Cardinals again No. 1; Giants rise

Updated: July 27, 2015, 1:54 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

In Week 17 of our rankings, the St. Louis Cardinals remain in the No. 1 spot for the ninth consecutive week. The San Francisco Giants, winners of eight of nine games to begin the second half, are the biggest riser as they move up six spots to No. 5.

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: July 27
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
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Last Week: 1
The Cardinals continue to patch holes with journeymen and rookies, while their pitching staff -- which leads the majors in ERA and FIP -- is still the key to their success. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
2
Royals
59-38
1
Last Week: 3
Welcome to Kansas City, Johnny Cueto. The Royals acquired the guy who will be their likely Game 1 starter in the postseason. Cueto has the opportunity to post his fifth straight season with an ERA under 3.00 (it's now at 2.62). Left-handers are hitting .173 against him, making him a good matchup against the Yankees -- you know, in case that happens. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
3
Pirates
57-41
1
Last Week: 2
The Pirates took three of four from the Nationals as Gerrit Cole won his MLB-leading 14th game with seven innings of one-run ball on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 2.24. Aramis Ramirez batted cleanup and went 0-for-7 in his first two games back with Pittsburgh. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
4
Dodgers
56-44
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Last Week: 4
Clayton Kershaw's last five starts: 40 innings, two earned runs, 54 strikeouts, two walks. In each of his last three starts, Kershaw has at least 10 strikeouts and no walks, matching Tampa Bay's Chris Archer for the longest such streak in the past 100 years. Despite the efforts of Kershaw and Zack Greinke, L.A. has used 14 different starting pitchers. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
5
Giants
54-44
6
Last Week: 11
The Giants are on a roll heading toward the trade deadline. The pitching staff has been revitalized by the return of Jake Peavy, who has pitched into the seventh inning in his four starts since returning from injury. If anything, look for the team to explore adding a late-inning reliever or reserve utility player. -- Connor Grossman (@connorgrossman), West Coast Bias
6
Angels
55-43
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Last Week: 6
What a month for Mike Trout. The reigning AL MVP is hitting .361/.459/.833 with 11 home runs in July and leads the majors with 31 homers and 75 runs (three more than Brian Dozier of the Twins). He can become the first player to lead his league in runs for four straight seasons. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
7
Astros
55-45
2
Last Week: 9
Scott Kazmir had a great debut with the Astros on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings. And with Dallas Keuchel getting roughed up in the first inning on Sunday, Kazmir now leads the AL with a 2.24 ERA. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
8
Yankees
55-42
1
Last Week: 7
Alex Rodriguez is not slowing down, despite just turning 40. He hit four home runs last week, including three on Saturday against the Twins. And they weren't "gimme" shots, averaging nearly 108 mph off the bat and traveling over 440 feet on average. Two of his HRs were the longest ones hit in both Target Field (450 feet) and Yankee Stadium (453 feet) this season. -- Jason Rosenberg (@IIATMS), It's About the Money
9
4
Last Week: 5
Doug Fister has a 6.19 ERA over his last seven starts, and the Nationals are 1-6 in those seven games. -- ESPN.com
10
Cubs
51-46
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Last Week: 10
On Saturday, the Cubs were no-hit for the first time since Sept. 9, 1965, ending the longest active streak in the major leagues. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
11
Twins
52-46
3
Last Week: 8
The Twins lost another series at home against the Yankees over the weekend, and have dropped six of nine games since the All-Star break. They haven't really proved they can beat good teams, so this week's series against the Pirates looms large. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily
12
3
Last Week: 15
The Blue Jays' need for starting pitching is no secret. Drew Hutchison continued his disastrous season on the road. Marco Estrada has shown signs of regression, and Aaron Sanchez was moved to the bullpen. The Jays' chances of making the playoffs may depend entirely on potential trades GM Alex Anthopoulos can pull off by July 31. -- Chris Sherwin (@CWSherwin), Blue Jays Plus
13
Mets
51-48
1
Last Week: 12
Jacob deGrom is second in the majors in ERA (2.05) and has a .196 batting average against. -- ESPN.com
14
Tigers
48-50
2
Last Week: 16
It's decision time for the Tigers after another week of mixed returns. The offense crashed back to earth just as the pitching mostly got it together, and losing another David Price start does not bode well for them. -- Grey Papke (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
15
Rays
49-51
1
Last Week: 14
Matt Moore has struggled in five starts (7.61 ERA) since returning to the Rays' rotation after having Tommy John surgery last year. -- ESPN.com
16
Orioles
48-49
3
Last Week: 13
Should the O's trade for some hitting or pitching help, or should they start dealing away some of their impending free agents? They've been dropping in the AL East and wild-card standings, and the July 31 trade deadline is rapidly approaching. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
