Updated: July 28, 2014, 1:25 PM ET

A's, Angels remain in top two spots


The Oakland Athletics, who continue to have the best record in the majors at 65-39, are in the top spot in the ESPN.com Power Rankings for the sixth straight week.

Trailing the A's by just two games in the American League West, the Los Angeles Angels stay at No. 2 for the fourth straight week. This week's biggest riser: the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who are up five spots to No. 5.

This week's voters: Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. How do you rank all 30 teams? Go ahead and rank them yourself.

Tell us what you think about the Power Rankings. Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER.

After victories this weekend over Texas, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir are part of a five-way tie for first place in the American League in pitcher wins, exactly as you'd have guessed they would be before the season. -- Jason Wojciechowski (@jlwoj), Beaneball
The Angels continue to boast one of the best offenses in baseball, averaging 4.9 runs per game and hitting for a league-leading 114 wRC+. One of the least-heralded players in the Angels' lineup, Chris Iannetta, has been a huge part of the unit's success. Iannetta is hitting .265/.378/.416 with a 2.1 WAR from behind the plate, including a .314/.432/.429 line this month. -- Justin Millar, Halos Daily
The Tigers started the week by continuing to win on the road, taking two in Arizona and coming back to win the series opener at the Angels. After that, their offense collapsed, as the Angels won the next three by holding the Tigers to two runs in 27 innings. Joakim Soria should help fortify the much-maligned bullpen -- if he's used properly. -- Grey Papke, (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
Doug Fister has been 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA in four impressive starts in July. -- ESPN.com
The Brewers were able to stem a recent tide of losing with a 5-2 homestand last week. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy continued his emergence as a potential MVP candidate with three home runs, one of them a walk-off winner against the Reds. On tap next is a daunting road trip through Tampa and St. Louis. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
Dan Haren is seemingly the only thing slowing down the Los Angeles rotation. Haren's last four starts: 0-4, 9.47 ERA, 28 hits, seven walks, five homers allowed in 19 innings. When Yasiel Puig tripled three times and doubled in Friday's game, he tied a National League record with 11 total bases without a homer in a nine-inning game. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
The Orioles find themselves three games up in the AL East. Baseball Prospectus now has them as a 70 percent favorite to reach the playoffs, but that could change slightly as we enter the last few days before the trade deadline. -- Jon Shepherd (@CamdenDepot), Camden Depot
The Dodgers outscored the Giants 17-4 in a three-game sweep this past weekend to leapfrog San Francisco in the NL West standings. New Giants second baseman Dan Uggla spent the series going 0-for-8 and committing three errors. Injuries have riddled the Giants recently, and the pressure couldn't be higher for general manager Brian Sabean to increase the depth of his club to compete with Los Angeles. -- Connor Grossman (@GiantsBaseball), West Co
It was a rough week for the Braves, who have a losing record this season against the Marlins -- the only NL East team they have a losing record against. Get ready for a premier pitching matchup on Thursday, as Julio Teheran faces Clayton Kershaw. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski arrived in time to help the Cardinals take two of three from the Cubs and -- at least for the time being -- endear himself to his new teammates. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
Mark Melancon has allowed one run in his past 10 appearances, during which time he's recorded six saves for the Pirates. -- ESPN.com
The Yankees had what may well be the most Yankees week possible, going 4-3 with a +1 run differential. Dropping two of three to the Blue Jays is unfortunate, yet it is difficult to be disappointed with the week as a whole -- particularly when you consider the acquisition of a legitimate third baseman in Chase Headley and the continued solid performance of Brandon McCarthy. -- Domenic Lanza (@DomenicLanza), It's About the Money
Blue Jays
The Blue Jays lead the majors in home runs (127). Jose Bautista has been hot of late, batting .324 with four doubles and three homers in 34 at-bats since the break -- ESPN.com
The Rays won't run the table in the second half after taking their first loss Sunday in the last 10 games. The streak has brought the club within five games of a playoff spot and could have them buying instead of selling at the deadline. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
The Mariners added Kendrys Morales and called up shortstop Chris Taylor to share time with Brad Miller, but Felix Hernandez is still the big story. He tied Tom Seaver's major league record of 13 straight starts of at least seven innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed. In those 13 starts, he's allowed a .170 average and 16 runs ... and has seven wins. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
