Fangraphs: Rangers return to top spot while Dodgers shake up NL West - Sports Illustrated

Rangers return to top spot while Dodgers shake up NL West

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The Rangers are back on top of the rankings this week, as they bludgeoned the Orioles and Twins, re-taking the top spot through sheer offensive force. The Nationals fall back to third place after dropping four straight to end the week, including a weekend sweep at the hands of the Phillies.

However, the big news of the week again comes out west, as the Dodgers simply will not give up in their pursuit of the NL West title. After getting swept by the Giants to begin the week, Los Angeles continued to flex its financial muscle on Friday, agreeing to take on over $260 million in salary by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox. The Dodgers new ownership has now invested over $400 million in player acquisitions or re-signings since taking over the team in May, and is showing that money may really be no object in their quest to return one of the game's signature franchises to the playoffs.

Whether acquiring several core players from one of baseball's biggest underachievers will really be the key to their October dreams remains to be seen, however. For now, the Dodgers are on the outside looking in, and they'll need Gonzalez and Beckett ? Crawford is out for the season after having elbow surgery ? to perform substantially better in their new uniforms than they did in their old ones.

NOTE: All stats are through Sunday, August 26.

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