Tigers make a huge leap

Updated: July 23, 2012, 11:19 AM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Detroit Tigers, riding a five-game winning streak, rose 10 spots to take over the No. 5 position in our MLB Power Rankings for Week 17.

The New York Yankees, meanwhile, hold onto the No. 1 spot for the third straight week despite having lost four games in a row, while the Texas Rangers remain in the No. 2 position for the third consecutive week.

The Washington Nationals stay in the No. 3 spot for the sixth week in a row, while the Cincinnati Reds move up one spot to No. 4.

This week's voters were Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Many of the team comments come courtesy of the fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Meanwhile, you can rank the teams yourself.

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

2012 Power Rankings: July 23
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Yankees
57-38
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Last Week: 1
After sweeping the Blue Jays, the Yankees went into Oakland and got swept themselves as they watched their lead in the American League East go from 10 to six games. -- Rob Abruzzese: Bronx Baseball Daily
2
Rangers
56-38
--

Last Week: 2
In five starts against AL West teams (three against the Mariners, one each against the Angels and A's), Derek Holland has a putrid 5.97 ERA. ESPN.com
3
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Last Week: 3
Hidden behind Ryan Zimmerman's ridiculous July (.414/.481/.886) is the resurgance of Danny Espinosa, who is hitting .354/.394/.569 for the month. -- Harper Gordek: Nationals Baseball
4
Reds
55-40
1
Last Week: 5
The Reds have won 11 of 13 games, they're 5-2 since Joey Votto's surgery, and Barry Larkin was inducted into the Hall of Fame over the weekend. Yes, this was a particularly great week to be a Reds fan. -- Chad Dotson: Redleg Nation
5
Tigers
52-44
10
Last Week: 15
In the past five games, Tigers starters have allowed only eight earned runs in 36 1/3 innings. Their performances may only be overshadowed by the surging Brennan Boesch, who in the past 14 games has hit .388 with six doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs. -- Josh Worn: Walkoff Woodward
6
Angels
52-44
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Last Week: 6
The Halos went 3-4 last week, but finished on a high note, taking two of three from the division rival Rangers. GM Jerry Dipoto may have to make a move to shore up his club, as there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the team's rotation. -- Hudson Belinsky: Halos Daily
7
Braves
52-43
1
Last Week: 8
The Braves' offense continues to mostly shine, while the pitching can be suspect. Jair Jurrjens seems to again be pitching like the player who had his spot in the rotation taken from him, and looks to be the odd man out if the Braves trade for a starter. Ideally, the Braves would like to land a top-flight starter, a bench bat and a bullpen arm on or before the trading deadline. -- Franklin Rabon: Capitol Avenue Club
8
Giants
53-42
1
Last Week: 9
Buster Posey's comeback year from injury keeps on getting better and better. The Giants' All-Star catcher is hitting an incredible .396./468/.623 thus far in July. -- Chris Quick: Bay City Ball
9
Pirates
54-40
2
Last Week: 7
The Buccos take a five-game winning streak, during which time each starter won his game, into a home-and-home against the Cubs with a four-game set in Houston sandwiched in between. Anyone paying attention can feel the difference between this year's 54-40 record and last year's 51-46 mark on the same date. -- Paul Sporer: Pitt Plank
10
6
Last Week: 4
The offense took the week off, scoring one run in four of their seven games. The Tigers swept the Pale Hose out of first place in a weekend series. Gavin Floyd will return on Monday, but is his elbow sound? -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
11
Dodgers
52-44
1
Last Week: 10
James Loney has gone two months and 137 at-bats since his last home run on May 21, and has a .276 on-base percentage and .270 slugging percentage in that time. -- Jon Weisman: Dodger Thoughts
12
6
Last Week: 18
Of the A's 14 wins in July, eight were by one run, including each of their last five. Sustainable or not, the team is now in a strong position to make the playoffs years before they were "supposed" to contend. -- Jason Wojciechowski: Beaneball
13
2
Last Week: 11
After scoring only eight runs in three games earlier in the week against the Brewers, the Cardinals' offense finally broke through, outscoring the Cubs 23-1 in a weekend sweep. -- Matt Philip: Fungoes
14
Rays
49-47
2
Last Week: 12
After an up-and-down week, the Rays are now a combined 21-17 against teams in the AL East and a combined 19-21 against the rest of the American League. Go figure. -- Mark Heilig: The Ray Area
15
Red Sox
48-48
1
Last Week: 16
