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Posted: Monday July 2, 2012 12:55PM ; Updated: Monday July 2, 2012 12:55PM

Dodgers fall without Kemp, Ethier

Story Highlights

The Dodgers took the biggest tumble of the week, falling seven spots to No. 14

The Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals remain the top two teams

The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels round out an AL-heavy top five

For most of the first two months of this season the Dodgers looked like the team to beat in the NL West but their early-season magic has not been able to withstand injuries to both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Without their two best hitters, the Dodgers scored just 10 runs last week en route to a 1-6 record that cost them first place in the division and seven spots in the Power Rankings.

Even the team's attempts to bring in reinforcements failed when Carlos Lee decided he'd rather stay in Houston than accept a trade to Los Angeles. What the team really needs is Kemp and Ethier back in the line-up, but even with those two potentially returning soon, the Dodgers are going to have to figure out where else they're going to get some offensive production, because the Giants' pitching staff figures to make this division race extremely tight all summer long.

NOTE: All stats are through Sunday, July 1.

Rankings written by the staff of Fangraphs. The system used to rank the teams is based not on the current standings or a gut feeling about team quality, but on how well they've performed at the underlying traits that predict future performance better than wins and losses.

wRC+ is an offensive index where 100 is league average and every point above or below that denotes how far from league average a player's performance has been up to that point. It is adjusted for park and league, so it takes into account the context of a player's surroundings, and allows for comparison of performance from players in different situations and in different times.

MLB Power Rankings
1Texas Rangers
Last Week: 1
WAR Winning Percentage: .671; Current Winning Percentage: .625; WAR Wins: 54; Current Wins: 50

Five of the nine regulars in the Rangers lineup made the AL All-Star team, which speaks to the quality of their lineup and to their fans? penchant for stuffing the ballot box. Perhaps the most important members of Texas? team so far are the two pitchers who were selected for the Midsummer Classic, starter Matt Harrison and closer Joe Nathan. With injuries surrounding the rotation and bullpen, the surprisingly good performance of these two have been even more vital to the team?s success.
 
2Washington Nationals
Last Week: 2
WAR Winning Percentage: .608; Current Winning Percentage: .584; WAR Wins: 47; Current Wins: 45

Though he has walked in just 3.4 percent of his plate appearances, Michael Morse has been an instrumental part of the Nationals? offense since returning from injury. The outfielder has just 116 plate appearances, but has hit three home runs and six doubles, including a game winning home run in the late innings against the Braves on Friday night. The Nationals are where they are because of their pitching, but getting Morse back makes their lineup very formidable.
 
3New York Yankees
Last Week: 4
WAR Winning Percentage: .589; Current Winning Percentage: .615; WAR Wins: 46; Current Wins: 48

With C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte out with injuries, the Yankees need Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova to step up in their absence. All three did so in their weekend series against the White Sox, as the trio allowed just three runs combined in their three starts. While those three have been carrying the pitching staff, Robinson Cano has carried the lineup -- over his past 14 games, Cano has hit nine home runs.
 
4Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 5
WAR Winning Percentage: .585; Current Winning Percentage: .532; WAR Wins: 46; Current Wins: 42

With a 143 wRC+, Cody Ross is having his best season yet. The Red Sox have cycled through almost every outfield option they could find due to injuries, but when healthy Ross has been one of the team?s best hitters. Boston?s catchers have performed far above expectations as well. Kelly Shoppach and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have combined for a 126 wRC+, the highest mark for any team?s catchers.
 
5Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 6
WAR Winning Percentage: .565; Current Winning Percentage: .557; WAR Wins: 45; Current Wins: 44

Those "what's wrong with Albert Pujols" stories seem like a distant memory now that he has been putting up some dominant games lately. Last week, Pujols hit .417/.481/.708 and not surprisingly, the Angels averaged almost eight runs per game in that stretch, going 4-2. He might have taken a little while to get going, but Pujols is finally swinging the bat like the all-time great he is.
 
