Well everyone, we’re now halfway home in the 2016 MLB season as the All-Star break is upon us. For a third consecutive week, the best record in the majors has a new owner, so does that team take home the top spot in our power rankings? Let’s take a look to see how everyone fares at the halfway mark of the season.
30. Atlanta Braves (31-58, previously 30) – The Braves have survived half a season of misery and can only wish that their 2016 debacle was already over. Atlanta does have one all-star in the form of RHP Julio Teheran, but who knows if he would even be there if there wasn’t a requirement for every team to be represented in the game.
29. Cincinnati Reds (32-57, previously 28) – Jay Bruce is now starting in the All-Star Game after Yoenis Cespedes was scratched due to an injury on Sunday. Adam Duvall also looked solid in the Home Run Derby despite being knocked out in the semifinals when he ran into Todd Frazier. That’s the bright sight of things in southern Ohio. The bad news is that the Reds, owners of an MLB worst -154 run differential, were swept by the Marlins over the weekend and now own the second-worst record in all of baseball.
28. Tampa Bay Rays (34-54, previously 27) – Tampa finds themselves in the midst of yet another lengthy losing streak, now at six games to put them 17.5 games behind the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles. Tampa has now two of their past 20 games. Not fun.
27. Minnesota Twins (32-56, previously 29) – It’s time to show the Twins a little love because for consecutive weekends, the team with the worst record in the AL took the series from the best team in the AL, the Texas Rangers. Minnesota won five of the seven games and put up 10+ runs in three of them. Who would have seen that coming?
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (38-52, previously 20) – Jake Lamb played spoiler to Madison Bumgarner’s no-hit bid on Sunday, but it was a brutal past week for Arizona, dropping five of six games and culminating with a sweep at the hands of the MLB-best San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks have dropped 12 of their last 14 contests and have now moved into the cellar of the NL West.
25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (37-52, previously 26) – Yunel Escobar’s mockery of the home plate umpire in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore was some comic relief for an Anaheim squad that has simply had it rough in every capacity this season, CJ Cron’s injury being the latest of such woes. Nonetheless, the Angels had their first winning week in quite some time this week as they won four-straight this week, a stretch that included a three game sweep of Tampa before taking game one of a three game series in Baltimore. Mike Trout will return to the starting lineup for the AL All-Star game this week just two hours south of Anaheim in San Diego.
24. Oakland Athletics (38-51, previously 25) – The A’s bump up a spot only because some other squads have beat them in terms of playing bad baseball this past week. Oakland managed to split a series with the red-hot Astros over the weekend but dropped a series to AL-worst Minnesota Twins mid-week. Khris Davis continues to lead the team with 19 homers and 55 RBIs, but is now only batting a mere .248.
23. San Diego Padres (38-51, previously 22) – San Diego’s shining moment of 2016 is now upon us as the Padres play host to the All-Star festivities this. Will Myers had the honor of playing in the Home Run Derby in front of his own crowd, only to be bounced in the first round. Otherwise, it was a rough week for the Padres, one that concluded with three straight losses to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
22. Milwaukee Brewers (38-49, previously 23) – The Crew stole a series against the NL East leading Nationals last week before dropping two out of three to the Cardinals, a team Milwaukee has lost to 5 times over the past ten days. Chris Carter now has a team high 22 homers and 51 RBIs, but its not enough to provide any relief for the team with the fewest quality starts from its pitching staff in all of baseball.
21. Colorado Rockies (40-48, previously 21) – Colorado continues to trend in the wrong direction as the summer months continue. The Rockies entered the week riding a six game, which was snapped against San Francisco last week, but lost the series before splitting four games with the Phillies over the weekend. On the bright, side Carlos Gonzalez too part in the derby, but like his NL West counterparts Corey Seager and Will Myers, he did not make it past round one.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (42-48, previously 24) – Before their four game series with the Rockies this weekend, the Phillies had won eight of their last nine contests, and are still having a solid month of July despite dropping two in the Mile-High City. Of course, it helps a lot when you play lower-tier teams in the forms of Arizona, Atlanta and Colorado in succession.
