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MLB Power Rankings

Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs 55-36
Since the records have barely changed since last week, we’re going to highlight one key player on each team for the second half of the season this week. For the Cubbies, it has to be Jason Heyward. Chicago didn’t give him a $184 million contract to post a career-worst .654 OPS while playing half his games at Wrigley Field. He needs to play much, much better if the Cubs want to win the World Series.
2 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 56-37
Stephen Strasburg is 13-0 through 17 starts this season, and it’s something worth watching. His other numbers aren’t as stunning, but the unbeaten streak is worth watching over the next month or two to see how far Strasburg can go before losing a game.
3 St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 47-44
▲ 2
The bullpen has been a nightmare in 2016, so Seung-hwan Oh is going to be relied upon in the second half to preserve the leads the Cardinals do have. It’s unreal to see the team with the third-best run differential in baseball to have the 14th-best overall record. Trust us, though—no National League team wants to face St. Louis in the playoffs.
4 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians 54-37
▲ 2
Just think how much better the Tribe could be if catcher Yan Gomes was hitting better than .165 right now. In 2014, he won the Silver Slugger Award for the position, and now, he can’t even hit his weight. Look for a big second half from Gomes.
5 Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox 51-39
▼ 1
Designated hitter David Ortiz is 40 years old, but he’s hitting .327 with 22 home runs and 72 RBI. Those are unnatural numbers for someone his age, so we have to wonder if fatigue will set in over the final few months of the season for Big Papi. If so, how will the Red Sox hold up?
6 Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Blue Jays 52-42
▼ 3
Outfielder Jose Bautista is out with turf toe right now, but when he comes back, Toronto needs him to improve on his .230 average and his .815 OPS. At age 35, Bautista will be a free agent after 2016, so this is going to be an important stretch for him and the Blue Jays in August and September.
7 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 57-36
The Giants did not give Jeff Samardzija $90 million to post a 4.05 ERA and allow 17 HRs through 19 starts. The Shark has been pretty bad over the last season and a half now, putting up a 4.63 since the start of the 2015 season. San Francisco can’t win another World Series with just two real starters, right?
8 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 53-37
Starter Chris Tillman is 13-2, and the rest of the Orioles rotation is just 17-27 this year. That can’t last if Baltimore wants to stay in first place and make the postseason. However, Tillman will have to keep doing what he’s doing nonetheless. That’s a lot of pressure on him right now.
9 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 52-42
▲ 1
In the past few seasons, starter Scott Kazmir has seen his ERA rise significantly in the second half of the season. With a 4.52 ERA right now, that would be disastrous for the Dodgers in 2016. Kazmir needs to discover a fountain of youth this summer in Los Angeles.
10 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners 46-46
▼ 1
Felix Hernandez will come off the disabled list this week, and with just a 4-4 record this year, the Mariners have missed the King’s usual presence on the mound. There’s no one better in the American League to put a team on his back and carry them to October. The time is now for Hernandez.
11 Houston Astros Houston Astros 50-42
▲ 1
OF Carlos Gomez is hitting just .212, and after back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2013 and 2014 with Milwaukee, he’s been an utter disappointment the last 112 games in Houston (.632 OPS overall). The Astros have a lot of young talent, but they still need a veteran like Gomez to play a lot better than he is right now.
12 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 55-38
▼ 1
The catching position has been a revolving door for the Rangers this year, as four different players have at least 10 games played at the position already. How does this affect the pitching staff? We know the offensive void has been problematic enough. Look for Texas to acquire a catcher like San Diego’s Derek Norris—and soon.
13 New York Mets New York Mets 49-42
Losing Matt Harvey for the season is a punch to the gut, but the Mets still have a lot of young arms. But it’s the 43-year-old arm of Bartolo Colon that New York has to rely on even more so now. That’s scary, because like Ortiz above, Colon is due for a second-half crash. The Mets cannot afford that.
14 Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 47-45
Andrew McCutcheon’s struggles are well known this season, but it goes without saying that the Pirates need him to recover soon. Coming off five-straight All-Star seasons, McCutcheon is having the worst year of his career by far. The NL is brutal in terms of eight teams fighting for just five playoff spots right now, so the former perennial MVP candidate better find his stroke soon.
15 Detroit Tigers Detroit Tigers 48-44
Is Miguel Cabrera finally slowing down at age 33? After four AL batting titles in the last five seasons, he’s hitting just .289 right now. Cabrera is on pace for his worst OPS in a full season since his rookie campaign back in 2003, and that’s alarming for the Tigers. The team still owes him around $220 million through 2024. Yikes!
16 Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Angels 40-52
▲ 4
This team has so many issues, it’s hard to isolate just one player to discuss. But SP Nick Tropeano is the future of the rotation in Los Angeles, as staff ace Jered Weaver fades. Tropeano has a 3.38 ERA in 104 innings (and 104 Ks) with the team over the last two seasons combined, so it’s time for him to step and become the leader of the staff.
