MLB power rankings: Week 17

BY foxsports • July 30, 2013

By Shawn Ramsey

1 Cardinals 62-41

The Cardinals were swept over the weekend by the Braves and followed with a trip to Pittsburgh for a four-game series. If St. Louis can’t find the win column quickly, the Pirates could overtake the Redbirds.

2 Rays 63-43 +3

The Rays didn't start the week in first place in the AL East, but they did grab the top spot briefly over the weekend, which, considering how far this team has come, is a big accomplishment in its own.

3 Red Sox 63-44 -1

The Red Sox opened the week on top of the division, barely, after salvaging one win against the surging Rays. Instead of destroying a phone with his bat; Ortiz went back to destroying baseballs on Sunday, going 4 for 4 with a homer.

4 Pirates 62-42 -1

the Pirates are set for what could be the biggest four-game series of their season starting Monday against St. Louis. At just 1.5 games back in the division entering the week, Pittsburgh has a chance to take a decent lead.

5 Athletics 63-43 -1

Thanks to the Rangers struggles so far in the second half and their own quality play, the A’s took a commanding six-game lead in the division entering the week.

6 Tigers 59-45

There is more to a baseball club than just one player. Justin Verlander has hardly looked like his old self, getting hit hard in his two starts after the All-Star break -- allowing 12 earned runs in the span.

7 Braves 61-45 +1

Tim Hudson was on a four-game winning streak before Eric Young Jr. of the Mets ended his season early last week after inadvertently stepping on the pitcher’s ankle while he was covering first base.

8 Dodgers 56-48 +4

Dodgers’ fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that their club is finally living up to the lofty expectations it faced prior to the start of the season.

9 Orioles 58-48 -2

It’s not quite time to panic about Chris Davis’ post-break performance, but there is reason for concern in Baltimore. The slugger has yet to hit a homer, with only four RBI, in the 10 games since starting the All-Star game.

10 Reds 59-48 -1

The Reds took advantage of the slumping Giants starting the week but didn’t fare well against the surging Dodgers. Next weekend’s series against the Cardinals could be a crossroads for Cincinnati.

11 Indians 57-48 +2

Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez set the table for two straight shutouts in sweep of the struggling Rangers over the weekend, keeping the Indians in a tight race with the Tigers in the AL Central.

12 Yankees 55-50 -1

Derek Jeter homered in his first at-bat back from the DL, and recently acquired Alfonso Soriano had a monster game the same day. Could the Yankees be having flashbacks of their 103-win season in 2002?

13 Diamondbacks 54-51 +1

With the two wild-card spots appearing to be going to the second- and third-place NL Central teams, the Diamondbacks will need to find a way to pass the red-hot Dodgers, who took over first in the NL West.

14 Rangers 57-49 -4

Good news, recently acquired Matt Garza pitched well in his Rangers debut against the Yankees. Bad news, Texas has now lost 12 of its last 15 games and are six games back of Oakland.

15 Royals 51-51 +3

Back at .500, the Royals are getting hot at the right time of the season and putting themselves in a position to make a move towards the playoffs -- as many thought they would last offseason.

16 Nationals 52-54

After facing two of the league’s hottest teams in the first two series back from the All-Star break and coming away with one win, the Nationals fared better over the weekend -- taking three of four from the Mets.

17 Mariners 50-55 +2

The Mariners have been playing well since returning from the break but will be in for a big test as they head to the East Coast to take on the Red Sox and Orioles.

18 Phillies 49-56 -3

Losers of eight straight, the Phillies’ season appears to be all but over. Still, the team doesn’t appear to be willing to trade of any of its big names away before the deadline.

19 Angels 48-56 -2

Albert Pujols is possibly out for the season with a muscle tear in his left foot. Taking the time to recover might prove worthwhile for the Angels' slugger.

20 Cubs 48-56

Are the Cubs done sending players off to other teams? The team is prepping for the future, but a successful 10-game road trip has to leave at least some good feelings for the lovable losers.

21 Rockies 51-56 +1

The Rockies went 5-5 against three of the worst teams in the league since the All-Star break. Colorado won’t fare as well against the Braves and Pirates if they play the same way this week.

22 Twins 45-57 +1

Twins GM Terry Ryan has said no player is off-limits at the trade deadline as he continues to listen to deals, so how different will this roster look next week?

23 Giants 46-58 -2

President Obama honored the Giants at the White House for winning the World Series last season, reminding fans just how far this team has fallen as they sit in last place in the division.

24 Padres 49-58 +2

Good news in San Diego: If the Giants continue to play like they have, the Padres may avoid the cellar of the NL West. Of course, this team could go on a similar slide in the second half.

25 Blue Jays 48-57 -1

The Blue Jays stopped their losing streak by taking on the lowly Astros at home. But this week against the tougher opponents in the AL West, Toronto will have to play its best to keep turning things around.

26 Mets 47-56 -1

Last season, the Mets stayed put during the trade deadline. This year may be no different with the club wanting to hold on to the core of David Wright, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler as a starting place for the future.

27 Marlins 40-64 +1

Miami had a surprisingly solid week, highlighted by taking two of three from the Pirates. This week, the Marlins take on the Mets, who they have had success against this season.

28 White Sox 40-63 -1

The White Sox are another team that could have a completely different look by this time next week. A disastrous year has Chicago set to start the rebuilding process.

29 Brewers 44-61 +1

The Brewers weren’t experiencing success this season even before the Ryan Braun suspension news last week. Without their star slugger, they will be that much worse.

30 Astros 35-69 -1

Houston has the worst record in baseball and is poised to take the No.1 pick in the MLB Draft for a third straight year, which could help the Astros reach contention in just a couple short years.