19. Seattle Mariners (45-44, previously 18) – After coming off a high with a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles a week ago, Seattle returned to their sluggish play by getting swept at the hands of the Houston Astros before splitting two games apiece with the Kansas City Royals. Despite their less than ideal week, the Mariners are not completely out of reach from the AL West leading Texas Rangers, who only sit 8.5 games ahead – a formidable gap, but not impossible to overcome.
18. New York Yankees (44-44, previously 19) – The Yankees were able to take three out of four from the red-hot Indians in Cleveland this week to hand the tribe another series loss just a week after Cleveland’s 14-game win streak came to an end. Carlos Beltran is by far the hottest hitter for the Bronx Bombers, leading the Yankees in batting average (2.99), homers (19), and RBIs (56).
17. Chicago White Sox (45-43, previously 17) – The White Sox were unable to effectively take advantage of a home series against the Braves this weekend, losing the series two games to one. Shortcomings for the White Sox continued into the all star break as Todd Frazier lost the Home Run Derby after making it to the finals, only to encounter Giancarlo Stanton. Some good news though is that Chris Sale was announced as the AL starting pitcher for tonight’s game.
16. Kansas City Royals (45-43, previously 15) – The Royals find themselves in yet another rough stretch at the half-way point in the season, having lost seven of their last ten games coming into the All-Star break. The Royals were swept by the Toronto north of the border last week before splitting a four game contest at home against Seattle over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Royals have two starters set for tonight’s game in the form of Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, while Ned Yost will manage the American League squad.
15. Detroit Tigers (46-43, previously 13) – The Tigers remain in 2nd place in the AL Central standings but ran into some trouble in the Great White North this weekend as they dropped three of four contests from the red-hot Blue Jays. Before that, they dropped a three game series against Cleveland, two games to one. Jordan Zimmerman’s ERA has now increased to 3.95.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (46-42, previously 14) – Don’t look now, but St. Louis is only seven games out of first place in the NL Central with plenty of baseball left to play. The Cards now rank 3rd in the MLB in runs scored and 6th in quality starts. 1B Brandon Moss now has 17 homers on the season.
13. Pittsburgh Pirates (46-43, previously 16) – It was a great week for the Pirates within their division, taking series against the Cardinals and Cubs to make up considerable ground in the NL Central race, now only 7.5 games behind Chicago for first place. What’s more Starling Marte will now start in the outfield or the National League tonight after Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler were scratched due to injuries. The Buc’s have now won 8 of their last ten contests.
12. New York Mets (47-41, previously 8) – After winning seven of their past eight going into the weekend, the Mets were swept in a critical series with the Washington Nationals, as Daniel Murphy once again dominated his former squad. To make matters worse, All-Stars Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard exited Sunday’s contest with injuries, preventing Cespedes from making his outfield start in the All-Star game. New York now sits in a tie with the Marlins for second place in the NL East.
11. Miami Marlins (47-41, previously 11) – We could talk on and on about Giancarlo Stanton’s incredible 61 home-run performance in the Home Run Derby last night, but lets focus on the fact that the Marlins have now moved into a tie with the New York Mets for second place in the NL East after sweeping the Reds over the weekend. While Stanton leads the way for the squad and homers and RBIs, Martin Prado has had the overall most success at the plate for Miami this season with a .324 batting average.
10. Houston Astros (48-41, previously 12) – The ‘stros are now only a mere 5.5 games back of the Texas Rangers after sweeping the Mariners mid-week before splitting a four game series with the A’s at home. It could have been worse for Houston had Luis Valbuena not a hit a 2 out 3-run walk off homer in Friday’s 10-9 victory, but here the Astros are playing their best baseball of 2016 right as we head into the second half of he season.
