Following a week of domination over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies extended its lead in KP’s latest edition of MLB Power Rankings.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox continue to be the two teams that remain within reach, while the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves round out this week’s top five.

One of the biggest movers of the week is the Arizona Diamondbacks, not only taking over the National League West division lead, but also jumping three spots to 8th place.

cliff-lee-back-with-philadelphia-phillies

Cliff Lee and the Phillies continue to dominate the National League, as well as this week’s MLB Power Rankings

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: August 15, 2011

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

1. Philadelphia Phillies – 78-41 (205 points) – Last Week: #1

Concerns of keeping the rotation fresh has been a hot topic of late, and there has been some chatter about the Phils possibly adding a sixth-man to the rotation down the stretch.

2. New York Yankees – 72-46 (196 points) – Last Week: #2

Watch out for a potential surge by the Yankees.  Over the next 15 games, the Bronx Bombers are at KC, at Minnesota, home versus Oakland and at Baltimore.

3. Boston Red Sox – 73-46 (179 points) – Last Week: #3

Boston’s 19th-ranked pitching staff and 3.93 team ERA knock them back a tick, just enough to place them behind the surging Yankees for the week.

4. Texas Rangers – 69-52 (151 points) – Last Week: #4

Remember when the Rangers were talking about trading Michael Young before the season? In 477 AB’s, Young is batting .333, with 10 HR, 80 RBI’s, 34 2B’s and a .372 OBP.

5. Atlanta Braves – 70-51 (115 points) – Last Week: #6

Now that Dan Uggla’s hitting streak is over with, the baseball world can go back to the realization that he’s hitting just .231 on the season with 104 K’s and just 39 walks.

6. Milwaukee Brewers – 70-51 (95 points) – Last Week: #7

Forget Braun and Fielder, over the last 30 days, a red-hot Yuniesky Betancourt has batted .371, with 6 2B, 4 HR and 21 RBI’s in 97 AB’s.

7. St. Louis Cardinals – 65-56 (94 points) – Last Week: #5

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Pujols is having another productive season for the Cardinals

Any fears of a down season by Albert Pujols are all but gone.  The slugging first basemen has 29 HR, 75 RBI’s and a .288 average on the season.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks – 68-53 (82 points) – Last Week: #11

Over the last 30 days, no one has more wins than SP Ian Kennedy.  During the stretch, Kennedy is 6-0, while striking out 36 batters in 42 innings.

9. Tampa Bay Rays – 64-55 (72 points) – Last Week: #9

Casey Kotchman has turned out to be a steal, posting a .335 average (best on the team) and .395 OBP (also a team best) in 358 AB’s this season.

10. Los Angeles Angels – 65-56 (59 points) – Last Week: #8

With the types of names in the Angels’ lineup (Wells, Hunter, Abreu), it’s surprising that Alberto Callaspo qualifies with the team’s best average this season (.291).

11. Detroit Tigers – 64-56 (49 points) – Last Week: #10

Jhonny Peralta (.309 average, 16 HR, 62 RBI’s and 21 doubles) has arguably been the most consistent shorstop in the American League this season.

12. San Francisco Giants – 66-55 (44 points) – Last Week: #12

Pablo Sandoval is the only player on the Giants’ offense to head into today with an average over .300.  His .310 average in 300 AB’s is tops in San Francisco.

13. Chicago White Sox – 60-60 (43 points) – Last Week: #16

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Don’t look now, but Ozzie and the White Sox are back to .500

He may not have overpowering stuff, but Mark Buehrle (10-5, 3.06 ERA in 23 starts this season) is once again the most consistent arm in Chicago’s starting rotation

14. Cincinnati Reds – 59-62 (38 points) – Last Week: #15

Jay Bruce’s 17 RBI’s over the last 15 days is the most in the National League during that span.  During this stretch, he also has 5 HR, 4 2B and is batting .348.

15. Toronto Blue Jays – 61-59 (35 points) – Last Week: #14

One of the hottest bats over the last month belongs to Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion, who is hitting .348, with 5 HR and 13 RBI’s over his last 92 AB’s.

16. New York Mets – 58-62 (28 points) – Last Week: #13

A team with a depleted offense due to injuries and trades, the Mets have gotten much needed offensive help from rookie Lucas Duda (.276 avg, 4 HR, 28 RBI’s in 176 AB’s).

17. Cleveland Indians – 60-57 (26 points) – Last Week: #18

Rookie 2B Jason Kipnis’ six home runs over the last 15 days are the most in the American League during that span.  Only Atlanta’s Dan Uggla has more in all of baseball.

18. Los Angeles Dodgers – 55-64 (3 points) – Last Week: #21

Javy Guerra (1.57 ERA, 10 saves and 23 K’s in 28 2/3 innings) has filled in nicely at the back end of the Los Angeles bullpen.

19. San Diego Padres – 54-68 (3 points) – Last Week: #17

Could Jesus Guzman wind up as a solid replacement for Adrian Gonzalez?  In 2011, he’s batting .338, with 5 HR, 30 RBI’s and 7 stolen bases in just 130 AB’s.

20. Colorado Rockies – 56-66 (-8 points) – Last Week: #20

Kevin Millwood, dropped by the Red Sox a few weeks back, recently made his first start with the Rockies, going seven innings, while giving up just three runs.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates – 56-63 (-13 points) – Last Week: #23

Derrek Lee, acquired from the Orioles before the trade deadline, lasted just 18 AB’s before hitting the disabled list just the other day.

22. Florida Marlins – 56-64 (-20 points) – Last Week: #19

Before his demotion to AAA, Logan Morrison was batting .249, with 21 doubles, 17 HR and 60 RBI’s for the Marlins.

23. Washington Nationals – 57-62 (-22 points) – Last Week: #22

Tyler Clippard has been one of the most consistent bullpen arms in the National League, posting a 1.64 ERA and 79 K’s in 65 2/3 innings.

24. Oakland Athletics – 53-67 (-27 points) – Last Week: #24

Gio Gonzalez may be the most notable starter this season for the A’s, but he has only managed 13 quality starts in 23 tries.  Teammate Trevor Cahill has 17 quality starts.

25. Seattle Mariners – 52-67 (-50 points) – Last Week: #26

A team desperate for offense, Seattle has gotten solid production from Mike Carp, called up in late July, and on the season with the big club, is batting .320 with 4 HR and 24 RBI’s.

26. Chicago Cubs – 53-68 (-53 points) – Last Week: #27

Before his most recent “setback”, Carlos Zambrano was 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA and 101 K’s spanning over 24 starts and 145 2/3 innings.

27. Kansas City Royals – 50-71 (-64 points) – Last Week: #25

Billy Butler’s eight home runs over the season’s last 30 days are the most in the American League during that stretch.  Only Albert Pujols has more, with ten.

28. Minnesota Twins – 52-67 (-85 points) – Last Week: #28

Congrats to Jim Thome, who hit his 600th home run on Monday night – but too bad that Minnesota’s stats in that game do not count towards this week’s ranking.

29. Baltimore Orioles – 46-72 (-121 points) – Last Week: #29

Over the season’s last 30 days, J.J. Hardy leads all shortstops with 10 HR’s.  Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki is second among SS’s, with just six home runs.

30. Houston Astros – 38-83 (-166 points) – Last Week: #30

Some of Houston’s young players have showed promise on offense in limited time.  Among the notables include Jose Altuve (.333 avg) and Jason Bourgeois (.312 avg).

* All stats per MLB.com

 

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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