The second half of the season is only 10 days old, but one familiar trend has already emerged: The beasts of the East now include the Washington Nationals, and the West is proving to be wild.
What's more, the Pirates and Reds are in a dogfight in the NL Central, and the battle for supremacy between the Tigers and the White Sox in the AL Central is just getting started.
Don't forget about the Angels, and don't overlook the Braves and the Dodgers.
The Yankees? Well, they just have the best record in baseball.
Now, that's power.
It's time to discuss the most powerful teams in the game, and it's time to hear your voice. You can tell us what you think by ranking the teams on your own, and you can see the results of your participation in the overall MLB.com Power Rankings, in which the fans' choices are accounted for.
Here's something else to consider: Baseball is booming in the Bay Area. San Francisco's Melky Cabrera had led his team to the top spot in the NL West, while Oakland went 14-2 to start July. Baseball's newest darlings have posted a Major League-leading 11 walk-offs this season.
History has taught us to never count out the Cardinals.
For the third season, MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. Three former Major League players -- Larry Dierker, Mitch Williams and Frank Thomas -- are part of the process, as are columnist Peter Gammons and Carlton Thompson, vice president and executive editor of MLB.com. Former general manager and current MLB.com analyst Jim Duquette, along with MLB.com columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Richard Justice, Matthew Leach and Jesse Sanchez are also part of the group.
Agree? Disagree? The power to rank the teams is yours.
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The Rangers finished 4-4 on their eight-game trip to start the second half and still lead the second-place Angels by five games in the AL West. The high-powered offense is the club's calling card, but the starting rotation continues to pitch in. Matt Harrison has 12 wins and Yu Darvish has won 11 games, one short of the club record for a rookie, set by Edwin Correa in 1986 and matched by Kevin Brown in '89 and Chris Young in 2005.
The youngest team in baseball has the best record in the National League and can make a case as the best team in the big leagues. Stephen Strasburg's innings-count for the season remains a hot topic of discussion, and it's going to be interesting to see how Nats fans respond when the young pitcher is shut down after around 160 innings. Bryce Harper is starting to see a steady dose of breaking balls early in the count, but he's making adjustments and continues to improve at the plate.
The Yankees are coming off their first four-game losing streak of the season, but they still lead the second-place Orioles in the AL East by six games. They are expected to be without the services of Nick Swisher, who missed the final two games of the series against Oakland, for the upcoming series against the Mariners because of a mild left hip flexor strain. The good news? Robinson Cano is fresh off a career-high 23-game hitting streak and is hitting .359 in his last 10 games.
The Pirates are riding a five-game winning streak heading into an important 13-game stretch against the NL Central. They own a 21-13 record against division teams, a noteworthy start when you consider the Pirates have never had a winning record within the NL Central since it was created in 1994.
The first-place Reds have a narrow lead over the Pirates, and consistent pitching from the starting rotation is a big reason why. Through 95 games, the Reds have used only five starting pitchers: Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake. Joey Votto, who has been out since last Monday with a torn meniscus in his left knee, is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, but may return sooner.
Is Mike Trout the American League's Most Valuable Player? Some believe he is. He leads the American League with a .357 average and leads the Majors with 31 stolen bases. He is also third on the Angels with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs. On Sunday, he set a franchise and American League rookie record by scoring in his 14th consecutive game.
The Tigers, who have won five in a row and 13 of their last 15, have surged to the top spot in the AL Central after sweeping the White Sox over the weekend. Miguel Cabrera is heating up, hitting .385 with five home runs over his past 10 games. He notched his 300th home run on Sunday, becoming just the 14th to reach the mark by age 30.
The Melk Man continues to deliver for the first-place Giants. All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera is hitting .356 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs and has emerged as top candidate for the NL MVP. The Giants have won seven of their last 10 games heading into Monday's matchup against the Padres.
There is something special going on in Oakland. The A's are coming off a four-game sweep of the Yankees, their fifth win in a row and their Major League-best 11th walk-off victory on Sunday. The A's have started July 14-2.
If the Braves are going to catch the Nationals in the NL East or make a run at winning a Wild Card spot, they'll have to start pitching better. Atlanta's starting rotation has posted a 6.62 ERA since the All-Star break.
After losing 18 of 24 and falling from five games up to three games behind in the National League West, the Dodgers were riding a four-game winning streak and trailed the first-place Giants by only a half-game game entering the week. Matt Kemp was hitting .378 with two home runs and six RBIs since returning to the lineup after the All-Star break.
The Orioles have won five games in a row and trail the first-place Yankees by six games in AL East standings. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is due for a hot streak. He is coming off his first multihit game since July 3 on Sunday, snapping a 6-for-57 skid over his previous 14 games.
The Cardinals are coming off their first sweep in a month and first sweep at home in two months. In three games, the Cardinals outscored the Cubs, 23-1, after totaling only 15 runs in the preceding 1-5 road swing.
The slumping White Sox have fallen out of the top spot in the AL Central, losing five straight games and scoring just nine runs over that stretch. The acquisition of reliever Brett Myers, who had 19 saves with the Astros, adds depth to the bullpen and can help shorten games for the club's starters.
B.J. Upton appears to have recovered from a slow start to the season, hitting .261 with four home runs so far in July, and it could not come at a better time. The Rays are 14-22 since June 11 -- when they were last in first place in the AL East -- and coming off a series loss to the Mariners.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.