Cardinals again No. 1; Jays move up

Updated: August 31, 2015, 12:24 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

In Week 22 of our rankings, the St. Louis Cardinals own the top spot for the 14th consecutive week.

The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, move into the No. 4 spot after being in the sixth position in each of the past three weeks.

This week's voters are Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, 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.

2015 Power Rankings: August 31
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
--

Last Week: 1
Rookie Stephen Piscotty has provided punch (.378 OBP/.576 SLG) since his call-up in July, while Matt Carpenter's revival corresponds with his return to the leadoff spot. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
2
Royals
80-50
--

Last Week: 2
One of the Royals' best moves of the offseason was the decision to let Billy Butler walk and sign Kendrys Morales, who has a chance to lead the American League in RBIs while hitting .350 with runners in scoring position. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
3
Pirates
79-50
--

Last Week: 3
Even after Sunday's loss, the Pirates have won 14 of 18 ... and picked up just 2 games in the standings. Next up: a nine-game road trip to Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
4
2
Last Week: 6
Going forward, we may see more pitchers going down with "flu-like symptoms" before starts against the Blue Jays. Led by Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and the red-hot Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto has scored nine-plus runs in six of its past nine games. Scary. -- Joshua Howsam (@House4545), Blue Jays Plus
5
Cubs
74-55
1
Last Week: 4
Jake Arrieta finished off a stellar August by tossing his first career no-hitter on Sunday. In six starts in August, he was 6-0 with a 0.43 ERA. -- ESPN.com
6
Mets
72-58
3
Last Week: 9
In 18 appearances with the Mets, Tyler Clippard has compiled a 0.51 ERA while allowing one home run in 17⅔ innings pitched. -- ESPN.com
7
Astros
72-59
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Last Week: 7
The Astros' streak of nine straight games allowing two runs are fewer -- the first team to do that since the 1992 Pirates -- was snapped on Friday, when they allowed three runs. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
8
Dodgers
72-57
--

Last Week: 8
Clayton Kershaw's last loss came on June 27; in 10 starts since, he has a 0.92 ERA and a 6-0 record. Vin Scully will be coming back in 2016, but he believes it will be his final year in the booth. Los Angeles is 3-9 versus San Francisco so far in 2015, and host them for three games this week. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
9
Yankees
72-57
4
Last Week: 5
For all of the grief the Yankees took at the trade deadline for their lack of activity, their best move was calling up 21-year-old Luis Severino. He has pitched as well as any ace the team might have acquired, throwing 29 innings to a nifty 2.17 ERA. -- Jason Rosenberg (@IIATMS), It's About the Money
10
Giants
69-61
--

Last Week: 10
The addition of Marlon Byrd has helped buoy the offense temporarily, but the Giants' lineup is still struggling with two main cogs on the disabled list. San Francisco hopes Joe Panik and Hunter Pence return to the field soon, as the team sits 3 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. -- Andrew Tweedy (@WCBGiants), West Coast Bias
11
Rangers
68-61
--

Last Week: 11
Delino DeShields has the lowest percentage in the league of swings at pitches outside the strike zone (16.9 percent). The Rangers enter the week in control of the second AL wild-card spot, and they're three games back of Houston in the AL West with seven head-to-head matchups remaining. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
12
Angels
65-65
--

Last Week: 12
Mike Trout went 4-for-4 on Sunday, but he's still hitting .227 in August with one home run and six RBIs -- possibly falling behind Josh Donaldson in the MVP race as a result. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
13
2
Last Week: 15
Batting out of the leadoff spot (just 40 at-bats) this season, Jayson Werth is hitting .325 with a .413 on-base percentage. -- ESPN.com
14
Twins
67-63
2
Last Week: 16
Two more series wins against postseason contenders last week kept the Twins in the thick of the wild-card race. Young phenom Miguel Sano has smashed six homers and driven in 15 runs over his past 12 games to lead the charge. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily
15
Orioles
63-67
2
Last Week: 13
Despite being the only team in the hunt for the second AL wild-card spot with a positive run differential, the Orioles keep losing games. They are now 17-24 in one-run games and have come up empty in critical situations. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
16
1
Last Week: 17
Just as the Diamondbacks were gaining ground in the NL West, thanks to a four-game sweep of the Reds, they were immediately swept themselves by the force that is the St. Louis Cardinals. Arizona continues to struggle to find consistency on the mound and is paying the price for it. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona
17
Rays
64-66
3
Last Week: 14
Chris Archer is third in the American League in strikeouts (217) while also allowing 15 home runs in 175 innings pitched. -- ESPN.com
18
Indians
63-66
4
Last Week: 22
The Indians have won eight of their past 10 games and now have four pitchers who've recorded more than 150 strikeouts this season. Catcher Yan Gomes also hit his first career grand slam on Saturday. Not a bad week. -- Susan Petrone (@susanpetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
19
Padres
63-67
--

