A's No. 1 for fourth straight week

Updated: July 14, 2014, 12:09 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Oakland Athletics, who have the best record in the majors at 59-36, are in the top spot in the ESPN.com Power Rankings for the fourth consecutive week.

At 57-37, the Los Angeles Angels remain in the No. 2 spot for the second straight week. This week's biggest riser is the St. Louis Cardinals, who are up six spots to No. 5 after winning five of their past seven games.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. How do you rank all 30 teams? Go ahead and rank them yourself.

Tell us what you think about the Power Rankings. Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER.

2014 Power Rankings: July 14
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
--

Last Week: 1
Sonny Gray has been dominant in July as he's 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three starts this month. -- ESPN.com
2
Angels
57-37
--

Last Week: 2
The Angels head into the All-Star break proudly bearing the moniker of "hottest team in baseball." The club has won five in a row and 19 of 23, putting them well within striking distance (1 1/2 games) of the league's best record. Most encouraging is the Halos' recent success vs. the rest of the AL West, against whom they've won 11 straight. -- Nate Aderhold, Halos Daily
3
Tigers
53-38
2
Last Week: 5
Many will wonder if J.D. Martinez can continue his torrid pace into the second half and beyond. While he probably won't slug .654 for the rest of the season, we do have some history that indicates he really is a middle-of-the-lineup bat. In three minor league seasons with Houston, Martinez featured the following slash lines (2009) .348/.399/.598, (2010) .341/.407/.531 and (2011) .338/.414/.546. -- Joshua Worn, Walkoff Woodward
4
Dodgers
54-43
2
Last Week: 6
Three one-run wins versus the Padres takes a bit of the sting out of being dominated by the Tigers in a quick two-game series. Up one game on the Giants at the break, they got Carl Crawford back after he missed 40 games with a left ankle sprain. Clayton Kershaw's past eight starts: 8-0, 0.74 ERA, 61 innings pitched, 31 hits, 6 walks, 80 strikeouts. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
5
6
Last Week: 11
The Cardinals suffered their biggest blow yet when Yadier Molina tore ligaments in his right thumb. He's expected to miss 8-12 weeks. The Cardinals rallied, however, and momentarily pulled even with the Brewers for first place in the NL Central and now head into break one game back. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
6
Orioles
52-42
4
Last Week: 10
Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds have the Orioles going 33-35 the rest of the way, which is the worst projection in the AL East. That said, those same playoff odds think the Orioles' four-game lead buffers them enough to have a 59 percent chance to make the playoffs. -- Jon Shepherd (@CamdenDepot), Camden Depot
7
Brewers
53-43
4
Last Week: 3
The Milwaukee Brewers endured an awful final week before the All-Star break both on and off the field. They dropped seven straight games before closing out the first half with a big 11-2 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. Despite losing 11 of their last 13 before the break, the club was still only a half a game behind the Dodgers for the best first-half record in the National League. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
8
1
Last Week: 7
The healthier the Nats get the more they look like the title contenders they were picked to be at the start of the season. They are 10-6 since the return of Wilson Ramos to the lineup, and 8-4 since Bryce Harper's bat came back. -- Harper Gordek (@harpergordek), Nationals Baseball
9
Braves
52-43
5
Last Week: 4
The Braves are in the middle of a stretch of 31 games against sub-.500 opponents. So far they are 14-6, with 11 more games to go after the break. They have done what they need to do to keep pace with the Nationals. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
10
Giants
52-43
1
Last Week: 9
Beginning with the no-hitter he pitched June 25, Tim Lincecum is 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA in his past four starts. -- ESPN.com
11
3
Last Week: 8
Despite a feeble offense that is last in the AL in on-base percentage, the Mariners head into the break in possession of the second wild card. Don't be surprised if they trade for a back-end starter: Roenis Elias has a 6.46 ERA over his past seven starts and Taijuan Walker remains an uncertainty in the fifth spot. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
12
Reds
51-44
2
Last Week: 14
Last weekend, the Reds were seven games out of first. Despite injuries to key players (such as Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips), Cincinnati somehow managed to win seven of nine to move within 1.5 games of Milwaukee at the All-Star break. Baseball is a funny game. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
13
Pirates
49-46
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Last Week: 13
Considering nominal ace Francisco Liriano is 1-7 with a 4.72 ERA in 15 starts, the Pirates have to feel good about being just 3.5 games out of first. His return Sunday after missing a month wasn't good, however, with six walks in four innings. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
14
2
Last Week: 12
The Jays limp into the All-Star break after a 2-5 week. Compounding matters, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind have been placed on the DL and it's been leaked that Jose Reyes has been playing hurt with an injured right shoulder. The club's record for the next few weeks should determine if the Jays are buyers or sellers at the trading deadline. -- Matthias Koster, Mop-Up Duty
15
Royals
48-46
--

