Fifth straight week for A's in top spot

Updated: July 21, 2014, 12:14 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Oakland Athletics, who continue to have the best record in the majors at 61-37, are in the top spot in the ESPN.com Power Rankings for the fifth straight week.

Trailing the A's by just 1½ games in the American League West, the Los Angeles Angels remain at No. 2 for the third straight week. This week's biggest riser is the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants, who are up six spots to No. 4.

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 21
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
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Last Week: 1
Has anyone been hotter than Stephen Vogt? He's hitting .392 with a 1.044 OPS in July while playing catcher, first base and right field. -- ESPN.com
2
Angels
59-38
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Last Week: 2
Huston Street joins a bullpen that is trending upward. Since June 20, it has thrown 88 innings and allowed only 20 earned runs, good for a 2.04 ERA. If you remove the six runs attributed to relievers who are no longer on the active roster, that figure falls to 1.48. Street, who owns the fourth-lowest ERA among all big league relievers, should help make a strong unit a dominant one. -- Andrew Karcher, Halos Daily
3
Tigers
54-41
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Last Week: 3
Despite continued ulcer-inducing struggles by the pen, Detroit remains 5 games up on Cleveland atop the AL Central after Sunday's 5-1 win kept the Indians from completing their first four-game sweep in Motown. Heading into July 21 last summer, Detroit was just 1 games ahead in the Central with a .542 winning percentage, compared to this year's .568 mark. -- Ryan Callery (@AdSal44), Walkoff Woodward
4
Giants
54-44
6
Last Week: 10
The Giants were once 9 games up on the Dodgers in the NL West, but the longtime rivals now are tied, setting the stage for an epic second-half pennant race. San Francisco will need to match its surprising power output from the first half (86 home runs) and maintain solid starting pitching to keep pace with a dynamic roster in Los Angeles. -- Connor Grossman (@GiantsBaseball), West Coast Bias
5
3
Last Week: 8
Since going 3-for-28 with one double when he first came back from injury, Bryce Harper has seven hits in his past 19 at-bats, including two home runs. -- Harper Gordek (@harpergordek), Nationals Baseball
6
1
Last Week: 5
In his second game back from the DL, Joe Kelly helped the Cardinals return from the break to take two of three from the Dodgers and climb into a first-place tie with the Brewers. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
7
Dodgers
55-45
3
Last Week: 4
The Dodgers must have concerns regarding the severity of the hand injuries to Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig, each hit by pitches this past weekend. Clayton Kershaw got his first career stolen base Sunday evening, but he did yield three runs for the first time in nine starts. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
8
Orioles
53-44
2
Last Week: 6
While the Orioles need Nelson Cruz to continue to make an impact in the second half, he has gotten off to a slow start: He is just 1-for-13 in the first three games since the break. -- ESPN.com
9
Braves
54-44
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Last Week: 9
The Braves will now play with a full 25-man roster for the first time in months, as they finally muscled-up enough courage to cut the dead weight of Dan Uggla. They also swapped lefty relievers by demoting Luis Avilan and promoting rookie Chasen Shreve. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
10
Brewers
54-45
3
Last Week: 7
The Brewers have watched what was a 6-game lead in the NL Central on July 1 completely evaporate. General manager Doug Melvin is consistently downplaying the idea of getting major help on the trade market, though the team could definitely use a left-handed bat and a powerful right-handed reliever to help win what is now a four-way race for the division. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
11
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Last Week: 11
Robinson Cano's hamstring issues come at a bad time for the Mariners, who have averaged only 2.2 runs in their past 13 games. -- ESPN.com
12
Pirates
52-46
1
Last Week: 13
The Pirates, winners of six straight at home, have gone a National League-best 12-2 at PNC Park since June 19, as the starters have posted a 2.33 ERA. -- ESPN.com
13
Reds
51-47
1
Last Week: 12
Can the Reds survive in this race long enough for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to return to the lineup? In the weekend sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Cincinnati scored six runs, went 20-for-101 at the plate and was only 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Get well soon, Joey. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
14
Indians
50-48
2
Last Week: 16
The Indians came off the break looking like a team that means business, taking 3 of 4 from the Tigers in Detroit. Jason Kipnis and Chris Dickerson each had multihomer games in the series. The Indians have an MLB-leading 22 home runs during July. Corey Kluber continues to dominate, striking out 10 and walking one in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. -- Susan Petrone (@SusanPetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
