2014 MLB Power Rankings: Week 15

2014 MLB Power Rankings: Week 15
July 18, 2014, 11:45 am
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

Can anyone stop Oakland? Heading into the season's unofficial second half, the A's are the clear favorite for a title. But this is baseball and nothing is guaranteed. Plus, there's plenty of time left until October...

Stay with us every Monday for analysis and updated MLB Power Rankings from CSNChicago.com's Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz throughout the season.

Past rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 A's A's

JJ: Flying under the radar, Coco Crisp is having a really solid season -- a .291/.387/.449 slash line and 2.2 WAR.

Tony: First-half MVP - Scott Kazmir: A preseason afterthought suddenly in CY convo in AL.

2 Angels Angels

JJ: Jered Weaver's 4.25 FIP and .251 BABIP make him a second-half regression candidate.

Tony: Mike Trout: Like it could be anybody else?
3 Tigers Tigers

JJ: Justin Verlander still hasn't fixed things (6.30 ERA since June 1), but it hasn't mattered yet.

Tony: Victor Martinez: 21 HRs, 23 Ks in 80 games. Wow.
4 Dodgers Dodgers

JJ: Funny, Yasiel Puig's reaction to a lightning strike is usually mine when he throws a guy out at third from right field.

Tony: Clayton Kershaw: Lotta good options here, but Kershaw is unreal.
5 Nationals Nationals

JJ: No National League team has allowed fewer runs, and that'll play well down the stretch against Atlanta.

Tony: Anthony Rendon: Stabilized the lineup with Harper hurt most of the year.
6 Mariners Orioles

JJ: Wonder if it's a coincidence they're two games under .500 at Safeco and nine over on the road.

Tony: Nelson Cruz: Most underrated signing of the winter.
7 Reds Giants

JJ: Charging hard and have the best run differential in the NL Central at the All-Star break.

Tony: Tim Hudson: Giants have gotten a lotta mileage out of Old Timmy.
8 Giants Mariners

JJ: Looks like they've righted the ship and will be right there fighting for a playoff spot in September.

Tony: Robinson Cano: .334 AVG and the power is coming around. Worth the $$ so far.
9 Cardinals Brewers

JJ: Strange that Matt Holliday's power has disappeared -- only a .389 slugging percentage and six home runs in 400 plate appearances.

Tony: Jonathan Lucroy: .879 OPS, has developed into arguably top offensive C in the game.
10 Orioles Braves

JJ: The AL East hasn't been this weak in years, and they're the ones taking advantage right now.

Tony: Freedie Freeman: .878 OPS, emerging as maybe the top offensive 1B in NL.
11 Brewers Cardinals

JJ: Tenuous hold on first place after a 2-8 stretch heading into the All-Star break.

Tony: Adam Wainwright: All-Star starter the top righty in NL.
12 Braves Reds

JJ: Getting Evan Gattis back soon should be a boost.

Tony: Todd Frazier: With Votto hurt and Bruce/Phillips underperforming, Frazier has carried Reds O.
13 Blue Jays Pirates

JJ: If they don't get another starter, their playoff hopes could wind up being dashed by September.

Tony: Andrew McCutchen: Like Trout, he's a no-brainer.
14 Royals Royals

JJ: Proof having an elite bullpen only gets you so far…especially when Billy Butler only has a .679 OPS.

Tony: Jason Vargas: Helping solidfy the rotation with 3.31 ERA, 1.23 WHIP.
15 Pirates Blue Jays

JJ: If they're going to make a run, the next four weeks are the time: Six vs. Colorado, four vs. Arizona, three vs. Miami and three vs. San Diego.

Tony: Mark Buehrle: We knew TOR would hit, but they needed a lift in rotation, which Buehrle has given them. 
16 Indians Indians

JJ: Corey Kluber's emergence has been great, but starting rotation behind him and Trevor Bauer is a mess.

Tony: Michael Brantley: .901 OPS, coming on as a bonafide star.
17 Yankees Mets

JJ: No Tanaka, no chance.

Tony: Lucas Duda: .832 OPS, locking down the O while Granderson/Wright battle injuries and ineffectiveness.
18 Mets Yankees

JJ: Good sign for Zack Wheeler, improving his strikeout, walk and home run rates off his rookie year.

Tony: Masahiro Tanaka: Before he got hurt, was the lone consistent performer on Yanks.

19 Marlins White Sox

JJ: Marcell Ozuna -- Pablo's cousin -- is enjoying a fine second year in the majors: .276/.323/.463 and 2.2 WAR.

Tony: Jose Abreu: Could've had 35 HR, 85 RBI by the break if not for DL stint.
20 White Sox Rays

JJ: Worth noting, Alejandro De Aza is hitting .337/.387/.495 since June 1.

Tony: David Price: He's taken his game to another level this year.
21 Rays Twins

JJ: Playing better lately and the division's weak, but still 9 1/2 back so trading David Price still seems like the right call.

Tony: Brian Dozier: Walking, hitting HRs and stealing bags.
22 Twins Red Sox

JJ: Cool to see Glen Perkins get the All-Star save.

Tony: Jon Lester: 2.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 14 quality starts, Lester is ready for a big payday.
23 Red Sox Marlins

JJ: Clay Buccholz in his last four starts: 23 strikeouts, one walk.

Tony: Casey McGehee: Stanton has done his thing, but McGehee's .386 OBP, 53 RBI a huge boost to the lineup.
24 Cubs Cubs

JJ: 13 starts isn't a big sample size, but Jake Arrieta's 1.95 ERA and 2.14 FIP are the signs of a breakout for the 28-year-old.

Tony: Jake Arrieta: Sure, Castro/Rizzo rebounds have been huge, but Arrieta's looking like an ace.
25 Phillies Phillies

JJ: They have quite a few guys they could move before the deadline…but will Ruben Amaro pull the rebuilding trigger?

Tony: Chase Utley: Having something of a resurgent campaign.
26 Padres Padres

JJ: Turn Down For What: The theme song to the Padres' GM search.

Tony: Seth Smith: .387 OBP, .508 SLG in 258 at-bats.
27 Astros Rockies

JJ: Dallas Keuchel didn't make the All-Star Game but is having an outstanding year (3.20 ERA, 3.14 FIP).

Tony: Troy Tulowitzki: He's been the best player in the NL this year.
28 Rockies Diamondbacks

JJ: Since May 20, they're 14-35. Not a typo.

Tony: Paul Goldschmidt: Best player on the D-Backs year in and year out.
29 Diamondbacks Astros

JJ: Addison Reed is allowing 2.15 home runs per nine innings, which is not good.

Tony: Jose Altuve: On pace for 219 hits and 69 steals.
30 Rangers Rangers

JJ: 38-57 at the All-Star break and sit as baseball's worst team. Didn't see that coming.

Tony: Adrian Beltre: .917 OPS, still performing in an awful year in Texas.

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