The Rangers and Yankees continue their recent tradition of swapping the top spot back and forth, but neither team is really the story this week. No, that would be the Oakland Athletics.
Going into play on July 1st the Athletics were 37-42 and pretty much out of the race in the AL West, getting ready to start selling off any parts over 25 years old and continuing their non-stop rebuilding project.
Since then they've gone 16-3. They're still in third place in the AL West, but they're only 5.5 games out of first place and they'd make the playoffs as the second wild card team.
That's the kind of thing they make movies about. It'd be interesting to see how they didn't mention pitching at all in the film.
1. New York Yankees (59-39): This was not a good week for the Yankees, as they got swept in a four-game series by those previously mentioned Athletics and they lost Alex Rodriguez for 6-8 weeks with a broken hand. Not all was for naught, however, as they're back in first place in the power rankings! (2)
2. Texas Rangers (58-39): Here's an odd stat for you that helps explain why the AL West race has gotten a lot tighter than it looked like it would be at the start of the season. In the month of July the Rangers have scored the least runs in the entire American League, with only 62. The next lowest-scoring team is Baltimore with 77. (1)
3. Los Angeles Angels (54-45): The Angels had a winning week at 4-2 and closed the gap a bit between third and second place, but it'll take a lot more than a 4-2 week to take over second place right now. (3)
4. Chicago White Sox (53-45): The White Sox are pretty lucky to still be in first place after being swept by the Tigers last weekend. That luck being a three-game series against the Twins immediately following it. Life doesn't get much easier, though, as both the Rangers and Angels are on the upcoming schedule....with the Twins sandwiched in between. (4)
5. Oakland Athletics (53-45): Not only does winning 16 of 19 get a sequel commissioned for your life story, but it also gets you to the top five of the power rankings. How long will the Athletics stay here? Well, I'll just say I'm skeptical. (7)
6. Detroit Tigers (53-46): The Tigers were on their way to the top five this week but then they ran into their nemesis: the Cleveland Indians. I don't know why the Tigers have such a difficult time with the Tribe, I just know that I'm happy they do. (6)
7. Tampa Bay Rays (51-48): Life in the AL East is rough. Here are the Rays in the top seven of the power rankings in the American League, with a winning record no less, yet all the rumors out of Tampa these days involve the Rays trading away James Shields. Easily the highest ranked "seller" at the moment. (8)
8. Boston Red Sox (49-50): And they're free.....free falling out of the top five and all the way down to eighth after spending the week going 1-5. I would think that the Red Sox would look to move some people with the trade deadline approaching, but you never really know with the Red Sox. I mean, they were rumored to be interested in Hanley Ramirez before he went to Los Angeles. (5)
9. Toronto Blue Jays (49-49): I just want to know what the hell is wrong with Ricky Romero this season. I've got him on two fantasy teams and he's been pretty craptastic the entire season. It's annoying. You're supposed to be good, Romero!! (9)
10. Cleveland Indians (50-49): Hey, Cleveland, thanks for taking two of three from the Tigers this week. We White Sox fans really appreciate it. Though you're still not really all that good in comparison to the rest of the American League. Now if you were in the National League..... (11)
11. Baltimore Orioles (52-47): How? How are the Baltimore Orioles still in second place in the AL East when they've been outscored by 53 runs this season? The Orioles are being outscored 108-77 in July and yet they're 10-12 during the month! THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. (10)
12. Seattle Mariners (44-57): Surely trading Ichiro will help the most pathetic offense in the American League. Seriously, you know how many offenses in the AL have an OBP under .300 and are slugging under .400? Do you? Just Seattle. That's it. (12)
13. Kansas City Royals (41-57): Maybe next year, Royals fans. (13)
14. Minnesota Twins (40-58): I know you're down right now because you just got swept by the White Sox and that's just not supposed to happen, no matter where the two teams are in the standings, but keep your heads up. The Royals are only a game ahead of you. You can do this. (14)
Last week's rankings can be found here.