The Texas Rangers (50-30) have the best record in Major League Baseball as the season’s midway point nears, holding a strong lead over the New York Yankees in KP’s latest edition of MLB Power Rankings.

The Washington Nationals, sparked by its MLB-leading pitching staff, moved up into the third slot, followed by the red-hot Los Angeles Angels.

Meanwhile, this week’s biggest movers are the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, two teams that each jumped seven spots and into this week’s top ten.

Here’s where each team sits in the rankings this week, featuring a few stats, thoughts and figures for each of the nine teams that made major moves (up or down) in the latest poll.

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Michael Young and Josh Hamilton have had plenty to celebrate this season

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 2, 2012

*Stats, records and information as of Sunday July 1, 2012

1. Texas Rangers – 50-30 (159 points) – Last Week: #1

2. New York Yankees – 48-30 (126 points) – Last Week: #2

3. Washington Nationals – 45-32 (103 points) – Last Week: #5

4. Los Angeles Angels – 44-35 (103 points) – Last Week: #6

5. San Francisco Giants – 45-35 (88 points) – Last Week: #12

Last week, the Giants swept the Dodgers in a three-game series, shutting L.A. out and outscoring them 13-0.  San Francisco also split a four-game set with the Central division leading Reds, jumped four spots in overall team ERA (to third in baseball), posted a +14 run differential for the week and leapfrogged the Dodgers for first place in the NL West.  All in all, it was a good week.

6. Chicago White Sox – 42-37 (84 points) – Last Week: #9

The White Sox didn’t show much of a statistical difference over the last week, but held a slight edge in the AL Central division and managed a split in a four-game set on the road against the Yankees.  Two seven-run victories last week (one over the Twins and one over the Yankees) helped give Chicago a boost in the run differential department.

7. Boston Red Sox – 42-37 (82 points) – Last Week: #7

8. St. Louis Cardinals – 41-38 (81 points) – Last Week: #4

The biggest hit against the Cardinals last week was to the pitching staff, which fell seven spots in overall team ERA.  In its last seven games, the St. Louis pitching staff has managed a 4-3 record, yet given up a total of 47 runs during that stretch.

9. Cincinnati Reds – 43-35 (79 points) – Last Week: #8

10. New York Mets – 43-37 (62 points) – Last Week: #17

The Mets posted a +19 run differential last week, mostly thanks to one game versus the Cubs (a 17-1 win), as well as the team’s pitching staff, which jumped eight spots in overall team ERA.  The Mets allowed just two runs on the road against the Dodgers in a three-game sweep.  R.A. Dickey has led the way for New York, posting a 12-1 record and 2.15 ERA so far this season.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers – 44-36 (57 points) – Last Week: #3

Sitting at the top of the poll just a few weeks ago, the Dodgers have now plummeted out of the top ten.  After losing 11 of 13 games, it’s not hard to believe.  The offense has been abysmal as of late.  In fact, the Dodgers scored just five runs during a seven-game losing streak that started on Sunday the 24th.  Five runs!  Los Angeles was shutout five times during that stretch, too.

12. Atlanta Braves – 41-37 (56 points) – Last Week: #14

13. Arizona Diamondbacks – 39-39 (44 points) – Last Week: #10

Last week was a bit of a mediocre week for the D’Backs.  Arizona went 2-4 on the road against the Braves and Brewers, the offense sputtered a bit, the team posted a -11 in run differential and overall, Arizona fell back to the .500 mark on the season.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates – 42-36 (41 points) – Last Week: #16

15. Detroit Tigers – 39-40 (35 points) – Last Week: #18

The Tigers just finished a brutal ten-game road stretch against the Pirates, Rangers and Rays.  In the end, Detroit finished with a respectable 5-5 record after taking 3 of 4 against the struggling Rays.  Overall, the Tigers managed to get back to .500 on the road and sit just three games behind the division leading White Sox.

16. Toronto Blue Jays – 40-39 (31 points) – Last Week: #15

17. Baltimore Orioles – 42-36 (25 points) – Last Week: #13

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Brian Matusz was recently demoted to AAA-Norfolk

The Orioles remain in second place in the AL East and would still be a Wild Card team if the season ended today, but this is clearly a team mired in a major slump.  The offense has been struggling, posting more than five runs just one time since June 15th.  The rotation is crumbling, with Brian Matusz being the latest pitcher to be demoted to AAA.  Over the last week, Baltimiore was a -30 in run differential and the pitching staff dropped four spots in overall team ERA.

18. Tampa Bay Rays – 41-38 (21 points) – Last Week: #11

Like the Orioles, the Rays are another AL East team that has been struggling.  Tampa Bay has lost six of seven, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the hapless Royals. The Rays have been struggling to score runs, posting a measly 17 runs over its last seven games.

19. Oakland Athletics – 38-42 (11 points) – Last Week: #20

20. Philadelphia Phillies – 36-45 (4 points) – Last Week: #19

21. Kansas City Royals – 35-42 (1 point) – Last Week: #21

22. Cleveland Indians – 40-38 (-1 point) – Last Week: #22

23. Milwaukee Brewers – 36-42 (-9 points) – Last Week: #23

24. Miami Marlins – 38-40 (-18 points) – Last Week: #25

25. Seattle Mariners – 34-47 (-27 points) – Last Week: #24

26. Minnesota Twins – 33-45 (-43 points) – Last Week: #28

27. Colorado Rockies – 30-48 (-43 points) – Last Week: #26

28. San Diego Padres – 30-50 (-58 points) – Last Week: #29

29. Houston Astros – 32-47 (-61 points) – Last Week: #27

30. Chicago Cubs – 29-49 (-75 points) – Last Week: #30

* 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 fa 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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