Updated: August 18, 2014, 12:54 PM ET

Angels take over top spot from A's


After eight straight weeks in the top spot of our rankings, the Oakland Athletics, losers of five consecutive games and seven of their last eight, have given up the throne. The Los Angeles Angels are now in the No. 1 spot after going 4-1 last week.

This week's biggest risers are the American League Central-leading Kansas City Royals, who are up four spots to No. 6, and the Seattle Mariners, who are up four spots to No. 9.

This week's voters: Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine and David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/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.

On Saturday, the Angels grabbed a non-Opening Day share of the AL West lead for the first time since July 5, 2011. If they want to stay there, though, the Halos need two key bats to come out of prolonged slumps. Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton have combined to go just 12-for-82 (.146) with just three extra-base hits over the club's past 11 games. -- Nathan Aderhold (@AdrastusPerkins), Halos Daily
The A's have a whopping 10 games left against the Angels, including seven in the next two weeks. So if they don't snap out of their funk, they could find themselves buried in the AL West and having to face a play-in game, perhaps against their nemesis: Detroit. -- Jason Wojciechowski (@jlwoj), Beaneball
The Nats have stopped scuffling post All-Star break by sweeping both the Mets and Pirates to win six straight. A big part of this was some luck breaking their way. They've won four one-run games during this stretch, bringing their season record in one-run contests back up to a more expected 17-18. -- Harper Gordek (@harpergordek), Nationals Baseball
The Dodgers were limited to seven runs in a three-game sweep by the Brewers, cutting their division lead to 3.5 games. Thankfully, 27 of their remaining 36 games are versus teams currently under .500, and they're 39-23 versus sub-.500 teams this year. Clayton Kershaw now has six complete games, which is the most for a Dodger since Ismael Valdes had six in 1995. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
Although stumbling a bit in Cleveland, the Orioles remain the easy favorites to win the AL East crown. Perhaps the most interesting question left for the season is what exactly does the team plan to do with Ubaldo Jimenez? -- Jon Shepherd (@CamdenDepot), Camden Depot
Danny Duffy has a 2.23 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. He's also allowed only two home runs in 36 1/3 innings since the break. -- ESPN.com
After a disappointing four-game split with the Cubs at Wrigley, the Brewers went out to Los Angeles and promptly swept the Dodgers. The Brewers are 19-7 against the NL West this year, including a 5-1 mark against the Dodgers and 2-1 against the Giants. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
After splitting a home-and-home series against the Pirates and losing two of three to the Mariners, the Tigers find themselves a game and a half out of first place in the AL Central. Injuries have wreaked havoc on the pitching staff. Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria have both been lost to the DL, and shoulder inflammation has forced Justin Verlander to miss at least one start. -- Erin Saelzler (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
Chris Young is unbeaten in six starts (4-0 with a 2.80 ERA) in the second half, with wins over the Tigers, Blue Jays and Braves over his past three starts. -- ESPN.com
The Cardinals survived a rough start to last week by taking three of four from the Padres; the team is feeling the loss of Yadier Molina and will continue to as they host Billy Hamilton's Reds to begin this week. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
The Pirates have lost five consecutive games, including three straight one-run losses to the Nationals over the past weekend. -- ESPN.com
Despite all that has gone wrong for this team in the last two months, a Milwaukee sweep in Los Angeles this past weekend has San Francisco only two games out in the loss column in the National League West. Michael Morse is 11-for-14 in his past five games and rookie second baseman Joe Panik has his average up to .282. Stay tuned out west. -- Connor Grossman (@GiantsBaseball), West Coast Bias
Blue Jays
Toronto is 3-12 in August. Key contributors are now healthy, but is it a matter of too little, too late? -- Matthias Koster, Mop-Up Duty
In danger of falling below .500 and with a playoff spot slipping further out of reach, the Braves pulled off a weekend sweep of the A's. While the bats of Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton are heating up, Atlanta will only go as far as their starting pitching takes them. Three of Mike Minor's last four starts have been of the quality variety; that trend will need to continue. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
