The Texas Rangers opened the month of July with five straight losses, including a 19-2 blowout defeat and three-game sweep against the Chicago White Sox.  But with a huge lead entering last week, plus two wins leading into the All-Star break, the Rangers managed to hold a slim lead in KP’s latest edition of MLB Power Rankings.

The New York Yankees are a close second, followed by the Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels.

Meanwhile, the red-hot, NL Central division leading Pittsburgh Pirates jumped six spots and crack the top ten for the first time this season.

Here’s where each team sits in the rankings at the All-Star break, featuring a few stats, thoughts and figures for each of the six teams that made major moves (up or down) in the latest poll.

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Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees have plenty to celebrate (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 9, 2012

*Stats, records and information as of Sunday July 8, 2012

1. Texas Rangers – 52-34 (136 points) – Last Week: #1

2. New York Yankees – 52-33 (131 points) – Last Week: #2

3. Washington Nationals – 49-34 (116 points) – Last Week: #3

4. Chicago White Sox – 47-38 (109 points) – Last Week: #6

5. Los Angeles Angels – 48-38 (98 points) – Last Week: #4

6. St. Louis Cardinals – 46-40 (98 points) – Last Week: #8

7. Cincinnati Reds – 47-38 (83 points) – Last Week: #9

8. Pittsburgh Pirates – 48-37 (82 points) – Last Week: #14

The Pirates have the division lead at the All-Star break yet fall just behind two rivals in this week’s poll.  Pittsburgh is just 19-23 on the road and is also ranked 22nd in team batting average (.246), 29th in on base percentage (.300) and 21st in runs scored (345).  But despite these struggles, the Pirates have managed to win 10 of 12, claiming a one-game division lead.  Andrew McCutchen (18 HR, 60 RBI, .362 avg.) is putting up MVP-like numbers.

9. Atlanta Braves – 46-39 (82 points) – Last Week: #12

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Tommy Hanson has been solid in the Atlanta rotation this season

The Braves won its last four games heading into the All-Star break, including a three-game road sweep against the struggling Phillies.  During the four wins, Atlanta outscored opponents 22-9.  Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson anchored the rotation during the first half by posting a 17-9 combined record with 16 quality starts.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers – 47-40 (59 points) – Last Week: #11

11. New York Mets – 46-40 (55 points) – Last Week: #10

12. Detroit Tigers – 44-42 (54 points) – Last Week: #15

The Tigers won its last five games heading into the All-Star break, including a three-game sweep against the Royals.  During the five wins, Detroit outscored opponents 31-14.  Justin Verlander – who will start for the American League in the All-Star game – has continued to anchor the Detroit pitching staff, leading the team in wins (9), ERA (2.58) and strikeouts (128).

13. Boston Red Sox – 43-43 (53 points) – Last Week: #7

The Red Sox have struggled in the month of July, posting a 2-6 record thus far.  Last week, Boston was swept on the road in a three-game set against the A’s, followed by dropping three of four against the Yankees.  The Boston pitching staff gave up 28 runs in the four-game set against New York and dropped back to last place in the AL East.

14. San Francisco Giants – 46-40 (38 points) – Last Week: #5

The Giants finished the first half of the season on a six-game road trip, dropping five of the games, two of three against Pittsburgh and a three-game sweep at the hands of the Nationals.  Tim Lincecum continues to disappoint and struggle, dropping two of the starts during the six-game stretch last week.  At the break, Lincecum is 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA in 18 starts.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks – 42-43 (33 points) – Last Week: #13

16. Tampa Bay Rays – 45-41 (31 points) – Last Week: #18

17. Oakland Athletics – 43-43 (29 points) – Last Week: #19

18. Toronto Blue Jays – 43-43 (25 points) – Last Week: #16

19. Baltimore Orioles – 45-40 (12 points) – Last Week: #17

20. Cleveland Indians – 44-41 (12 points) – Last Week: #22

21. Milwaukee Brewers – 40-45 (-1 point) – Last Week: #23

22. Kansas City Royals – 37-47 (-15 points) – Last Week: #21

23. Miami Marlins – 41-44 (-16 points) – Last Week: #24

24. Philadelphia Phillies – 37-50 (-19 points) – Last Week: #20

The Phillies have lost 10 of 11 games, with the only victory being Cliff Lee’s first of the season, a 9-2 win against the Mets on July 4th.  If Philadelphia continues to struggle, it’s possible that a fire sale could be coming, starting with Cole Hamels, who leads the team in wins (10), ERA (3.20) and srikeouts (118).

25. Seattle Mariners – 36-51 (-30 points) – Last Week: #25

26. Minnesota Twins – 36-49 (-49 points) – Last Week: #26

27. San Diego Padres – 34-53 (-52 points) – Last Week: #28

28. Colorado Rockies – 33-52 (-53 points) – Last Week: #27

29. Chicago Cubs – 33-52 (-64 points) – Last Week: #30

30. Houston Astros – 33-53 (-96 points) – Last Week: #29

* 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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