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MLB power rankings: Giants-Dodgers showdown looms in a potentially fateful week

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Fighting for first place in the National League West, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers enter what could prove to be a fateful week in the race, both facing NL division leaders before meeting for a weekend series in San Francisco.

The Giants host the Milwaukee Brewers for a four-game set to start the week while the Dodgers welcome the Atlanta Braves for three games with an off day before the NL West showdown begins Friday.

The three-game series at Dodger Stadium will be the last time the Giants and Dodgers meet in the regular season.

San Francisco holds a 2½-game lead heading into Monday, with both teams having dropped two of three games over the weekend – the Giants in Atlanta and the Dodgers at home against the Colorado Rockies.

Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto and Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols during a game in July.
Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto and Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols during a game in July.

Rank (movement from last week)

1. San Francisco Giants (–)

  • Top prospect Joey Bart could be the X-factor for Giants down the stretch – and into the postseason.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)

  • Tough stretch ahead with series vs. Braves, Giants, Cardinals and Padres.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (–)

  • Won 18 of 19 games against the Orioles this season.

4. Houston Astros (–)

  • Five different Astros pitchers are striking out more than a batter per inning

5. Milwaukee Brewers (–)

6. New York Yankees (–)

7. Chicago White Sox (–)

  • Jose Abreu becomes first player to reach 100 RBI in 2021.

8. Atlanta Braves (+1)

  • Jorge Soler hit seven homers with 15 RBI in first 25 games with Braves.

9. Boston Red Sox (+2)

  • All-Star reliever Matt Barnes gave up 10 earned runs in 11 August appearances.

10. Oakland Athletics (-2)

  • Starling Marte stole 20(!) bases and hit .342 in first 28 games with Oakland.

11. Cincinnati Reds (-1)

  • Joey Votto leads MLB with 17 HR and 43 RBI in the second half.

12. Toronto Blue Jays (+1)

  • Robbie Ray has a real shot at winning the AL Cy Young Award.

13. San Diego Padres (-1)

  • Joe Musgrove has been (even more) dominant in the second half.

14. Seattle Mariners (–)

  • Ty France's second half: .341 average with 8 HR, 23 RBI in 40 games.

15. Philadelphia Phillies (+1)

  • Only two series remaining against teams above .500.

16. St. Louis Cardinals (-1)

  • Alex Reyes' struggles have Cardinals re-evaluating the ninth inning.

17. Cleveland (+2)

  • Myles Straw batting .276 with five stolen bases since trade from Houston.

18. New York Mets (-1)

  • Lineup is finally at full strength but there may be too much ground to make up.

19. Los Angeles Angels (-1)

  • Shohei Ohtani has a better slugging percentage against lefties than vs. RHP.

20. Detroit Tigers (–)

  • Casey Mize is quietly having a terrific rookie season: 3.55 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 24 starts.

21. Kansas City Royals (+2)

22. Colorado Rockies (-1)

  • C.J. Cron's last 44 games: 1.038 OPS, 12 HR and 42 RBI.

23. Minnesota Twins (-1)

24. Miami Marlins (–)

  • Edward Cabrera impresses with quality start in MLB debut.

25. Washington Nationals (–)

  • Juan Soto has 11 HR in 39 games since Home Run Derby – equaling his first-half total.

26. Chicago Cubs (–)

  • Cubs touched up former teammate Craig Kimbrel for six runs in three games.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)

  • Getting 23-year-older starter Bryse Wilson for Richard Rodriguez was a good move.

28. Texas Rangers (–)

  • Rangers looking to avoid first 100-loss season since 1973.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)

  • Zac Gallen back on track (2.12 ERA in last three starts) after an inconsistent stretch.

30. Baltimore Orioles (–)

  • Cedric Mullins has 24 home runs and 24 steals through Sunday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Dodgers, Giants battle atop NL West standings