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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at the End of June

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at the End of June

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    USA TODAY Sports

    We have officially passed the midway point of the 2014 MLB season, as all but a handful of teams have already played their 81st game of the year.

    It's been an interesting year so far, with no clearly dominant team outside of the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers, but some squads are starting to put things together for a potential second-half run.

    The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates have both been playing much better baseball of late, while the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants have dropped off significantly in the month of June.

    When putting together these rankings on a weekly basis, the following factors are considered:

    • Previous week's record
    • Quality of opponents
    • Key injuries/trades
    • Recent performance beyond the last week

    There is still a lot to be sorted out between now and October, and all of the close races should make for a busy trade season and exciting stretch run.

    All that said, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams currently stand. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

30. San Diego Padres (35-47, Previous: 30)

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The San Diego Padres started last week off on a positive note, winning a series against the free-falling Giants in San Francisco. It was just their second series win in what has been a 9-17 month of June that saw them slowly drop to the bottom of these standings.

    Their offensive ineptitude remains the major story of the season, as they rank last in MLB in batting average and runs scored. The pitching remains among the best in baseball, though, and the arrival of Odrisamer Despaigne could make their staff even better.

    The 27-year-old Cuban defector signed a minor league deal last May that included a $1 million bonus. He looked terrific in his first two big league starts last week, filling in for the injured Andrew Cashner.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Tommy Medica (4-for-14, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Odrisamer Despaigne (2 GS, 2 W, 13.2 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (35-49, Previous: 29)

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    After splitting a two-game set with the Cleveland Indians, the Arizona Diamondbacks took two of three from the San Diego Padres over the weekend in what was a battle for the NL West cellar.

    The team is 26-27 since the beginning of May after a 9-22 start to the year, but unless the Diamondbacks start shooting up the standings soon, they may very well wind up as sellers come deadline time.

    Rookie shortstop Chris Owings became the latest player to land on the DL for the Diamondbacks this past week, allowing Didi Gregorius expanded playing time for now. It may wind up being an audition of sorts for him, as he could be shopped in July.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Miguel Montero (6-for-22, 1 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Brandon McCarthy (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

28. New York Mets (37-45, Previous: 26)

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    The New York Mets started off last week with a 10-1 shellacking of the Oakland Athletics, but they went just 1-4 after that. They are now a season-high seven games back in the NL East standings.

    The strong return of catcher Travis d'Arnaud was the highlight of the week from an individual standpoint, as the rookie was recalled after being demoted on June 8.

    He was hitting just .180/.271/.273 at the time of his demotion, but he destroyed Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .436/.475/.909 line that included eight doubles and six home runs in 15 games. He was 7-for-19 with a double and home run last week.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Lucas Duda (6-for-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jake deGrom (1 GS, ND, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

27. Colorado Rockies (36-46, Previous: 22)

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    Series losses to the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers continued what has been a rough patch for the Colorado Rockies, as they are now 2-11 over their last 13 games.

    It's a subpar pitching staff that has been their downfall once again, as their 6.43 ERA in June is by far the worst in all of baseball. Tyler Matzek is the only starter with an ERA under 5.00 on the month, and he is just four starts into his big league career.

    Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is recovering from a fractured finger, began his rehab assignment last week. He could rejoin the team by Thursday, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, and he'll look to pick up where he left off in what was a breakout season.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Drew Stubbs (7-for-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tyler Matzek (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

26. Minnesota Twins (37-43, Previous: 21)

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    Last week was a rough one for the Minnesota Twins, as they struggled in a trip to the AL West. The Los Angeles Angels kicked off the week with a sweep before the Texas Rangers took two of three over the weekend, dropping the Twins into the AL Central cellar.

    The team's starters were shelled all week, allowing a combined 47 hits and 29 earned runs in 32.2 innings of work and failing to record a quality start until Kyle Gibson allowed two runs in eight innings in his start Sunday.

    The Twins called up prospect Jorge Polanco this past week. He earned a promotion straight from High-A, where he was hitting .289/.363/.404 with 12 doubles and five home runs. With Danny Santana, Eduardo Nunez and Trevor Plouffe all on the disabled list, the team had a shortage of infielders to work with.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Joe Mauer (9-for-24, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Glen Perkins (1 G, 1 SV, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K)

25. Houston Astros (36-47, Previous: 28)

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    Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The Houston Astros welcomed a pair of tough opponents to Minute Maid Park last week. They dropped a series to the Atlanta Braves but managed to win one against the Detroit Tigers over the weekend.

