Here are my MLB power rankings. To read my thoughts on some bright spots for the Orioles in a not-so-bright season, click here.
1. San Francisco Giants (76-42, No. 1 last week): Interesting week ahead for the Giants, as they welcome in the limping and desperate Mets and then make the short ride over to Oakland for one of the most intriguing series of this season.
2. Milwaukee Brewers (72-47, No. 2): Still plenty of time for things to change, but it sure looks like the Brewers and Giants are on a different level than the Dodgers, Padres and whoever gets out of the NL East. Big three-game series in St. Louis this week.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (72-46, No. 4): Can the Dodgers still pull it all together to make a serious run at repeating as World Series champions? No doubt, but when I watch this team and look at the box scores, I just see an awkward construction.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (71-47, No. 5): The Rays had been on a roll until getting beaten back-to-back games by the Twins at Target Field. Could they let the train get off the rails? Never mind, the No. 30 Orioles come to St. Petersburg for a four-game series this week.
5. Chicago White Sox (68-50, No. 3): The White Sox had the big high — a walk-off in Iowa in the Field of Dreams Game — but then they lost the chance for some championship mojo in losing two in a row to the scrambling Yankees. Looks like Liam Hendriks’ aura of invincibility might have been shattered with back-to-back disasters against the Yankees.
6. Houston Astros (70-47, No. 6): The Astros went on a tear in mid-June. It looked as if they were set to run off with the AL West by mid-July. Then they started playing some better teams, and lo and behold, they are just 9-8 in their past 17 games. They still lead the A’s by 2.5 games, but the A’s have been playing better ball.
7. Oakland Athletics (68-50, No. 7): The A’s travel to Chicago for a four-game series against their long-ago manager. Then they come back home to host the big, bad Giants. It’s an awfully interesting week ahead for manager Bob Melvin’s squad.
8. Boston Red Sox (69-51, No. 8): The big news is that Chris Sale is back and was a winner in his comeback. Garrett Richards was pushed out of the rotation and could end up in high-leverage situations if needed. And looking at the way Matt Barnes has pitched the past couple weeks, that could be needed. Kyle Schwarber is active and seems to be developing a relationship with the Green Monster.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (63-54, No. 9): The Blue Jays had won 11 of their past 15 games when they left for a trip to Anaheim and Seattle. A 3-4 mark wasn’t what they had in mind. They looked to have a disaster on their hands Aug. 14. George Springer tried to haul in a long fly ball that appeared to be a homer, but he missed it and landed awkwardly on his ankle. Limping off, it looked as if his season might be over. Now, the Jays seem to feel it’s a mild sprain and that he won’t really miss much time.
10. New York Yankees (65-52, No. 10): A 14-5 run has the Yankees squarely in the hunt. They get Gerrit Cole back Aug. 16, and Jordan Montgomery is not far behind. There is talk that Aroldis Chapman could be back within a week as well. Manager Aaron Boone looks like he ain’t having any fun, but his club is turning scrappy.
11. Atlanta Braves (62-56, No. 17)
12. San Diego Padres (67-53, No. 12)
13. Philadelphia Phillies (61-57, No. 13)
14. Cincinnati Reds (64-55, No. 11)
15. Seattle Mariners (63-56, No. 14)
16. St. Louis Cardinals (61-56, No. 18)
17. New York Mets (59-58, No. 15)
18. Detroit Tigers (58-62, No. 20)
19. Cleveland Indians (57-59, No. 16)
20. Los Angeles Angels (59-60, No. 19)
21. Minnesota Twins (52-66, No. 25)
22. Miami Marlins (51-67, No. 26)
23. Colorado Rockies (52-66, No. 21)
24. Kansas City Royals (49-67, No. 24)
25. Washington Nationals (50-68, No. 22)
26. Chicago Cubs (52-68, No. 23)
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-76, No. 27)
28. Texas Rangers (42-76, No. 30)
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (38-81, No. 29)
30. Baltimore Orioles (38-78, No. 28)