Updated: July 27, 2015, 1:54 PM ET

Cardinals again No. 1; Giants rise


ESPN.com

In Week 17 of our rankings, the St. Louis Cardinals remain in the No. 1 spot for the ninth consecutive week. The San Francisco Giants, winners of eight of nine games to begin the second half, are the biggest riser as they move up six spots to No. 5.

This week's voters are Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, 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.

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1(1)
Cardinals
63-35
The Cardinals continue to patch holes with journeymen and rookies, while their pitching staff -- which leads the majors in ERA and FIP -- is still the key to their success. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
2(3)
Royals
59-38
Welcome to Kansas City, Johnny Cueto. The Royals acquired the guy who will be their likely Game 1 starter in the postseason. Cueto has the opportunity to post his fifth straight season with an ERA under 3.00 (it's now at 2.62). Left-handers are hitting .173 against him, making him a good matchup against the Yankees -- you know, in case that happens. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
3(2)
Pirates
57-41
The Pirates took three of four from the Nationals as Gerrit Cole won his MLB-leading 14th game with seven innings of one-run ball on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 2.24. Aramis Ramirez batted cleanup and went 0-for-7 in his first two games back with Pittsburgh. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
4(4)
Dodgers
56-44
Clayton Kershaw's last five starts: 40 innings, two earned runs, 54 strikeouts, two walks. In each of his last three starts, Kershaw has at least 10 strikeouts and no walks, matching Tampa Bay's Chris Archer for the longest such streak in the past 100 years. Despite the efforts of Kershaw and Zack Greinke, L.A. has used 14 different starting pitchers. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
5(11)
Giants
54-44
The Giants are on a roll heading toward the trade deadline. The pitching staff has been revitalized by the return of Jake Peavy, who has pitched into the seventh inning in his four starts since returning from injury. If anything, look for the team to explore adding a late-inning reliever or reserve utility player. -- Connor Grossman (@connorgrossman), West Coast Bias
6(6)
Angels
55-43
What a month for Mike Trout. The reigning AL MVP is hitting .361/.459/.833 with 11 home runs in July and leads the majors with 31 homers and 75 runs (three more than Brian Dozier of the Twins). He can become the first player to lead his league in runs for four straight seasons. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
7(9)
Astros
55-45
Scott Kazmir had a great debut with the Astros on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings. And with Dallas Keuchel getting roughed up in the first inning on Sunday, Kazmir now leads the AL with a 2.24 ERA. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
8(7)
Yankees
55-42
Alex Rodriguez is not slowing down, despite just turning 40. He hit four home runs last week, including three on Saturday against the Twins. And they weren't "gimme" shots, averaging nearly 108 mph off the bat and traveling over 440 feet on average. Two of his HRs were the longest ones hit in both Target Field (450 feet) and Yankee Stadium (453 feet) this season. -- Jason Rosenberg (@IIATMS), It's About the Money
9(5)
Nationals
52-45
Doug Fister has a 6.19 ERA over his last seven starts, and the Nationals are 1-6 in those seven games. -- ESPN.com
10(10)
Cubs
51-46
On Saturday, the Cubs were no-hit for the first time since Sept. 9, 1965, ending the longest active streak in the major leagues. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
11(8)
Twins
52-46
The Twins lost another series at home against the Yankees over the weekend, and have dropped six of nine games since the All-Star break. They haven't really proved they can beat good teams, so this week's series against the Pirates looms large. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily
12(15)
Blue Jays
50-50
The Blue Jays' need for starting pitching is no secret. Drew Hutchison continued his disastrous season on the road. Marco Estrada has shown signs of regression, and Aaron Sanchez was moved to the bullpen. The Jays' chances of making the playoffs may depend entirely on potential trades GM Alex Anthopoulos can pull off by July 31. -- Chris Sherwin (@CWSherwin), Blue Jays Plus
13(12)
Mets
51-48
Jacob deGrom is second in the majors in ERA (2.05) and has a .196 batting average against. -- ESPN.com
14(16)
Tigers
48-50
It's decision time for the Tigers after another week of mixed returns. The offense crashed back to earth just as the pitching mostly got it together, and losing another David Price start does not bode well for them. -- Grey Papke (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
15(14)
Rays
49-51
Matt Moore has struggled in five starts (7.61 ERA) since returning to the Rays' rotation after having Tommy John surgery last year. -- ESPN.com
16(13)
Orioles
48-49
Should the O's trade for some hitting or pitching help, or should they start dealing away some of their impending free agents? They've been dropping in the AL East and wild-card standings, and the July 31 trade deadline is rapidly approaching. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