17 Miami Marlins Miami Marlins 49-42
▲ 1
Over the last two seasons with the Orioles, Wei-Yin Chen went 27-14 with a 3.44 ERA. This year with the Marlins, he’s just 5-3 with a 4.90 ERA. If Miami wants to make a push for the third postseason berth in team history, Chen is the guy that needs to step up in the second half in order to give Miami a decent rotation.
18 Kansas City Royals Kansas City Royals 46-45
▼ 1
Time is getting short for the defending champs to wake up. However, we don’t think the horses are there this season. There are so many problems on this roster, and the middle infield is just one of them. Shortstop Alcides Escobar and his .604 OPS aren’t the main problem here, but with the revolving door at second base coming up empty, too, Escobar needs to step up as the regular at his position.
19 Chicago White Sox Chicago White Sox 45-46
▼ 3
What happened to 1B Jose Abreu’s power? After hitting 66 HRs in 2014-2015, the slugger has just 11 HRs this season. His slugging percentage has dropped 150 points in two seasons now. Either MLB pitchers have figured him out or he’s way older than 29 years old. Your guess is as good as ours.
20 Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies 42-49
▼ 1
SP Jon Gray currently has 103 Ks in just 95 ⅔ innings. As a 24-year-old rookie atop the rotation, Gray represents the future of the Colorado pitching staff. Observing how he handles expectations over the second half of this season goes a long way toward predicting how the Rockies will do in the next handful of seasons.
21 New York Yankees New York Yankees 45-46
As the Bronx Bombers face a major rebuild with so many fading players in their 30s, starter Masahiro Tanaka figures to be the centerpiece of the future rotation. The rest of the SPs on this team are just mediocre at best, and with the bullpen pieces in order, the Yankees have to look to 2017 and beyond with Tanaka at the center of the starting staff.
22 San Diego Padres San Diego Padres 41-51
They have a lot of trade pieces, but 1B Wil Myers is the one they need to keep for the next few years. He was the perfect All-Star selection for the team on its home field, too, last week. The Padres play in a tough division with high-spending L.A. and S.F. teams to overcome, so maybe Myers is the man to lead that revolution in the next few seasons.
23 Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks 40-53
This season is lost, but the D’backs have a good, young core for their lineup going forward. That leaves the rotation with questions, after Zack Greinke. With youngster Archie Bradley showing some good stuff, the team needs to help him reduce his HR and walk rates. Having a strong rotation in 2017 and beyond is the only way for Arizona to compete in its division.
24 Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays 35-56
In truth, the biggest issue for the Rays still may be replacing Joe Maddon. The talent is still on this roster, but the coaching, guidance and nurturing that once existed in the dugout is missing. Kevin Cash is not the answer, and the Tampa Bay organization needs to find the next manager of the future now.
25 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 40-52
Maybe SS Marcus Semien is the future of the franchise, because at age 25, he represents all of the young Oakland talent. His growth curve could be very impressive if the A’s hold on to him and don’t trade him. However, the team still needs a Chavez and a Giambi to place next to this Tejada if the Moneyball era is to return to Oakland.
26 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 39-51
▲ 1
Just a short time ago, the Brewers had their SS of the future in Jean Segura, while Jonathan Villar was on the outs in Houston. Oh, how times change! Now Villar is the future in Milwaukee at age 25. His 33 stolen bases this year already are a career high. Power is easier to find than speed, so the Brewers could be poised to recover quickly in 2017.
27 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 33-58
▼ 1
The team has a power outage, so DH Miguel Sano has to be the future of the franchise. He’s just 23 years old, but Sano’s 14 HRs this year in just 228 ABs is encouraging. As he matures, cutting down on his strikeouts truly will make Sano a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the Twin Cities.
28 Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia Phillies 43-50
The future of the lineup looks bright with a lot of young offensive talent, so SP Aaron Nola needs to become the new Cole Hamels for the Phillies. He is piling up strikeouts, and with some maturity in the pitch-placement field, Nola is going to be a special SP for Philadelphia in the years to come.
29 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 32-60
Mallex Smith has speed, and even though he is on the disabled list right now, the Braves will be relying on the 23-year-old OF to anchor the lineup for years to come. The pitching staff should be strong in the next few years, so Smith needs to be ready to set the table for the bigger bats behind him.
30 Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati Reds 34-58
In 2014, Brandon Finnegan made headlines as the first player in MLB history to appear in the College World Series and the real World Series in the same season. Now with the Reds, the 23-year-old starting pitcher needs to get the experience right now to be the anchor of the Cincinnati rotation for the next five years. All the tools are there.

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