MLB power rankings week 21

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By Tony Consiglio
XNSports.com

The team that many have anointed as the World Series favorites has faltered. The Athletics have struggled over the last week, while their divisional rival Angels have not. So, now, Los Angeles has claimed a slight advantage in the division race. And, for the first time all year, that also means the top spot in the XN Sports Power Rankings.

The rest of the top 10 is also a bit shuffled. Several teams slipped, but a few others keep climbing. The Brewers, Nationals, Royals, and Mariners are all starting to look like legitimate postseason contenders. And if this week is anything like last, there will probably be quite a few changes in next week's rankings.

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MLB power rankings week 21
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MLB power rankings week 21

30. Colorado Rockies (49-75) (LW 30) – It’s hard to believe, but the news has only gotten worse for the Rockies. Colorado lost two of its biggest stars for the year, as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have been shut down, each for season-ending surgeries.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

29. Texas Rangers (48-76) (LW 29) – It took a walk-off win over the Angels for the Rangers to end their four-game losing streak. And it doesn’t get any easier coming up, with their next eight games against teams either holding postseason spots or in contention for one.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

28. Houston Astros (52-73) (LW 28) – It was a big week for the Astros, picking up their 52nd win of the year. That already tops the team’s 2013 total.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

27. Philadelphia Phillies (54-70) (LW 26)Every time Cole Hamels pitches, the cost for teams to acquire him in the offseason seemingly keeps going up. Hamels has turned in quality starts in all but one of his last 15 starts.

(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

26. Chicago Cubs (53-70) (LW 27)Starlin Castro hit a game-winning homer on Sunday against the Mets. Doing it in New York has spurred numerous talks that he could be doing that there for years if the two teams make a trade in the coming months.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-71) (LW 25) – Over the last week, Diamondbacks pitchers have done their job, turning in an ERA of 2.62, good for third-best in the N.L. However, the team was just 3-4 in that stretch, largely due to the fact that the team hit just .216.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

24. Minnesota Twins (55-67) (LW 24)Shortstop-of-the-future Danny Santana is making an impression now. In the last week, Santana hit .393 with a double, five runs, and two stolen bases.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

23. Boston Red Sox (56-67) (LW 23) David Ortiz remains one of the reasons the Red Sox are worth watching down the stretch. With two home runs on Saturday, he joined Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as the only players in franchise history with 400 homers.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

22. New York Mets (59-66) (LW 20) – The Mets offense has struggled mightily since the calendar changed to August. The team’s .215 batting average is the worst in baseball this month.

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

21. Chicago White Sox (59-65) (LW 22)The White Sox are struggling to find any winning consistency. Chicago has not been able to win back-to-back games all month.

(Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

20. San Diego Padres (58-65) (LW 21) – The Padres have scored 37 runs over the last week, which is the most in the National League. That offense, paired with good pitching, helped San Diego run its winning streak to five games.

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

19. Tampa Bay Rays (61-63) (LW 18)Despite losing two over the weekend, the Rays had played their way back to .500 earlier in the week. They became just the fourth team in Major League history to get back to that mark after falling 18-games below .500 that season.

(Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

18. Cincinnati Reds (61-63) (LW 16)With the Reds hoping to stay in the Wild Card hunt, losses like Sunday’s won’t help. Up four in the ninth, All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman walked all four batters he faced, eventually leading to a Cincinnati defeat.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

17. Miami Marlins (62-62) (LW 19) – The Marlins still won’t go away. The Fish have won three series in a row and have gotten to within 3.5 games of a Wild Card spot.

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

16. Cleveland Indians (62-61) (LW 17) The Indians’ 4-1 loss to Baltimore on Sunday was the first time in seven games the team had allowed more than two runs in a game. They were 5-2 in that stretch.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

15. Atlanta Braves (64-60) (LW 15) In desperate need of making a statement, the Braves managed to do that. After losing three of four to the Dodgers, Atlanta bounced back to sweep the A’s, outscoring them 15-8.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

14. New York Yankees (63-59) (LW 14) – The Yankees’ pitching has provided the most question marks for much of the season, but that has not been the case as of late. New York scored just 14 runs in the last seven games.

(Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)

13. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-60) (LW 11) – The Pirates had a tough week, with series against the Tigers and Nationals, managing only two wins in seven games. It doesn’t get any easier, either, with upcoming series against the Braves, Brewers, and Cardinals.

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (64-61) (LW 8) – The Blue Jays’ 1-5 skid has helped open up the A.L. East as the most uncompetitive division in baseball. Any hope of getting into the postseason will now likely have to come via a Wild Card berth.

(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

11. San Francisco Giants (65-58) (LW 12) – It’s been a tale of two seasons for Tim Lincecum. In the first half, he was 9-5 with a 3.66 ERA and .230 BAA. Since the All-Star Break, though, he is 0-3 with a 8.39 ERA and .320 BAA.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

10. Detroit Tigers (66-56) (LW 6)Detroit is in a dangerous spot. After losing nine of 14, the Tigers are sitting outside the American League playoff picture, and could end up watching the postseason from home for the first time since 2010.

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

9. Seattle Mariners (67-56) (LW 13) The last time Felix Hernandez has allowed more than two runs in a start was May 18th, a span of 17 starts. In that time, he has failed to make it through at least seven innings only once.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

8. St. Louis Cardinals (66-57) (LW 9) – From Wednesday through Sunday, Matt Carpenter hit safely in four of five games, going 8-for-20 with five runs and five RBIs.

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

7. Kansas City Royals (68-55) (LW 10) The Royals haven’t made the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985. Having won 15 of 18, they are now 1.5 games clear of Detroit for first place in the A.L. Central.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

6. Washington Nationals (69-53) (LW 7) The Nationals’ six-game winning streak is the longest currently in the Majors, and they’ve been doing it with close games. Four of them were one-run victories.

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-56) (LW 3)During L.A.’s four-game series against Atlanta, which included three wins, Carl Crawford went 8-for-13 with a steal, three RBIs, and three runs.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

4. Baltimore Orioles (70-52) (LW 2) – Since the midway point of the season, the Orioles have gotten much more consistent pitching. Pre-All-Star Break, the O’s had a team ERA of 3.83. Since then, it stands at 3.10.

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

3. Milwaukee Brewers (70-55) (LW 5)Any doubts anyone still had about the Brewers need to be put to rest. Milwaukee has lost only one series this month, and just swept the first-place Dodgers in Los Angeles.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

2. Oakland Athletics (73-51) (LW 1) – It’s been a rough stretch for the team that had owned the best record in baseball. The A’s have lost seven of eight and have struggled to score runs. They have a big series coming up this week against the Angels.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

1. Los Angeles Angels (72-50) (Last Week 4) – It was a near flawless week for the Angels, who were a Huston Street blown save away from a perfect 5-0. It was still enough to get them into first place, by percentage points, for the first time since Opening Day 2013.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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