MLB Power Rankings: A's, Tigers losing their grip in division

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Tigers losing their grip in division
August 18, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

The Kansas City Royals have vaulted the slumping Detroit Tigers in the American League Central and suddenly, the A's look beatable as the Angels continue their push in the West. A lot can change in a week and as September creeps closer on the calendar, the playoff races in each league figure are heating 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 | Week 18

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 Nationals A's

JJ: Don't have baseball's best record, but enter the week winners of six in a row and have NL's best run differential.

Tony: Still the top dogs until another team proves themselves week-in and week-out*

2 Angels Angels

JJ: Holding steady at No. 2…but with Oakland's slide, are tied for first in AL West. 

Tony: *But that time is coming with the Angels, who are comin' for that No. 1 spot.
3 A's Nationals

JJ: Need to win the division to avoid a possible one-game wild card playoff against, say, Felix Hernandez or Max Scherzer.

Tony: 6-game winning streak and suddenly they're the top team in NL.
4 Orioles Orioles

JJ: Have the AL East on cruise control, seven games up on the Yankees with 40 to play. 

Tony: Just keep stretching that lead on the Yanks...
5 Brewers Brewers

JJ: Solid seasons from guys like Scooter Gennett, Khris Davis and Wily Peralta helping them stay atop NL Central.

Tony: Amidst a season of uncertainty in MIL, Gomez and Lucroy have been Godsends.
6 Dodgers Dodgers

JJ: Have lost five of six to Milwaukee in the last 10 days, which might not bode well for the playoffs.

Tony: Darwin Barney has an .899 OPS with the Dodgers (Small Sample Size!).
7 Royals Royals

JJ: Nine of next 10 games come against Minnesota, Colorado and Texas. Good opportunity to put some distance between themselves and Detroit. 

Tony: And just like that, they've got a 1.5-game lead on DET.
8 Mariners Mariners

JJ: Surging M's have won 10 of last 12 and get Philly, Boston and Texas in next nine games. 

Tony: The Mariners could wind up as the best team to miss the playoffs.
9 Tigers Tigers

JJ: The wheels may be coming off, but they're only a half game out of the wild card and 1 1/2 behind Kansas City in the AL Central. 

Tony: They have to stop the bleeding, and quick. Running out of time.
10 Giants Giants

JJ: So far, Jake Peavy's been a solid addition: 3.86 ERA, 3.64 FIP in four starts. 

Tony: Inconsistency holding them back...like most of the teams in the NL.
11 Cardinals Cardinals

JJ: Oscar Taveras hasn't been the answer: .213/.252/.293 in 159 PA. 

Tony: See Giants, San Francisco.
12 Braves Blue Jays

JJ: Sweep of Oakland over the weekend a big boost to their playoff chances. 

Tony: Like I've been saying all year, they needed to add a frontline starter at the deadline.
13 Yankees Braves

JJ: Chase Headley has a .347 OBP since joining the Yankees, which at least is an improvement off his .296 mark with San Diego. 

Tony: See Cardinals, St. Louis.
14 Blue Jays Indians

JJ: Feels like forever ago they were leading the AL East.

Tony: Corey Kluber is an ace, and he has rain to thank for it.
15 Pirates Yankees

JJ: Losers of five straight could really, really, really use Andrew McCutchen back soon.

Tony: Somehow, someway, they are staying afloat. 
16 Marlins Marlins

JJ: With the rest of NL not making much of a move in wild card race, why not the Marlins? Only 3 1/2 out of a playoff spot entering the week. 

Tony: Oh, they're in the race again? OK. We'll check back again in two weeks.
17 Indians Rays

JJ: Yan Gomes apparently has channeled Brazil's brutal World Cup loss into a great season: 16 HR, .280/.321/.468, 3.7 WAR.

Tony: I'm going to laugh - and cheer - when they earn the second AL wild card.
18 Rays Pirates

JJ: Cool to see them get back to .500, but unlikely they'll make a real run at a playoff spot.

Tony: This has been a disaster season in so many ways and yet, they're only 1.5 games out of the NL wild card.

19 Reds Reds

JJ: Uh, Aroldis?

Tony: Sinking...and fast.
20 Padres Padres

JJ: Love how effortlessly Tyson Ross slings mid-90s fastballs. And he's having a good year, too: 2.70 ERA in 26 starts.

Tony: I think they can reach .500 by the end of the year.
21 Mets Mets

JJ: Bartolo Colon, at age 41, has a 3.85 ERA and 3.40 FIP in 161 1/3 innings. 

Tony: So Starlin Castro was in New York? Time for some rumors!
22 White Sox White Sox

JJ: Avi back.

Tony: Starting to sink, too, but a lot to feel good about for future of White Sox.
23 Twins Red Sox

JJ: How about the year Phil Hughes is having? 3.76 ERA, but a 2.61 FIP bodes well for the future. 

Tony: OK, now they're calling Mookie Betts back up? Just pick a plan for the kid and stick to it!
24 Red Sox Twins

JJ: Fans might as well turn their attention to Fenway Sports Group-owned Liverpool until free agency begins.

Tony: Brian Dozier since ASG: .212/.308/.356, 2 HR, 8 RBI in 27 games. #BrianDozierAllStar
25 Cubs Cubs

JJ: Good to see we'll get to continue to enjoy watching Jake Arrieta pitch this year.

Tony: Classic Cubes.
26 Phillies Phillies

JJ: Blah season, bleak future.

Tony: Ben Revere has been MLB's best hitter over the last month. Huh.
27 Diamondbacks Astros

JJ: For what it's worth, Sox fans, Addison Reed has been worth -0.1 WAR this year. 

Tony: Jose Altuve is on pace for 224 hits, 60 stolen bases and 87 runs in a really bad HOU lineup.
28 Astros Diamondbacks

JJ: Jose Altuve hit a grand slam over the weekend. Believe in your dreams.

Tony: Taking a chance on Brett Jackson. 
29 Rockies Rockies

JJ: Water main bursts, Drew Stubbs hits walk-off home run. Coincidence? Probably.

Tony: Carlos Gonzalez's season-ending surgery a sad note in a lost season for Rockies.
30 Rangers Rangers

JJ: Baseball's version of House Stark this year.

Tony: I don't want to talk about the team, so here's an explanation on Miss Texas' awful, AWFUL first pitch