    Jose Altuve continued his fantastic all-around season this past week by becoming just the third player ever to steal at least two bases in four straight games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (via The Associated Press). He currently leads the AL with a .347 average, 116 hits and an impressive 36 steals in 39 attempts.

    "If you give me a vote and the season ended today, he's the MVP of the American League," manager Bo Porter told Chris Abshire of MLB.com about Altuve. "In my opinion, this guy's the best player in baseball and he's going out and proving it right now."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jose Altuve (13-for-27, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 5 R, 10 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jarred Cosart (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)

24. Chicago Cubs (34-46, Previous: 25)

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    The Chicago Cubs have leveled off after playing some very good baseball early on in June, and they head to Boston this coming week sitting at 14-13 for the month. The last winning month the Cubs posted was July of last year, when they went 14-13 as well.

    Jake Arrieta continued his terrific start to the season with another strong outing last week, as he threw six perfect innings before a rough seventh inning. He is now 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 27 innings over his last four starts.

    Right-hander Dallas Beeler also made his major league debut in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader Saturday, allowing just four hits and one unearned run in six innings of work. A 41st-round pick in 2010, Beeler could see big league action again before the season is over.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Anthony Rizzo (9-for-28, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jake Arrieta (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

23. Tampa Bay Rays (35-49, Previous: 27)

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The Tampa Bay Rays will likely find themselves playing the role of spoiler during the second half in a wide-open AL East race. They did a good job of that over the weekend when they took three of four from the Orioles in Baltimore.

    Ace David Price has done a nice job raising his trade value over the past few weeks, and with his 11 punchouts last time out, he now has double-digit strikeouts in five straight games. He is only the 22nd player to accomplish that feat, according to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, but that won't keep him from being moved in the month ahead.

    GM Andrew Friedman told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times:

    I think, in a lot of ways, it's our only chance for success. The trades that we've made, looking back, the only reason we got good players in return is because we traded really good players. And so it's important for us to know what our weaknesses are and what our limitations are and operate within them.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Matt Joyce (7-for-20, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP David Price (1 GS, W, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

22. Texas Rangers (37-44, Previous: 23)

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    The Texas Rangers bounced back from being swept by the Detroit Tigers to start last week, taking two of three from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. They find themselves 14 games back in the AL West, though, and just two games ahead of the last-place Houston Astros.

    That has left the team looking like clear sellers at the trade deadline, with Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports clarifying that by saying the Rangers are willing to listen on anyone.

    Obviously, someone like Yu Darvish is not likely going to be on the move, but they do have some interesting trade chips led by Alex Rios, Joakim Soria, Jason Frasor and perhaps Elvis Andrus, according to Rosenthal and Morosi.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Adrian Beltre (12-for-20, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yu Darvish (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

21. Philadelphia Phillies (36-46, Previous: 18)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-6

    An impressive 9-2 stretch had the Philadelphia Phillies rapidly climbing these rankings, but they have gone just 2-8 in their last 10 games and again fall outside of the top 20 as a result. A sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves over the weekend leaves them in last place in the NL East.

    It's been said so much at this point, but this is a team that has to start thinking about the future and considering a full-scale rebuild. It simply doesn't have the pieces to legitimately contend in the NL East anymore, and throwing band-aids on the problem by signing mid-level veterans is not going to cut it.

    The Phillies have some valuable trade chips, should they decide to sell aggressively come July, and what they do at the deadline this year could go a long way in sorting out the future of the franchise.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Ben Revere (13-for-33, 1 2B, 2 3B, 4 R, 3 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Cole Hamels (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

20. Miami Marlins (39-43, Previous: 20)

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    Brian Blanco/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    After splitting a four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Miami Marlins were swept at home by the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, leaving them five games back in the NL East standings. They were just a half-game back as recently as June 17.

    A whopping 15 different pitchers appeared for the team last week alone, and with Anthony DeSclafani optioned to the minors after lasting just three innings in his last start, they could again be looking for a No. 5 starter.

    On the positive side of things, another strong start from Henderson Alvarez has him fourth in the NL with a 2.32 ERA on the year. He's done a terrific job stepping into the role of staff ace; he just needs more support around him.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Giancarlo Stanton (12-for-28, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Henderson Alvarez (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

19. Chicago White Sox (39-44, Previous: 24)

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The Chicago White Sox faced the top two teams in the AL East on the road last week, dropping a series to the Baltimore Orioles but salvaging things by taking three of four from the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend.

    The White Sox designated veteran reliever Scott Downs (38 G, 6.08 ERA) for assignment Thursday, with Eric Surkamp called up to take his spot as the only left-hander in the team's bullpen.