What happened to Jon Lester? He entered 2012 with a career 3.53 ERA. After the worst start of his career on Sunday, he's at 5.46 on the season. Without an effective Lester, Boston is dead in the water. -- Evan Brunell: Fire Brand of the AL
16
Orioles
51-44
2
Last Week: 14
The Orioles finished the week with five straight victories over the Twins and Indians -- exactly the type of run periodically required if they are to stay in the thick of the wild-card hunt through the dog days. The momentum comes at the best time possible, with nine of their next 13 games being potentially impactful meetings with the Yankees and Rays. -- Nick Faleris: Camden Depot
17
2
Last Week: 19
Another up and down week. After getting swept at Yankee Stadium, Toronto bounced back by sweeping the Red Sox at Fenway Park, outscoring Boston 28-11. Transactions: The Blue Jays beefed up their bullpen, acquiring three pitchers from the Astros. -- Matthias Koster: Mop-Up Duty
18
Mets
47-48
5
Last Week: 13
The Mets have lost nine of their last 10 to sink below .500 for the first time all season. Adding injury to insult, they've also lost starting pitcher Dillon Gee for the season and Johan Santana for at least two weeks. Nowhere to look but up? -- Joe Janish: Mets Today
19
1
Last Week: 20
The Diamondbacks managed to split four games in Cincinnati before outscoring Houston 33-13 in a three-game sweep. Jason Kubel slugged six homers and drove in 11 runs in five games during the week. He's slugging .894 in July. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
20
Indians
47-48
3
Last Week: 17
The artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona (Roberto Hernandez) is back in the U.S., and will be eligible to pitch after serving a three-week suspension. The question remains whether he can provide a boost to a slumping Indians team that went 2-5 against the Rays and Orioles last week. -- Stephanie Liscio: It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
21
Brewers
44-50
1
Last Week: 22
The Brewers are 10 1/2 out in the NL Central, and it's time to sell. The core of Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart, Norichika Aoki, Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks has potential in the short term, but new talent from the minor leagues will be necessary before the Brewers recreate the magic of the 2011 season. -- Jack Moore: Disciples of Uecker
22
Marlins
44-51
1
Last Week: 21
The Marlins have lost five straight games, and now find themselves only 2 1/2 games ahead of the last-place Phillies. -- Dave Gershman: Marlins Daily
23
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Last Week: 23
The Phillies are trying earnestly to sign Cole Hamels to a contract extension, but that doesn't mean they're not selling. The eight remaining days before the trade deadline will illuminate their future plans and potential. -- Bill Baer: Crashburn Alley
24
2
Last Week: 26
Back in May, Mariners fans were wondering if Felix Hernandez's velocity dip was the beginning of his decline as an elite pitcher. As if to announce "I'm fine," Hernandez is now posting the best walk and strikeout ratios of his career. Long live The King. -- Brendan Gawlowski: Pro Ball NW
25
Royals
40-54
1
Last Week: 24
In his first start for the Royals on Sunday, Jeremy Guthrie was just as ineffective (five innings pitched, five runs allowed) as he was for most of the season with the Rockies. ESPN.com
26
Twins
40-55
1
Last Week: 25
Counting themselves among only a handful of surefire deadline sellers, the Twins have some leverage as the names of Francisco Liriano and Denard Span continue to buzz. -- Nick Nelson: Twins Daily
27
Padres
41-56
1
Last Week: 28
A 5-2 week against the similarly lackluster Rockies and Astros gives the Padres 14 wins in their last 21 games. They also locked up local boy Carlos Quentin, a much-needed power bat, for the next three seasons. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
28
Cubs
38-56
1
Last Week: 27
A busy week is in store for the Cubs as they will attempt to continue rebuilding by trading 60 percent of their starting rotation before the deadline. -- Joe Aiello: View from the Bleachers
29
Rockies
36-58
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Last Week: 29
Bad news: The Rockies are the second worst team in baseball (ahead of only the Astros) and just lost two of three against the Padres. Good news: The Rockies traded away Jeremy Guthrie (73 ERA+ and -0.5 WAR in 2012) for Jonathan Sanchez (53 ERA+ and -1.2 WAR in 2012). Wait ... what?? -- Travis Lay: Blake Street Bulletin
30
Astros
34-62
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Last Week: 30
The Astros went 1-9 on their road trip coming out of the break, were outscored 61-26 and are now on pace to lose 105 games. But, with Scott Moore, Justin Maxwell and Matt Downs duking it out for the third spot in the batting order, the Astros are about to have a very special opportunity to lose lots of games in front of the hometown crowd. Anyone else ready to move on to 2013 already? -- Austin Swafford: Austin's Astros 290 Blog