Saw this stat: Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has three home runs -- as many as Royals designated hitters (but four fewer than Royals first basemen!). The Royals lost Sunday but still took three of four for a big series win against the Indians. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
At the All-Star break, the Reds were 1½ games out of first. Since then, Cincinnati has lost eight of nine and has batted .178 (50-for-281). The Redlegs are back to .500, in fourth place, six games out. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
The Indians had a tough week, going 1-2 in Minnesota and dropping three of four in Kansas City. The biggest disappointment was a wasted two-hit gem by starter Corey Kluber on Thursday. On the plus side, Carlos Santana clonked five home runs during the four-game series against the Royals. -- Susan Petrone (@SusanPetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
Sunday's 4-2 win culminated a 6-1 trip to Atlanta and Houston, making for the best seven-game road trip in franchise history. The Marlins have won 20 of their last 34 on the road, after losing 15 of their first 18. They're now only 5 back in the wild-card race. Through Saturday, Miami has won 16 of its 20 challenges, and that 80 percent rate is the best in the majors. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit<
White Sox
Beyond being the torchbearer for power-hitting White Sox first basemen, Jose Abreu and recently Hall-inducted Frank Thomas couldn't be more different. With 30 HRs, Abreu is just two away from Thomas' rookie total, but Thomas in 1991 (179 wRC+) was far superior to Abreu (159 wRC+) and drew as many or more walks in four separate months as Abreu has drawn all year (24). -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
Is Lucas Duda finally blossoming into a legitimate power threat? The Dude has hit four home runs in his last 19 at-bats and has followed up a five-homer, .956 OPS in June with six homers and a .985 OPS in July; he has a 1.047 OPS since the All-Star break. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
Red Sox
After sandwiching five losses between two wins last week, the Red Sox are undoubtedly going to be sellers at this week's trade deadline. Regardless of who's traded, this will add even more players to Boston's ridiculously deep minor league talent pool, especially at Triple-A. Still, back on Tuesday, one couldn't help but think that the Sox had a real chance to jump into the AL East pennant race. -- Brett Cowett (@firebrand), Fire Brand of the AL
After hitting .171 in June (not a misprint), the Padres are hitting a respectable .252 in July. Seth Smith has heated up again, hitting .415 in July, while backup catcher Rene Rivera has 11 RBIs, pushing his season total to 28. That's third on the Padres behind Smith's 32 and the departed Chase Headley's 31. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
The Twins went 3-7 on a 10-game homestand coming out of the break, all but ending their hopes of at least remaining relevant into the trade deadline. Sell, sell, sell. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
After a three-game benching, Ryan Howard returned to the lineup on Saturday and homered on Sunday, just his second homer since June 19. What, you want more from the National League's second-highest paid player? -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
GM Kevin Towers may still make a few moves before the deadline this week, although he's no longer authorized to shoot from the hip. He'd love to move second baseman Aaron Hill given the team's glut of young shortstops, and after a mediocre first half, Hill is doing his part: a 1.135 OPS in eight games since the All-Star break. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@InsidetheZona), Inside the 'Zona
The Cubs figure to be fielding quite a few calls this week leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
The Rockies should be sellers, but they really don't want to sell. Even the players they might sell are getting their value dinged by injury, sending them to day-to-day status or the DL. Yet if the Rockies are going to contend in future seasons, something needs to be done because, as we've seen in 2014, their internal solutions to injury didn't work out that well. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers
2013 top pick Mark Appel is getting promoted from Class A Lancaster to Double-A Corpus Christi, despite a 2-5 record and a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts. He posted his first quality start Thursday by allowing five hits and two runs and striking out seven in six innings. Meanwhile, the parent club lost five of six last week, making it 25 losses in their last 35 games. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
With three days remaining before the clock strikes zero on the trade deadline, the Rangers have already dealt away two relievers in Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria. But it remains to be seen if Alex Rios and Neal Cotts -- or anyone else, for that matter -- will also be on the move. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away

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