    Meanwhile, slugger Jose Abreu continued his assault on opposing pitching with four home runs last week, and he is now tied with Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion for the AL lead with 25 long balls. That, despite a DL stint in May costing him 14 games.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Jose Abreu (10-for-28, 2 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jose Quintana (2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 15 K)

18. Boston Red Sox (38-44, Previous: 19)

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The Boston Red Sox have slowly rebounded from their 10-game losing skid in May, as they have gone 18-15 since and put themselves in position to potentially be buyers at the deadline. They took a series from the rival Yankees in New York over the weekend, which could be a nice springboard into the second half.

    Boston finally called up top prospect Mookie Betts on Saturday. Betts was hitting .345/.437/.520 between Double-A and Triple-A while transitioning from second base to the outfield. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his debut Sunday, and he'll look to provide some desperately needed production in the outfield.

    "I think I'm as ready as I'm gonna get," Betts said, per Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. "Only time will tell. Only getting out there and playing and learning more will tell if I was ready or not, but the front office thinks I'm ready so I have to feel like I'm ready as well."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Mike Napoli (7-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jon Lester (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

17. Cleveland Indians (39-42, Previous: 17)

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    The Indians stumbled out of the gates to a 11-17 start, but they have gone 28-25 since and are still very much in the AL Central picture at 6.5 games back. They have a tough week ahead of them, as they face the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road and Kansas City Royals at home.

    Josh Tomlin stole the show this past week, throwing a one-hit shutout and striking out 11 against the Seattle Mariners for a Game Score of 96. That is good for the second-best start of the season, statistically, trailing only Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter.

    "He put on a pitching clinic," GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. "He was locking guys up with fastballs right down the middle because they were looking for his off-speed stuff."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Carlos Santana (5-for-18, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Josh Tomlin (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

16. New York Yankees (41-39, Previous: 12)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    With series losses to a pair of division rivals in the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, the Yankees fall out of the upper half of teams for the first time this season. That said, they are still just two games back in a wide-open AL East race.

    Masahiro Tanaka threw his third complete game of the year last time out, as he continues to be rock-solid atop the rotation. Expect the team to look for some reinforcements in that area at the deadline, as it is in desperate need of another front-line arm.

    The offense will also need to pick its game up, as Jacoby Ellsbury is the only regular hitting over .300 in June. The high-priced trio of Alfonso Soriano, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran continues to struggle mightily.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Derek Jeter (7-for-18, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Masahiro Tanaka (1 GS, L, 9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

15. Baltimore Orioles (42-39, Previous: 10)

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    GAIL BURTON/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    With a chance to seize the top spot in the AL East, the Orioles instead dropped three of four to the Tampa Bay Rays at home over the weekend, and they remain 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the standings.

    Signs of life from Manny Machado at the plate are certainly promising, as he was hitting just .230/.279/.332 with 11 extra-base hits in 187 at-bats heading into last week. Now if they could just get Chris Davis going.

    On the pitching side of things, top prospect Dylan Bundy has looked terrific in three rehab starts so far in the minors, and he could certainly make a significant impact in the second half. He has a 0.60 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 15 innings so far on the rehab trail.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Manny Machado (8-for-26, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Tillman (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

14. Kansas City Royals (42-39, Previous: 13)

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    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    The Royals welcomed the two Los Angeles teams to Kansas City last week, dropping a series to the Dodgers at the beginning of the week but taking one from the Angels over the weekend to walk away with a split.

    Outfielder Lorenzo Cain had another great week at the plate, and he continues to be one of the more overlooked players in the game this year. He's hitting .322/.358/.450 in 211 at-bats and once again playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field.

    He has moved into the leadoff spot in the order, with Nori Aoki landing on the DL on June 21, and he has already tallied four multi-hit games since moving up, including a four-hit performance Sunday.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Lorenzo Cain (11-for-27, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jeremy Guthrie (2 GS, W, ND, 14.1 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

13. San Francisco Giants (46-36, Previous: 6)

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    Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    At 4-15 in their last 19 games, the Giants are in an absolute free fall right now, and they need to get their season back on track quickly. The Cincinnati Reds swept them over the weekend, and the Giants now find themselves tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West standings, with what was once a 9.5-game lead now completely evaporated.

    Tim Lincecum managed to give fans something to cheer about Wednesday, when he no-hit the San Diego Padres for the second time in as many seasons. He needed just 113 pitches to do it after throwing 148 last time around.

