MLB Power Rankings: Royals makin' moves, Cardinals scuffling

MLB Power Rankings: Royals makin' moves, Cardinals scuffling
August 11, 2014, 7:00 pm
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

The Kansas City Royals are makin' moves and the St. Louis Cardinals suddenly have a negative run differential. A lot can change in a week and as September creeps closer on the calendar, the playoff races in each league figure to heat up.

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

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 A's A's

JJ: The payoff/drawback of trading Cespedes for Lester: 3.07 team ERA, .640 team OPS since Aug. 1.

Tony: Hey, looks like Jason Hammel actually looks good again.

2 Angels Angels

JJ: Their 39-23 record at home probably bodes well for the one-game wild card playoff they'll likely be in. 

Tony: Love that Pujols keeps mocking guys during game action.
3 Dodgers Tigers

JJ: At 35, Juan Uribe still is a valuable major leaguer: .294/.322/.419, solid defense, 2.4 WAR.

Tony: Record doesn't reflect No. 3 ranking yet, but give them more time with David Price.
4 Orioles Nationals

JJ: Almost quietly, they're sitting at 17 games over .500 with the biggest division lead in baseball.

Tony: Another day, another Bryce Harper controversy. Leave the kid alone.
5 Nationals Dodgers

JJ: Missed an opportunity to bury Atlanta in losing two of three to the Braves over the weekend. 

Tony: Darwin Barney is back in the bigs!
6 Tigers Orioles

JJ: I imagine they'll still win the AL Central, but losing it to Kansas City and playing the Angels in a wild card playoff would be a huge disappointment. 

Tony: That lineup is fierce, but don't think they have the pitching to make an extended run in Oct.
7 Royals Royals

JJ: James Shields and Wade Davis have combined to be worth 4.7 WAR this year. Wil Myers: 0.3.  

Tony: Hottest team in MLB. Been on fire since getting swept by BOS 3 weeks ago.
8 Brewers Brewers

JJ: Hanging on in NL Central thanks in part to the 8.9 combined WAR between Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy. 

Tony: Matt Garza was pitching great before he went on the DL. Tough blow.
9 Mariners Blue Jays

JJ: Still right in the thick of the wild card but are one game under .500 at home. 

Tony: Love that they're still havin' fun during a 19-inning game.
10 Blue Jays Mariners

JJ: Mark Buehrle has a 4.26 ERA in his last 13 starts.

Tony: Austin Jackson won't be their savior, but a nice addition to the offense.
11 Pirates Giants

JJ: Getting Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen back for the stretch run would be huge. 

Tony: They've had a rough last month or so, but still only a half-game out.
12 Giants Cardinals

JJ: Losers of four in a row and get Chris Sale on Tuesday, which certainly won't help a struggling offense.

Tony: They have a negative run differential now. Whoa.
13 Cardinals Pirates

JJ: Run differential has dipped into the negatives, but still in position for a wild card spot. 

Tony: The second wild card - if not the division - was theirs if McCutchen didn't go down.
14 Yankees Braves

JJ: Brandon McCarthy is doing his part to keep the Yankees in the playoff hunt with a 2.21 ERA in six starts since his trade. 

Tony: They were a Top 10, maybe even a Top 5 team for so long this year and now may not even make the wild card game.
15 Indians Reds

JJ: Michael Brantley has having the most under-the-radar great season of anyone: .324/.384/.518, 4.8 WAR.

Tony: Where would they be without Todd Frazier this year?
16 Reds Indians

JJ: Two and a half games out of a playoff spot but haven't really made much of a move this summer. 

Tony: Michael Brantley for AL MVP!
17 Braves Yankees

JJ: Lost eight in a row before the weekend but aren't buried in playoff hunt. 

Tony: Remember when their rotation had Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia in it?
18 Rays Rays

JJ: Slipping a bit since that big run, only 4-6 in last 10 games.  

Tony: Man, Evan Longoria is having a rough year. Just a .390 SLG.

19 Marlins White Sox

JJ: I know I've said this a lot, but man, think where they'd be had Jose Fernandez not got hurt (probably a lot closer to the wild card). 

Tony: The South Side Jose Abreus are very nearly out of the 2014 pennant race for good.
20 Mets Mets

JJ: Shoulders are nothing to mess around with, so Jacob deGrom's soreness is a bit worrisome. 

Tony: Tough blow with the injury to Jacob deGrom. He's emerged as a star in that rotation.
21 Padres Marlins

JJ: If you take a brutal June (10-17) out of the equation they're about a .500 team, for what it's worth (not much).

Tony: Casey McGehee is fourth in the NL in hits. Huh.
22 White Sox Padres

JJ: Great read by colleague Dan Hayes on how Carlos Rodon can become an elite pitcher

Tony: Suddenly one of the hottest teams in the league and making the climb toward .500.
23 Twins Twins

JJ: Kyle Gibson, typical Twins pitcher: Few strikeouts, tons of ground balls and a solid 4.13 ERA/3.75 FIP. 

Tony: Man, I completely forgot about Kurt Suzuki until his rebound in Minny this year.
24 Red Sox Red Sox

JJ: Play the Angels, Mariners, Blue Jays, Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Royals and Pirates down the stretch. Can be a huge spoiler team. 

Tony: Only 5 teams have a worse run differential in baseball.
25 Phillies Cubs

JJ: Cool to see Grady Sizemore getting another shot and succeeding with it (.315/.358/.427). 

Tony: Another fifth-place finish coming, but reason for optimism on the North Side.
26 Cubs Phillies

JJ: Seriously, what can't Javy Baez do

Tony: For all of Ryan Howard's faults, he's 3rd in NL with 72 RBI.
27 Diamondbacks Diamondbacks

JJ: Uh-oh, they face Washington next week. Will they hit Bryce Harper for doing this

Tony: They could use A.J. Pollock (.920 OPS) back in that lineup.
28 Astros Astros

JJ: Really disappointing step back for Jason Castro this year: OPS is down 170 points, only 1.2 WAR compared to 4.3 in 2013.

Tony: Jon Singleton hasn't had his AVG above .200 since June.
29 Rangers Rockies

JJ: On Aug. 11, 2013, Texas led the AL West and had a +51 run differential. Today: Last place, -116 run differential.

Tony: Worst record in baseball is odd considering they were one of the league's pleasant surprises during the first few weeks.
30 Rockies Rangers

JJ: They've allowed 617 runs. 617! That's an average of 5.3 per game. Woof.  

Tony: Did Shin-Soo Choo lose his patience when he went to TEX? Just 24 walks since June 1 compared to 70 Ks.