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Thursday, August 1, 2013
AL East extends its lead in power rankings

By Maura Brumley, ESPN Stats & Info

Can anyone top the beasts of the AL East? Ahead in the rankings all season, the AL East further increased its lead as the AL West and NL Central were both underwhelming months in July according to the ESPN Stats & Information MLB Division Power Rankings.

The Tampa Bay Rays led the way for the AL East last month. Strong pitching outings by David Price and Matt Moore helped propel the Rays to a 21-5 month.

However, according to our player ratings, those were not the big players for the AL East. Baseball's home run leader, Chris Davis, continues to lead the division in the batter player ratings at third overall (http://espn.go.com/mlb/playerratings/_/type/batting).

The Oakland Athletics have been the stabilizing factor in the AL West since last season. Sitting fifth in the power rankings (http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings) and holding one of the best records in baseball, the A’s are led by Josh Donaldson and Bartolo Colón ranking in the top 30 of the player rankings (http://espn.go.com/mlb/playerratings/_/type/pitching). And Bartolo Colón isn’t the only pitcher from the AL West dominating this season.

Yu Darvish holds the American League’s lowest opponent batting average and one of the best WHIPs in baseball. Darvish along with teammates Joe Nathan and Derek Holland have helped the AL West on the pitching side, but Mike Trout has provided the biggest boost from the offensive end for the AL West. Behind only Miguel Cabrera in batting average, Trout is arguably the second best hitter in the AL, doing his best to help a hurting Los Angeles Angels team.

The Seattle Mariners had their best month of the season, but sub-.500 months from the other three teams hurt. As a whole, the AL West had an ERA half a run higher than any of the other divisions.

With the Houston Astros holding steady at the bottom of the power rankings and the standings, it's not likely the AL West to overcome the AL East. However, improvement from the Angels or Rangers and continued winning from the Mariners could see the AL West start to chip away at the deficit.

For an explanation of the rankings system, click here.