    "It was the Tim Lincecum show," manager Bruce Bochy told Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News. "He had such great focus. He really was an artist out there. It's hard enough to do one (no-hitter). To do two, that puts you in a different class."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Buster Posey (9-for-23, 5 2B, 4 RBI)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tim Lincecum (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (45-39, Previous: 9)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    The Blue Jays have certainly not played their best baseball of late, going 7-15 in their last 22 games, including losing three of four to the Chicago White Sox to close out last week. However, they still hold a 1.5-game lead in the AL East.

    Their next three series are against the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels, three teams that fall in the top five of these rankings, in what could be the turning point in their season.

    Getting consistent pitching remains the key to their success. If rookie Marcus Stroman can keep throwing the ball like he did last week, it would go a long way in shoring up the back end of their rotation.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Jose Reyes (12-for-33, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Marcus Stroman (2 GS, W, ND, 14.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 13 K)

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-40, Previous: 16)

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    At 17-10 in the month of June, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been playing much better baseball of late, and they are closing in on the top 10 after taking series against the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets last week.

    With Gerrit Cole back healthy and both Jeff Locke (5 GS, 3.74 ERA) and Vance Worley (3 GS, 1.74 ERA) pitching well since being called up, the starting rotation finally seems to be falling into place.

    In the bullpen, the team made an interesting deal with the Los Angeles Angels, swapping Jason Grilli for Ernesto Frieri in an exchange of underperforming closers. Grilli had already lost his job to Mark Melancon, and a change of scenery could wind up being beneficial for both guys.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Pedro Alvarez (7-for-18, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Edinson Volquez (2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 13 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

10. Cincinnati Reds (43-38, Previous: 15)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    Finally healthy, the Cincinnati Reds are firing on all cylinders here at the end of June, as they enter the week as winners of five straight and 14 of their last 18 games. They swept the San Francisco Giants over the weekend after taking a series from the Cubs in Chicago.

    The rotation has rounded into form nicely, with Mat Latos back healthy and Homer Bailey once again pitching like he's capable of, with a three-hit shutout against the Giants on Sunday. The Reds' staff is as deep as any in baseball; it's just a matter of keeping everyone healthy.

    At the plate, Devin Mesoraco continues to be one of the breakout offensive stars of 2014. He's managed 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 40 RBI in just 166 at-bats, showing the all-around skill set that made him such a highly regarded prospect.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Devin Mesoraco (6-for-21, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Leake (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

9. Atlanta Braves (44-38, Previous: 14)

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    Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    After losing the division lead during a 5-10 rough patch, the Atlanta Braves are once again on top of the NL East after wrapping up an 8-3 road trip with a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. It has once again been a roller coaster of a season for one of the most talentedbut streakyteams in baseball.

    Alex Wood made his first start since May 4 on Wednesday, as he has returned to the rotation in place of the injured Gavin Floyd. With Aaron Harang (4.42 ERA) and Mike Minor (5.90 ERA) struggling in June, Wood could be a major X-factor for this team going forward.

    The left-hander had a 3.00 ERA through seven starts before being moved to the bullpen originally, and he was 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 starts as a rookie last season.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Justin Upton (9-for-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Alex Wood (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

8. Seattle Mariners (44-38, Previous: 11)

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    With series wins against the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians at home, the Seattle Mariners are now 17-10 in June. They have turned their season around nicely after a 27-28 start to the 2014 campaign.

    The big news this week is the return of top prospect Taijuan Walker, who will make his first start of the season Monday after being sidelined with shoulder issues. The 21-year-old threw a four-hit shutout in his final minor league rehab start Tuesday, walking one and striking out eight.

    "I've read and heard all the accolades. I saw a little bit of film, but I haven't seen him in competition," manager Lloyd McClendon told Adam Lewis of MLB.com. "Hopefully he goes out and gives us five or six good innings. We'll take it from there."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Kyle Seager (14-for-24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Felix Hernandez (2 GS, 2 W, 15 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

7. St. Louis Cardinals (44-39, Previous: 4)

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    The St. Louis Cardinals drop a bit after losing three of four to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but they wrapped up their month of June with a 14-13 record. They are still chasing the Milwaukee Brewers, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds have essentially caught them in second place.

    Matt Adams continues to be the team's best hitter, and he has been on an absolute tear since returning from the DL on June 13, posting a 1.046 OPS with six home runs and 16 RBI in 16 games. The offense as a whole continues to be something of a disappointment around him, though.

