Nationals keep grip on top spot; more bad news for the Giants

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Even though they went 3-3, last week was not a very good one for the Giants. Outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games for failing a drug test, and the ban will keep him out through the remainder of the regular season, plus the first five games of the playoffs if they should advance to October baseball.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers played themselves into sole possession of first place in the NL West, while the Diamondbacks won four straight games to close to within 4 ½ games of San Francisco and are now the highest ranked NL West club on this list. It won't be easy for the Giants to hold off Arizona, much less run down Los Angeles, now that they've lost one of their key cogs for the stretch run.

NOTE: All stats are through Sunday, August 19.

Rankings written by Ben Duronio of 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