Washington Nationals finally on top

Updated: August 13, 2012, 12:10 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

Despite their incredible season, the Washington Nationals have not occupied the top spot on the ESPN.com Power Rankings -- until now. They bumped out the Cincinnati Reds, who dropped to No. 3, while the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are the top two American League clubs at No. 2 and 4, respectively.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine 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: August 13
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
1
Last Week: 2
For all the Strasburg talk, Jordan Zimmermann might be the Nationals' real ace. He leads the club in ERA (2.35) and innings (145 1/3). -- ESPN.com
2
Yankees
67-47
1
Last Week: 3
The Yankees had their first week of better-than-.500 baseball since the All-Star break but had to put their ace, CC Sabathia, on the DL with elbow soreness. Their playoff hopes will take a big hit if he misses extended time. -- Rob Abruzzese: Bronx Baseball Daily
3
Reds
69-46
2
Last Week: 1
Not only is Ryan Ludwick (.266/.335/.555, 21 HR, 63 RBIs) making a strong bid for comeback player of the year, he also just might be Reds MVP. Ludwick has hit eight homers with an OPS above 1.100 in the past three-plus weeks, leading the Reds to a 19-8 record during Joey Votto's absence. -- Chad Dotson: Redleg Nation
4
Rangers
67-46
--

Last Week: 4
Despite an abysmal July, the Rangers boast the best record (67-46) and largest divisional lead (6½ games) in baseball. This week's Rangers-Yankees series could prove to be an ALCS preview. -- Joey Matschulat: Baseball Time in Arlington
5
Braves
66-48
--

Last Week: 5
While the Nationals have been red hot, the Braves have been equally impressive, leading to a deadlock in the division. Deadline acquisitions Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson have paid dividends thus far, and the impending returns of Andrelton Simmons and Tommy Hanson will create some interesting decisions for GM Frank Wren. -- Franklin Rabon: Capitol Avenue Club
6
Giants
63-52
5
Last Week: 11
The Giants hope that Hunter Pence's go-ahead three-run blast in Sunday's dramatic come-from-behind win against the Rockies is a sign of things to come; coming into Sunday, Pence was batting a paltry .149/.163/.234 for his new team. -- Chris Quick: Bay City Ball
7
Pirates
64-50
1
Last Week: 6
James McDonald is ice-cold with an 8.71 ERA since the break. The Pirates need him back on his game if they're going to chase down the Reds for the division title. Side note: They could go 18-30 down the stretch and still break the sub-.500 season streak. -- Paul Sporer: Pitt Plank
8
1
Last Week: 7
Chris Sale (14-3) improved to 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA over his past seven home starts, striking out 50 and walking six in 54 innings during that stretch. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
9
Tigers
61-54
4
Last Week: 13
Omar Infante has an .811 OPS since being acquired from the Marlins a few weeks ago and might be the best acquisition any team made this summer. -- Josh Worn: Walkoff Woodward
10
--

Last Week: 10
The Cardinals are stuck in neutral, splitting a series with the Giants and losing one to the Phillies, even as they try to shake things up by jettisoning Tyler Greene to the Astros. -- Matt Philip: Fungoes
11
Dodgers
62-53
1
Last Week: 12
Home runs from Dodgers left fielders in 2012: Juan Rivera on May 6, Bobby Abreu on June 2, Elian Herrera on July 5, Jerry Hairston Jr. on July 7. That's it. -- Jon Weisman: Dodger Thoughts
12
Rays
62-52
2
Last Week: 14
Six straight wins have Rays fans saying, "Oh, right, this is the team we expected." -- Mark Heilig: The Ray Area
13
5
Last Week: 8
The A's punchless offense has gotten a big boost from first baseman Chris Carter, who has a 1.012 OPS since being called up in late June. -- ESPN.com
14
Angels
60-55
5
Last Week: 9
The Angels went 2-4 this week and lost significant ground on both Texas and Oakland. The rotation and bullpen have been awful recently, and the Halos have gone into a tailspin, going just 3-8 in August. -- Hudson Belinsky: Halos Daily
15
Orioles
62-53
1
Last Week: 16
The fairy-tale season continues for the O's, who promoted prospect Manny Machado directly from Double-A Bowie and were rewarded with a 5-for-12 debut series (including three homers). Next up, Baltimore has a chance to deal a serious blow to Boston's playoff hopes for a second straight season, then heads to Detroit for an important series against the Tigers. -- Nick Faleris: Camden Depot
16
1
Last Week: 15
They lost two of three at home to the Nationals over the weekend, the only home games in a stretch of 19 contests that began July 30 and ends Sunday in Houston. The division is still there for the taking, but the Diamondbacks haven't been more than four games over .500 at any point this season. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
17
Red Sox
57-59
--

