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2016 Week 20 MLB Power Rankings

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Who is rising up the power rankings? (1:43)

Dallas Braden and Tim Kurkjian break down the impressive play of the Indians, Blue Jays and Nationals as of late. (1:43)

The top two teams -- the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals -- maintained their positions for the fifth straight week in the Power Rankings. Elsewhere in the top 10, the AL comes in with the next four teams but no clear top squad. Despite a solid week, the Texas Rangers slipped a spot to No. 4, with the Toronto Blue Jays moving up to No. 3. The Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox follow at No. 5 and No. 6.

Back in the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers moved ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West and the rankings, climbing to No. 7. The NL West rivals will get a chance to settle things on the field this week in a big three-game series starting Tuesday in L.A. Despite all the injuries to the pitching staff, including the continued absence of Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers have made up 6½ games on the Giants since the All-Star break. The Dodgers are just 17-15 since the break, while the Giants are 11-23.

This is the first time the Dodgers have been ahead of the Giants in the rankings since Week 6.

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 19 | Week 18 | Week 17 | Week 16 | 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: 78-45
Week 19 ranking: No. 1

The Cubs lead the majors with an ERA of 2.89 from their starting pitchers, which is significantly better than that of the second-place Washington Nationals at 3.49. However, the Cubs' bullpen ranks 13th in baseball with an ERA of 3.71. With Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop hurting, the bullpen is the one Achilles' heel of this team leading up to the postseason. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers


2. Washington Nationals

Record: 73-50
Week 19 ranking: No. 2

Anthony Rendon was awful during the first quarter of the season, but since mid-May, he has been hitting .296/.380/.516, including .338/.408/.569 in August. Manager Dusty Baker likes Trea Turner and Jayson Werth at the top of the order, but considering Werth is hitting .210/.310/.360 against right-handers, it makes sense to move Rendon up to the No. 2 spot, at least against RHP. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


3. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 70-54
Week 19 ranking: No. 5

Kevin Pillar (thumb) is expected to return from the disabled list when eligible on Tuesday. Walks have plagued Francisco Liriano this season (5.5 per nine innings as a Pirate), but he has kept them somewhat in check as a Blue Jay, as he has yielded six in 17 2/3 innings. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit


4. Texas Rangers

Record: 73-52
Week 19 ranking: No. 3

After being cut loose by the Houston Astros, Carlos Gomez has signed with the Texas Rangers, presumably to take over left-field duties with Shin-Soo Choo likely out for the season. Texas will hope that Gomez can turn his season around and be valuable for the stretch run to the postseason. -- Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away


5. Cleveland Indians

Record: 71-51
Week 19 ranking: No. 4

The Tribe keep rolling along, generously helped by rookie Tyler Naquin. His walk-off sacrifice fly on Thursday lifted the Indians over the White Sox for a series win. He topped that Friday with a walk-off, inside-the-park home run to beat the Blue Jays. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced Lajaway


6. Boston Red Sox

Record: 69-54
Week 19 ranking: No. 9

The Red Sox's offense leads the majors with 5.51 runs scored per game, far ahead of MLB's second-ranked team (Rockies, at 5.28 R/G) and the second-best in the AL (Indians, at 5.07 R/G). Mookie Betts leads the majors in runs (98) and total bases (291). -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona


7. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 68-55
Week 19 ranking: No. 8

Clayton Kershaw threw about 25 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. His next step will be a bullpen session on Tuesday, scheduled for 40 to 45 pitches. Brett Anderson left Saturday's start with a blister on his left index finger. Los Angeles, 38-24 at home, will be home for 12 of its next 16 games. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit


8. San Francisco Giants

Record: 68-56
Week 19 ranking: No. 6

San Francisco snapped a four-game losing streak by taking the first two against the Mets, then fell to New York on Saturday. Heading into Sunday's action, the Giants' lead over the Dodgers had shrunk to just half a game. The two teams face off in a three-game set this week. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona


9. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 67-56
Week 19 ranking: No. 7

Could this be when the O's drop out of the playoff race? They are 8-11 in August and can't seem to hit and pitch well at the same time. They lead the Mariners for the second wild-card spot by a game, but they'll need to turn things around in a hurry. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot


10. Seattle Mariners

Record: 66-57
Week 19 ranking: No. 12

Seattle continued to make up ground in the wild-card race this week and entered Sunday 10 games over .500 for the first time since May 25. Felix Hernandez was excellent once again Saturday, when he threw eight innings of two-run ball, struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 3.26. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona


11. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 66-57
Week 19 ranking: No. 10

How are the Cardinals third in the majors in home runs? Two keys have been Brandon Moss (.570 slugging) and Jedd Gyorko (.483), who have combined for 43 home runs. Among players with at least 200 at-bats, Moss ranks first and Gyorko fifth in at-bats per home run. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


12. Detroit Tigers

Record: 65-59
Week 19 ranking: No. 11

Hanging around, hanging around, the Tigers have alligator blood. Their schedule for the remainder of the year puts their fate in their hands, as they alternate between games against losing teams and games against their chief division rivals, the Royals and Indians. If the Tigers finally get hot, winning the AL Central might be easier than catching a wild card. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers


13. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 62-59
Week 19 ranking: No. 15

Mark who? In the season's first half, the Pirates' bullpen had a 3.70 ERA, which ranked a sturdy fifth in the NL. In the second half, they rank second in the NL with a 2.80 ERA, thanks in large part to former National Felipe Rivero (0.87 ERA), rotation refugee Juan Nicasio (2.49 ERA) and new closer Tony Watson (2.08 ERA). -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona


14. Miami Marlins

Record: 65-59
Week 19 ranking: No. 14

With Carlos Gomez off the board, Miami continues to explore other right-field options, and Jeff Francoeur could be a possibility in a waiver deal. Francoeur would be a right-handed-hitting option to share time with Ichiro Suzuki. Gerardo Parra of the Rockies could be another potential target. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit


15. Houston Astros

Record: 64-60
Week 19 ranking: No. 13

Maybe Carlos Correa isn't the MVP candidate, as many picked back in March, but he's on pace for 24 home runs, 82 walks and 112 RBIs, and he ranks 11th in the majors in WAR among position players. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


16. New York Yankees

Record: 63-60
Week 19 ranking: No. 16

It was an ugly few days for the pitching staff earlier in the week against Toronto, but the Yankees rebounded to take two of three from the Angels over the weekend. It's hard to tell how much this team is trying to win day to day, but the young players such as Judge, Sanchez and now Chad Green and Luis Cessa are performing well in the opportunities they've been given. If the veterans can keep up, this team might actually contend. -- Brad Vietrogoski, It's About the Money


17. New York Mets

Record: 62-62
Week 19 ranking: No. 17

Since returning from the disabled list, Yoenis Cespedes is 5-for-13 with three home runs, five RBIs, three runs scored and 15 total bases. By hitting his 40th home run in his 153rd game as a Met, Cespedes became the fastest to reach 40 homers in team history, shattering Carlos Delgado's previous record of 175 games. -- Joe Janish, (@metstoday), MetsToday.com


18. Kansas City Royals

Record: 64-60
Week 19 ranking: No. 18

The Royals have won eight in a row and 13 of 15 to suddenly get back in the wild-card race. The rotation has the second-best ERA in the majors in that span, and Danny Duffy has won 10 straight decisions, which makes him the first Royals starter to do that since Rich Gale in 1980. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


19. Colorado Rockies

Record: 60-64
Week 19 ranking: No. 19

Want the definition of a .500 team? The Rockies have a winning record against each MLB team that currently has a losing record (30-26) and a losing record against winning teams (30-38). They also have a losing record against every NL West team except the Diamondbacks, and they have gone 24-26 against the division overall. Still, being near .500 is progress. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers


20. Chicago White Sox

Record: 59-64
Week 19 ranking: No. 20

A dismal week for the White Sox saw few highlights, but Chris Sale was on his game once again on Saturday. The Chicago ace threw eight scoreless innings, struck out eight and yielded just three hits against the Athletics. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona


21. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 58-67
Week 19 ranking: No. 21

Sometimes they're lights-out, and at other times they get lit up. Although the Phillies' pitching staff is tied for the league lead in team shutouts, with 11, it ranks second-worst in the National League in doubles and home runs allowed. -- Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers


22. Oakland Athletics

Record: 53-71
Week 19 ranking: No. 22

Kendall Graveman's past 13 starts: 7-2, 3.15 ERA, .248 average allowed, 14 walks, seven home runs. No, that's not as valuable as Josh Donaldson, but it's something! -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


23. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 53-70
Week 19 ranking: No. 23

The Brewers have struggled as of late and just lost their third consecutive series. One bright spot in the lineup is Keon Broxton. Since he was recalled on July 25, the outfielder has gone 24-56 with five doubles, one triple, three home runs and 11 RBIs through Aug. 20. -- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker


24. San Diego Padres

Record: 53-71
Week 19 ranking: No. 24

Rookie third baseman Patrick Kivlehan became the fifth Padre to homer in his major league debut when he connected for a 464-foot bomb on Saturday. San Diego hopes that Tyson Ross can return to make three or four starts before the end of the season. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit


25. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 52-72
Week 19 ranking: No. 25

The club's 11-game losing streak tied the franchise record for futility set three times previously (1972, 1992, 1999). The Angels are 20 games under .500 for the first time since 1999. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot


26. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 52-70
Week 19 ranking: No. 26

By playing a game over .500 since the All-Star break, the Rays have done a great job of assuaging concerns that they are tanking. Unfortunately, these wins have clouded their chances of a top-five pick, which seemed like a lock just a month ago. -- Jason Hanselman (@sandykazmir), The Process Report


27. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 51-73
Week 19 ranking: No. 27

After a seven-inning gem Saturday in which he struck out 13 while yielding just one hit and one walk, Robbie Ray's K/9 for the season stands at 11.19. The rest of the D-backs' rotation has combined for a 7.37 K/9 this year. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona


28. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 53-70
Week 19 ranking: No. 28

Break up the Reds! Cincinnati is 21-13 since the All-Star break and had won five in a row before Sunday. The Reds now have a winning record at home this season. In addition, Joey Votto has been the best hitter on the planet, with a .451/.552/.699 line in the second half. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation


29. Minnesota Twins

Record: 49-75
Week 19 ranking: No. 29

Against the defending champs, the Twins have stood no chance. After dropping four straight in Kansas City, Minnesota is now 2-11 against the Royals this year. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily


30. Atlanta Braves

Record: 45-79
Week 19 ranking: No. 30

It's hard to Dansby get excited Dansby about a team Dansby such as the Braves Dansby that has Dansby lost seven in Dansby a row. When the Braves play the Diamondbacks this week, there is a chance that Arizona will start Shelby Miller, and facing him in the Braves' lineup could be every player he was traded for: Aaron Blair, Ender Inciarte and one other guy. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County