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MLB power rankings: First-place Giants face daunting week with series vs. Dodgers and Astros

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Maintaining the top spot in this week's MLB power rankings, the San Francisco Giants have a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West entering Monday, a huge week for the team with home series against the Dodgers and AL West-leading Houston Astros.

The Giants took three of four from the Dodgers on the road last week, but the Dodgers hold a 7-6 advantage in the season series. After hosting their division rivals, the Giants face off with the Astros, who enter Monday tied for the AL's best record with a 5 ½-lead over the Oakland Athletics.

The next seven days may very well determine the trajectory of the NL West race heading into August.

Buster Posey rounds the bases after hitting a homer against the Dodgers on July 19.
Buster Posey rounds the bases after hitting a homer against the Dodgers on July 19.

Here's our seven-person panel voted this week:

Rank (movement from last week)

1. San Francisco Giants (–)

2. Boston Red Sox (+2)

  • Alex Verdugo struggling against lefties (.492 OPS) but has .907 mark vs RHP.

3. Houston Astros (-1)

  • Kyle Tucker's first 15 games in July: 5 homers, 4 steals, 1.019 OPS

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (-1)

  • Blake Treinen didn't give up a run with seven holds through 10 games in July.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (+1)

  • Tampa Bay's addition of Nelson Cruz shakes up AL East race.

6. Chicago White Sox (-1)

  • Eloy Jimenez finally ready to be activated following pectoral surgery in March

7. San Diego Padres (–)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. could be joining the 40-40 club this season.

8. Oakland Athletics (–)

  • Looking like Oakland will end up in the wild-card game for the third time since 2018.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (–)

  • Six of next nine games are against last-place Pirates.

10. New York Mets (–)

  • Tylor Megill has been a godsend with a 2.10 ERA and 33 K through six starts.

11. New York Yankees (+4)

  • Gleyber Torres getting hot? Shortstop hit 3 HR in eight games since the break.

12. Seattle Mariners (+4)

  • Seattle heads into August in striking position for a wild-card spot.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (-1)

  • George Springer hit three homers in first eight games after All-Star break.

14. Cincinnati Reds (-3)

  • Jonathan India batting .344 with a .515 OBP through 18 July games.

15. Cleveland (-2)

16. Philadelphia Phillies (-2)

  • Phillies play eight of 11 vs. Nationals before finally getting a shot at the Mets.

17. Atlanta Braves (–)

  • Joc Pederson had eight RBI in first nine games with Braves.

18. St. Louis Cardinals (+3)

  • Kwang Hyun Kim (2.88 ERA in 17 starts) has been huge in the absence of Jack Flaherty.

19. Los Angeles Angels (-1)

  • Justin Upton returns to the lineup after a month on the IL.

20. Chicago Cubs (-1)

  • Who will be left in Chicago after the July 30 trade deadline?

21. Washington Nationals (+1)

  • Nationals have lost 13 of 18 games after Kyle Schwarber went down.

22. Detroit Tigers (+2)

  • Rookie Tarik Skubal is turning heads with a 3.36 ERA with 78 K over last 11 starts.

23. Miami Marlins (-1)

  • Rookie Zach Thompson (2.45 ERA in seven starts) has been a nice surprise for Miami.

24. Colorado Rockies (-1)

  • Kyle Freeland had a 2.25 ERA in 28 innings over five starts from June 22-July 17.

25. Kansas City Royals (+1)

  • Salvador Perez nearing career-highs in home runs and RBI.

26. Minnesota Twins (-1)

  • Nelson Cruz finishes Twins career with 76 HR, 191 RBI, .984 OPS in 258 games.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (+1)

  • Wilmer Difo (.281 in 121 at-bats) has done well with semi-regular playing time.

28. Texas Rangers (-1)

  • Rangers heading for a third last-place finish in four seasons.

29. Baltimore Orioles (–)

  • John Means back in the rotation after six weeks on the injured list.

30. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)

  • Team may be unrecognizable after the trade deadline.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Giants schedule is daunting vs. Dodgers, Astros