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.

Pete Alonso reacts after scoring a run against the Phillies on Sunday.
Pete Alonso reacts after scoring a run against the Phillies on Sunday.

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)

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 (–)

26. Pittsburgh Pirates (+1)

  • Right-hander Mitch Keller has a 2.45 ERA in his last five starts.

27. Detroit Tigers (-1)

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.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Mets-Braves showdown, Phillies surge in NL East