MLB power rankings: Week 23


By TONY CONSIGLIO
XN Sports

There is just one month left to the Major League Baseball season and the final push is on for the playoffs. In addition to the 10 teams currently holding postseason spots, there are six more that are within five games of a Wild Card berth.

The next few weeks will focus on those races as teams try to make their moves. But this past week was about the teams at the top. The Angels and Athletics met in a battle for MLB supremacy, and it was L.A. which cemented its status as the league's best team.

Meanwhile, Oakland's struggles have opened the door for other teams to climb up this week's power rankings, most notably the Orioles and Dodgers. These rankings also see the return of a former top-10 team almost cracking the top five.

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MLB power rankings: Week 23
1. Los Angeles Angels (83-53) (Last Week 1) – What a statement week for the Angels. In a huge four-game series against Oakland, with the A.L. West lead on the line, L.A. swept, outscoring the A’s 18-4 and opening up a five-game lead in the division. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
2. Baltimore Orioles (79-56) (LW 5) – The Orioles have won six of their last seven and are poised to win their first A.L. East title since 1997. With a nine-game lead over the Yankees, Baltimore’s magic number of 19 is the lowest in baseball. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (77-60) (LW 4) – The Dodgers will be taking a more deliberate approach with their pitching staff going forward. L.A. is moving to a six-man rotation, in part to give Dan Haren more time between starts and to potentially line up the front three starters for their series against the Giants in two weeks. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
4. Oakland Athletics (78-58) (LW 2) – Once a World Series favorite, Oakland is now free falling. Being swept in four games against the Angels puts the Athletics in danger of falling out of the division race, and the bats are nowhere to be found. Since trading Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland is hitting an A.L.-worst .223 (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
5. Washington Nationals (77-58) (LW 3) – After winning 12 of 13, the Nats cooled off quickly, being swept in a three-game series against the Phillies. It was their first time being swept since mid-June. But, they bounced back to take two of three from Seattle. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

6. San Francisco Giants (74-62) (LW 11) – The Giants replaced the struggling Tim Lincecum in the rotation with Yusmeiro Petit. He proceeded to set a MLB record by retiring his 46th batter in a row on Thursday.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
7. Kansas City Royals (74-61) (LW 6) – Even losing their last three to end the month, the Royals maintain a .5-game lead over the Tigers in the A.L. Central. It’s the first time Kansas City has been in first place at the end of August since 1982. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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