The Yankees ran into trouble -- two losses -- and rain in Baltimore, but recovered to win two out of three against the Rays in Tampa. If they can keep winning series the rest of the season, they may have a slim chance of squeaking into the playoffs. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money
The Rays became just the fourth team in history to reach the .500 mark in the same season in which they were at least 18 games under at one point. Unfortunately, that was the high point of the weekend, and they now sit two games below .500. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
Another week, another injury for the Reds, as Homer Bailey was placed on the DL. On Sunday, Cincinnati lost their sixth game out of the last eight in the worst fashion imaginable: Aroldis Chapman walked four straight batters in the ninth, and the game ended with former Red Drew Stubbs hitting a walkoff homer. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
On Saturday, Carlos Carrasco made his second start since he returned to the rotation on Aug. 10. Combined against the Yankees and Orioles in August, he allowed no earned runs on just five hits, walking none. If he can continue to perform as a starter, it could be a huge boost to a rotation often filled with question marks after Corey Kluber. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
A 5-2 week got Miami back to .500 for first time since July 29, and pulled them within 3.5 games of the second NL wild card. Sunday's 10-3 win was the 62nd of the year for the Marlins, tying their total for 2013. Giancarlo Stanton's league-leading 88 RBIs surpass his career high of 87 set in 2011. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
Tyson Ross has a 1.97 ERA over his past 11 starts. During that span (73 innings pitched), he's allowed only two home runs. -- ESPN.com
The Mets' bullpen is second in baseball in stranded inherited runners at 78.8 percent (123 of 156), and Vic Black has stranded 19 of 20. However, the Mets' 17 blown saves is the third-highest total in the NL and their 64 percent save percentage is third-worst in the National League. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
White Sox
Avisail Garcia's improbable early return to action this past weekend reminds that the White Sox have turned the worst offense in the American League last year into an average or better unit (102 OPS+, 99 wRC+) despite the fact that their new core of Garcia, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton have appeared in just eight games together this season. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
Red Sox
While Yoenis Cespedes provided a lot of fireworks last week by hitting three homers over four games, Xander Bogaerts has continued to scuffle, hitting a measly .204 with a .240 OBP since the All-Star break. Despite his prolonged slump, the rookie is still only 21 years old, and the Red Sox are not in the AL East race. The young shortstop has all the time he needs to improve. -- Brett Cowett (@firebrand), Fire Brand of the AL
Since returning from a lengthy stint on the disabled list last week, Joe Mauer is batting .333 with five walks and only one strikeout in six games. That's the Mauer we know and love. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
A.J. Burnett is tied for the major league lead with 13 losses. He's also compiled a whopping 6.54 ERA in six starts since the break. -- ESPN.com
Cubs fans got a little scare as Kris Bryant injured his left toe, but they breathed a sigh of relief as word came out on Sunday that he's just day-to-day. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
In a week in which the D-backs split a pair with the Indians, then lost three of four to the Marlins, the team's two most valuable players were Cliff Pennington and Vidal Nuno. That pretty much explains things. Can this season just be over already? -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
On Sunday, Jose Altuve became the first Astro to collect a grand slam and four hits in a game since Jeff Bagwell on April 9, 2004. The slam helped Houston garner its 52nd win of the season, eclipsing last year's win total. Altuve leads the major leagues in hits (173), batting average (.339) and multihit games (53). -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
While the current 25-man roster put up only a cumulative 23.3 WAR in 2013, it's not even September, and the Rangers have used 36 different pitchers and 57 different total players. The MLB records are 37 pitchers and 59 total players, respectively. After September callups roll around, Texas will almost certainly shatter both marks. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
After a Rockies review with a blogger panel covered many a topic (except for the busted water main, which hadn't happened yet), the view of Mile High Sports from the Roxpile on Sunday induced many smiles as a Purple Row of fans watched the Rockies retire Todd Helton's number and then the Reds with two come-from-behind wins and a Michael Cuddyer cycle in the doubleheader. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers

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