6St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 3
WAR Winning Percentage: .562; Current Winning Percentage: .519; WAR Wins: 44; Current Wins: 41

After starting the season as one of the best hitters in baseball, June brought a harsh reality check for Rafael Furcal, as he hit just .176/.271/.216 over 115 trips to the plate. Furcal still drew some walks, but his power completely disappeared and he didn't get on base enough to actually put his speed to use. With their sparkplug ineffective, the entire Cardinals offense slumped during the month, and has been the main reason that they've started to fall in these rankings.
 
7San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 10
WAR Winning Percentage: .560; Current Winning Percentage: .563; WAR Wins: 45; Current Wins: 45

Since the start of June, Brandon Belt has hit .320/.416/.587, which has provided a big boost to an offense that was getting very little production in the infield before then. The return of Pablo Sandoval, who will start at third base for the NL in the All-Star game, is also a welcome addition to a lineup that also inclues two other All-Star starters, outfielder Melky Cabrera and catcher Buster Posey.
 
8New York Mets
Last Week: 14
WAR Winning Percentage: .541; Current Winning Percentage: .538; WAR Wins: 43; Current Wins: 43

The Mets were patient with Ike Davis and their patience has finally started to payoff. Davis hit more home runs and doubles and had more walks in June than he had throughout the entire season. The Mets offense has been rather solid for a majority of the year, but if Davis hits like he did in June for the rest of the season then the Mets have a chance to stay in the NL East race longer than people expect. The continued resurgence of second baseman Daniel Murphy would help too; he hit three home runs last week after not hitting any in the first 10 weeks of the season.
 
9Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 8
WAR Winning Percentage: .539; Current Winning Percentage: .500; WAR Wins: 42; Current Wins: 39

The Diamondbacks entered June six games under .500 and left it one game above -- though they lost on July 1, pushing their record back to an even 39-39. All-Star Aaron Hill became the first player to hit for the cycle twice in one year since 1931, which is obviously a pretty amazing feat. Even outside of the cycles, Hill was a crucial part of the Diamondbacks? success last month. The second baseman hit .370 with 18 extra base hits in 25 games.
 
10Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 9
WAR Winning Percentage: .538; Current Winning Percentage: .531; WAR Wins: 42; Current Wins: 43

While Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy have been highly touted comeback stories this year, Alex Rios is enduring just as big of a comeback season. After posting consecutive seasons with a wRC+ with an 80 or lower, Rios has a 126 mark backed by a .308/.344/.495 line with 10 homers and 13 steals. With those three playing to their capabilities, it should be little surprise that the first-place White Sox are a playoff contender again.
 
11Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 13
WAR Winning Percentage: .526; Current Winning Percentage: .551; WAR Wins: 41; Current Wins: 43

Johnny Cueto may be the biggest All-Star snub this season. After posting a 2.31 ERA in 2011, Cueto has followed it up with a 2.26 ERA this year in 107 2/3 innings. Considering no other Cincinnati starter has an ERA below 4.00, Cueto?s performance has been nearly as vital to the team?s first place standing as Joey Votto?s.
 
12Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 15
WAR Winning Percentage: .526; Current Winning Percentage: .494; WAR Wins: 42; Current Wins: 39

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have played 22 more games than Austin Jackson, yet Jackson still easily trumps both in WAR through the first half of the year. His walk rate is higher than both of his more celebrated teammates? and his Isolated Power is actually higher than Fielder?s. The improvements that Jackson has made to his game are very noticeable, as his walk rate is up and his strikeout rate is down. At this point, it looks like Jackson is the best all-around position player for Detroit.
 
13Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 12
WAR Winning Percentage: .522; Current Winning Percentage: .444; WAR Wins: 42; Current Wins: 36

Things continue to get worse for the Phillies, but they are still not as bad as their record suggests. While the team is apparently shopping Cole Hamels, the Phillies still have a good enough team to be a playoff contender with a few breaks going their way. Getting Chase Utley back into the lineup is one of them, though at 11 games behind, Philadelphia still has a long way to go to join the NL East race.
 
14Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 7
WAR Winning Percentage: .550; Current Winning Percentage: .515; WAR Wins: 41; Current Wins: 44

Going 2-11 over the past 13 games is definitely not the way the Dodgers wanted to roll into the final week of the first half, but it was rather predictable given how injured they currently are. With Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp both out, the Dodgers have really struggled scoring any runs at all. From Monday to Saturday last week the Dodgers scored just two runs in six games, with both coming in the same game.
 
15Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 17
WAR Winning Percentage: .502; Current Winning Percentage: .526; WAR Wins: 39; Current Wins: 41

Coming into the season the Braves were touted as having one of the deepest pitching staffs in the game. With injuries and poor performance at the back end of their rotation, though, Atlanta is suddenly hurting for quality starters. That helps explain why the Braves decided to sign veteran Ben Sheets to a one-year contract. Maybe Sheets, who hasn?t pitched in the majors since 2010, never even gets called up to Atlanta, but the Braves are willing to take the risk to see if Sheets can throw as he did in his days in Milwaukee. Expect Atlanta to be heavily involved in the trade market for starting pitching.
 
16Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 18
WAR Winning Percentage: .496; Current Winning Percentage: .462; WAR Wins: 39; Current Wins: 36

The Brewers are just seven games out of first place in the NL Central, so a good week could put them right back in the race. It seems a bit early to concede that Zack Greinke will be traded considering how weak the NL Central has been and how good the top four in Milwaukee?s rotation are. If they do fall out of it, the Brewers will at least get a ton back for Greinke, who will likely be the most sought after trade piece at the deadline.
 
17Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 11
WAR Winning Percentage: .495; Current Winning Percentage: .519; WAR Wins: 39; Current Wins: 41

Evan Longoria is restarting his rehab process after he suffered a setback on June 18. The Rays desperately need the slugger back before they fall out of contention, because the Yankees and Red Sox are playing much better baseball than Tampa Bay right now. The Rays have just a 90 wRC+ from third base, which includes the 165 mark from Longoria in the 23 games he played before his injury. The fourth-place Rays should be fortunate to be where they are without their star position player, so his return after the All-Star break could be a huge catalyst to another late season run in Tampa Bay.
 
18Miami Marlins
Last Week: 21
WAR Winning Percentage: .470; Current Winning Percentage: .487; WAR Wins: 37; Current Wins: 38

Outside of the injury to Emilio Bonifacio, the Marlins have been a relatively healthy group, so their mediocre 38-40 record so far can only be blamed on poor play. Although Hanley Ramirez has been an above average hitter this season, this is the second straight year he?s hit well below his career norms. Over the past two seasons, Ramirez has a .250/.333/.408 line, compared to his career line of .302/.376/.501. At some point, he needs to start hitting like the Hanley of old for the Marlins to get back into the race.
 
19Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 16
WAR Winning Percentage: .468; Current Winning Percentage: .538; WAR Wins: 36; Current Wins: 42

The Orioles went just 1-5 last week, allowing at least six runs in every game -- including their lone win. The hitting is still there for Baltimore, but the pitching is slacking as the Orioles are attempting to stay in the race in a tough AL East. Although Jason Hammel had a miserable game last week in which he allowed eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings, he has had a good enough season that one such start does not mean he?s regressing to the uninspiring pitcher he was before arriving in Baltimore at the start of the year.
 
20Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 23
WAR Winning Percentage: .464; Current Winning Percentage: .513; WAR Wins: 36; Current Wins: 40

The Indians made the right call in sending down Jenmar Gomez and recalling Zach McAllister. In his five starts this year, McAllister has a 2.76 FIP and a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk rate. McAllister was very impressive at Triple-A as well, with an ERA below 3.00. Most of the Indians starters have been inconsistent throughout the season, so if McAllister keeps up this pace then the Indians may move up the rankings rapidly.
 
21Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 20
WAR Winning Percentage: .461; Current Winning Percentage: .455; WAR Wins: 36; Current Wins: 35

With Jeff Francoeur looking like he is reverting to pre-2011 form, it would be in the best interest of the Royals to give Wil Myers a shot with the big club. Myers has hit 26 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A this season. The AL Central is still a rather weak and open division ? the Royals are only six games out -- so a big boost from Myers could push them right next to the White Sox, Tigers and Indians.
 
22Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 22
WAR Winning Percentage: .461; Current Winning Percentage: .538; WAR Wins: 36; Current Wins: 42

The Pirates are starting to move up the rankings as their record looks increasingly legitimate. Pedro Alvarez has pushed his OBP above .300 and Garrett Jones has 10 home runs, supplying the Pirates with some reasonably effective hitters outside of Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates staff has been good enough that they only need a few runs to win each night, and if their bats continue to improve then they could sustain their success throughout the year.
 
23Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 19
WAR Winning Percentage: .456; Current Winning Percentage: .506; WAR Wins: 36; Current Wins: 40

In a time when a majority of their rotation is injured, Ricky Romero really needs to start step up for Toronto. His 2.92 ERA last season was most certainly a mirage, as it did not closely correlate with his 3.80 xFIP, but he is also not as bad of a pitcher as he has been this year. The Blue Jays need much better than a 4.94 ERA from their defacto staff ace to remain an above .500 ball club.
 
24Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 24
WAR Winning Percentage: .438; Current Winning Percentage: .385; WAR Wins: 34; Current Wins: 30

The Rockies are most certainly out of the race in the NL West, but at least their fans are getting some entertainment out of Dexter Fowler. The centerfielder is just one triple away from having at least 10 in every one of his first four seasons. For his career, he has 48 three-baggers. He isn?t only hitting triples this year either, as he already has a career high in home runs and has a 144 wRC+.
 
25Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 25
WAR Winning Percentage: .432; Current Winning Percentage: .475; WAR Wins: 35; Current Wins: 38

As the A?s continue to struggle, more players will be made available in trade. Seth Smith?s quality .372 OBP in a tough park to hit in will make him a pretty valuable commodity at the deadline for any team looking for a lefty corner outfielder or designated hitter. Brandon McCarthy, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, will also be an interesting trade candidate for a team looking for starting pitching.
 
26Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 27
WAR Winning Percentage: .418; Current Winning Percentage: .372; WAR Wins: 33; Current Wins: 29

Anthony Rizzo?s arrival should give Cubs fans something to get excited about the rest of the season. The Cubs are expected to trade off most of their players, so Rizzo?s performance for the rest of the year will be one of the only remaining storylines in the North Side. The young first baseman hit 23 home runs in 70 Triple-A games this year and has hit .263 with one home run in his first five games with Chicago.
 
27Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 28
WAR Winning Percentage: .414; Current Winning Percentage: .420; WAR Wins: 34; Current Wins: 34

It is certainly not a good thing when your second most valuable position player according to WAR has been a shortstop who is hitting just .182 on the season, but that is the situation Seattle finds itself in with Brendan Ryan. Though Ryan has not hit at all this year, he continues to be one of the best defensive players in the game. At the deadline, with a few contenders struggling on the free agent front, a player like Ryan may have some trade value.
 
28Houston Astros
Last Week: 26
WAR Winning Percentage: .412; Current Winning Percentage: .405; WAR Wins: 33; Current Wins: 32

The Dodgers and Astros had agreed to a deal that would have sent Carlos Lee to the Dodgers, but Lee denied it with his no trade clause. Lee had the chance to go from a bad team to a contender, but opted to stay where he has played since signing his mega-contract in 2007. It has to be frustrating not only for the offense-starved Dodgers but also for the Astros, who were not able to get a prospect and now can?t play Brett Wallace everyday at first base.
 
29San Diego Padres
Last Week: 29
WAR Winning Percentage: .397; Current Winning Percentage: .375; WAR Wins: 32; Current Wins: 30

The Padres gave Cameron Maybin a five-year, $25 million contract after his breakout 2011 campaign, but the centerfielder has certainly not lived up to the contract this season. Maybin has been a replacement level player this year, with an exactly 0 WAR, as he has hit .202/.281/.289 on the season. While the Padres struggles are unsurprising, Maybin?s awful season has to be concerning for the future of the franchise.
 
30Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 30
WAR Winning Percentage: .374; Current Winning Percentage: .423; WAR Wins: 29; Current Wins: 33

Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham are becoming the bash brothers of Minnesota, with 18 and 17 home runs, respectively. Willingham?s power has been there all year, but this type of pop from Plouffe is unexpected. The Twins have played better as of late, but are still a bad team with little pitching outside of Scott Diamond. Francisco Liriano may net a solid return via trade if he keeps up his performance over his next few starts.

 
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