17
Rangers
47-50
5
Last Week: 22
Texas is 4-1 in its last five games, and Prince Fielder leads the majors in hits (124). Next season's rotation would look mighty good if the Rangers land Cole Hamels via trade to go with Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and either Nick Martinez, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Matt Harrison or Colby Lewis. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
18
Indians
45-52
1
Last Week: 17
The Indians were outscored 26-5 by the White Sox over the weekend, getting swept in the four-game series. Their offense is physically painful to watch at this point, and there aren't many positive things to say about anything they did last week. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
19
Padres
47-52
6
Last Week: 25
Tyson Ross extended his streak of starts without allowing a home run to 16, a club record. Soft schedule coming up (Mets, Marlins, Brewers, Phillies, Reds, Rockies), but there's too much ground to make up in the wild-card race. Justin Upton may be dealt by the trade deadline. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
20
1
Last Week: 21
Who are these guys? The destitute and ready-to-sell White Sox scored 26 runs and swept four games from the Indians in Cleveland this past weekend. This barrage included two bombs from Carlos Sanchez, who came into the series with a .254 slugging percentage. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
21
Braves
46-52
1
Last Week: 20
Shelby Miller has allowed zero or one earned run in seven of his last 12 starts. The Braves are 2-10 in those games. The offense likely won't get any better as Atlanta begins to jettison their tradeable assets. Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe are gone, and they could be followed out the door by Jim Johnson, Jonny Gomes and Cameron Maybin. They will also try to rid themselves of Chris Johnson. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
22
4
Last Week: 18
Some standout pitching performances in the past week from call-up Zack Godley (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 K), Patrick Corbin (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) and Rubby De La Rosa, who yielded just one run in 15 innings over two starts. Jeremy Hellickson may attract trade deadline interest, rebounding from a blister to strike out 12 in his last 13 innings, with just two earned runs. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
23
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Last Week: 23
The Mariners' offense has rebounded in a big way in July, helped by bounce-back performances by Mark Trumbo (.281/.333/.406) and Robinson Cano (.337/.384/.609). Also helping the cause has been 32-year-old Franklin Gutierrez, who has hit .267/.306/.511 in his first 19 games since last playing in the majors in 2013. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
24
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Last Week: 24
Sonny Gray is 7-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 11 road starts this season. His next start will come on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. -- ESPN.com
25
Reds
43-53
1
Last Week: 26
The Reds are perilously close to last place in the NL Central, but Joey Votto is doing his best to stem the tide. In 10 games since the All-Star break, Votto is hitting .528/.638/.833 with three homers; on the season, he's now at .303/.420/.520. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
26
Red Sox
44-55
7
Last Week: 19
Watching Clay Buchholz go on the DL, Cole Hamels record a no-no with Philly and Pedro Martinez finally take the podium at Cooperstown only makes the absence of an ace in the rotation a more glaring issue. Knuckleballer Steven Wright has taken the most recently opened rotation spot. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
27
Brewers
43-56
1
Last Week: 28
The Brewers went 2-4 last week, but the club was still defined by Taylor Jungmann's surge. Jungmann's tough-luck loss in Arizona on Saturday catapulted him into the top 30 in WAR for all pitchers, potentially framing the rookie's season as one of the best in Brewers history. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker
28
Rockies
42-54
1
Last Week: 27
With the Rockies well on their way to a fifth straight 90-loss season, will first-year GM Jeff Bridich do what his predecessors so often didn't and make a splash at the trade deadline? Meanwhile, the rotation "boasts" a 5.12 ERA, yet top prospect Jon Gray (3.34 ERA, 8.3 K/9 since May 1) remains at Triple-A Albuquerque. -- Adam Peterson (@PlayerTBNL), Rockies Zingers
29
Marlins
41-58
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Last Week: 29
With three solo shots yielded Friday, Dan Haren has now allowed 20 home runs, including 15 solos. Haren could be dealt before the end of the week, along with Mat Latos and Michael Morse. There is also a chance Dee Gordon could return to the club on Tuesday. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
30
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Last Week: 30
Break up the Phillies! Not only did Cole Hamels throw the 13th no-hitter in franchise history, the Phillies also swept the Cubs, scoring 21 runs in three games. Rookie Aaron Nola earned his first major league win on Sunday. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

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