9. Boston Red Sox (49-38, previously 9) – The Red Sox swept a four game series against the dreadful Tampa Bay Rays this weekend, but Boston still needs to figure things out quickly as the Blue Jays have caught them to create a tie for second place in the AL east. David Ortiz continues to lead a red hot Boston offense that will have four starters for the AL in the All-Star Game tonight, but pitching problems continue, now highlighted by closer Craig Kimbrel undergoing surgery on his knee Monday to replace torn cartilage.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (51-40, previously 6) – The Dodgers were able to take three of four from San Diego this week with a couple of come-from-behind wins, but the Baltimore Orioles marched right into Chavez Ravine earlier in the week to take two of three from Los Angeles. The Dodgers remain 6.5 games out of first place for the Giants and certainly hope that Clayton Kershaw can return shortly to compliment a bullpen that has carried LA the past two weeks.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (51-40, previously 10) – Here we are again in July, and once again the Blue Jays have caught fire. Toronto has now won eight of their last nine games, as stretch that included a seven game winning streak and has moved them into a tie with Boston for second place in the AL East. Josh Donaldson has returned to his MVP shape as he has raised his HR total and BA to 23 and .305 respectively, both of which are best among all Toronto Hitters. If the Jays can keep their momentum flowing past the break, expect them to make a series run at the AL East title and beyond once again.
6. Baltimore Orioles (51-36, previously 7) – The Orioles had themselves a 4-2 week and their offense has continued to wow the baseball world. Mark Trumbo can’t be stopped, raising his total to and MLB best 28 homers and 68 RBIs on the year. Even with that success at the plate though, that doesn’t change the fact Baltimore now has two teams on their tail as Toronto and Boston both sit two games out of first place in the division.
5. Cleveland Indians (52-36, previously 3) – The Indians have come back to Earth since their 14 game win streak came to an end just over a week ago, going 3-6 in the time since. The All-Star break presents a chance for the Tribe to regroup in the midst of their slump, and they can also rejoice that they play the AL-worst twins immediately out of the gate when the break ends.
4. Chicago Cubs (53-35, previously 4) – The mid-summer funk continues in the Windy City. The Cubs are now a mediocre 26-27 after their incredible 23-7 start to the season, and have only won two of their last 11 games. To make matters even worse, three of those losses came against the two worst teams in baseball (ATL and CIN). Jake Arietta was pummeled for earned runs in Friday’s loss to Pittsburgh and has now posted a 9.00 ERA in the past seven days. The Cubs won’t have it easy coming out of the break either as they host the AL-leading Texas Rangers for a three game series next weeknd. On the bright side, the entire NL infield will be made up of Cubs players tonight, but maybe that’s not good for fans of other NL teams given how the Cubbies have played of late.
3. Texas Rangers (54-36, previously 1) – Ever since the ninth inning debacle against New York two weeks ago, the Rangers have simply not been themselves. Texas was dominated by the AL-worst Twins in consecutive weekends, which presents a telling tale about the Rangers’ pitching concerns of late. They do get a chance to get their mind off of their struggles over the next few days, but they’ll be thrown right back into the hoopla as they travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs immediately out of the All-Star break. Then again, the Cubs themselves have been playing pretty bad baseball of late, so maybe the Rangers will catch a break.
2. Washington Nationals (54-36, previously 5) – The Nationals continue to rise with their roster as healthy as it has ever been. The Nats swept the Mets over the weekend to extend their NL East lead to six games. Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper have remained sensational at the plate, while Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer continue to deal on the mound. The Nats however will have their work cut out for them next weekend as they take on the red hot Pittsburgh Pirates.
1. San Francisco Giants (57-33, previously 2) – It is an even year after all. The Giants own the best record in baseball at 24 games over .500 and boast such a designation at the All-Star break for the first time since 1993, a year in which they won 103 games. On the mound, Madison Bumgarner was 5 outs short of a no-hitter on Sunday en route to a complete game shutout, and Johnny Cueto is set to start for the NL All-Star team tonight after posting the best record of any pitcher in the NL heading into the break (13-1). Buster Posey, also a starter for tonight, has stayed hot at the plate and has now passed Brandon Belt for the team home run lead at 11 on the season.
Biggest Jump: Philadelphia Phillies (+4)
Biggest Drop: Arizona Diamondbacks (-6)