By: Chris Larson
Here we are at the All-Star Break with the final Week In Review/Top 15 Power Rankings for the Pre-All Star Break stretch of games. It's a little more than halfway through the season and theres 15 days for teams with needs to address those needs before the final bell rings at Noon Pacific Standard Time on July 31st. Regardless, there should be a lot of excitement before the end of the month with the Home Run Derby tonight, All-Star Game tomorrow, and plenty of trade rumors and potential blockbuster trades.
Here is a summary of the main things that happened this past week throughout the league.
Week In Review
Top 15 Power Rankings
1. Boston Red Sox (68-30) [Ranking Last Week: 1]
2. Houston Astros (64-35) [Ranking Last Week: 2]
3. New York Yankees (62-33) [Ranking Last Week: 3]
4. Chicago Cubs (55-38) [Ranking Last Week: 5]
5. Philadelphia Phillies (53-42) [Ranking Last Week: 7]
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (53-43) [Ranking Last Week: 12]
7. Cleveland Indians (52-43) [Ranking Last Week: 8]
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-44) [Ranking Last Week: 10]
9. Atlanta Braves (52-42) [Ranking Last Week: 9]
10. Colorado Rockies (51-45) [Ranking Last Week: 13]
11. Oakland Athletics (55-42) [Ranking Last Week: 11]
12. Seattle Mariners (58-39) [Ranking Last Week: 4]
13. Milwaukee Brewers (55-43) [Ranking Last Week: 6]
14. St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) [Ranking Last Week: 14]
15. Washington Nationals (48-48) [Ranking Last Week: 15]
Summary of Thoughts
The Boston Red Sox are cruising into the All-Star Break with plenty of accomplishments under their belt through the first part of the season. In fact, the Red Sox have the most wins through the first 98 games of the season which matches the same number from their 1946 team. In addition, Boston also possesses the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break, for the first time since 2007. To say they were talented or had plenty of lethal forces on their roster would be a severe understatement and wouldn't even come close to giving the team enough credit for the way they have played since the start of the season in March. As for the Astros and Yankees, both teams stay in their respective positions from last week as neither one surpassed the Red Sox this past week or did what Boston managed to do during the first half of the season. Regardless, all three teams still possess plenty of elite talent, that is not an argument whatsoever.
As for the 4th spot, the Chicago Cubs moved into that spot based on the fact that they have taken over first place in the NL Central. It shouldn't come as a surprise as the Cubs have a very goof 25-man roster when everyone is performing and possess the deepest team in that division. If the Cubs are able to carry this success over with them to the second half and their starting rotation can start to pick it up, then they should be able to run away and give the Milwaukee Brewers a true run for their money and make the Brewers have to make a splashy move at the deadline to remain in the running for the division. Rounding out the Top 5 teams are the Philadelphia Phillies, which shouldn't come as a surprise, either. The Phillies have played very good baseball as of late and are gearing up to make a big splash or two at the deadline. It will be fun to see what their front office can pull off before the bell rings on July 31st.
Furthermore, the team with the biggest jump this week assumed the 6th spot, in the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have quietly been on a nice run as of late and head into the All-Star Break in sole possession of first place in the NL West. As is the case with the Phillies, the Dodgers are involved in the Manny Machado sweepstakes and could be gearing up to make a big move or two as well. As is the case every week, not everything is good, and that is certainly the case for both the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers in this week's rankings. Seattle heads into the break losing 4 in a row and playing a stretch of baseball that has been one of their worst this season. In addition, Milwaukee heads into the break losing 6 games in a row and with a much bleaker outlook than they had just two weeks ago. Hopefully the break pays off huge dividends for both of these clubs because they both have enough talent to make the playoffs and it would be nice to see them make it into October just for a sake of change.
MVPs of the Week
1. Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians): 11-for-26 with 1 double, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 11 RBI, 3 walks, a .423 batting average, and a .483 on-base percentage
2. Kole Calhoun (Los Angeles Angels): 8-for-22 with 1 double, 4 home runs, 6 RBI, 2 walks, a .364 batting average, and a .400 on-base percentage
3. Danny Duffy (Kansas City Royals): 0.00 ERA over 13.0 IP with 17 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP
4. Gerrit Cole (Houston Astros): 0.77 ERA over 11.2 IP with 19 strikeouts and a .150 Opponent Batting Average Against
1. Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies): 10-for-25 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 6 RBI, 1 walk, a .400 batting average, and a .423 on-base percentage
2. Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals): 9-for-27 with 3 home runs, 6 RBI, 3 walks, a .333 batting average, and a .400 on-base percentage
3. Julio Teheran (Atlanta Braves): 0.69 ERA over 13.0 IP with a .156 Opponent Batting Average Against and a 1.00 WHIP
4. Jeremy Hellickson (Washington Nationals): 0.82 ERA over 11.0 IP with a .111 Opponent Batting Average Against and a 0.64 WHIP