2016 Week 16 MLB Power Rankings

Cubs back on top of the power rankings (1:56)

Tim Kurkjian and Dallas Braden debate the top teams in the power rankings. (1:56)

The Chicago Cubs spent two weeks out of the top spot, but this week they are back at No. 1. After a 4-2 week, the Cubs jumped back up ahead of the struggling San Francisco Giants, who are just 1-7 since the All-Star break. The Cubs were our No. 1 team for 14 straight weeks (including preseason) to open the season. Can they start another long run on top of the rankings?

The scuffling Giants dropped to No. 3, with the Washington Nationals remaining at No. 2 for the third straight week.

Beyond the top, there actually wasn't a lot of movement in this week's poll, with no new teams moving into the top 5 or top 10.

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 15 | 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. Chicago Cubs

Record: 59-38
Week 15 ranking: No. 3

The Cubs limped to the All-Star break but have won three straight series to open the second half, and rumors of an Aroldis Chapman acquisition continue to swirl. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers

2. Washington Nationals

Record: 58-41
Week 15 ranking: No. 2

So far it doesn't look as if rookie Lucas Giolito is ready to make an impact in the rotation down the stretch. He had three walks and no strikeouts in Sunday's loss to the Padres and has struck out just five of the 53 batters he's faced in the majors. He has thrown 75 percent fastballs but hasn't shown the command to rely so heavily on that pitch. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

3. San Francisco Giants

Record: 58-40
Week 15 ranking: No. 1

The Giants lost their first six games after the All-Star break and watched their NL West lead over the Dodgers shrink in the process. Johnny Cueto and rookie outfielder Mac Williamson helped end the skid in a 12-inning victory over the Yankees on Saturday. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

4. Cleveland Indians

Record: 56-41
Week 15 ranking: No. 4

In a so-so week for the Indians, a bright spot has been rookie Tyler Naquin, who continues to make his case for rookie of the year consideration. He went 7-for-18 this week with three home runs and seven RBIs. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced Lajaway

5. Boston Red Sox

Record: 55-41
Week 15 ranking: No. 5

After sweeping the Giants in two, the Red Sox split a four-game set with the Twins. On Sunday, Boston produced a trio of home runs, and Rick Porcello got his 12th win of the season. Ten of his wins have come at home, where he owns a 3.21 ERA (4.01 ERA on the road). -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

6. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 57-40
Week 15 ranking: No. 6

Despite starting rotation concerns, a couple of injury issues and a stomach virus that recently swept through the clubhouse, the Orioles keep winning and currently own the best record in the American League. The team's remaining schedule is daunting, but it's impossible to argue with the results. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot

7. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 55-44
Week 15 ranking: No. 9

Where would the Jays be without J.A. Happ? He won his seventh straight decision on Sunday, allowing one hit in six innings, and Toronto has won his past eight starts. He's 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

8. Texas Rangers

Record: 57-42
Week 15 ranking: No. 7

With trade prices being dictated by a thin market, the Rangers might see the trade deadline come and go without adding an impact starter. Instead, they'll need to rely on the back end of the rotation to hold things together until Colby Lewis and Derek Holland are ready to return from the disabled list. -- Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away

9. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 56-44
Week 15 ranking: No. 8

After losing in 16 innings on Friday, the Dodgers won the next two games in St. Louis. Good sign: Adrian Gonzalez homered in both wins. Gonzalez has just nine home runs and 27 extra-base hits, so getting more power from him down the stretch will be a big key to catching the Giants. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

10. Houston Astros

Record: 54-44
Week 15 ranking: No. 10

After sweeping the Angels, the Astros' AL West deficit is down to 2½ games, after trailing by 8½ games at the beginning of July. Top prospect Alex Bregman will be called up on Monday, although manager A.J. Hinch didn't say where he'd play. Bregman did start two games in left field at Fresno, although it seems likely he'll play third base at least until Yulieski Gurriel is ready. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

11. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 52-46
Week 15 ranking: No. 12

In a season filled with injuries and roster shake-ups for the Cardinals, the rotation has been the one constant. After a midweek rainout forced their hand, the Cardinals became the last team in baseball to use a starter outside of the five-man rotation with which it began the season when rookie Mike Mayers lasted just 1 1/3 innings in Sunday night's loss to the Dodgers. -- ESPN.com

12. Miami Marlins

Record: 53-45
Week 15 ranking: No. 13

All eyes are on Ichiro Suzuki, who is four hits from 3,000. The Marlins would love for him to do it at home this week (they play series against Philly and St. Louis), but it's hard to bench the red-hot Christian Yelich (who's hitting .404 during his current 11-game hit streak), All-Star Marcell Ozuna or Giancarlo Stanton (who had a four-hit game on Saturday). -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

13. New York Mets

Record: 52-45
Week 15 ranking: No. 11

After hitting four homers in 104 games with the Rays in 2015, James Loney has five homers in 44 games with the Mets. Loney has hit in eight straight games, going 9-for-27 (.333). -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), MetsToday.com

14. Seattle Mariners

Record: 50-48
Week 15 ranking: No. 17

On the field, the M's took a midweek series from the White Sox -- despite never leading for a single pitch over the three-game span -- thanks to walk-offs from Adam Lind and Leonys Martin. Off the field, Ken Griffey Jr. was enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday, ensuring we'll never forget "The Kid." -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

