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Power Rankings, July 27

   by Al McMordie - 07/27/2015

We finally have a change among our Top 6-ranked teams, and it's the Angels replacing the Pirates in this upper-echelon group. Overall, our biggest movers of the week were Colorado (up four spots to #23) and Oakland (down four spots to #11). But our two Missouri clubs now own Baseball's Top 2 spots, proving Missouri really is the "Show-Me-State."

(Money Line Power Ranking in Parentheses)

1. St. Louis Cardinals (-130) - The Cards may not go shopping for a 1B after all as #1 OF prospect Stephen Piscotty got minor-league time at the position before getting the call-up to the Bigs last week. With Matt Adams and Jon Jay on the DL and Mark Reynolds going ice-cold, Piscotty could be here for a while. (Last week: 1)

2. Kansas City Royals (-118) - KC landed the biggest prize of the trade season so far, getting Johnny Cueto from the Reds. This move is even bigger when you consider that Jason Vargas is out for the year. And although they don't really need bullpen help (#1 relief ERA of 2.18), LH Kris Medlen came back from TJ surgery last week. (Last week: 3)

3. Houston Astros (-117) - Houston struck first as the major deadline trading season got underway, as it acquired LHP Scott Kazmir from the A's for minor leaguers Daniel Mengden (RHP) and Jacob Nottingham (C). The 'Stros are still stacked with prospects, so don't expect this to be their last deadline deal. (Last week: 6)

4. Toronto Blue Jays (-117) - So how is our fourth-rated team in all of MLB sporting just a .500 record (50-50)? When the back-end of your rotation consists of some combination of Drew Hutchison, Felix Doubront, and Marco Estrada (who's actually performing the best right now), then you begin to see why. (Last week: 2)

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (-115) - The Dodgers became more of a buyer at the deadline now that SP Brett Anderson is hurting. Of course, this is nothing new for the former A's phenom who has never had an entirely healthy season since his rookie year of 2009. (Last week: 4)

6. Los Angeles Angels (-115) - The Angels experienced their first home rainout in 20 years. Fortunately, it's raining runs as well, as the Halos stayed hot vs two of their favorite opponents, Boston and Minny, plating 30 runs in a four-game stretch. L.A. starters are sporting a 1.97 ERA in July, more than a full run better than the 2nd place A's. (Last week: 8)

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (-114) - The Pirates found the infielder they needed to plug the hole created by the losses of Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer as Aramis Ramirez returned to the place where he started his MLB career. And the Bucs only had to give up an unheralded Minor League pitcher (Yhonathon Barrios). (Last week: 5)

8. San Francisco Giants (-112) - The Giants need another bat and they may find one in the NL West's favorite trading partner - Atlanta. Cameron Maybin is available and he's certainly familiar with California, having spent four seasons in San Diego. Need a reason to come to Frisco? How about three rings in five years? (Last week: 11)

9. New York Yankees (-108) - Do the Yankees really need to make a deadline move? They've extended their winning record to 13 games over .500 and we can now call their lead in the AL East "comfortable." But they're the Yankees and that means they're going to do some shopping, even if it's for minor pieces. (Last week: 12)

10. Baltimore Orioles (-107) - The O's made it known they are shoppers at the deadline. LF has been a particularly weak position for them this season with a combined .219 BA and .289 OBP coming from that position so far. There are certainly a few guys available out there who can do better than that, including Jay Bruce. (Last week: 9)

11. Oakland A's (-107) - The trade of LH ace Kazmir to Houston for a pair of unheralded prospects essentially signaled the throwing in of the towel for the 2015 season, although oddly Oakland still owns the fifth-best run differential in the A.L. at +48. (Last week: 7)

12. Washington Nationals (-107) - The paint is hardly dry on the Tyler Clippard bobbleheads the Nats gave away last year, but could the real T-Clip be coming back to DC soon? An ace setup man is the one of the only things missing on this team and Clippard would fill that role nicely, not to mention close some unfinished business. (Last week: 10)

13. Minnesota Twins (-102) - With many teams, it's easy to tell whether they'll be sellers or buyers at the deadline. Not so with the Twins. They've ridden an unlikely team of horses to be eight games over .500, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Then again, a little pitching help without mortgaging the future might make sense. (Last week: 13)

14. Chicago Cubs (-102) - With David Price now available, the Cubs are interested. And who in the world can match the prospects they have to dangle in front of the Tigers? Nobody in the National League. Would Price prefer pitching in the NL to the AL? Just ask former teammate Max Scherzer what he thinks. (Last week: 14)

