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15-Sep-2019 15:49

5 on the strength of series wins against the Twins and Blue Jays -- and the Brewers, as Milwaukee displaced the Cubs in the rankings and kept their hold of the National League Central lead.

The week's biggest gain in the rankings was by the Mets, who moved up four slots by notching their first month of .500 baseball in June, winning seven of their past nine games.

The Rockies have to hope they can regroup with a homestand against the Reds and White Sox before the break. 12Not even the most optimistic Brewers fan would have predicted their team would be leading the NL Central on the July Fourth weekend, but here we are.

Despite Eric Thames' slump, Milwaukee hit 49 home runs in June, third most in MLB.

Drew does bring a little power, with nine home runs in 203 at-bats dating back to the start of last season. 3With shortstop Nick Ahmed out for up to two months after surgery to repair a fracture in his right hand, it's good that center fielder A. Pollock is due back from the disabled list shortly to shore up their interior defense.

A rotation that's just barely second in MLB to the Dodgers in ERA and has four starters with ERAs of 3.30 or better has already had to get by with a slightly below-average defense, and taking Ahmed out of the mix could hurt a ground-ball-dependent starter such as Zack Godley. 8The Red Sox have sole possession of the American League East lead for the first time this season.

Their reaching the midpoint of the schedule at 41-41 apparently was enough to finally disenchant the voters.

Within the top 10, the biggest moves up were made by the Red Sox -- who climbed three spots to reach No.

His 4.04 FIP (as compared to a 5.17 ERA) suggests that he might be closer to the good Wainwright than the bad one. 14Miguel Sano is the first Twins player with 20 homers before the All-Star break since Justin Morneau had 21 at the break in 2009. His start was the longest scoreless turn from any Orioles pitcher this season. Their bullpen is still terrible, and their starting pitchers aren't far behind.They could use a big week to reach the break on a high note. 13It might be easy to mock the Rangers' bullpen after they picked up Jason Grilli (nine homers allowed in 20⅔ innings as a Blue Jay), but the race to beat the Nationals to any relief help on the scrap heap is no laughing matter. 16The Angels have clawed their way back to second place in the AL West with the help of a bullpen that has been one of the best in baseball since the start of June, while journeyman Ricky Nolasco hasn't allowed a run in his past 15⅓ innings after a couple of rough starts.If the rest of their pitching improves -- while trying a closer-by-committee approach -- not only will they keep themselves in the hunt for a wild card, they'll earn the right to keep staff ace Yu Darvish for the stretch. And there might be good news on the horizon: Mike Trout's 30-minute workout on Friday "went great," so his return from the DL might not be far off. 11Just when you thought you might want to chuck Mike Zunino onto the pile of Mariners prospects who didn't work out, he has totally turned things around, with a .955 OPS and 11 homers since his recall from a demotion to the minors in May.Outscoring the Padres by 43 runs in several blowouts is a big part of that, and it isn't the Dodgers' fault there's no slaughter rule. Gonzalez has a .975 OPS and a career-high 14 homers, despite starting just 53 games (at five different positions), while Marisnick has chipped in 10 homers to earn more starts in center field. Possibly having to find a new rotation temp after David Paulino got a season-ending suspension for PEDs. 4The Nationals have hit a bit of a cold spell, but they still finished their first 81 games on pace to win 96 for the season. In his past 12 games, Turner had hit .367 with 13 stolen bases and 13 runs scored.Stephen Drew is a respectable replacement, but he's definitely not Turner.

His 4.04 FIP (as compared to a 5.17 ERA) suggests that he might be closer to the good Wainwright than the bad one. 14Miguel Sano is the first Twins player with 20 homers before the All-Star break since Justin Morneau had 21 at the break in 2009. His start was the longest scoreless turn from any Orioles pitcher this season. Their bullpen is still terrible, and their starting pitchers aren't far behind.They could use a big week to reach the break on a high note. 13It might be easy to mock the Rangers' bullpen after they picked up Jason Grilli (nine homers allowed in 20⅔ innings as a Blue Jay), but the race to beat the Nationals to any relief help on the scrap heap is no laughing matter. 16The Angels have clawed their way back to second place in the AL West with the help of a bullpen that has been one of the best in baseball since the start of June, while journeyman Ricky Nolasco hasn't allowed a run in his past 15⅓ innings after a couple of rough starts.If the rest of their pitching improves -- while trying a closer-by-committee approach -- not only will they keep themselves in the hunt for a wild card, they'll earn the right to keep staff ace Yu Darvish for the stretch. And there might be good news on the horizon: Mike Trout's 30-minute workout on Friday "went great," so his return from the DL might not be far off. 11Just when you thought you might want to chuck Mike Zunino onto the pile of Mariners prospects who didn't work out, he has totally turned things around, with a .955 OPS and 11 homers since his recall from a demotion to the minors in May.Outscoring the Padres by 43 runs in several blowouts is a big part of that, and it isn't the Dodgers' fault there's no slaughter rule. Gonzalez has a .975 OPS and a career-high 14 homers, despite starting just 53 games (at five different positions), while Marisnick has chipped in 10 homers to earn more starts in center field. Possibly having to find a new rotation temp after David Paulino got a season-ending suspension for PEDs. 4The Nationals have hit a bit of a cold spell, but they still finished their first 81 games on pace to win 96 for the season. In his past 12 games, Turner had hit .367 with 13 stolen bases and 13 runs scored.Stephen Drew is a respectable replacement, but he's definitely not Turner.This week's climb could be the start of a bigger move in the rankings. 5With a homer and a double, Clint Frazier had an arrival for the ages to become the latest Yankee making his major league debut this season.