Red Sox move into top spot

Updated: August 5, 2013, 12:44 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

After going 5-2 over the past week, the Boston Red Sox climbed three spots to take over the No. 1 position in Week 19 of our Power Rankings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates move up one spot to No. 2, while the Atlanta Braves, winners of 10 straight games, rise three spots to take over the No. 3 position.

The Tampa Bay Rays fall two spots to No. 4 and the St. Louis Cardinals, last week's No. 1 team, drop four spots to No. 5 to round out the top five.

This week's voters were 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 fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Which teams do you think should be among baseball's top five? Go ahead and rank the teams yourself.

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

2013 Power Rankings: August 5
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Red Sox
68-45
3
Last Week: 4
In Jose Iglesias' last 18 at-bats with the the Red Sox, he had a batting line of .167/.167/.167. That and some high-risk lottery ticket A-ball prospects is all it cost Boston to rope in Jake Peavy at the trade deadline. Peavy, by the way, is in the midst of posting the second-best BB/9 of his career and his best K/9 since 2009. -- Hunter Golden, Fire Brand of the AL
2
Pirates
67-44
1
Last Week: 3
Proved their mettle by taking four of five against the Cardinals, part of a 6-2 week. The Marlins come to town for three before the Pirates play 13 of the next 16 on the road. A 26-25 finish would give them 93 wins. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
3
Braves
67-45
3
Last Week: 6
The Braves are only a half-game behind the Pirates for the best record in the NL and one behind Boston for best in the majors, and with an easy schedule the rest of the way (only seven games against winning teams), they should end up with the best overall record. Not that it would result in home-field advantage in the World Series. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
4
Rays
66-45
2
Last Week: 2
With Evan Longoria struggling, Wil Myers has carried the Rays' offense as they chase down the Red Sox in the American Leage East. Myers has a batting line of .417/.491/.792 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 13 games since the All-Star break. He notched his first career walk-off hit on Saturday before leading the charge with a monstrous blast on Sunday. -- Tommy Rancel, The Process Report
5
4
Last Week: 1
The Cardinals salvaged a series win over the Reds over the weekend after losing seven straight games, including four in a row to the NL Central-leading Pirates. Yadier Molina is also on the disabled list. -- Matt Philip, Fungoes
6
Tigers
64-45
1
Last Week: 7
With productive shortstop Jhonny Peralta waiting to see if he will be suspended for his connection to Biogenesis, newcomer Jose Iglesias is trying to impress his new team by filling in for the demigod, Miguel Cabrera. With a homer in his first weekend at third, Iglesias hopes he'll continue to see more of the same. So do we. -- Joshua Worn, Walkoff Woodward
7
2
Last Week: 5
New second baseman Alberto Callaspo is hitless (0-for-10) in four games since joining the A's. -- ESPN.com
8
Dodgers
61-49
1
Last Week: 9
Remember when the Dodgers' bullpen was a problem? Since June 15, the pen is 11-2 with a 2.85 ERA, which ranks fifth in the majors. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
9
Indians
62-49
3
Last Week: 12
The Indians started the week by completing a sweep of the Rangers and finished by winning their first road series since June, clinching it with their 15th shutout of the year on Sunday. They've won nine of their last 10 games and take that momentum into a crucial four-game homestand against the division-leading Tigers. Prospect Danny Salazar has been tapped to start the third game of the series. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced Lajaway
10
Orioles
61-51
--

Last Week: 10
The Orioles have dropped 1 1/2 games in the AL East in the past week, finding themselves 6 1/2 behind the Red Sox. Perhaps their sights should be set on Cleveland, which sits in the second AL wild-card position. -- Jon Shepherd, Camden Depot
11
Reds
61-51
3
Last Week: 8
The Reds are 11-14 in the last four weeks, and Dusty Baker says we should blame his players rather than the manager. Maybe he has a point: Todd Frazier, for example, is 0 for his last 28, and hasn't collected a hit in nine straight games. -- Chad Dotson, Redleg Nation
12
Rangers
62-50
1
Last Week: 11
The Rangers have the easiest schedule of any of the AL wild-card contenders, including 10 games each against the woeful Astros and likely-to-go-in-the-tank Angels. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
13
Royals
56-52
2
Last Week: 15
Good news: The Royals have won nine of their last 10. Bad news: So have the Indians and Tigers. K.C. lost Salvador Perez on Saturday to the seven-day DL with a concussion. Jeremy Guthrie has as many wins (11) as James Shields and Wade Davis combined. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
14
Yankees
57-53
--