15. Arizona Diamondbacks (-100) - The Arizona offense was weak early on, but now it's just not showing up. The D-Backs plated just seven runs in their last three games of the week, but they won two of those because they were playing a team with worse production than their own right now - the Brewers. (Last week: 15)

16. New York Mets (+101) - The team with the worst run-scoring in the N.L. made a move and acquired - drumroll please - Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves. Okay, so it's not Carlos Gomez or Ben Zobrist, but it's a start. At least that's what Mets fans will tell themselves until their team does something more. (Last week: 18)

17. Detroit Tigers (+105) - After a lackluster series against the Orioles to start the second half, the Tigers sat almost 10 games behind in their division, and so the decision was made to be sellers at the deadline. Both SP David Price and OF Yeonis Cespedes are reportedly available, among others. (Last week: 16)

18. Tampa Bay Rays (+106) - They may not be very good, sporting a -43 run differential, but the Rays are still only one game behind the Blue Jays for second place in the East. They could certainly make a couple of minor trades before the deadline to increase their chances, but the smart money says they'll stand pat. (Last week: 17)

19. Texas Rangers (+107) - The Rangers are rumored to be one of the favorites to land LH Cole Hamels, but given where they are right now, this acquisition seems more like a move for 2016 and beyond (Hamels current contract goes to 2018) with Texas hoping to have him in a one-two punch with Yu Darvish. (Last week: 20)

20. Miami Marlins (+107) - The Marlins have the best bullpen in baseball in the month of July (1.24 ERA), but that's not helping them win games as they are just 3-7 since the break. They already traded one pitcher (former closer Steve Cishek to the Cards) but it likely won't be the last as there's a lot here to get teams interested. (Last week: 21)

21. Milwaukee Brewers (+112) - The Brewers said goodbye to Aramis Ramirez and got an unknown pitcher in return (as well as agreed to pick up a chunk of his remaining salary), but he said he was going to retire after this season anyway. Don't expect the Milwaukee exodus to end with the veteran 3B's departure, however. (Last week: 23)

22. Cleveland Indians (+112) - The Tribe offense has really struggled recently, plating just 17 runs in its last seven games, which is third-worst in the American League. With their four-game sweep at the hands of the White Sox, the Indians fell to last place in the AL Central, despite the aces at the top of their rotation. (Last week: 19)

23. Colorado Rockies (+114) - If the Rocks could play their entire season at Coors Field, they might just be a playoff team. They went nuts in six games there, plating 55 runs despite going 3-3. Sunday's 17-run outburst could be the last hurrah for some of the hitters on this team as trade rumors continue to swirl. (Last week: 27)

24. Atlanta Braves (+114) - Never a team shy about trading, the Braves sent IFs Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets for a pair of minor league arms. Nobody is stockpiling young talent like the Braves, who could have quite a powerful team in a year or two. (Last week: 22)

25. Seattle Mariners (+114) - If the Mariners are going to make a move in the standings, now is the time with games coming up against the D-Backs, Twins, and Rockies. They have several needs, including a catcher and some relief help, but may not make a trade at this point. (Last week: 28)

26. Cincinnati Reds (+114) - Cueto is gone and Leake will probably be next, unless Jay Bruce is dealt first. The Reds should be stacked with decent prospects after the trading frenzy is over, and next season people will be expecting them to make the most of it. They've not been able to do that in past seasons, however. (Last week: 26)

27. San Diego Padres (+115) - Like the Tigers over in the AL, the Padres made it known officially that they are sellers at the deadline. Justin Upton became the most valuable trade target on this team, and arguably the most valuable OF available. Expect the bidding for him and James Shields to be hot and heavy. (Last week: 24)

28. Boston Red Sox (+116) - After teasing their fans with a nice run before the All-Star Game in which they won nine of 12 games, the Sox then proceeded to stink it up with nine losses in 11 games. Any thoughts of being buyers at the deadline are now gone, especially with 2B Pedroia back on the DL. (Last week: 25)

29. Chicago White Sox (+119) - Does a four-game sweep of the Indians give the Sox second thoughts about moving Jeff Samardzija? Probably not. The Tribe is a bad team and Chicago is still a dozen games out with a tough stretch of games coming up that includes the Yanks, Angels (home and away), Cubs, and Royals. (Last week: 29)

30. Philadelphia Phillies (+147) - The Phillies set a franchise record by losing 62 games before the All-Star break, but then proceeded to play above their heads (winning eight out of their last nine). Cole Hamels threw his first career no-hitter which could very likely be his last start in a Phillies uniform. What great timing, both for him and his team. (Last week: 30)

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