SITTING DEAD RED: Despite others nipping at their heels, the Reds are staying frontrunners in their division by playing superior baseball. Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the non-waiver trade deadline in the rear view, we are ever so much closer to playing October baseball. And, really, isn’t that what these power rankings are all about? Who are the teams to beat heading into the playoffs?

MLB POWER RANKINGS – AUGUST 6TH

1. New York Yankees | 63-44 (34-22 Home, 29-22 Road) [Change From Last Ranking: ± 0]
Still one of the best records with the toughest strength of schedule. Yup, that’s good enough for me.

2. Texas Rangers | 63-44 (34-21 Home, 29-23 Road) [± 0]
Neck and neck with New York for now, but pitching has been their Achilles and Colby Lewis is done.

3. Cincinnati Reds | 66-42 (36-20 Home, 30-22 Road) [+ 1]
Best record in baseball, but a lackluster strength of schedule puts them a tick behind the first two.

4. Washington Nationals | 65-43 (32-22 Home, 33-21 Road) [- 1]
Werth and Storen are back and they’ve acquired Suzuki. They have no excuses heading towards fall.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates | 61-46 (33-16 Home, 28-30 Road) [+ 1]
They traded to make great pitching excellent pitching but now the bats and road wins have to follow.

6. Atlanta Braves | 62-46 (32-26 Home, 30-20 Road) [+ 4]
Ben Sheets has been a savior, but is his hot start fool’s gold? And will not landing Dempster hurt?

7. San Francisco Giants | 59-49 (32-23 Home, 27-26 Road) [+ 1]
Offense, offense, offense. All they needed was offense. What’s that, they got Hunter Pence? Okay.

8. Baltimore Orioles | 57-51 (25-26 Home, 32-25 Road) [- 3]
Six games over .500 in the AL East is good enough for twice that just about anywhere else.

9. Chicago White Sox | 59-48 (29-23 Home, 30-25 Road) [+ 4]
Believe it, folks. These guys are October contenders, something Youkilis’ former team may not be.

10. Detroit Tigers | 58-50 (31-21 Home, 27-29 Road) [+ 1]
Overtaking Cleveland in the division was step one, but how much credit do they really deserve for that?

11. Los Angeles Dodgers | 59-50 (32-23 Home, 27-27 Road) [- 2]
Their deadline moves ensured them a pennant race, but will it also yield them a playoff berth?

12. Los Angeles Angels | 58-51 (30-22 Home, 28-29 Road) [- 5]
They’ve stumbled a bit since last rankings, but being deadline buyers prove these guys are in it to win it.

13. St. Louis Cardinals | 59-49 (32-21 Home, 27-28 Road) [+ 1]
They’ve heated up, but good teams are going to get left out in October. Are they the first candidate?

14. Tampa Bay Rays | 56-52 (29-27 Home, 27-25 Road) [- 2]
They’re steaming along, but haven’t made waves. Being an afterthought is not what one strives for.

15. Oakland Athletics | 58-50 (32-25 Home, 26-25 Road) [+ 1]
Second in the AL West in August must’ve been beyond their wildest dreams, but don’t sleep on them.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks | 55-53 (30-24 Home, 25-29 Road) [+ 4]
Don’t let the big jump fool you: this team still has a lot of work to do. Good isn’t good enough.

17. Boston Red Sox | 54-55 (28-32 Home, 26-23 Road) [+ 1]
They weren’t really buyers or sellers at the deadline. Unfortunately, standing pat for them isn’t okay.

18. Toronto Blue Jays | 53-55 (28-23 Home, 25-32 Road) [- 3]
Now in the bottom of their division, the season for Toronto will probably end October 3rd.

19. New York Mets | 53-56 (26-26 Home, 27-30 Road) [- 2]
The talk of promoting youngsters in August is indicative of a team not yet ready to compete.

20. Philadelphia Phillies | 49-59 (23-30 Home, 26-29 Road) [+ 3]
Maintaining a losing record and sporting a depleted farm system spells dark days for Philadelphia.

21. Cleveland Indians | 50-58 (27-25 Home, 23-33 Road) [- 2]
Cleveland is flat out imploding, so don’t let such a modest drop in rank kid you about how bad it is.

22. Miami Marlins | 49-60 (27-27 Home, 22-33 Road) [- 1]
The fire sale in South Beach serves as the perfect metaphor to their departed hopes for this season.

23. Milwaukee Brewers | 48-59 (30-26 Home, 18-33 Road) [- 1]
The departure of Greinke means you should liquidate your season tickets for August and September.

24. Seattle Mariners | 51-59 (25-29 Home, 26-30) [+ 1]
They’ve been white hot recently. What’s their reward? Still easily dead last in the AL West.

25. Minnesota Twins | 47-61 (23-32 Home, 24-29 Road) [+ 1]
They have some of the busiest tweeters in the league, which kind of explains their record thus far.

26. Kansas City Royals | 45-62 (21-32 Home, 24-30 Road) [- 2]
Has anyone mentioned this team since the All-Star break? I don’t think so, and why would they?

27. Chicago Cubs | 43-63 (27-24 Home, 16-39 Road) [+ 1]
The rise of guys like Rizzo is indicative of good things to come, just not in 2012.

28. San Diego Padres | 46-64 (24-30 Home, 22-34 Road) [- 1]
Will be in a fight for draft pick position next June for these next two months.

29. Colorado Rockies | 38-68 (21-37 Home, 17-31 Road) [± 0]
Can they get any worse? Since their not the worst on here, I guess so. That’s pretty scary.

30. Houston Astros | 36-73 (25-27 Home, 11-46 Road) [± 0]
Four teams have fewer total losses than Houston has just on the road alone.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure you give him a follow @bclienesch!

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