We are a little over halfway through the 2016 MLB Season, and the Midsummer Classic, the MLB All-Star Game is finally upon us. Hosted by the San Diego Padres, the Home Run Derby will take place tonight and the All-Star Game will take place tomorrow evening.
But while all 30 clubs are enjoying their vacation, let’s take this time to analyze the MLB Power Rankings at the All-Star Break.
30. Atlanta Braves (Last Week: 29)
The Atlanta Braves have sunk to a new low. Their winning percentage has fallen to a laughable .348, and as the club looks to sell at the trade deadline, things won’t get any prettier.
29. Cincinnati Reds (Last Week: 28)
Last year’s All-Star Game host, the Reds have had a miserable 2016 season. They trot out a new starting pitcher every series to little avail. At least they are still a solid-hitting ballclub.
28. Tampa Bay Rays (Last Week: 26)
The Tampa Bay Rays are having a historic 2016 season for all the wrong reasons. They have lost 21 of their last 25 games and sit 17.5 games back in the AL East standings.
27. Minnesota Twins (Last Week: 30)
Surprise surprise! The Twinkies had a mini-hot-streak this week and have climbed out of the MLB Power Rankings cellar. Even in going 7-3 in their last 10 games, the Twins are still only a .364 ballclub.
26. Oakland Athletics (Last Week: 25)
The A’s just keep on losing. They have gone 3-7 in their last 10, sit 12 games out of a playoff spot, and will sell anything they’ve got in the coming weeks.
25. Milwaukee Brewers (Last Week: 23)
The Brew Crew sold its first veteran this week in Aaron Hill, and mainstays Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy could be on the block as well. Meanwhile, they’ve also gone 3-7 in their last 10 contests.
24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Last Week: 27)
Despite the rash of injuries thrust upon them, the Halos had a decent week last week, going 5-5 and escaping from the bottom 5 teams, if just barely. They will debate selling Albert Pujols, Yunel Escobar, and maybe even Mike Trout.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks (Last Week: 21)
The curse of the D-Backs continues. After I proclaimed that they could sneak into the Wild Card race, they have lost in all ways imaginable, including an embarassing 1-hit shutout last night. They only rank this high due to their star power.
22. Colorado Rockies (Last Week: 24)
Not much has gone right for the Rockies lately. They too have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games, have fallen to 8 games below .500, and are looking to trade franchise player Carlos Gonzalez.
21. San Diego Padres (Last Week: 22)
The Padres just keep on floating along, going 4-6 or 5-5 each week (it was the latter this time around). This odd consistency keeps them around the 22-20 spots each week.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (Last Week: 20)
The Phillies just don’t have any luck, do they? After going 7-3 for two straight weeks, they still sit at 20 overall in the Power Rankings. If Aaron Nola figures out how to pitch again, they could rise.
19. Kansas City Royals (Last Week: 16)
The follow-up season for the defending World Series Champions may have hit Rock Bottom. The club cannot win on the road if their lives depended on it, and the day-to-day inconsistency kills the Royals.
18. Seattle Mariners (Last Week: 17)
Much like the Padres, the Mariners keep on bubbling around .500 each week, which keeps them in contention but does not advance them at all. Injuries to the rotation haven’t helped.
17. New York Yankees (Last Week: 19)
The Bombers had an excellent series against the powerful Cleveland Indians last weekend, but they’ll need to ride that wave into the second half. They currently sit at exactly .500 and 5.5 games back of the Wild Card.
16. Chicago White Sox (Last Week: 18)
The ChiSox have continued their ascent, posting two straight successful weeks. If they can fortify their pitching staff, they could be a dangerous playoff team.
15. Detroit Tigers (Last Week: 14)
After they came roaring back into the playoff picture, the Tigers took a step back this week, only going 5-5. They now sit 4.0 games back of a playoff spot and will need a smart trade deadline.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (Last Week: 11)
The Cards have oddly gone only 19-26 at home one year after posting the league’s best home record. This could be the main reason why things just aren’t functioning for the Cards, who are still bumbling about the Wild Card race just 1.0 game out, but seeming so far away.
13. Houston Astros (Last Week: 12)
The ‘Stros failed to take advantage of a series with the Oakland A’s, splitting a 4-game series at home. They still only sit 2.0 games out of the Wild Card, but they had a chance to capitalize big time.
12. Miami Marlins (Last Week: 15)
It may well be time to start taking the Marlins seriously. They have Giancarlo Stanton hitting again, an underrated rotation, a hungry fan base, and an A-quality manager in Don Mattingly. If they have a shrewd deadline, they could be sneaky playoff threats.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (Last Week: 13)
The Pirates have come back with a vengeance. They went 8-2 over their last 10 games, are currently 3 games over .500, and only 1.5 games out of the Wild Card. They have the roster to make some noise.
10. Boston Red Sox (Last Week: 10)
One week after chaos in Boston, the Red Sox turned it all around, winning 4 straight and solidifying their playoff position. Despite recent injury trouble, they have made smart trades and will not be kept out of the playoffs.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (Last Week: 9)
Despite the Jays’ recent run of success, they frustratingly can’t seem to get by the Red Sox. With the return of Jose Bautista looming, the Jays will get even better in time. If they get one more starter, they can take off like they did last season.
8. Baltimore Orioles (Last Week: 7)
It’s been a frustrating two weeks for the O’s, who have seen their division lead disintegrate. They dominate at home, but cannot win consistently on the road and could use one more starter to get them over the hump.
7. New York Mets (Last Week: 6)
The Metropolitans got the shocking news that Matt Harvey is lost for the season with a shoulder injury this week. When combined with the banged up status of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom’s lost velocity, and their lack of hitting, the Mets could be in trouble.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (Last Week: 8)
Despite an injury to ace Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers haven’t missed a beat. They look the best that they have in years, as evidenced by their .560 winning percentage. Also, how great would it be for the Dodgers to make it to the World Series in Vin Scully’s final season?
5. Texas Rangers (Last Week: 5)
The Rangers have slipped a bit following a time when they were the tops of the American League, but they still look poised for a deep run. When their rotation gets healthy, they’ll get back to their winning ways.
4. Cleveland Indians (Last Week: 3)
The Indians have reeled a bit since their 14-game win streak, but the fact that they nearly came back from an 11-1 deficit against the Yankees proves that they have still got it. Still, losing 3 out of 4 to the .500 Yankees at home couldn’t have made the Indians feel very good.
3. Chicago Cubs (Last Week: 2)
No team needs the All-Star break more than the Cubbies, who have lost 11 of their last 15 games. Perhaps the vacation will help the Cubs get back on track.
2. Washington Nationals (Last Week: 4)
Somewhat surprisingly, the Nats find themselves all the way up in the second seed this week. Manager Dusty Baker has really made a difference for the Nats, who look to be over their past second-half swoons.
1. San Francisco Giants (Last Week: 1)
Man oh man have the Giants dominated this year. Madison Bumgarner is pitching better than ever, the club is hitting from spots 1-9, and any adversity that comes in never trips the Giants up. They look locked and loaded.