Last Week: 14
Phil Hughes has an awful 7.30 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break. In those three outings (12 1/2 innings), batters are hitting .373 against him. -- ESPN.com
15
2
Last Week: 13
Missing Justin Upton? Maybe. Diamondbacks outfielders are 24th in the majors in wOBA and 28th in home runs with just 25. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
16
1
Last Week: 17
If the Nats have any chance at a spot in the postseason, they'll need Dan Haren to keep up his recent work. He's posted a 2.40 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 in five starts since returning to the rotation. -- Harper Gordek, Nats Baseball
17
Rockies
52-61
1
Last Week: 16
Since the beginning of July, the Rockies have been one of the worst teams in baseball, offensively and defensively. Now they are facing the possibility of their best player (Carlos Gonzalez) making a trip to the disabled list. They'll do well not to lose 90 games. -- Logan Burdine, Blake Street Bulletin
18
Angels
51-59
2
Last Week: 20
Last week, the Angels lost four games by surrendering runs in the final inning. Now 12 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West, the Angels would need a miracle to reach October. -- Hudson Belinsky, Halos Daily
19
2
Last Week: 21
Edwin Encarnacion is batting .375 with a 1.094 OPS in 64 at-bats since the break. -- ESPN.com
20
Padres
52-60
5
Last Week: 25
Deadline acquisition Ian Kennedy has a career 2.40 ERA in seven starts at Petco Park. His fly ball tendencies could play very well there. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
21
2
Last Week: 19
How good of a season is Kyle Seager having? He ranks 11th among AL position players in Baseball-Reference WAR and eighth in FanGraphs WAR. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
22
4
Last Week: 18
The Phillies are closer to the first overall draft pick next June (13 1/2 games ahead of the Astros) than the NL East lead (16 1/2 games behind the Braves). -- Paul Boye, Crashburn Alley
23
Mets
49-60
1
Last Week: 22
Since July 24, Daniel Murphy is hitting .339 (18-for-53) with three home runs and 12 RBIs. He's tied for third in the NL with 37 multihit games and his 13 stolen bases are a career high. -- Joe Janish, Mets Today
24
Giants
49-61
--

Last Week: 24
The Giants elected to keep Hunter Pence at the deadline and may attempt to re-sign him as a free agent. He's been the only power source for an outfield that is last in the majors with 20 home runs. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
25
Cubs
49-62
2
Last Week: 23
The Cubs haven't scored in 23 straight innings, with the last run coming in the fourth inning of their 6-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday. -- Joe Aiello, The View From The Bleachers
26
Twins
48-60
--

Last Week: 26
Oswaldo Arcia has delivered a jolt to the Twins' sputtering offense. He returned from the minors on Friday and went 5-for-12 with a homer and a triple as Minnesota swept Houston over the weekend. -- Nick Nelson, Twins Daily
27
Brewers
47-64
--

Last Week: 27
The Brewers have officially shifted their gaze to the 2014 season. With Ryan Braun's suspension, they are auditioning some young outfielders. That includes 24-year-old Caleb Gindl, who is hitting .349/.404/.605 with eight extra-base hits since he began to receive regular playing time in mid-July. -- J.P. Breen, Disciples of Uecker
28
Marlins
43-67
1
Last Week: 29
Jose Fernandez broke his own franchise rookie record with a 14-strikeout performance on Friday. In his last 11 starts, he is 6-2 with a 1.67 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings. The team embarks on a tough road trip with three in Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Kansas City. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
29
1
Last Week: 28
With 10 straight losses, the White Sox are now only 4.5 games ahead of the Astros for the worst record in the majors. Their current .367 winning percentage would be the franchise's first under .400 since 1976 and worst since going 56-106 in 1970. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
30
Astros
36-74
--

Last Week: 30
For those interested in the Chris Carter strikeout watch, he's now on pace for 214. Looks like he may fall short of Mark Reynolds' single-season record of 223. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot

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