Angels stay in the No. 1 spot

Updated: September 8, 2014, 1:22 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Los Angeles Angels stay atop our rankings after completing a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins this past weekend.

The Baltimore Orioles, who have the biggest lead (9½ games) among all division leaders, rise one spot to No. 2, while the St. Louis Cardinals are this week's biggest riser after going 6-1 last week to move into the No. 7 spot.

This week's voters: 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: September 8
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Angels
87-55
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Last Week: 1
Somewhat lost in a lineup full of productive hitters, Howie Kendrick is having one of the best seasons of his career, at age 31. His .342 OBP is his best mark since 2007, and his .313 batting average with runners in scoring position (entering Sunday) leads the Angels among players with at least 100 plate appearances in run-scoring opportunities. -- Andrew Karcher (@andrewkarcher), Halos Daily
2
Orioles
83-59
1
Last Week: 3
The Orioles have almost no shot of winning an AL wild-card spot. Back in March, many agreed with that perspective. However, those in agreement would be surprised to know that this club is now a near lock to win the AL East. -- Jon Shepherd (@CamdenDepot), Camden Depot
3
1
Last Week: 2
Adam LaRoche has four home runs and 10 RBIs in the Nationals' past four games. -- ESPN.com
4
Dodgers
81-62
1
Last Week: 5
Allowed only five runs in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks, finishing 15-4 against them in 2014. Adrian Gonzalez plated six on Sunday, giving him his seventh 100-RBI season in the past eight (he had 99 in that other season). Matt Kemp since the All-Star break: .307, 11 homers, 33 RBIs. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
5
1
Last Week: 4
The A's played three 4-3 games this past weekend against Houston and lost two of them. The mood among the fan base is best described as "Robert Redford at the end of 'All Is Lost.'" -- Jason Wojciechowski (@jlwoj), Beaneball
6
Royals
79-62
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Last Week: 6
They don't score many runs, but you don't have to if you keep throwing shutouts. The Royals blanked the Yankees twice to win 1-0 and 2-0 over the weekend to cap a 5-1 week. Next up: Three games in Detroit, with Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas and James Shields lined up to start. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
7
5
Last Week: 12
After taking over the top spot in the NL Central a week ago, the Cardinals went for the knockout of their nearest competition, sweeping three games from the Pirates and beating the Brewers in three of four to open a 4½-game lead in the division. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
8
Giants
78-65
1
Last Week: 9
Hitting .493 over his past 16 games, Buster Posey's recent MVP-like tear has powered the Giants right back into contention as one of the top teams in the NL. After winning two of three from the Tigers, San Francisco owns a 3 game lead for the first wild-card spot and sits only three games back in the division. -- Andrew Tweedy (@WCBGiants), West Coast Bias
9
1
Last Week: 10
A 5-2 week pushed Seattle back into the wild-card lead despite a tough 1-0 loss to the Rangers on Sunday. Two things to keep an eye on: Dustin Ackley, who's hit .290 with seven homers in the second half, missed Sunday's game after injuring his ankle on Saturday; catcher Mike Zunino has hit .141 since Aug. 1. The M's love his defense but backup Jesus Sucre is also a plus defender. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
10
Tigers
78-65
3
Last Week: 7
The Tigers recently came out of a stretch in which they played 18 games in 17 days, with 15 of those coming on the road. They went 11-7 in those games only to fall flat in the first two of an important homestand. The Tigers have 16 of their next 22 games at home; unfortunately, Detroit is only 35-32 at Comerica Park. -- Alexandra Simon, (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
11
Indians
74-67
4
Last Week: 15
After dropping three of four to the visiting Tigers, the Indians got back on track by sweeping the White Sox. The starting rotation has a 1.84 ERA since Aug. 9, and the team has gone 17-8 in that time. Carlos Santana drew his 100th walk of the season on Sunday, the most in the majors. -- Susan Petrone (@SusanPetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
12
Braves
74-69
1
Last Week: 13
Losing four of six to the Phillies and Marlins -- sub-.500 teams -- is not getting it done. Getting shut out in four of the past eight games is not getting it done. An offense that has scored the second fewest runs in the majors, and the fewest runs for any Braves team since 1990, is not getting it done, regardless of how good the pitching staff is. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
13
Pirates
74-68
2
Last Week: 11
The Pirates have to take advantage of this part of the schedule: They're coming off a sweep of the Cubs and their next 10 games are against the Phillies, Cubs and Red Sox. They're done with St. Louis, so their best hope is probably winning one of the two wild-card spots. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
14
Yankees
73-68
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Last Week: 14
Hiroki Kuroda has a 3.12 ERA in nine starts (57 2/3 innings) in the second half. In that time, he's allowed only three home runs. -- ESPN.com
15
Brewers
74-69
7
Last Week: 8
The Brewers have free fallen from three games up in the NL Central to completely out of the playoffs after losing 11 of their past 12 games. The remaining schedule isn't daunting, though, with 13 of their final 19 contests coming against teams with losing records. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
16
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Last Week: 16
In case you haven't noticed, R.A. Dickey has been pretty good since the start of August -- he has a 3.63 ERA in that span (seven starts) while allowing only four home runs. -- ESPN.com
17
Marlins
69-72
1
Last Week: 18
A 3-3 week ends with a 4-0 shutout of the Braves, featuring six scoreless innings by Brad Hand. Miami is now only 4½ games out of the wild card, but have only four games left against any of the wild-card contenders in front of them. Those four happen to be in Milwaukee, starting Monday. Marlins pitchers have yielded an MLB-low 28 homers since the All-Star break. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
18
Rays
69-75
1
Last Week: 17
The Rays are getting some production from Evan Longoria, but unfortunately it is too little, too late. Look for the team to start resting some regulars and shut down some arms with little to play for down the stretch. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
19
Padres
66-76
--

