2016 Week 15 MLB Power Rankings

Giants the new kings of the Power Rankings (1:23)

Tim Kurkjian and Dallas Braden break down the latest MLB Power Rankings, with both Braden and ESPN.com listing the Giants as the top team in baseball. (1:23)

Another week, another No. 1 spot for the Chicago ... wait, no, scratch that.

Another week, another No. 1 spot for the San Francisco Giants. Yes, that's better.

One week after unseating the Cubs atop our MLB rankings -- the first time all season Chicago failed to win our poll -- the Giants, aided a bit by the All-Star break, have now held the lead for a fortnight. (After all, it's an even year, right?)

The rest of the top five remained the same, save for one change: after the Washington Nationals at No. 2, the Cubs at No. 3 and the Cleveland Indians at No. 4, the Boston Red Sox leapt from No. 9 to grab the No. 5 spot from the Texas Rangers.

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 SweetSpot Blog Network.

Past rankings: Week 14 | Week 13 | Week 12 | Week 11 | Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Preseason

1. San Francisco Giants

Record: 57-36
Week 14 ranking: No. 1

The Giants returned from the All-Star break by losing a three-game set against the Padres, including a walk-off balk by closer Santiago Casilla on Saturday. San Francisco travels east to face the Red Sox and Yankees this week in what will be a challenging test for the NL West leaders. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

2. Washington Nationals

Record: 56-37
Week 14 ranking: No. 2

After Sunday's pinch-hit home run, Daniel Murphy is hitting .350 with 18 home runs and a .608 slugging percentage. The only second baseman to hit .350 and slug .600 with at least 20 home runs is Rogers Hornsby (who did it six times!). -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

3. Chicago Cubs

Record: 55-36
Week 14 ranking: No. 3

The Cubs begin the second half with a stretch of games that allows them to not have to board a plane until their Aug. 5 trip to Oakland. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers

4. Cleveland Indians

Record: 54-37
Week 14 ranking: No. 4

Even though the Indians attempted to appeal to the baseball gods in regard to the struggles and bad luck of Yan Gomes, it doesn't appear to have worked. After hitting .165/.198/.313 this season, Gomes sustained what appeared to be a serious injury in Sunday afternoon's game. Maybe they should've gotten the live chicken. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced Lajaway

5. Boston Red Sox

Record: 51-39
Week 14 ranking: No. 9

After adding the underrated Brad Ziegler as a rental before the break, the Red Sox picked up Drew Pomeranz, who translated some relief success with the Athletics to a breakout in the Padres' rotation. The team paid a high price for Pomeranz, who has thrown 102 innings this season, 35.1 short of his career high as a professional. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

6. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 53-37
Week 14 ranking: No. 7

Is Dylan Bundy going to stay in the Orioles' rotation? Buck Showalter made the somewhat surprising decision to give Bundy a start, but what happens now? Bundy can't handle a full starter's workload, and the O's may need another starting pitcher anyway even if Bundy sticks. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot

7. Texas Rangers

Record: 55-38
Week 14 ranking: No. 5

The Rangers, once with the best record in the American League, will need to pick things up if they want to do more than compete for a wild-card spot come October. How bad has it been? Since July 1, the pitching staff had put up an ERA of 7.43 heading into Sunday. -- Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 52-42
Week 14 ranking: No. 8

Clayton Kershaw's back passed another test Saturday with a 60-pitch simulated game at Dodger Stadium, and he is potentially lined up to pitch Thursday night for the Dodgers in Washington. Meanwhile, Los Angeles was among the clubs scouting the Friday night start of Tampa Bay's Chris Archer. Archer was acquired by current Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman in 2011 when he ran the Rays. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

9. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 52-42
Week 14 ranking: No. 6

The decision to sign first baseman Justin Smoak to a two-year extension does not mean Toronto has have given up on the possibility of bringing back Edwin Encarnacion this offseason. Toronto has eight players who are eligible for free agency at the end of the season: Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders, R.A. Dickey, Drew Storen, Jesse Chavez, Brett Cecil, Gavin Floyd and Encarnacion. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

10. Houston Astros

Record: 50-42
Week 14 ranking: No. 10

The signing of Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel to a five-year contract seemingly creates a logjam at third base, with top prospect Alex Bregman nearly ready as well. Luis Valbuena can slide over to first base and maybe Gurriel DHs, considering Evan Gattis has been terrible (.279 OBP). -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

11. New York Mets

Record: 49-42
Week 14 ranking: No. 11

The Mets lead the majors with a 3.46 ERA on the road, but their record away from home is only 23-22. David Wright, who last played on May 27, leads the team in stolen bases with three. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), MetsToday.com

12. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 47-44
Week 14 ranking: No. 13

Maybe it's time to bench Jhonny Peralta and see what Greg Garcia can do playing every day. Peralta is hitting .221/.258/.416 in 120 plate appearances while Garcia is hitting .333 in 75 at-bats, but with 16 walks for a .462 OBP. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

13. Miami Marlins

Record: 49-42
Week 14 ranking: No. 14

Miami, fully in the race for a wild-card berth, is looking to upgrade its rotation in advance of the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but the club remains resistant to dealing players off its active roster. The Marlins have been linked to starters such as Rich Hill of the A's, and Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees, if New York decides to become a seller. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

14. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 47-45
Week 14 ranking: No. 12