15
1
Last Week: 14
Melky Cabrera is red-hot to begin the second half, going 7-for-13 (.538) with a home run and three RBIs. -- ESPN.com
16
Yankees
50-47
1
Last Week: 17
The All-Star break couldn't have come at a better time for the battered rotation and the tired lineup. The biggest highlight of the week was Derek Jeter's send-off in his final All-Star Game, but a series sweep of the Reds behind strong starts from David Phelps, Brandon McCarthy and Hiroki Kuroda to kick off a 10-game homestand was a close second. -- Brad Vietrogoski (@IIATMS), It's About the Money
17
Royals
48-49
2
Last Week: 15
Billy Butler has just three home runs in 353 at-bats this season. The Royals are last in the majors with 55 homers in 97 games played. -- ESPN.com
18
Rays
47-53
3
Last Week: 21
On June 11, the Rays were 15 games back in the AL East. Following a weekend sweep of the Twins, the deficit is now half that. The second wild card is even closer. The next 10 days will affect the future of the franchise as the decision whether to trade David Price will have long-lasting ramifications. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
19
1
Last Week: 20
If it weren't for those meddling Astros, John Danks might be a cuddly comeback story. His ERA (4.35) would be an even 4.00 if you removed his 14 earned runs allowed to the 'Stros in two starts. Matt Dominguez has hit three homers off Danks this year alone. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
20
Mets
46-52
1
Last Week: 19
Lucas Duda has reached base safely in 21 of his past 23 games, hitting .307 (24-for-78) with a .409 on-base percentage. Jeurys Familia has allowed one earned run in his past 16.2 innings dating to June 12 for a 0.52 ERA. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
21
Red Sox
46-52
2
Last Week: 23
Even after the All-Star break, the wins keep coming for the Red Sox. Winners of seven of their past eight, the Sox are teaming up with the just-as-hot Rays to turn the AL East into a two-month battle royale. Jon Lester continues to look unstoppable; in his past four starts, Lester has a 33/4 K/BB ratio and only one earned run in 31 innings. Is that bad? -- Brett Cowett (@BACowett), Fire Brand of the AL
22
Marlins
45-52
4
Last Week: 18
Brad Hand allowed two runs in seven innings Sunday for his first win as a starter since July 7, 2011. He is now 2-12 as a starter. Casey McGehee finally hit his second homer of the season, which means he can't break the record for the most RBIs with only one homer in a season (Bill Sweeney had one homer and 100 RBIs in 1912 for the Boston Braves). -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
23
Twins
44-53
1
Last Week: 22
The Twins were swept at home by the Rays in their first series coming out of the break, pushing them deeper into last place and solidifying their status as sellers as the trade deadline approaches. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
24
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Last Week: 24
If Marlon Byrd is auditioning for other teams, he's certainly improving his trade value. Although the Phillies have dropped four of their past five, Byrd has been a bright spot, with eight hits in his past 23 at-bats. -- ESPN.com
25
Padres
43-55
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Last Week: 25
Odrisamer Despaigne's no-hit bid on Sunday wasn't a fluke. In his five major league starts, the Cuban rookie has pitched at least six innings in each and has yet to allow more than two earned runs. -- ESPN.com
26
2
Last Week: 28
The Diamondbacks got right to work after the All-Star break by sweeping the Cubs in a matchup of poor performers. The real story remains which D-backs will be traded in the next 10 days, however, with several candidates drawing interest. The team has chips to move, but may have to eat some salary to make meaningful deals. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
27
Cubs
40-57
1
Last Week: 26
The Cubs are a woeful 2-11 since trading Jeff Samardzija to the A's. -- ESPN.com
28
Rockies
40-58
1
Last Week: 27
Swept in Pittsburgh during the weekend, the Rockies emerged from the break along the same trajectory they've been on since May. However, while the losing has become familiar, it's taken on a darker aura with owner Dick Monfort's recent public-relations gaffes, including the suggestion that Denver doesn't deserve a team. -- Ryan Hammon (@ryanhammon), Rockies Zingers
29
Astros
41-58
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Last Week: 29
They exploded for 11 runs and 17 hits in a win Sunday. Dallas Keuchel's past five starts (all on the road): 29.2 innings pitched, 48 hits, 12 walks, 17 strikeouts, .435 BABIP. Going into Sunday, George Springer ranked second in the majors with 20 home runs since his debut May 8, trailing only Edwin Encarnacion in that category during that span. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
30
Rangers
39-59
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Last Week: 30
The Rangers are now 20 games below .500 for the first time since 2003. Among the pitching problems currently plaguing the club, Colby Lewis has posted a .423 BABIP, the highest for any pitcher who has had 75 IP or more in a season. It's just been that kind of year in Texas. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away

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