Each week during the season Athlon Sports looks at the best and worst baseball teams and players in the league. Here's our MLB Power Rankings and Players of the Week for August 27, 2012.
1. Nationals — Is there some friction among management?
2. Reds — Winning one of three vs. St. Louis was enough.
3. Rangers — Adrian Beltre joining Josh Hamilton in MVP race.
4. Yankees — Powerful lineup has scored just 23 runs in last eight games.
5. Braves — Bullpen much more rested than this time last season.
6. Rays — Best record in the majors this month.
7. Giants — Lead the National League in runs in August.
8. White Sox — Back-to-back home sweep of the Yankees and Mariners.
9. A’s — Allowed just 29 runs in last 10 games, winning eight.
10. Dodgers — Pull off biggest blockbuster trade in several years.
11. Pirates — Beginning to leak oil.
12. Cardinals — Begin the week at Pittsburgh, end it at Washington - not easy.
13. Orioles — Finished the week tied with Oakland for second wild card spot.
14. Tigers — White Sox come to Motown this weekend.
15. Diamondbacks — After hosting Reds for three, will play 25 straight vs. NL West.
16. Angels — Sweep at Fenway was nice, but have lost 15 of 24.
17. Mariners — Won eight in a row, then lost three one-run games at Chicago.
18. Red Sox — Traded injured player, malcontent and huge contracts to L.A.
19. Phillies — Won five of seven last week vs. first-place teams.
20. Padres — Beginning to separate themselves from the bottom teams.
21. Mets — Won back-to-back just three times since the break.
22. Marlins — Scored four runs or less in last 11 losses.
23. Brewers — 23 blown saves lead the majors.
24. Royals — Won eight of nine inside division with Det. and Minn. this week.
25. Blue Jays — Averaging fewer than three runs a game in August.
26. Indians — Lost 23 of their last 28 games — crashing and burning.
27. Twins — Scott Diamond: 10-5, 3.04 ERA; rest of starters: 22-54, 6.15.
28. Rockies — Wins leader Rex Brothers has yet to start a game.
29. Cubs — Opponents reaching base at a .357 clip off the bullpen.
30. Astros — Would they really consider trotting out Roger Clemens? Yes.
AL Player of the Week
Adrian Beltre, Texas—The Rangers are in the business of scoring lots of runs and business has been good. Last week Beltre batted .433 and slugged 1.100. He drove in nine runs and scored seven with nine extra-base hits. He had a three-homer game on Wednesday against Baltimore, then hit for the cycle vs. Minnesota on Friday.
AL Pitcher of the Week
Max Scherzer, Detroit—Scherzer won both of his starts last week, going seven innings and allowing just one earned run in each game. The righthander has now made eight consecutive starts with at least eight strikeouts. The streak covers 52.1 innings and includes 70 whiffs.
NL Player of the Week
Allen Craig, St. Louis—St. Louis continues to battle for one of the wild card spots, and Craig keeps on raking. He hit .440 last week with two homers. His nine RBIs led the NL and his eight runs were second. He had three three-hit games and one three-walk contest.
NL Pitcher of the Week
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis—With the Cardinals precariously holding a spot in the postseason, and with the bullpen a bit sketchy, it’s important that St. Louis starters get deep into games. Wainwright shut out Houston and tossed 5.2 innings in a win against division leader Cincinnati. In 14.2 innings, Wainwright walked one and struck out 14.