MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers return to the No. 1 spot with a splash

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If this were the Mad Burn Power Rankings instead of the MLB Power Rankings, the result would be the same this week. The Los Angeles Dodgers would be perched atop the list.

I’m talking, of course, about Max Muncy’s wonderful burn to San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Sunday. If you missed it, Muncy took MadBum deep. Bumgarner got mad that Muncy didn’t immediately break into the 40-yard dash and scolded him as he was rounding the bases.

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Asked afterward about what they said to each other, Muncy unloaded what might be the quote of the year in MLB: “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

I don’t put together the Power Rankings based on trash talk, but this does say something about the Dodgers and their swagger right now. They’ve got the best record in the league these days, the second-best run differential and they’ve won eight of their last 10.

That gives us another shake-up atop the Power Rankings, which remain very close as far as our Top 3 teams are concerned. The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins are keeping things quite close and a few games here or there could see them moved around next week.

It’s a fun time of year for that type of stuff. Here’s how I see MLB this week.

Max Muncy celebrates his homer off Madison Bumgarner on Sunday. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Max Muncy celebrates his homer off Madison Bumgarner on Sunday. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

THE TOP 10

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (45-21; last week: 2)

Yes, it’s not even July yet, but add this to the list of Dodgers notes above: They already have an 11-game lead in the NL West over the Rockies and D-backs. We’ve seen 11-game leads die later in the season than this, but still, that’s impressive.

2. Houston Astros (45-22; last week: 3)

Credit to the Astros for winning five games last week, but doing it against the Mariners and Orioles isn’t going to win over any Power Rankers. Good for the general standings though.

3. Minnesota Twins (43-21; last week: 1)

I finally gave the Twins the No. 1 spot last week and they responded by losing two of three to the rival Indians. Things are too close in these rankings to let that slide.

4. New York Yankees (40-24; last week: 4)

The Yankees and Rays enter the week tied for the AL East lead. Despite the Yankees having a rough week — losing series to both the Indians and Blue Jays — I’m still riding with New York slightly ahead of the Rays because the Yankees potential to dominate is still more daunting.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (40-24; last week: 5)

In a series that felt like it could have been a turning point for both teams, the Rays took three of four from the Red Sox, maintaining their spot in the AL East pecking order. Had it gone the other way, we might be having a very different conversation right now.

6. Milwaukee Brewers (38-22; last week: 6)

Of all the good teams on this list, only one of them made this happen: When Mike Moustakas homered Sunday, the ball hit a car past the fence, a promo that meant one lucky fan won a car. The Brewers are No. 1 in that fan’s eternal power rankings.

7. Chicago Cubs (37-27; last week:10)

The Cubs made up for last week’s sweep at the hands of the rival Cardinals by sweeping the Cardinals this weekend, which vaults them back up the rankings. The addition of Craig Kimbrel as their closer only serves to solidify the Cubs’ long-term prospects in our Top 10.

8. Philadelphia Phillies (37-28; last week: 8)

The Phillies sit atop the NL East with the Braves closely behind. The good thing for Philly: It still doesn’t feel like we’ve seen this team at its best.

9. Atlanta Braves (36-29; last week: 7)

The Braves made a strong addition by getting starter Dallas Keuchel, which puts them in a much better position to fight with for the NL East crown with the Phillies. As coincidence would have it, their starting pitchers’ ERA ranks 13th in MLB. Right behind the Phillies.

10. Boston Red Sox (34-32; last week: 11)

The Red Sox still haven’t fully broken out of their early-season rut. They’re above .500 now and look like they have that October potential that makes them a team to fear, but in the past month, they’ve only managed to beat the Mariners, Blue Jays and Royals in series, while losing to every good team they’ve faced.

NEXT UP

11. St. Louis Cardinals (31-32; last week: 9)

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (34-32; last week 14)

13. Cleveland Indians (33-32; last week: 16)

14. Colorado Rockies (33-31; last week: 12)

15. San Diego Padres (33-33; last week: 13)

The Cardinals got booted out of the Top 10 after getting swept by the Cubs. The biggest gainer here is the Indians, who still haven’t figured everything out, but they took series from the Yankees and Twins last week, which is a good sign. The Padres, Rockies and D-backs are also playing for second-place in the NL West, it feels like.

Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor (12) reacts after stealing home in the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Getty Images)
Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor (12) reacts after stealing home in the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Getty Images)

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

16. Texas Rangers (34-30; last week: 15)

17. Oakland A’s (33-33; last week: 18)

18. New York Mets (32-33; last week: 20)

19. Washington Nationals (30-35; last week: 21)

20. Los Angeles Angels (31-35; last week: 17)

Try as I might, I just can’t believe in the Rangers much more than this. The record is good and has stayed pretty solid for the past month, but they’re near the bottom of the league in strength of schedule. I also can’t believe the Nats are really this bad of a team. Their four-straight homers on Sunday prove the potential is there. They’ve been a little better lately, but is it too late?

IT’S NOT LOOKING GOOD DOWN HERE

21. Chicago White Sox (31-33; last week: 19)

22. Pittsburgh Pirates (30-34; last week: 23)

23. Cincinnati Reds (29-35; last week: 22)

24. Seattle Mariners (28-41; last week: 24)

25. San Francisco Giants (26-38; last week: 25)

Nobody here is winning anything this year, but kudos to the Chicago White Sox who are staying close to .500. They’re not in “try to win” mode right now, but it goes to show it’s not too far off if their young players continue to evolve.

THE CELLAR

26. Miami Marlins (23-40; last week: 27)

27. Detroit Tigers (24-38; last week: 26)

28. Toronto Blue Jays (23-42; last week: 28)

29. Kansas City Royals (20-45; last week: 29)

30. Baltimore Orioles (20-45; last week: 30)

The Marlins reach No. 26 this week by virtue of the Tigers’ second-to-last run differential. The Orioles are the bottom of our barrel, but the distance between them and the Royals isn’t all that much.

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