    On the pitching side, the team is currently without Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia, with setup man Carlos Martinez and prospect Marco Gonzales currently filling rotation spots. Gonzales looked sharp in his big league debut Wednesday before running into trouble in the fifth.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Matt Adams (9-for-25, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Adam Wainwright (1 GS, L, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

6. Washington Nationals (43-38, Previous: 7)

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    After taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers to open the week, the Washington Nationals split a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. They remain a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East standings.

    The team managed to go 30-27 in the 57 games Bryce Harper missed following left-thumb surgery, and they will get their star back Monday, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The return of Harper likely means Ryan Zimmerman will move back to third base, Anthony Rendon will move back to second base and Danny Espinosa will move to the bench as the Nationals welcome back another big bat.

    "Just his mere presence in the lineup is going to be huge," an AL scout told Ladson of Harper. "I think they will become even better because you have to respect Harper's bat."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Anthony Rendon (10-for-29, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Gio Gonzalez (2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 12 K)

5. Detroit Tigers (44-34, Previous: 8)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Tigers swept a struggling Texas Rangers team to open the week before dropping two of three to the Houston Astros on the road over the weekend. With the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians both struggling a bit of late, the Tigers now hold a 3.5-game lead in the AL Central.

    A gem from Rick Porcello his last time out was big for a pitching staff that has not looked nearly as good as expected at times this season. It was the first complete-game shutout of Porcello's career and his third straight quality start.

    "He looks extremely confident," Tigers catcher Alex Avila told Jason Beck of MLB.com. "The thing is now, he's got four pitches that he can rely on for outs, and I think he's very confident that if one or two is not working or not feeling as good, that his other stuff is good enough to get guys out as well."

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Ian Kinsler (11-for-23, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Rick Porcello (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

4. Los Angeles Angels (45-35, Previous: 5)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    The Angels are still chasing the Oakland Athletics in the AL West, trailing them by 5.5 games, but they are putting together a terrific season in their own right. They currently rank second in the AL and third in MLB with a plus-51 run differential.

    The acquisition of Jason Grilli could wind up being a difference-maker for the Angels, and while he will set up Joe Smith for the time being, it would not be at all surprising to see him closing at some point. Grilli was 11-for-15 on save chances with a 4.57 ERA in Pittsburgh, but he was one of the best in the business last year.

    "We traded a struggling closer for a struggling closer with the idea that a change of scenery will help both," GM Jerry Dipoto said (via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register).

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Mike Trout (8-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jered Weaver (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-37, Previous: 3)

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    The Dodgers finally seem to be picking up some steam here at the end of June, and with series wins over the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals, they are now 17-10 this month. More importantly, they have pulled into a tie with the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West.

    Clayton Kershaw is currently riding a 28-inning scoreless streak and once again looks like the best pitcher in the game. The rotation as a whole has lived up to the lofty expectations, as it leads all of baseball with a 3.03 starters' ERA.

    With Juan Uribe back healthy the lineup is again at 100 percent, and the bullpen has fallen into place after a rocky start. As a whole, the Dodgers finally look like the team everyone expected them to be entering the year.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Dee Gordon (13-for-27, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (2 GS, 2 W, 15 IP, 11 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 21 K)

2. Milwaukee Brewers (51-33, Previous: 2)

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    The aforementioned Dodgers are closing on them fast, but for one more week at least, the Brewers remain the top team in the National League. They rebounded from losing a series to the Washington Nationals last week by taking three of four from the Colorado Rockies.

    Marco Estrada allowed just two hits and two runs in 6.1 innings his last time out, giving him his first quality start of the month. As the clear weak spot in the rotation to this point, getting him on track would be big.

    For all the attention that the trio of Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy have gotten this season, it's second baseman Scooter Gennett who leads the NL with a .397 batting average here in June. As long as the Brewers stay healthy, a must given their lack of position-player depth, their lineup is as good as any in the league.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Ryan Braun (10-for-25, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kyle Lohse (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

1. Oakland Athletics (51-30, Previous: 1)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-1

    The Athletics are riding a nice 11-3 hot streak and have used a 17-8 month of June to separate themselves from the pack a bit as the clear best team in the American League.

    A sweep of the Marlins in Miami over the weekend extended their lead to 5.5 games over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. They will be looking to make that gap even wider when they take on the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays this coming week.

    It will be interesting to see what the A's do at the deadline, as they generally are not a team to move controllable young pieces for high-end veteran talent, but they could be compelled to go all-in and make a serious run at a title.

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Brandon Moss (7-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tommy Milone (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and cover games from Monday, June 23, through Sunday, June 29. All injury information via MLBDepthCharts team pages, per Baseball Prospectus.

     

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