15. Detroit Tigers

Record: 51-48
Week 15 ranking: No. 15

More middling in the middle as the Tigers split a series with the White Sox, took two of three from the Royals but lost two of three to the Twins. They just don't seem to have strong enough hitting or pitching to carry them on a long winning streak. Why ante up at the trading deadline if they're not even favorites to win their own division, let alone the World Series? -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

16. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 51-47
Week 15 ranking: No. 14

The Bucs have been battling all season and remain in the thick of the wild-card battle. They've been dealt another blow, however, as prospect Tyler Glasnow left his second career start after the third inning with right shoulder discomfort and landed on the disabled list. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

17. New York Yankees

Record: 50-48
Week 15 ranking: No. 19

The members of "Team Sell" took a bit of a hit this week, as the Yankees took three out of four from the Orioles and two out of three from the Giants. With a week until the trade deadline, the team's results are making selling a harder decision for the front office than it actually should be. This team is mediocre, Hal, and they're not making the playoffs. Sell Sell Sell! -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money

18. Kansas City Royals

Record: 48-49
Week 15 ranking: No. 16

After the Royals dropped a game under .500 with Sunday's loss, the Wade Davis rumors are heating up, with the Nationals reportedly interested. The Royals would want more for Davis than the Yankees would get for Aroldis Chapman (rumors say Cubs shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres) because Davis is signed through 2017. Davis still has a 1.10 ERA even though his K rate has declined from 39 percent two years ago to 24 percent. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

19. Chicago White Sox

Record: 48-50
Week 15 ranking: No. 18

Chicago pushed to turn a hot start into a chase for the postseason but has finally decided to pull the plug on 2016. All eyes now turn to trade assets, including Todd Frazier, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and others. Sale was scratched from his last start for disciplinary reasons and suspended five games. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

20. Colorado Rockies

Record: 47-51
Week 15 ranking: No. 21

The Rockies finished a sweep of the Braves on Sunday, their first four-game sweep since July 9-12, 2015, which was also against the Braves. Looking back, those 2015 Rockies were 39-49 while going 22-24 at Coors Field, continuing the recent tradition of losing at home. This year's Rockies are only four games under .500, with a positive home record (25-24), and won't necessarily be selling at the trading deadline. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

21. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 43-55
Week 15 ranking: No. 23

Nick Tropeano became the third Angels starter this year to tear a ligament in his elbow, joining Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards. Heaney already underwent Tommy John surgery, while Richards is still awaiting the results of platelet-rich plasma injections. Tropeano will also consider that method before undergoing surgery. Before this season, only three Angels pitchers had undergone Tommy John surgery under Mike Scioscia. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

22. Oakland Athletics

Record: 45-54
Week 15 ranking: No. 22

After back-to-back walk-off wins on Friday and Saturday (and a third against the Astros on Tuesday), the A's decided to score the winning run in the eighth on Sunday. Their past four wins and seven of their past eight have come by one run. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

23. San Diego Padres

Record: 43-56
Week 15 ranking: No. 25

Matt Kemp is on pace for 36 home runs and 110 RBIs. His WAR, however, is just 0.4 thanks in large degree to a .279 OBP and poor defense. The worst WAR ever for a 30-homer guy: Dante Bichette of the 1999 Rockies, at minus-2.3. (Baseball-Reference credits him with minus-34 runs on defense.) -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

24. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 41-55
Week 15 ranking:No. 24

Milwaukee is expected to be one of baseball's biggest sellers in the next week. There is interest in multiple Brewers, starting with All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Carlos Torres. It's not a matter of whether players will be traded but rather when and who. -- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker

25. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 45-55
Week 15 ranking: No. 20

Vince Velasquez is hitting .241, which is quite good for a pitcher. In terms of batting average, he's outhitting Ryan Howard, Cody Asche and Tyler Goeddel, which is quite bad for an offense. However, those who read these comments will note the progress from late April, when Phillies pitchers as a whole were outhitting Phillies left fielders and first basemen. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers

26. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 41-57
Week 15 ranking: No. 26

Reports surfaced late last week that Arizona is weighing a managerial change. Considering injuries and questionable roster construction, D-backs fans have to wonder whether replacing Chip Hale would help their cause. Top prospect pitcher Braden Shipley will debut Monday. -- Jeff Wiser, Inside the 'Zona

27. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 38-50
Week 15 ranking: No. 27

It has been a decade since the Rays were clear sellers at the trade deadline, but declaring their intentions early has chummed the waters significantly. Any of their starters could be moved with only Chris Archer requiring an unfathomable return. Expect someone to go and wide-eyed fans to be underwhelmed, though the smart ones will hopefully have their faith rewarded. -- Jason Hanselman (@sandykazmir), The Process Report

28. Minnesota Twins

Record: 37-61
Week 15 ranking: No. 28

Although the Twins are mired in last place, Max Kepler provides real hope. After hitting two triples in Boston over the weekend, he is slugging .500 as a 23-year-old rookie. His gangly muscular frame and sweet lefty swing are reminding fans in Minnesota of a young Justin Morneau. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily

29. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 38-60
Week 15 ranking: No. 29

The Reds have won three consecutive series since the All-Star break, and Billy Hamilton -- who recently returned to the leadoff spot -- has keyed the charge, with a seven-game hitting streak. Since the break he also has 10 stolen bases and 10 runs scored. Is it too early to start printing the playoff tickets? -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation

30. Atlanta Braves

Record: 33-66
Week 15 ranking: No. 30

To open the second half, the Braves have gone 2-7 versus sub-.500 teams. That does not bode well for any semblance of improvement in the current product on the field. However, it does bode well for securing the No. 1 overall pick in 2017. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County