We're seeing the future of the Pirates, who are in the thick of the wild-card race: Tyler Glasnow held his own in a cameo before the break, Jameson Taillon is due back Tuesday, and Chad Kuhl is getting a chance to show his excellent minor league numbers were not a fluke. Josh Bell collected two walks, a single and a home run in his first four MLB plate appearances before being sent down to shake off some fielding rust in the outfield. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

15. Detroit Tigers

Record: 48-44
Week 14 ranking: No. 15

Over the past few years, people were wondering if Justin Verlander was done. Though the 3.91 ERA doesn't scream elite, the fact that he's tied for second in the league in quality starts with 13 for a team that desperately needs consistency in its rotation suggests the Tigers are glad he still has some gas in the tank. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

16. Kansas City Royals

Record: 46-45
Week 14 ranking: No. 16

They'll certainly be looking for starting pitching at just a game over .500, but maybe they can take solace that back in 2014 they were 47-44 at this point, and actually fell to 48-50 before heating up in late July. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

17. Seattle Mariners

Record: 46-46
Week 14 ranking: No. 18

Seattle sits sixth in the AL in runs scored, but 10th in runs allowed. Pitching has been the issue for the M's, who got a stellar seven-inning, eight-strikeout performance from Hisashi Iwakuma in shutting out the Astros on Saturday. Felix Hernandez will return Wednesday against the White Sox after a lengthy DL stint -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

18. Chicago White Sox

Record: 45-46
Week 14 ranking: No. 17

On the road to start baseball's second half, the White Sox were blanked in back-to-back contests against the Angels. They wasted an excellent start Saturday by James Shields, who pitched eight innings of two-hit ball but couldn't find any run support in the loss. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

19. New York Yankees

Record: 45-46
Week 14 ranking: No. 19

Taking three of four from the Indians before the All-Star break helped keep the Yankees' feeble playoff hopes alive. If losing two of three at home to the Red Sox out of the break didn't completely snuff them out, it should have been enough to convince the entire front office that the time to sell is now. The next few weeks might be the most interesting ones in the entire 2016 Yankees season. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money

20. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 43-50
Week 14 ranking: No. 21

In terms of the flashy stats, Jeanmar Gomez is in the middle of a career year with 25 saves and a career-low 2.53 ERA. In terms of the underlying metrics, he has been extremely lucky on base hits finding Phillies gloves, posting a .253 BABIP vs. a career rate of .296. In terms of the trade deadline, he's a sell-high candidate -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

21. Colorado Rockies

Record: 42-49
Week 14 ranking: No. 20

If we're going to discount Rockies hitters, then perhaps we should give extra credit to Jon Gray, who has become the ace of the Colorado Rockies staff. He has given the Rockies length, going at least six innings in eight of his past 10 starts and hasn't allowed more than four runs since May 19. Rate-stat wise, his 1.17 WHIP is stellar, and he's striking out more than a batter per inning (9.73 K/9)-- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

22. Oakland Athletics

Record: 40-52
Week 14 ranking: No. 25

The A's reportedly wanted Anderson Espinoza for Rich Hill, with the Red Sox instead dealing for Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz. Hill didn't help his trade value by leaving his start Sunday after five pitches with a blister issue. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

23. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 40-52
Week 14 ranking: No. 23

Matt Shoemaker continued his resurgence with a 13-strikeout shutout and has a 2.36 ERA over his past 11 starts. What if the Angels put him on the trade block? -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

24. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 39-51
Week 14 ranking: No. 24

Jimmy Nelson began the second half of the season on a high note, tossing seven scoreless innings against Cincinnati on Saturday night. It was his first time reaching the seventh inning since May 29. -- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker

25. San Diego Padres

Record: 41-51
Week 14 ranking: No. 22

Teenage pitching phenoms carry a ton of risk, but the recently acquired Anderson Espinoza is one to dream on. Because of Espinoza's small stature (6-foot, 160 pounds), big stuff and solid command, he draws some comparisons to Pedro Martinez. The resurgence of Melvin Upton Jr. (.262/.311/.454) is making him a trade candidate. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

26. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 40-53
Week 14 ranking: No. 26

On Saturday, Jake Lamb doubled off Kenley Jansen in the ninth to tie the score and tripled in the 12th before scoring as the game's walk-off run. Lamb's 0.78 win probability added performance in that game left him with 4.17 WPA for the season, making him first in all of MLB. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

27. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 35-56
Week 14 ranking: No. 27

Give kudos to Kevin Cash for keeping the Rays players together during this stretch of three wins in 27 games. You watch from afar with expectations of an outburst or player dissension, but so far the band plays on. Poorly. The only question remaining is who will be left on Aug. 2. -- Jason Hanselman (@sandykazmir), The Process Report

28. Minnesota Twins

Record: 33-58
Week 14 ranking: No. 28

With the trade deadline two weeks away, the last-place Twins are in seller mode. Their lone All-Star rep, Eduardo Nunez, is one candidate to help a contender. Other chips include catcher Kurt Suzuki and starter Ervin Santana. Terry Ryan has indicated that he will be open to listening to any offer. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily

29. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 34-58
Week 14 ranking: No. 29

Since May 30, Joey Votto is hitting .328/.462/.560. Despite a slow start this season, Votto has actually posted the highest OPS (.978) of any National League player since the 2015 All-Star break. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation

30. Atlanta Braves

Record: 32-60
Week 14 ranking: No. 30

The Braves spent more money than any other team in the 2016 draft, at just over $15.5 million. They maximized their pool allowance and stayed under the threshold by just $5. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County