Last Week: 19
From the department of obscure Padres trivia: The team batting average of .225 is tied for the lowest in team history, established back in the expansion season of 1969. That team averaged just 2.89 runs per game; this one is averaging 3.20. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
20
Mets
68-75
1
Last Week: 21
Travis d'Arnaud has gone 11 for his past 20 (.550), 19 for his past 51 (.373), and is hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in the 57 games he's played since returning from Triple-A. He leads the Mets with a .500 slugging percentage since the All-Star break (11th in the NL), and his 13 home runs are the most by a rookie catcher in Mets history as well as the most by any NL rookie this season. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
21
Reds
67-76
1
Last Week: 20
The Reds are nine games under .500, they've lost seven of their past nine games, and stand just three games ahead of the hapless Cubs in the NL Central standings. It's beginning to look like the Redlegs just might not make the playoffs this year. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
22
1
Last Week: 23
At .315, Ben Revere trails Justin Morneau by one point in the batting average title race. The last Phillies player to win the batting crown? Richie Ashburn, who hit .350, in 1958. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
23
Cubs
64-79
1
Last Week: 24
The Cubs have played .500 baseball over their past 30 games. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
24
Red Sox
63-80
1
Last Week: 25
Xander Bogaerts' walks and strikeouts by month: 13/23 (April), 12/26 (May), 3/27 (June), 3/22 (July), 6/22 (August), 0/5 (September). He's only 21, but plate discipline was supposed to be one of his strengths. Instead, it deteriorated after May. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
25
3
Last Week: 22
The White Sox have lost 14 of 18, scored two runs this past weekend and have replaced a pair of legit major leaguers (Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza) with cannon fodder, but hey, Carlos Sanchez has more hits in 15 games since being called up (18-for-57) than Gordon Beckham had in July (13-for-94). -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
26
Twins
61-82
--

Last Week: 26
The Twins have lost 12 of their past 15, and have allowed a league-high 273 runs since the All-Star break. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
27
Astros
63-80
--

Last Week: 27
A week that started with the dismissal of manager Bo Porter ended with four wins in five games. Sunday's contest featured a five-walk, no-hit, two-run ninth inning rally against the A's. Jose Altuve is two hits away from 200 for the year, and is 6-for-10 in 2014 versus Monday night's starter, Felix Hernandez. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
28
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Last Week: 28
The lead story is clearly the firing of Kevin Towers and Arizona's impending search for a new GM. In the meantime, the team is 2-5 over its past seven, has the second-worst run differential in the game and may not even reach the 70-win mark. Let the rebuild begin. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona
29
Rockies
59-84
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Last Week: 29
Uplifting week for the Rockies, taking two out of three from the Giants and sweeping the Padres. They all but avoided the dreaded 100-loss mark, as they would have to lose 16 out of their last 19 to do that. Re-signing Jorge De La Rosa is also an encouraging sign in an otherwise brutal season. -- Juan Pablo Zubillaga (@JpZubillaga), Rockies Zingers
30
Rangers
54-89
--

Last Week: 30
Ron Washington has resigned as the manager of the Texas Rangers, and the club is on pace for 101 losses with 19 games remaining on the schedule. For now, interim manager Tim Bogar will try to convince the Rangers that he's the man for the job on a full-time basis in 2015. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away

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