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MLB power rankings: Yankees and Padres are on the outside looking in

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Most of Major League Baseball's division races are settled heading into the final fortnight of the regular season, but the NL East and NL West are separated by two games or less and wild-card spots are still up for grabs.

Through Sunday, the Boston Red Sox are a game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for the top AL wild-card spot, while the New York Yankees (1½ GB), Oakland Athletics (2 GB) and Seattle Mariners (4 GB) remain in the race.

In the NL, the St. Louis Cardinals' eight-game winning streak has them holding the second wild-card spot with the Cincinnati Reds (3 GB), Philadelphia Phillies (3½ GB) and San Diego Padres (3½ GB) in pursuit.

Here's how USA TODAY Sports' seven-person panel voted this week:

Rank (movement from last week)

1. San Francisco Giants (–)

  • Shortstop Brandon Crawford ties career high with 21 home runs.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)

  • Good week to overtake the Giants with series vs. Rockies and Diamondbacks.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (–)

  • Wander Franco slashing .326.392/.519 with 22 RBI since Aug. 1.

4. Milwaukee Brewers (–)

  • Team can afford to rest shortstop Willy Adames, who is returning from a quad injury.

5. Houston Astros (–)

  • Kyle Tucker leads the team with a .910 OPS.

6. Chicago White Sox (+1)

  • Yasmani Grandal in 17 games since return from IL: .379/.500/.793 with 7 HR, 20 RBI.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (-1)

  • Deadline acquisition Jose Berrios has a 3.21 ERA with 45 strikeouts in his last seven starts.

8. Boston Red Sox (–)

  • Chris Sale has a 2.40 ERA in 30 innings since making 2021 debut.

9. New York Yankees (–)

  • Yankees finish season 11-8 vs. Orioles. Meanwhile, Rays went 18-1, Red Sox are 12-4.

10. Oakland Athletics (+2)

  • Oakland's final 13 games are all against the Mariners and Astros.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (+4)

  • Cardinals seize NL's second wild-card spot with eight-game winning streak.

12. Atlanta Braves (-2)

  • Eddie Rosario, who hit for the cycle Sunday, has a 1.115 OPS in 19 games for Atlanta.

13. Seattle Mariners (–)

  • Mariners will host 2023 All-Star Game, their first since 2001.

14. Philadelphia Phillies (+2)

  • Bryce Harper could become Phillies' first MVP since Jimmy Rollins in 2007.

15. San Diego Padres (-4)

  • Fading fast, Padres' final two weeks are brutal: Six vs. Giants, three vs. Braves and Dodgers.

16. Cincinnati Reds (-2)

  • Reliever Lucas Sims has 18 strikeouts with no walks in his last 10 appearances.

17. Cleveland (+1)

  • Dealt a big blow to Yankees' hopes by taking two of three – including 11-3 and 11-1 wins.

18. New York Mets (-1)

  • Will team extend qualifying offers to Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard?

19. Los Angeles Angels (–)

  • Angels heading for a sixth consecutive losing season.

20. Detroit Tigers (–)

  • Tigers are going to be a team to keep an eye on in 2022.

21. Colorado Rockies

  • Nine-game homestand could be Denver's last chance to see Trevor Story in a Rockies uniform.

22. Kansas City Royals (–)

  • Adalberto Mondesi has 11 steals (only caught once) in 24 games.

23. Chicago Cubs (–)

  • Frank Schwindel keeps hitting: .381/.432/.739 with 7 HR, 18 RBI in 16 August games.

24. Miami Marlins (–)

  • Public service announcement: Sandy Alcantara is a bonafide ace.

25. Minnesota Twins (–)

  • Twins can play spoiler this weekend with four-game set in Toronto.

26. Washington Nationals (–)

  • Juan Soto leads the majors in intentional walks.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)

  • Lefty Anthony Banda has a 2.95 ERA in 17 games for Pittsburgh.

28. Texas Rangers (–)

  • Rangers need to finish 8-5 to avoid first 100-loss season since 1973.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)

  • Arizona reaches 100 losses for the second time in franchise history.

30. Baltimore Orioles (–)

  • Cedric Mullins 30/30 watch: 29 homers, 30 steals through Sunday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: New York Yankees on the outside looking in