MLB power rankings: Mets, Braves meet again while Phillies surge in roller-coaster NL East
Barely a week after a five-game series in New York, the Mets and Atlanta Braves face off for another four starting Monday, a crucial set that will help decide who wins the National League East.
The Mets have a 5 ½-game lead entering Monday and won four of the five at Citi Field. The Braves haven't lost a game since, winning six in a row last week to pick up 1 ½ games.
New York took two of three over the weekend from the Philadelphia Phillies, who had won seven of eight to establish a firm hold on the NL's third wild-card spot. They'll meet again this upcoming weekend for four more in Philadelphia.
Here's how USA TODAY Sports' eight-person panel voted this week:
Rank (movement from last week)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)
- Dustin May, out since May 2021 due to Tommy John surgery, set to return in the next week.
2. Houston Astros (–)
- Alex Bregman hitting .333 (28-for-84) with a 1.001 OPS since the All-Star break.
3. New York Mets (–)
- Francisco Lindor breaks Jose Reyes' single-season franchise SS record with his 82nd RBI of 2022.
4. New York Yankees (–)
- Team's .221 average in August ranks in the bottom half of the AL.
5. Atlanta Braves (–)
- Riding a six-game winning streak into big four-game set vs. Mets at Truist Park.
6. Philadelphia Phillies (+3)
- 10 of the Phillies' next 14 games are against the Reds and Pirates.
7. San Diego Padres (-1)
- With PED suspension, Fernando Tatis Jr. will officially miss the entirety of his age 23 season.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (–)
- With two homers Sunday vs. Brewers, Albert Pujols enters the week with 689 in his career.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (-2)
- Jose Berrios has given up an AL-worst 26 home runs in his 23 starts.
10. Seattle Mariners (–)
- George Kirby has a 2.18 ERA with 24 strikeouts and only three walks in his last four starts.
11. Milwaukee Brewers (+1)
- Trevor Rosenthal, acquired from the Giants, nearing the start a rehab assignment.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (+1)
- Drew Rasmussen took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Sunday vs. Baltimore.
13. Cleveland Guardians (+2)
- Having won seven of eight, Cleveland enters Monday with a 2 ½-game lead in the AL Central.
14. Baltimore Orioles (–)
- Anthony Santander (.341 average past 30 days) and Jorge Mateo (.338) have been on fire.
15. Minnesota Twins (-4)
- Fading in playoff race, Twins need to win vs. Royals, Rangers in seven-game homestand.
16. Chicago White Sox (–)
- Andrew Vaughn is hitting .351 with a .999 OPS in his last 15 games.
17. San Francisco Giants (+1)
- Entering the week six games out of the NL's third wild-card spot.
18. Boston Red Sox (-1)
- Only 4 ½ games back in the wild-card, but there's three other teams ahead of them.
19. Texas Rangers (–)
- Corey Seager has already tied his career high with 26 home runs.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks (+1)
- Tough week ahead with series against Giants and Cardinals.
21. Miami Marlins (-1)
- Edward Cabrera tosses 10 ⅔ scoreless innings in his first two starts off the IL.
22. Los Angeles Angels (+1)
- Injured Mike Trout taking batting practice, will face live pitching in the coming days.
23. Colorado Rockies (-1)
- Shortstop Jose Iglesias is hitting .368 in his last 30 games.
24. Chicago Cubs (–)
- "This is not the type of baseball Cubs fans deserve," owner Tom Ricketts told ESPN.
25. Cincinnati Reds (–)
- Joey Votto on Nick Lodolo: “In my opinion, he’s got as much potential as any of the young starters of ours."
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (+1)
- Right-hander Mitch Keller has a 2.45 ERA in his last five starts.
27. Detroit Tigers (-1)
- General manager Al Avila fired after seven seasons.
28. Kansas City Royals (–)
- They've been playing around .500 ball for the past two months.
29. Oakland Athletics (–)
- Jed Lowrie designated for assignment by Oakland.
30. Washington Nationals (–)
- Shortstop C.J. Abrams (Soto trade) getting called up after Luis Garcia's injury.