MLB Power Rankings: Giants drop to middle of pack after losing streak

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MLB Power Rankings: Skid drops Giants to middle of pack originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the last homestand at Oracle Park, a Giants executive sat near the field and shook his head as he thought about the month ahead for Major League Baseball.

The three-day draft will start on Sunday, and two days later there's the All-Star Game. As fans have been preoccupied with All-Star selections and snubs, teams have been focusing on buttoning things up before the draft. But they won't get a breather when it's done.

Because the draft has been moved from June to July, front offices now go straight from that process to two weeks of preparing for the trade deadline. The addition of the third Wild Card spot makes that process even more complicated, as it's harder than ever to figure out who the true buyers and sellers are.

As the crazy stretch gets started, here's our latest look at where all 30 teams stand:

30. Nationals (30-58): They're not going to trade Juan Soto this summer, but they still have a slugger to offer. Josh Bell is having the best season of his career and currently has a .304/.386/.491 slash line with 12 homers.

29. A's (29-58): They're on pace for 108 losses, which would be their first 100-loss season since 1979 when they went 54-108. The next round of the fire sale should start any minute.

28. Royals (32-52): The first big move before the deadline could come out of Kansas City. All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi will be playing for a contender in three weeks.

27. Reds (32-54): They picked up catcher Michael Papierski after the Giants DFA'd him and he's actually getting semi-regular playing time. In 11 appearances, Papierski is 5-for-22 with three walks.

26. Pirates (36-50): Tyler Beede has a 3.18 ERA in 13 relief appearances and seems to be having a very good time:

25. Cubs (34-52): They scored five runs in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on Sunday and three more in the top of the third, but by the end of the third they trailed by a run. They lost 11-9. The rebuild is not going well.

24. Tigers (36-49): Javy Baez is the latest reminder that you have to be really careful when splashing cash in free agency. In the first season of a six-year, $140 million deal, he has a .249 on-base percentage.

23. Diamondbacks (38-48): After taking two of three from the Giants last week and completely demoralizing them, they visit Oracle Park. The Giants will see Merrill Kelly again, along with Dallas Keuchel and Zac Gallen.

22. Rockies (38-48): C.J. Cron was their All-Star selection after hitting 20 homers and it would be nice to see the first-timer in the Home Run Derby. He has the righty power to hit one into the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

21. Angels (38-49): Shohei Ohtani gets a ton of attention, but it's still not enough. He was voted into the All-Star Game as a DH and then was also chosen as a pitcher.

20. Rangers (39-44): They spent half a billion to upgrade their offense over the winter, but it's the pitching that now needs help. They have just one starter -- Martin Perez -- with an ERA under 4.00.

19. White Sox (41-43): Johnny Cueto isn't slowing down. With eight shutout innings on Saturday, he lowered his ERA to 2.91.

18. Guardians (41-42): Bay Area native Steven Kwan was one of the best stories in baseball the first couple of weeks and has kept his head above water after the league adjusted. He's batting .274 with a .358 on-base percentage, although he has just one homer.

17. Orioles (43-44): They swept the Angels to run their winning streak to eight games, their best since 2005, which leads to one of most unexpected questions of the season. Could the Orioles, only two out of a Wild Card spot, actually be buyers at the deadline? Probably not, but with a very good farm system and a payroll that comes in well under $50 million, they have plenty to spend if they want to.

16. Marlins (41-43): Clayton Kershaw is an all-time great, but the push from some reporters and Dodgers people over the last week to have Kershaw start the All-Star game is ridiculous. Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara has thrown more than twice as many innings as Kershaw, has a much lower ERA (1.73 to 2.40) and 42 more strikeouts. Let's not overcomplicate this.

15. Blue Jays (45-42): The biggest snub when All-Star rosters were announced might have been the former Giants co-ace, not the current one. Kevin Gausman leads the Majors in pitching fWAR and has by far the lowest FIP (1.67), along with a 2.86 ERA and 100 strikeouts.

14. Mariners (45-42): They're always active on the trade market -- especially when Farhan Zaidi calls -- but they might actually be back in a position to be buyers. With eight straight wins, they've tied the Blue Jays for the third Wild Card spot.

13. Giants (43-41): The No. 1 team here most of last year, they're down near the middle of the pack after a long stretch of mediocre baseball. After going 13-14 in May and 13-13 in June, they're 2-7 in July. The Diamondbacks and Brewers come to town to close out a disappointing first half.

12. Rays (45-40): They suffered a huge blow when young shortstop Wander Franco went on the IL with what is believed to be a hamate fracture. That injury, well-known to Giants fans, could cost him a couple of months and a lot of power.

11. Cardinals (46-42): Part of the reason Carlos Rodón got snubbed was because the NL went with five relievers, but man, it's hard to argue with their cases, too. Ryan Helsley was one of them and he has 54 strikeouts and a 0.75 ERA in 36 innings.

10. Twins (48-40): The batting champ as the All-Star break approaches? It's Twins first baseman Luis Arreaz, who is at .348.

9. Phillies (46-40): Kyle Schwarber's huge June kept them afloat after Bryce Harper went down, and he has continued to mash. He leads the NL with 28 homers, 10 shy of his career-high.

8. Brewers (48-39): A few old friends will be returning to San Francisco this week when the Brewers visit. Their bullpen includes Trevor Gott and Jandel Gustave, and Andrew McCutchen is one of their key right-handed bats.

7. Red Sox (47-39): They split with the first-place Yankees over the weekend and will get a big boost this week. Chris Sale will make his season debut Tuesday after missing most of the first half with a rib injury.

6. Padres (49-38): They hung around for a while, but their latest attempt at winning the NL West might be just about over. With back-to-back losses to the Giants over the weekend, they've fallen eight games behind the Dodgers.

5. Braves (52-35): A huge June got them back in an NL East race that looked over, and they've kept the push going in July. With wins in eight of their last 10, they're just 1 1/2 games behind a Mets team that once led the division by 10 1/2 games.

4. Mets (53-33): It won't be much longer before they get even stronger with Jacob deGrom's return. He's made two rehab starts and put up predictably absurd numbers: 4 2/3 innings, 3 hits, 11 strikeouts.

RELATED: Rodón, Wood lead way for Giants after frustrating stretch

3. Astros (56-29): For as much attention as the New York teams have gotten, the Astros provided a reminder that they're going to be right there at the end by going 6-2 during a three-series stretch against the Yankees and Mets, including 4-2 on the road. Their split at Yankee Stadium included a combined no-hitter.

2. Dodgers (56-29): Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin made the All-Star pitching staff, but former Giant Tyler Anderson also had a case. He has a 3.15 ERA in 16 appearances.

1. Yankees (61-25): They lead the Majors in runs scored, OPS and homers. They're also third in ERA and put two starters (Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes) and a closer (Clay Holmes) on the All-Star team. There's no doubt about who the best team in baseball is at the break.

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