PATRIOT GAMES: America’s first capital is king of baseball again. These Yankees are good, like late-nineties good. Photo courtesy Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The unofficial midway point of the professional baseball season is here and some surprises still remain. The Dodgers, long one of the top two teams on these power rankings, continue to slide. Their recent three-game slide knocked them out of the much-hyped 10-games-above-.500 threshold and the teams they’re playing aren’t even that good.

Surging past them as the best team in the NL are the Washington Nationals, who continue to dominate on the mound and have even found a little spark in their bats. It looks like the curly W’s may be around a bit longer this year.

But the top team on these most updated rankings are the Yankees. Their clobbering of Boston this weekend is proof-positive of just how good this team is as names like Cano and Granderson are starting to become more important than Jeter and Rodriguez.

On the move, most noticeably, are the Angels and Pirates. The Angels have some sluggers in their lineup but, ironically, its farm-raised talent and NOT big free agents that are doing most of the producing. Over in Pittsburgh, the Pirates are starting to find their groove in the batter’s box and might be even better if they ever get McDonald some help in the rotation.

So, at the turn, here are our updated power rankings…


1. New York Yankees | 52-33 (25-16 Home, 27-17 Road) [Change From Last Ranking: + 1]
Aging vets producing and winning. They appear to be the anti-Phillies (and top dogs at the midpoint)

2. Texas Rangers |51-35 (28-16 Home, 23-18 Road) [- 1]
Their short hot-and-cold streaks are fairly Ranger-esque. See: Rangers postseason in 2010 and 2011.

3. Washington Nationals | 49-34 (24-16 Home, 25-18 Road) [+ 3]
When they hit, they’re unbeatable. When they don’t, they’re merely above average.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers | 47-40 (27-16 Home, 20-24 Road) [- 1]
They are sorely missing Kemp. The run differential is down to just +16 and the SOS is laughable.

5. Los Angeles Angels | 48-38 (25-18 Home, 23-20 Road) [+ 5]
Trout has the halos swimming upstream. Makes you wonder how Pujols money could’ve been spent.

6. Atlanta Braves | 46-39 (20-22 Home, 26-17 Road) [+ 5]
Might be leading the division if they ever showed up to play Washington. Home field hasn’t been home.

7. Pittsburgh Pirates | 48-37 (29-14 Home, 19-23 Road) [+ 6]
Absolutely dominating at home. That’ll come in handy if they can manage to hold onto the division.

8. Tampa Bay Rays | 45-41 (24-19 Home, 21-22 Road) [- 4]
Are they really talking trade block with Shields? I still think they’re a Top 10 team at the turn.

9. Cincinnati Reds | 47-38 (23-16 Home, 24-22 Road) [- 2]
Their slide here is more a product of other teams heating up. It’s going to be a tight pennant race.

10. Baltimore Orioles | 45-40 (22-20 Home, 23-20 Road) [- 5]
They’re sliding and the sabermetrics say they’re lucky to be where they are (39-46 expected record)

11. Chicago White Sox | 47-38 (24-22 Home, 23-16 Road) [+ 3]
Youkilis is heating up. Translation: that trade is paying off. Translation: These Sox are contenders.

12. New York Mets | 46-40 (26-20 Home, 20-20 Road) [- 3]
Knuckleballers aside, the Mets have been sort of average. Still, at least they’re not Philly.

13. St. Louis Cardinals | 46-40 (23-20 Home, 23-20 Road) [- 1]
The good news is the Cards are starting to win. The bad news is they’re still third in the NL Central.

14. San Francisco Giants | 46-40 (26-16 Home, 20-24) [- 6]
They caught L.A. and then let them go. Their recent nightmare trip out East is the main culprit.

15. Detroit Tigers | 44-42 (22-20 Home, 22-22 Road) [+ 3]
They’re back over .500, but Chicago and Cleveland are still winning. Three-way pennant race, anyone?

16. Cleveland Indians | 44-41 (24-21 Home, 20-20 Road) [- 1]
Do they have the weapons to fend off Detroit and Chicago. Probably not, but there’s still a wild card.

17. Boston Red Sox | 43-43 (22-24 Home, 21-19 Road) [- 1]
They’re back to their woeful ways. At least there’s no division lead to blow this time around?

18. Arizona Diamondbacks | 42-43 (23-21 Home, 19-22 Road) [- 1]
Even under .500, they’re still within striking distance of the pennant. This second half will be exciting.

19. Toronto Blue Jays | 43-43 (23-19 Home, 20-24 Road) [± 0]
One of only five teams to already allow 400 runs. When it comes to pitching, they’re simply outgunned.

20. Miami Marlins | 41-44 (22-22 Home, 19-22 Road) [± 0]
In fourth place and already buying veterans? Miami might be swimming up a certain river in Egypt.

21. Oakland Athletics | 43-43 (24-20 Home, 19-23 Road) [± 0]
How this team is at .500 absolutely baffles me, but it’s not like Billy Beane hasn’t surprised us before.

22. Milwaukee Brewers | 40-45 (22-21 Home, 18-24 Road) [+ 2]
Greinke might make three starts in a row. More importantly, he may not make very many more after.

23. Kansas City Royals | 37-47 (14-23 Home, 23-24 Road) [± 0]
The All-Star Game will be just another game in Kansas City that the Royals don’t win.

24. Philadelphia Phillies | 37-50 (17-27 Home, 20-23 Road) [- 2]
The Phillies are past panicking. And, if they sell Hamels, they may be on to rebuilding for the future.

25. Seattle Mariners | 36-51 (16-25 Home, 20-26 Road) [± 0]
Playing true to form, Seattle’s season is unfortunately all but over halfway home.

26. Minnesota Twins | 36-48 (17-25 Home, 19-23 Road) [+ 2]
Last night’s ninth inning was pretty much a microcosm of the Twins’ season in the first half.

27. Chicago Cubs | 33-52 (19-20 Home, 14-32 Road) [+ 3]
Misery loves company and the Cubbies have some new friends around the 33-win mark.

28. Colorado Rockies | 33-52 (18-25 Home, 15-27 Road) [- 1]
The batting has been okay. The pitching has been horrendous with a poor 4-man rotation.

29. Houston Astros | 33-53 (24-21 Home, 9-32 Road) [- 3]
Nine road wins in July? Nine?! It may actually take some kind of talent to be that bad on the road.

30. San Diego Padres | 34-53 (17-27 Home, 17-26 Road) [- 1]
If Quentin gets traded, the Padres might become the first ever big-league AAA ballclub.

NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this story and others click here.
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