Sox last weekend a World Series preview? If that is the case, Boston has several reasons to be excited after handing LA its first series loss since June.

6 Rays 74-55 +1

July wasn’t a good month for Evan Longoria, but now the Rays slugger is back to tearing the cover off the ball with six home runs in his past 10 games, including three in the weekend series against the Yankees.

7 Pirates 76-54 -2

Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Cardinals are heating up in time for the stretch run to the division title. Pittsburgh has six games remaining against St. Louis to try to create some space in a tight division race.

8 Rangers 76-55 -4

The Rangers swept the Astros to begin last week but didn’t fare so well against the also inept White Sox. If Texas is going to take the division from Oakland, they will need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat.

9 Reds 74-58 +1

The Reds will need a good series in St. Louis to have a chance for the division title.

10 Orioles 70-59 +1

At 5.5 games back in the division, the AL East could be out of reach for the Orioles, but a playoff berth is in play after taking two of three from the A’s, who are currently in the second Wild Card spot.

11 Athletics 73-57 -2

Saturday, Jarrod Parker beat Baltimore to win his eighth consecutive decision. The righthander is unbeaten in 16 starts, one shy of the club record held by Catfish Hunter.

12 Indians 71-59 +1

Cleveland is still hoping to get a wild-card playoff berth but their next three series are against tough teams in Atlanta, Detroit and Baltimore.

13 Yankees 69-62 +2

The Yankees are starting to find their winning ways once again, but it might be too late.

14 Nationals 65-65 +2

The Nationals won five straight last week to put themselves over .500 once again in what has been a disappointing season.

15 Diamondbacks 67-63 -3

The Diamondbacks showed their resilience by winning the 18-inning marathon in Philadelphia in an otherwise disappointing week.

16 Royals 66-64 -2

Kansas City ended its seven-game losing streak Sunday, but the damage is done and the Royals are likely just playing to end their season on a high note.

17 Padres 59-72 +2

Once thought to have been a potential ace, Edinson Volquez was designated for assignment after a 9-10 record with a 6.01 ERA in 27 starts for the Padres.

18 Angels 58-71

Josh Hamilton is finally getting back to his old ways amid a down year. In his last 15 games, the slugger is batting. 344, which has raised his overall average to a season-high .235.

19 Mariners 59-71 -2

Seattle had one of the most potent offenses in the league in July, but in August the club’s bats have struggled.

20 Giants 58-73 +3

This season the Giants have two Tim Lincecums — a good one and a bad one. When the former Cy Young winner is on his game, opponents better watch out; but when he isn’t, expect the worst.

21 Phillies 60-71 +6

Maybe the Phillies just needed a second opinion? After Charlie Manuel’s exit, Ryne Sandberg’s squad has had more excitement, including three walk-off wins and an 18-inning marathon last week.

22 Rockies 62-71

Wilin Rosario had his 13-game hitting streak snapped on Friday night, but the second-year catcher has the Rockies excited about his future. He had 20 HRs and 70 RBI entering the week.

23 Twins 57-72 +2

Joe Mauer has insisted he wants to continue playing catcher, but after landing on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms after getting hit by a ball, the Twins might want their star to reconsider.

24 Cubs 55-76 -3

Cubs fans haven’t had much to cheer for this season, but Jeff Samardzija has been pitching well. The righty threw a league-high 17 innings in two starts last week, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.

25 Blue Jays 59-73 -5

The Blue Jays ended their seven-game losing streak Sunday by scoring two runs in the ninth inning in Houston to help Mark Buehrle earn his 10th win of the season.

26 Brewers 57-73

The Brewers won’t be going to the postseason this year, but they do have an excellent chance to play spoiler for the three teams in their division who are still in the race.

27 White Sox 54-76 +1

The Danks brothers, Jordan and John, capped off a good week for the White Sox, helping the team take a series against the Rangers on Sunday. Jordan’s go-ahead homer paved the way for John’s fourth win.

28 Mets 58-71 -4

One of the Mets’ few bright spots this season has been Matt Harvey, but now the young star is heading to the disabled list with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, putting his 2014 season in jeopardy.

29 Marlins 49-80

Jose Fernandez is giving Marlins fans something to look forward to. The 21-year-old pitcher was named Co-National League Player of the Week for the second time the season.

30 Astros 44-86

Manager Bo Porter is looking to have more speed in his lineup, and with Jonathan Villar, Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes — all of whom began the season in the minors — the Astros are hoping their running ways will produce more wins.