Halos knocking on top spot of Rankings
A's holding on in battle for AL West supremacy, best mark in Majors
Just one game separates the first-place A's from the second-place Angels in the American League West standings.
One game could change the balance of power in next week's rankings.
Is this the week the Angels take over the division lead, or will the A's manage to stay on top?
Yes, there has already been talk of the A's, led by newly-acquired starter Jon Lester, and the Tigers, who acquired David Price at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, squaring off in the postseason, but what happens if the Angels ruin those plans?
What's more, are the new-look Tigers, not the A's, the best team in baseball? Don't forget about the Nationals, Dodgers, Orioles and Brewers.
Will the Giants end the season as the best team from the West?
That's where you come in.
For the fourth consecutive season, MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. The group includes MLB.com vice president and executive editor Carlton Thompson, executive editor Matthew Leach, columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Richard Justice, Tracy Ringolsby, Phil Rogers and Lyle Spencer, along with reporters Alyson Footer and Jesse Sanchez.
What do you think? Agree, disagree? Have your opinion counted by submitting your Power Rankings.
1. Athletics: Oakland bolstered its starting rotation by adding Lester at the Deadline, but it's been the hitting, not the pitching, that has been an issue lately. The A's have lost two consecutive series, and here's one big reason why: Outside of Saturday's eight-run outburst in the fifth inning, the team has scored just three runs in its other 35 innings since Wednesday.
2. Angels: The Halos sport a 35-16 record since June 6 and now trail the A's by just one game in the AL West. They won two of three against the Rays over the weekend and have won six of their last 10 games.
3. Tigers: The Tigers added Price to the mix and now have three Cy Young Award winners (Price, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander) along 2013 AL ERA champion Anibal Sanchez in the starting rotation. Detroit swept the Rockies over the weekend and now lead the second-place Royals by five games in the AL Central.
4. Nationals: Backed by a strong start from Stephen Strasburg on Sunday, the Nats split the four-game series against the Phillies to maintain a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Braves in the National League East. It appears Nate McLouth is on his way to the disabled list, and Steven Souza Jr., who hitting .354 with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs for Triple-A Syracuse, will get called up to take his spot on the roster.
5. Dodgers: Matt Kemp has five home runs in his last six games and 12 RBIs in his last 10. He also has 15 hits during that span. The Dodgers lost two of three to the Cubs over the weekend, but they are still winners of seven of their last 10 games and hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the second-place Giants in the NL West.
6. Orioles: The O's have won seven of their last 10 games and lead the AL East by 3 1/2 games. Baltimore's last six wins and eight of their last nine games have been decided by a single run, but the pitching has helped keep the team afloat during the recent offensive drought.
7. Brewers: The Brewers, who lead the Cardinals by only one game in the NL Central, now have to worry about nagging injuries. Both second baseman Scooter Gennett (right quadriceps) and shortstop Jean Segura (left quadriceps) were sidelined Sunday against the Cardinals, and Matt Garza exited a one-hitter after 71 pitches and six scoreless innings because of a left rib cage strain.
8. Giants: The Giants have lost seven of their last 10 games and trail the first-place Dodgers by 2 1/2 games in the NL West. The pitching has been as good as ever, though. Ryan Vogelsong, Jake Peavy and Madison Bumgarner dominated the Mets all weekend as San Francisco won two of the first three games in the series.
9. Blue Jays: Toronto is content with a 6-4 record on its recent 10-game trek through New York, Boston and Houston, but it's not happy with the three consecutive losses to the Astros to end the road trip. The second-place Jays will have to get over it, as they take on the AL East-leading Orioles for three games starting Tuesday.
10. Cardinals: The Cards won two of three against the Brewers, and Sunday's victory pulled St. Louis to within one game of the top perch in the NL Central. Newly-acquired starter John Lackey won his first game with the Cardinals on Sunday, the 150th victory of his career. St. Louis looks poised to make a run.
11. Pirates: The Bucs won two of three against the D-backs over the weekend, but Andrew McCutchen had to be helped off the field after drilling a game-tying sacrifice fly with "left side discomfort" in Sunday's series finale. The Pirates trail the first-place Brewers by only 1 1/2 games in the NL Central.
12. Mariners: The Seattle offense has been held to two or fewer runs in 16 of 26 games since July 4, and the team is 1-15 in those contests. The Mariners are also 10-16 overall in that span, a big reason why the club is trailing the Royals and Yankees by a half-game and two games behind Toronto in the chase for the final AL Wild Card spot.
13. Reds: The Reds won their first series since the All-Star break over the weekend in Miami, and their sleepy offense is showing signs of life. That's good news, especially when you consider Cincy lost each of the four series coming out of the break, and every single game -- even the wins -- felt tense.
14. Royals: There were increasing signs of perfection for the Royals all weekend. On Friday night, Jeremy Guthrie started his outing with three perfect frames, and on Saturday, Jason Vargas tossed four perfect innings to begin his start. On Sunday, James Shields tossed five perfect frames to start the contest against Oakland. Not surprisingly, the Royals sent Oakland to its first home series loss in nearly three months.
15. Indians: The Tribe swept the Rangers over the weekend, and it will up to Corey Kluber to keep the winning streak alive. Kluber has allow two earned runs in 26 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, including his first shutout on only 85 pitches (69 strikes) in his last start.