The Major League Baseball All-Star break is behind us and the second half is well underway, with some teams beginning to distance themselves from the pack.

In KP’s latest MLB Power Rankings, it continues to be a five-team race, with the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Rangers and Braves all running away from the rest of the clubs.

Oh, and by the way, don’t look now, but those pesky Pittsburgh Pirates have cracked the top ten.

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Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers are red-hot these days

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 18, 2011

Note: Records and point totals as of Monday morning and do not include night games

1. Boston Red Sox – 57-36 (179 points) – Last Week: #1

Adrian Gonzalez leads the Red Sox in average (.342), RBI’s (77), OBP (.405) and hits (129).

2. New York Yankees – 55-37 (164 points) – Last Week: #2

C.C Sabathia’s 53 K’s over the last 30 days is the most in Major League Baseball.

3. Philadelphia Phillies – 59-35 (147 points) – Last Week: #3

The Phillies have the best ERA (3.12) in the NL, but not the best in baseball.  They also have the best WHIP (1.18) in the NL, but again – second in baseball in that category, too.

4. Texas Rangers – 55-41 (132 points) – Last Week: #5

The Rangers are the hottest team in baseball, winning 11 straight games.  Star OF Josh Hamilton has 25 RBI’s over the last 30 days, more than anyone else in the game.

5. Atlanta Braves – 56-39 (114 points) – Last Week: #4

Over the last 30 days of the season, no first baseman has more RBI’s than Atlanta rookie Freddie Freeman, who has knocked in 21 during that span.

6. Tampa Bay Rays – 50-43 (71 points) – Last Week: #7

The Rays have been caught stealing 35 times, which is the most in baseball.

7. St. Louis Cardinals – 50-45 (69 points) – Last Week: #8

Chris Carpenter is coming around, posting a 4-0 record and 1.66 ERA over the last 30 days.

8. San Francisco Giants – 55-41 (66 points) – Last Week: #9

The Giants have struck out more batters (798) than any other team in baseball.

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The San Francisco Giants pitching staff – led by Tim Lincecum – lead the Major Leagues in strikeouts

9. Los Angeles Angels – 51-45 (65 points) – Last Week: #6

Much-hyped prospect Mike Trout is batting just .125 in 24 AB’s since his callup.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates – 49-44 (57 points) – Last Week: #11

Many do not realize just how good Jeff Karstens has been this season.  The Pirates starter is 8-4 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 107 2/3 innings.

11. New York Mets – 47-47 (55 points) – Last Week: #10

Daniel Murphy has been one of the pleasant surprises this season.  Currently, he’s ninth among qualifying MLB batters, batting .315.  He’s also hit .371 over the last 30 days.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks – 51-44 (46 points) – Last Week: #13

David Hernandez – acquired from Baltimore during the offseason – has pitched well in the ‘pen, posting 11 holds, 8 saves and a 3.19 ERA so far this season.

13. Cincinnati Reds – 47-48 (45 points) – Last Week: #12

Over the last 30 days, only two pitchers have given up more earned runs than Bronson Arroyo, who has given up 23 in that span.

14. Toronto Blue Jays – 47-49 (39 points) – Last Week: #14

Brandon Morrow has been lights out over the last 30 days, going 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 44 K’s in 40 1/3 innings.

15. Cleveland Indians – 49-44 (26 points) – Last Week: #16

Justin Masterson (2.80 ERA, 8 wins and 95 K’s) continues to post great numbers this season.

16. Chicago White Sox – 46-49 (23 points) – Last Week: #18

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There’s no reason for Ozzie to curse at Chicago’s team fielding percentage

The White Sox currently have the best fielding percentage (.988) in all of baseball.

17. Detroit Tigers – 50-45 (19 points) – Last Week: #15

Jose Valverde has nine saves over the last 30 days, which is the most in the American League.

18. Milwaukee Brewers – 51-45 (14 points) – Last Week: #17

Casey McGehee has really struggled offensively this season, batting just .225 with 5 HR and 38 RBI’s in 338 AB’s.

19. Colorado Rockies – 45-50 (11 points) – Last Week: #20

Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez is popping up in a lot of trade rumors, with the most intriguing team named being the New York Yankees.

20. Florida Marlins – 46-49 (6 points) – Last Week: #23

The Marlins are back on a hot streak, mostly thanks to the red-hot bat of Hanley Ramirez, who is batting .364 with 5 HR and 24 RBI’s over the last 30 days.

21. Washington Nationals – 47-48 (2 points) – Last Week: #19

Rookie 2B Danny Espinosa leads the team in both HR (17) and RBI’s (55).

22. Oakland Athletics – 42-54 (-12 points) – Last Week: #25

Jemile Weeks (.304 average and 9 steals in 102 AB’s over last 30 days) has provided a spark to an otherwise shaky offense in Oakland.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers – 42-53 (-18 points) – Last Week: #22

The Dodgers continue to get little offensive production at the 1B position.   Over the last 30 days, James Loney has batted .293, but knocked in just six runs with no homers.

24. Seattle Mariners – 43-52 (-29 points) – Last Week: #21

The Mariners are batting .221 as a team, which is the worst in all of baseball – and it’s not even close.  The Padres are second worst, hitting .229 as a team.

25. San Diego Padres – 41-55 (-29 points) – Last Week: #24

Despite their offensive struggles, the Padres do lead the National League in stolen bases, with 95 on the year.

26. Minnesota Twins – 44-49 (-44 points) – Last Week: #27

Michael Cuddyer continues to be the team’s most productive offensive player, leading the Twins in average (.293), HR (14), OBP (.369) and hits (96).

27. Kansas City Royals – 38-57 (-54 points) – Last Week: #26

Alex Gordon is finally coming into his own offensively, batting .296 on the season, with 11 HR, 51 RBI’s and 24 doubles in 368 AB’s.

28. Chicago Cubs – 38-58 (-94 points) – Last Week: #28

Over the season’s last 30 days, no one in baseball has more home runs than Aramis Ramirez, who has 11.  Could he be dealt at the trade deadline?

29. Baltimore Orioles – 38-54 (-102 points) – Last Week: #29

Over the last 30 days, no one is hotter than Nick Markakis, who in 108 AB’s, is batting .389 with 7 doubles, 4 steals, 4 HR and 14 RBI’s.

30. Houston Astros – 31-64 (-123 points) – Last Week: #30

Michael Bourn continues to be one of the most lethal basestealers in baseball today, tallying 35 steals, while only being caught five times this season.

 

Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week

The Wife Hates Sports’ MLB Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record.  It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system.  The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and pitching staff, too.

 

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