Last Week: 17
Will Middlebrooks' injury essentially finishes off the Red Sox, who will shift into 2013 mode even if they won't publicly admit it. They could even sell off a few minor pieces by Aug. 31. It's wait 'til next year once more in Boston. -- Evan Brunell: Fire Brand of the AL
18
Mets
55-60
1
Last Week: 19
Daniel Murphy is hitting .296 with much-improved defense at second. He could be a long-term solution there. -- ESPN.com
19
1
Last Week: 18
It was an horrendous week for the Jays, who scored two or fewer runs four times and dropped five of six games to AL East opponents. -- Matthias Koster: Mop-Up Duty
20
4
Last Week: 24
Domonic Brown has held his own in the majors since his call-up, but a fair bit of intrigue has shifted to the minors, where lefty Adam Morgan is standing out from an otherwise disappointing starting pitching prospect crop. -- Paul Boye: Crashburn Alley
21
Brewers
52-61
1
Last Week: 22
The Diamondbacks' bullpen in 2010 was a famous disaster, and the Brewers have a real chance at eclipsing even their losing ways this season. After two walk-off losses in Houston, the Brewers have a minus-6.95 bullpen win probability added. The 2010 Diamondbacks were at minus-8.37. With roughly six weeks to go? Totally in play. -- Jack Moore: Disciples of Uecker
22
2
Last Week: 20
After spending most of the season as the mop-up man, Hisashi Iwakuma has posted a 3.73 ERA and a 3.85 xFIP in seven starts. Not a bad bang for just a couple million bucks. -- Brendan Gawlowski: Pro Ball NW
23
Marlins
52-63
--

Last Week: 23
The Fish were deadline sellers, and their recent play has magnified that. The Marlins have lost five of their past eight games and two of the three against the Dodgers this past weekend. -- Dave Gershman: Marlins Daily
24
Indians
53-62
3
Last Week: 21
The Indians snapped an 11-game losing streak with a pair of wins against the Twins and the Red Sox. Although the Tribe ended the week with a 4-3 record, they ended their homestand with a 14-1 pummeling at the hands of the Red Sox. -- Susan Petrone: It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
25
Padres
51-65
2
Last Week: 27
Even with Sunday's loss, the Pads have won 23 of their past 38, the best record in the division since June 30. Scrap-heap pickup Jason Marquis has won six of his past eight starts, including a two-hit shutout of the Pirates on Saturday. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
26
Twins
49-65
1
Last Week: 25
Ben Revere's development has been a highlight of the Twins' lost season. With a .314 average and stellar defense in right, he's looking like part of the club's future. -- ESPN.com
27
Royals
49-65
1
Last Week: 26
The scary thing about Eric Hosmer's awful season is that he has been worse since the All-Star break (.598 OPS) than before it (.670 OPS). -- ESPN.com
28
Cubs
44-69
--

Last Week: 28
In the four-game series against the Astros this week, the Cubs have scheduled two starters who were not on the roster just a few weeks ago, one of them not even in the organization. -- Joe Aiello: View from the Bleachers
29
Rockies
41-71
--

Last Week: 29
Sunday's collapse in San Francisco (allowing five runs in the eighth to turn a 6-4 lead into a 9-6 loss) was a microcosm of the Rockies' season. -- ESPN.com
30
Astros
38-78
--

Last Week: 30
The two wins this past weekend put a wrinkle in the Astros' plans for making history. If they continue the pace they're on since July 1, they'll lose only 117 games instead of the 120 they were on pace before Friday. Will seeing this record slipping from their grasp affect the play of the Astros moving forward? -- Austin Swafford: Astros 290