Last Week: 15
Losing three of four at home to the Tigers over the weekend dropped K.C. to 4-9 on the season against Detroit. They won't play the Tigers again until early September. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
16
Indians
47-47
1
Last Week: 17
The Indians enter the break at .500, the picture of inconsistency in the first half. If they hope to contend in the second half, they need more consistent offensive production -- particularly from marquee players such as Nick Swisher. It would also be helpful if they could figure out a way to fix Justin Masterson. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
17
Yankees
47-47
1
Last Week: 16
The Yankees ended the week with a rain-shortened loss to the first-place Orioles, which gave them a 47-47 record at the break. With the loss of their ace, Masahiro Tanaka, for at least six weeks -- or for more than a year if he needs elbow surgery -- they're in deep trouble if they don't get help. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money
18
Marlins
44-50
--

Last Week: 18
The Marlins enter the break a season-high six games under .500, scoring only 12 runs in going 1-5 against the Cubs and Mets. Henderson Alvarez, leading the majors with three shutouts, is going to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Jordan Zimmermann. Alvarez's 2.63 ERA is fifth-best in the National League. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
19
Mets
45-50
5
Last Week: 24
Hot at home: The Mets finished the first half by going 8-2 in a 10-game homestand, winning all three series of a homestand for the first time since April 19-28, 2010. They've won their past five home series and are 25-23 at home this year. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
20
1
Last Week: 19
The White Sox are not a particularly good hitting team. They're not particularly good at anything, as their starting rotation and bullpen both rate out below average and their defense is error-prone and lacking range at multiple positions. Yet their .250/.311/.403 batting line through the first half -- only good for a 97 OPS+ -- represents massive improvement over 2013. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
21
Rays
44-53
--

Last Week: 21
The Rays' deficit remains single digits in the American League East; however, they are losing ground in terms of time. Whether the Rays make the postseason or not, the path to the playoffs still may run through Tampa Bay as they hold two key pieces (Ben Zobrist and David Price) on the trade market. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
22
Twins
44-50
--

Last Week: 22
The Twins rebounded from a bad slump to win five of their past six games, setting a positive tone as Target Field prepares to host this week's All-Star festivities. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
23
Red Sox
43-52
3
Last Week: 20
Since the exorcism of A.J. Pierzynski from the roster, the Red Sox have gone all-in with their prospects, signaled by the call-up of defensive whiz Christian Vazquez. The result? Back-to-back walk-offs, followed by a dominating series win in Houston. Even though they have the look of sellers at the trade deadline, they're only 9.5 games back of the AL East lead with 67 left to play. -- Brett Cowett (@firebrandal), Fire Brand of the AL
24
3
Last Week: 27
Has there been a bigger disappointment in the majors than Domonic Brown? He hit .227/.279/.329 in the first half and was valued at minus-1.4 WAR -- only Michael Choice (minus-1.7) of the Rangers and the released Alfonso Soriano of the Yankees (minus-1.5) have been less valuable. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
25
Padres
41-54
2
Last Week: 23
The Padres rank last in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, total bases ... ahh, you know. After hitting .214 and averaging 2.94 runs per game in the first half, the Padres could be the lowest scoring team since the 1972 Angels averaged 2.93 runs per game. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
26
Cubs
40-54
1
Last Week: 25
The Cubs gave up 10 or more runs in back-to-back home games for the first time since 2002 over the weekend. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
27
Rockies
40-55
1
Last Week: 28
After beginning the season 22-14, the Rockies limp into the All-Star break with a 40-55 record. It's hard to imagine a second half worse than the first, especially with a roster resembling full-strength. But it's time to look forward. The story for July will be whether the Rockies sell at the trade deadline or stand pat. -- Eric Garcia McKinley (@garcia_mckinley), Rockies Zingers
28
2
Last Week: 30
Only three times have the D-backs had a worse record at the All-Star break. The most recent of those bad first halves came in 2010 (34-55) -- coinciding with a regime change. But GM Kevin Towers is still in the big chair, and he has a few more short-term trade chips to flip before this year's deadline, including a resurgent Martin Prado. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@InsidetheZona), Inside the 'Zona
29
Astros
40-56
--

Last Week: 29
Swept the skidding Rangers to move into fourth place, which they managed to hold onto despite dropping two of three to the Red Sox. Relief corps costing Houston, with majors-worst 5.05 ERA and .272 opponents' batting average. Seventh inning is a landmine, with majors-worst 80 runs allowed (the A's, by contrast, are best in that inning, with only 25 runs allowed). -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
30
Rangers
38-57
4
Last Week: 26
The All-Star break has mercifully arrived for the struggling Rangers, who arrive at this point having lost 22 of 25 games. The lone bright spot has been Adrian Beltre, whose .337 average is at the top of the American League. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away

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