Each week during the baseball season Athlon Sports looks at the best (St. Louis Cardinals) and worst (Houston Astros) baseball teams and players in the league. Here are our MLB Power Rankings and Players of the Week.
Athlon Sports MLB Power Ranking
1. CardinalsTwo first-place teams meet in Atlanta this weekend.
2. Red SoxKey four-game set with Rays could set tone for second half.
3. RaysHave won 17 of 19 and carry confidence into Boston.
4. A’sThree-game cushion matches largest lead of the season.
5. PiratesWinnable series at Washington and Miami this week.
6. OriolesHuge sweep at Texas, host Red Sox this weekend.
7. BravesGave up 17 runs to worst offense in AL.
8. RangersCurent standings have Rangers missing postseason.
9. RedsRoad struggles may continue with 11-game trip to West Coast.
10. TigersStill looking for bullpen help.
11. DodgersWinners of 20 of their last 25 games.
12. IndiansTough decisions whether to buy or sell at trade deadline.
13. YankeesMariano Rivera gets touching tribute at All-Star Game.
14. DiamondbacksMustered only six runs against Giants pitching over the weekend.
15. PhilliesChallenging week coming up at St. Louis and Detroit.
16. RockiesStill searching for reliable No. 4 and 5 starters.
17. MarinersNeeded just one hit to plate four runs in win at Houston.
18. NationalsThe season is slipping away fast.
19. GiantsStill contenders in the mediocre NL West.
20. Blue JaysLatest team unable to solve Tampa Bay mojo.
21. Angels13 of next 20 games vs. A’s or Rangers.
22. Royals12 of next 16 games vs. teams with records worse than K.C.
23. PadresEric Stults becoming team’s ace.
24. MetsStarting pitching gives team bright future.
25. CubsWho will be the next player traded?
26. BrewersHeld Marlins to 15 hits, six walks, no runs over 31 innings.
27. TwinsIs Rod Gardenhire a lame duck manager?
28. White SoxHad little trouble solving Braves’ pitching.
29. MarlinsLong, discouraging season continues in South Florida.
30. AstrosBad start to second half.
AL Player of the Week
Alex Rios, Chicago
With the White Sox going nowhere in the AL Central, it’s likely that Rios will be wearing a different uniform by the end of July. He was tremendous over the weekend, batting .500 with eight RBIs in the three games with Atlanta.
AL Pitcher of the Week
Bartolo Colon, Oakland
Amidst swirling rumors that tie Colon to the Biogenesis scandal, the veteran righthander keeps putting zeroes up on the scoreboard. Colon tossed a complete game at Los Angeles to earn his 13th victory of the season. He allowed just four hits and walked one.
NL Player of the Week
Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles
The Dodgers’ shortstop is healthy and playing with a renewed spirit of late. In the weekend sweep over Washington, Ramirez logged six hits, including two home runs, scored four times and drove in six runs.
NL Pitcher of the Week
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles
The Dodgers’ closer pitched two perfect innings to notch a pair of saves in the Dodgers’ sweep of the Nationals over the weekend at Washington. Jansen struck out four and gave up two harmless ground balls.