MLB Power Rankings: Angels overtake A's, Nats on fire

MLB Power Rankings: Angels overtake A's, Nats on fire
August 25, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

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 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 Nationals Angels

JJ: Two months ago, they were five games over with a +39 run differential. Today: 21 over, +107 run differential.

Tony: Class of the league since they took down the champs (OAK) in AL West.

2 Angels Nationals

JJ: Losing Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs could come back to bite them in September and October.

Tony: Hottest team in baseball and Bryce Harper is finally starting to hit.
3 A's A's

JJ: Still plenty of time to right the ship but they'll need to fast to avoid the one-game wild card playoff game of doom.

Tony: Dang, MLB's powerhouse for most of the season is in a bad way right now.
4 Dodgers Dodgers

JJ: Enter the week 4 1/2 up on San Francisco and in real good shape out west.

Tony: Puig with a pug, just because.
5 Orioles Brewers

JJ: Sweep the White Sox, then get swept by the Cubs. The only explanation: Gorging on Al's Beef on their off day Thursday made them logy.

Tony: Holding off KC...for now at least.
6 Royals Royals

JJ: One month to go. Don't blow it for this playoff-starved city.

Tony: Was tempted to put them in the Top 5. 
7 Mariners Mariners

JJ: While Oakland and Detroit get all the attention for having elite rotations, let's not forget about these guys.

Tony: Unreal 2.95 team ERA.
8 Brewers Orioles

JJ: Four games at Miller Park against St. Louis next week looking huge.

Tony: Can't afford a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs, even with sizable lead in AL East.
9 Tigers Tigers

JJ: Uh, guys? If you're serious about this playoff thing maybe don't give up 32 runs in two games to Minnesota.

Tony: David Price is on pace for 250.1 innings. How much will he have left in postseason?
10 Cardinals Cardinals

JJ: These guys are battle-tested in September, which should bode well for their playoff hopes.

Tony: Good for Oscar Taveras. Too bad Justin Masterson has been awful.
11 Giants Giants

JJ: Given the seasons they're getting out of Posey, Sandoval, Pence, Bumgarner, Hudson and Vogelsong, kind of a wonder they're only fighting for a wild card spot.

Tony: Will that wild week at Wrigley hurt them down the stretch?
12 Braves Braves

JJ: Outside of six games against Washington, schedule sets up very nicely for them down the stretch.

Tony: What would the Cubs want with B.J. Upton?
13 Yankees Pirates

JJ: Seriously, these guys have a -34 run differential but have won four in a row and are only 3 1/2 out. Joe Girardi is a great manager.

Tony: Sending Polanco down to Triple-A a bad sign for this year, but he should be fine long-term.
14 Indians Yankees

JJ: Horrid road record (27-38) a big reason why they're five games out of a playoff spot.

Tony: Making a little bit of a push as season's final month approaches.
15 Pirates Indians

JJ: Needed more out of Gregory Polanco this year, even if that's a big burden to put on a rookie.

Tony: Carlos Santana since the All-Star break: .279/.408/.516.
16 Blue Jays Rays

JJ: If Kansas City makes the playoffs, they'll have baseball's longest postseason drought at 21 years.

Tony: Still can't count them out despite just a 2.8 percent shot at postseason.
17 Marlins Marlins

JJ: Only four games out of a playoff spot heading into the last week of August. Pretty good sign for the future, at least.

Tony: Giancarlo Stanton has to be NL MVP based on this, right?
18 Rays Blue Jays

JJ: Drew Smyly has a 1.55 ERA in four starts since the David Price trade.

Tony: Recent cold stretch makes playoffs a longshot.

19 Reds Reds

JJ: Losers of 12 of their last 16, enter the week six games out of a playoff spot.

Tony: People don't talk about Mike Leake enough.
20 Mets Mets

JJ: Among Bartolo Colon's teammates his rookie year: Charles Nagy, Jose Mesa, Marquis Grissom and Pat Borders.

Tony: Javier Baez has 1 less HR than David Wright...in 407 less ABs.
21 Padres Padres

JJ: Huh, they had Pedro Martinez 20 years ago. (#clickbait)

Tony: Bullpen has a brilliant 2.41 ERA.
22 Twins Twins

JJ: Despite Minnesota's issues the last few years, Ron Gardenhire is still there -- and is the second longest-tenured manager in baseball behind Mike Scioscia.

Tony: Been a horrible year for top prospects Buxton, Sano.
23 Cubs Cubs

JJ: Minus the whole tarp thing, more good vibrations at Wrigley Field than a Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch song.

Tony: 3-game sweep, recent play proves these aren't the 2012-13 Cubs.
24 Phillies White Sox

JJ: They're going to be stuck in the bottom third of baseball for a long, long time.

Tony: 6-game losing streak has them as a sinking ship.
25 White Sox Phillies

JJ: September should be fun, especially if Carlos Rodon is here.

Tony: Poor Ryno.
26 Red Sox Red Sox

JJ: Here's hoping some paperwork gets screwed up and Mario Balotelli winds up playing center field for them next year.

Tony: 8 straight losses?? What is with the "Sox" teams?
27 Diamondbacks Astros

JJ: Franchise needs a complete re-boot.

Tony: Looks like they've fixed Jose Veras (2.79 ERA in 19.1 IP).
28 Astros Rockies

JJ: Play 17 games against Oakland/LAA/Seattle down the stretch, could be a spoiler.

Tony: They're 6-3 since getting swept by Padres in SD.
29 Rockies Diamondbacks

JJ: Might have baseball's best offense...and wind up with baseball's worst record.

Tony: Mark Trumbo has 1 HR since April 21. (He missed 3 months to injury, but still)
30 Rangers Rangers

JJ: In honor of the Simpsons marathon, this sums up Texas' season.

Tony: They traded Geo Soto? Now who will be their C of the future?