(ALL)STARS AND (PIN)STRIPES: Dellin Betances and the New York Yankees have one of their most comfortable leads of the season in the AL East. Photo courtesy USA Today Sports

(ALL)STARS AND (PIN)STRIPES: All-Star Game-bound Dellin Betances and the New York Yankees have one of their most comfortable leads of the season in the AL East. Photo courtesy USA Today Sports

We’ve made it to the All-Star Break, baseball’s unofficial halftime to the season. Of course, the real midway point was about a couple weeks ago, depending on which team you’re talking about.

Tonight we’ve got the Home Run Derby with its rules changed for 187th time (numbers approximate) and tomorrow, of course, we’ve got the All-Star Game. Even though someone is required to represent every team, the All-Star rosters are still usually a good barometer of where teams stand.

For instance, the Royals would have made up nearly half the starting lineup had Alex Gordon been able to play. Even without him, though, Kansas City accounts for a third of the AL’s starters plus they’ll have two pitchers available out of the bullpen.

In the NL, Bryce Harper broke voting records on his way to being the NL’s top vote getter, which makes sense because he’s about the only star on the Nationals that remains uninjured. He says he won’t participate in the Home Run Derby because his dad can’t throw to him, but I think it’s really just to rest his back from carrying the team to a division lead.

St. Louis, whose been leading the NL Central it seems since the season began, on the other had a whopping six players named to the NL roster after Carlos Martinez won the final vote, and would’ve had two of the league’s starters had Matt Holliday been able to play.

Then there’s this little interesting factoid: there will not be a member of the Yankees or Red Sox in the starting lineup for the first time ever. Yes, you heard that right. The only other time someone from the Yankees or the Red Sox did not start in the All-Star Game was in 1945 when the game was cancelled on account of World War II.

For the Red Sox, that obviously makes sense as they’ve had another miserable year, but it’s a little misrepresentative of the Yankees who are leading the AL Central and cruising into the All-Star Break on a high note.

I guess not everything with All-Star Game is a trend as to how teams are faring. Oh well. In that case, I guess we better get on with another edition of the Power Rankings.

MLB Power Rankings – July 13th

  1. St. Louis Cardinals | 56-33 (31-11 Home, 25-22 Road) [Net Change From Last Ranking: ± 0]
    Even with them mellowing a bit, the Cards are still the clear top dogs.
  2. Kansas City Royals | 52-34 (30-16 Home, 22-18 Road) [± 0]
    They’ll win ugly, they’ll win pretty. They’ll just win more times than not.
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers | 51-39 (33-17 Home, 18-22 Road) [± 0]
    I really do want to put the Bucs ahead of them here, but L.A. has a firm hold on their division.
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates | 53-35 (32-16 Home, 21-19 Road) [+ 2]
    Sure, the Pirates are white-hot right now. But can they run down St. Louis? That’s the real question.
  5. Washington Nationals | 48-39 (25-16 Home, 23-23 Road) [± 0]
    They have some $60 million in MLB talent on the DL. And yet, somehow, they continue to win.
  6. New York Yankees | 48-40 (25-16 Home, 23-24 Road) [+ 5]
    The Yanks have gotten hot again as everyone else in the East is cooling.
  7. Minnesota Twins | 49-40 (31-16 Home, 18-24 Road) [+ 5]
    The Twins are hot once again. They should be in the race the remainder of the season.
  8. Houston Astros | 49-42 (28-16 Home, 21-26 Road) [- 4]
    On the last day before the break, they’ve surrendered the division lead. Foreshadowing?
  9. Los Angeles Angels | 48-40 (25-18 Home, 23-22 Roads) [+ 7]
    The Angels? The Angels! Welcome to playoff race relevancy, my friends.
  10. Chicago Cubs | 47-40 (25-20 Home, 22-20 Road) [- 1]
    This is either “the year” or not “the year” depending on whether or not the Cubs win that day.
  11. San Francisco Giants | 46-43 (25-22 Home, 21-21 Road) [- 3]
    Every time it seems the Giants might threaten the Dodgers for the division, they hit a slump.
  12. New York Mets | 47-42 (32-14 Home, 15-28 Road) [+ 3]
    Jacob deGrom will be their sole representative at the All-Star Game. I’ll wait while you google him.
  13. Tampa Bay Rays | 46-45 (24-27 Home, 22-18 Road) [- 6]
    Their current 3-game win streak is just to avoid an otherwise disastrous couple of weeks.
  14. Detroit Tigers | 44-44 (22-23 Home, 22-21 Road) [± 0]
    Could Detroit actually miss the postseason? It’s looking more and more likely.
  15. Baltimore Orioles | 44-44 (27-18 Home, 17-26 Road) [- 5]
    If you can’t win on the road, dropping 2 of 3 to the Nationals at home becomes a bigger deal.
  16. Toronto Blue Jays | 45-46 (26-18 Home, 19-28 Road) [- 3]
    Our lone neighbors to the north should probably get ready for hockey season.
  17. Arizona Diamondbacks | 42-45 (22-21 Home, 20-24 Road) [+ 1]
    It’s disappointing Paul Goldschmidt won’t be in tonight’s Home Run Derby.
  18. Texas Rangers | 42-46 (16-26 Home, 26-20 Road) [- 1]
    Just 2-8 in their last 10. Even if they were in the playoff hunt, they sure don’t seem interested.
  19. Cleveland Indians | 42-46 (19-26 Home, 23-20 Road) [+ 4]
    Who had the fashionable World Series pick not even winning 20 home games at the break?
  20. Atlanta Braves | 42-47 (23-17 Home, 19-30 Road) [- 1]
    Losers of five straight. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were tanking for draft position.
  21. Chicago White Sox | 41-45 (23-17 Home, 18-28 Road) [+ 6]
    Winners of 7 of their last 10. If they stay this hot, we may just be able to call them “mediocre”.
  22. Boston Red Sox | 42-47 (22-23 Home, 20-24 Road) [+ 2]
    Playing better and better baseball when you’re already out of it? That’s the Boston way!
  23. Seattle Mariners | 41-48 (20-27 Home, 21-21 Road) [- 1]
    I’m not quite sure who, but someone is going to have to be fired after this season.
  24. San Diego Padres | 41-49 (18-22 Home, 23-27 Road) [- 4]
    Their lone All-Star (Upton) is a guy who’s having his worst full season of his career. Yeah.
  25. Cincinnati Reds | 39-47 (22-18 Home, 17-29 Road) [- 4]
    They’re now 5-0 against the Nationals. So, there’s that, I guess.
  26. Oakland Athletics | 41-50 (18-26 Home, 23-24 Road) [± 0]
    Josh Donaldson will be starting the All-Star Game and in the Derby. How’s that feel, A’s fans?
  27. Colorado Rockies | 39-49 (21-24 Home, 18-25 Road) [- 2]
    The Rockies have a lot of All-Stars for such a staunch cellar dweller.
  28. Miami Marlins | 38-51 (24-23 Home, 14-28 Road) [± 0]
    It would have been a totally different Home Run Derby if Giancarlo Stanton were healthy.
  29. Milwaukee Brewers | 38-52 (16-28 Home, 22-24 Road) [± 0]
    They’ve won 6 of their last 10. Could you imagine if they caught the Reds?
  30. Philadelphia Phillies | 29-62 (18-25 Home, 11-37 Road) [± 0]
    Their lone All-Star is a guy who badly wants off the team. That says it all, doesn’t it?

Editor’s Note: Due to the All-Star Break, the next edition of the Power Rankings will be in three weeks instead of the usual two.