The defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are showing no signs of slowing down.
After taking two of three in a hard-fought weekend series against the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers (13-3) are the unanimous choice at No. 1 in USA TODAY Sports’ weekly MLB Power Rankings.
Despite putting 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger on the injured list last week with a hairline fracture in his lower leg, the Dodgers have won eight of their last nine games and are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. (Is it too soon for a reminder that the Major League Baseball record for most wins in a season is 116?)
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox, who sit in first place in the American League East were the biggest movers in the rankings, going from 16th last week to 3rd place this week.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous rank: 1)
Justin Turner, who re-signed with L.A. over the winter, is off to a sizzling start and is an early National League MVP candidate.
2. San Diego Padres (2)
Rivalry with the Dodgers just got more intense after heated weekend series. Sixteen more regular season games to go.
3. Boston Red Sox (16)
The first-place Red Sox’s +21 run differential leads the American League.
4. Cincinnati Reds (8)
The offense ranks second in the majors with 91 runs scored and 24 homer runs.
5. Los Angeles Angels (10)
Manager Joe Maddon said Shohei Ohtani (blister) could start as early as Tuesday against the Rangers.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (14)
Starter Corbin Burnes is on the verge of rewriting the history books for most strikeouts (30) before issuing his first walk. Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright holds MLB mark for a starting pitcher with 35 strikeouts in 2013 before issuing his first walk. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen holds the overall record in striking out 51 batters in 2017 before his first walk.
7. New York Mets (12)
The first-place Mets (7-4 entering the week) have overcome seven postponements due to weather and coronavirus protocols.
T-8. Chicago White Sox (9)
Yermin Mercedes is hitting a season-low average of .415, which still ranks first in the American League.
T-8. Oakland Athletics (19)
After an 0-6 start, the A’s are the winners of eight straight and nine of their last 10 games.
10. Toronto Blue Jays (17)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 22 years old, off to a torrid start with a .389 batting average and 1.174 OPS.
11. Cleveland (13)
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber (2-1) became the first pitcher in major league history to begin the season with four straight starts with at least 10 strikeouts.
T-12. Houston Astros (3)
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are unlikely to return during Houston’s road trip, which ends on Wednesday.
T-12. Tampa Bay Rays (7)
The Rays own the Yankees: They’ve won 16 of the past 21 meetings, including in last year’s AL Division Series.
14. Philadelphia Phillies (15)
Has right-hander Aaron Nola solidified himself as an ace after his latest performance (complete game, two hits no earned runs, 10 strikeouts)?
T-15. Atlanta Braves (4)
Ronald Acuña Jr. possibly could be placed on the injured list with an abdominal strain. Pitchers Max Fried, Drew Smyly and Sean Newcomb and outfielders Cristian Pache and Ender Inciarte have been placed on the 10-day IL since Wednesday.
T-15. Minnesota Twins (5)
Bad news: The Twins have had at least four positive coronavirus tests in the past week.
17. St. Louis Cardinals (11)
Yadier Molina caught his 2,000th career game last week, the sixth-most in MLB history.
18. San Francisco Giants (21)
Jake McGee and Logan Webb went on the injured list because they were feeling lingering effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.
T-19. Kansas City Royals (23)
Whit Merrifield has played in 321 consecutive games and is 2,311 games shy of Cal Ripken Jr.’s record.
T-19. New York Yankees (6)
The Yankees (5-10 entering the week) own the worst record in American League and are off to their poorest start since 1997.
21. Miami Marlins (22)
Trevor Rogers racking up strikeouts at an impressive rate, 13.8 Ks per nine.
22. Seattle Mariners (22)
Manager Scott Servais said 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis could make his 2021 debut Monday or Tuesday against the Dodgers.
23. Washington Nationals (23)
Stephen Strasburg, 0–1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts, lands on the IL with an injury to his right shoulder.
24. Baltimore Orioles (26)
O’s are enjoying life on the road: 6-3 record vs. 1-6 at home.
25. Chicago Cubs (20)
Offensive woes are reaching historic levels: Team batting average is .192.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (24)
Tim Locastro’s MLB-record streak of 29 consecutive stolen bases to start his career came to an end.
T-27. Detroit Tigers (28)
Manager A.J. Hinch is 3-0 against the Astros, his former team.
T-27. Texas Rangers (29)
Joey Gallo, who leads the majors with 15 walks, has reached base in every game he’s played in this season.
29. Colorado Rockies (27)
The Rockies (4-12) are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (30)
The Bucs, who went 3-17 in interleague play last season, begin their first interleague series on Tuesday against the Tigers.
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