Last Week: 19
Since the All-Star break, Ian Kennedy is 4-4 with a 2.32 ERA. Kennedy had a 4.91 ERA in the first half of the season. Over his past 16 starts, Kennedy has a 2.63 ERA with 93 strikeouts against 29 walks with an opponents' batting average of .230. Matt Kemp needs two homers to get to 200 in his career. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
20
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Last Week: 20
Why did the White Sox fall out of the wild-card race immediately after the trade deadline? Look no further than Jeff Samardzija, who they neglected to trade. He went 0-6 in August with an 8.82 ERA and 47 hits and eight home runs allowed in 33⅔ innings pitched. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
21
Red Sox
60-70
--

Last Week: 21
2015 staff ace Clay Buchholz is officially shut down for the season. Because he sports one of his highest career strikeout rates and his lowest career walk rate, exercising his option is "a pretty simple thing," according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski -- so long as he's pronounced healthy. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
22
Tigers
60-70
4
Last Week: 18
If the Tigers' wild-card hopes weren't dead entering last week, they certainly are now after a pair of woeful series against the Angels and Blue Jays. They find themselves in last place in the AL Central and 20 games out of first for the first time since 2005. The only good news is the resurgence of Justin Verlander, which bodes well for 2016. -- Grey Papke (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
23
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Last Week: 23
The Mariners finally removed Jack Zduriencik from his duties as GM last week and immediately began the search for his successor. Jack Z's legacy will be one of unmet expectations, thanks in large part to inexplicable failures from draft picks and free agents alike. Virtually nothing went as planned, and the M's will start over again. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona
24
1
Last Week: 25
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte earned his first major league win on Sunday after throwing two scoreless innings in relief in the A's 7-4 victory over the Diamondbacks. -- ESPN.com
25
Braves
54-76
1
Last Week: 26
With one win in its past 13 games, this young Braves team is setting its sights on 2016 and beyond. Atlanta will use the rest of the season and the expanded rosters to evaluate what it has in the rotation and several spots in the field. All of these losses are helping Atlanta attain a better first-round draft pick next year. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
26
Brewers
55-75
2
Last Week: 24
Murphy's Law might be the best way to describe the 2015 Brewers season, and the past week is great evidence. Milwaukee scored five or more runs in four games, but the pitching found ways to lose. As everyone from Scooter Gennett to Jonathan Lucroy finds success at the plate, Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Matt Garza and Francisco Rodriguez struggle. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker
27
Reds
53-76
--

Last Week: 27
A difficult season for the team hasn't kept Joey Votto from having another elite season at the plate. Votto is hitting .312/.453/.553 with 25 home runs, after his ninth-inning two-run blast led the Reds to a victory on Saturday. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
28
Rockies
52-76
--

Last Week: 28
Impending free agents Kyle Kendrick and Justin Morneau are expected to return by the end of the season. They wouldn't block any stud September prospects, but it does hinder the Rockies from building value by seeing what their "free talent" minor leaguers could accomplish. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers
29
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Last Week: 29
The Phillies begin the week with a three-game series at Citi Field. Did we mention the Phils are 1-12 against the Mets this season? (They're 5-8 against the Nationals.) -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
30
Marlins
52-79
--

Last Week: 30
Dee Gordon is hitting .332 with 45 stolen bases. The only other Marlins to achieve those figures in a full season: Hanley Ramirez (2007, .332, 51 SBs) and Luis Castillo (2000, .334, 62 SBs). Six of their remaining 31 games are against Atlanta, against whom they are 3-10 this season. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

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