17(22)
Rangers
47-50
Texas is 4-1 in its last five games, and Prince Fielder leads the majors in hits (124). Next season's rotation would look mighty good if the Rangers land Cole Hamels via trade to go with Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and either Nick Martinez, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Matt Harrison or Colby Lewis. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
18(17)
Indians
45-52
The Indians were outscored 26-5 by the White Sox over the weekend, getting swept in the four-game series. Their offense is physically painful to watch at this point, and there aren't many positive things to say about anything they did last week. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
19(25)
Padres
47-52
Tyson Ross extended his streak of starts without allowing a home run to 16, a club record. Soft schedule coming up (Mets, Marlins, Brewers, Phillies, Reds, Rockies), but there's too much ground to make up in the wild-card race. Justin Upton may be dealt by the trade deadline. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
20(21)
White Sox
46-50
Who are these guys? The destitute and ready-to-sell White Sox scored 26 runs and swept four games from the Indians in Cleveland this past weekend. This barrage included two bombs from Carlos Sanchez, who came into the series with a .254 slugging percentage. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
21(20)
Braves
46-52
Shelby Miller has allowed zero or one earned run in seven of his last 12 starts. The Braves are 2-10 in those games. The offense likely won't get any better as Atlanta begins to jettison their tradeable assets. Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe are gone, and they could be followed out the door by Jim Johnson, Jonny Gomes and Cameron Maybin. They will also try to rid themselves of Chris Johnson. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
22(18)
Diamondbacks
46-51
Some standout pitching performances in the past week from call-up Zack Godley (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 K), Patrick Corbin (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) and Rubby De La Rosa, who yielded just one run in 15 innings over two starts. Jeremy Hellickson may attract trade deadline interest, rebounding from a blister to strike out 12 in his last 13 innings, with just two earned runs. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
23(23)
Mariners
46-53
The Mariners' offense has rebounded in a big way in July, helped by bounce-back performances by Mark Trumbo (.281/.333/.406) and Robinson Cano (.337/.384/.609). Also helping the cause has been 32-year-old Franklin Gutierrez, who has hit .267/.306/.511 in his first 19 games since last playing in the majors in 2013. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
24(24)
Athletics
44-56
Sonny Gray is 7-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 11 road starts this season. His next start will come on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. -- ESPN.com
25(26)
Reds
43-53
The Reds are perilously close to last place in the NL Central, but Joey Votto is doing his best to stem the tide. In 10 games since the All-Star break, Votto is hitting .528/.638/.833 with three homers; on the season, he's now at .303/.420/.520. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
26(19)
Red Sox
44-55
Watching Clay Buchholz go on the DL, Cole Hamels record a no-no with Philly and Pedro Martinez finally take the podium at Cooperstown only makes the absence of an ace in the rotation a more glaring issue. Knuckleballer Steven Wright has taken the most recently opened rotation spot. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
27(28)
Brewers
43-56
The Brewers went 2-4 last week, but the club was still defined by Taylor Jungmann's surge. Jungmann's tough-luck loss in Arizona on Saturday catapulted him into the top 30 in WAR for all pitchers, potentially framing the rookie's season as one of the best in Brewers history. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker
28(27)
Rockies
42-54
With the Rockies well on their way to a fifth straight 90-loss season, will first-year GM Jeff Bridich do what his predecessors so often didn't and make a splash at the trade deadline? Meanwhile, the rotation "boasts" a 5.12 ERA, yet top prospect Jon Gray (3.34 ERA, 8.3 K/9 since May 1) remains at Triple-A Albuquerque. -- Adam Peterson (@PlayerTBNL), Rockies Zingers
29(29)
Marlins
41-58
With three solo shots yielded Friday, Dan Haren has now allowed 20 home runs, including 15 solos. Haren could be dealt before the end of the week, along with Mat Latos and Michael Morse. There is also a chance Dee Gordon could return to the club on Tuesday. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
30(30)
Phillies
37-63
Break up the Phillies! Not only did Cole Hamels throw the 13th no-hitter in franchise history, the Phillies also swept the Cubs, scoring 21 runs in three games. Rookie Aaron Nola earned his first major league win on Sunday. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

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