MLB Power Rankings: The Dodgers are holding firm as MLB’s top team

from Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

The dog days of August are upon us and the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

Some divisions are already pretty closed, but there are plenty of tight races around the league.

Let’s dive into this week’s MLB Top 10.

The Dodgers and Astros lead Benn’s MLB Power rankings

The Dodgers and Astros lead Benn's MLB Power rankings

Ben Verlander breaks down this week’s MLB power rankings, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros and New York Mets remaining at the top of the list.

I’m watching”Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander” On youtube, or subscribe to podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts.

10. Toronto Blue Jays

As a team, the Blue Jays are hitting .271 against opposing starters, which is tied for the best mark in the majors. However, they haven’t been firing on all cylinders offensively, and if they don’t outshine everyone, they probably won’t win many games with their rotation.

Toronto was in desperate need of a new starter at the trade deadline and the organization didn’t deliver. So here they are in mid-August, fighting for a playoff spot.

9. San Diego Padres

It looked like the Padres would take off and make a playoff run after acquiring Juan Soto, but things didn’t quite go according to plan.

The team made huge moves at the deadline, adding Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Brandon Drury, but San Diego is playing under .500 after the deadline. And the biggest blow came when it was announced that star Fernando Tatis Jr. had been suspended for 80 games for violating the league’s Performance-Enhancing Drug Policy.

The Padres should still be good enough to make the playoffs, but they need to play better than they are right now.

What Fernando Tatis Jr.’s PED suspension means for San Diego

What Fernando Tatis Jr.'s PED suspension means for San Diego

Ben Verlander dives into Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 80-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and what it means for the revamped Padres.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

Since making the managerial change, the Phillies are 41-22 (.651). They’ve also been fantastic since acquiring David Robertson and putting him in a much-needed closer role.

Since the All-Star break, the Phillies are also tied for the best save percentage in baseball at 87.5%.

7. St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals did what they needed to at the trade deadline, and it worked out well for them. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games, including a huge weekend streak against their fellow NL Central atop the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals improved at the deadline and the Brewers did not. Right now, that’s the difference in the division.

6. Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are an MLB-best 27-14 (.659) in one-run games this season. Their bullpen was depleted and their rotation, led by Luis Castillo, will be a problem for opposing teams down the stretch.

I have a lot of faith in this Mariners team. I think they can handle pretty much anyone come playoff time thanks to the three guys at the top of the rotation: Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert and Castillo.

5. New York Yankees

The Yankees continue to struggle and have been downright bad since the All-Star Game. They’re certainly better the way they’re playing, but regression to the mean was to be expected from this Yankees rotation.

This team will be fine, but the Yankees need to play better than the stretch they are in right now, winning just two of their last 11 games. Still, the Bronx Bombers will easily win the AL East.

Will Aaron Judge break the Yankees home run record?

Will Aaron Judge break the Yankees home run record?

Ben Verlander plays “Take it or leave it” on Flippin’ Bats and answers the tough questions, including whether Aaron Judge will break the New York Yankees home run record and whether Blake Snell is back in Cy Young form.

4. Atlanta Braves

The Braves are on a roll after winning six straight this week. They begin a huge series against the Mets on Monday, and if they can’t figure out how to beat their division rivals, they may find the NL East out of reach.

Still, the Braves’ newcomers have been a huge blessing for them this season and are a big reason this team is headed for the playoffs, whether by winning the division or grabbing the top wild card in the NL.

3. New York Mets

The Mets are finally close to 100 percent, and the addition of Jacob deGrom was the bright spot they were hoping for. The rotation has been masterful since his return, and the combination of Max Scherzer and de Grom is unbeatable.

The Mets have all the makings of a World Series team and it’s just a matter of how they perform in October.

Jacob de Grom, Max Scherzer and Edwin Diaz are Mets’ World Series contenders

Jacob de Grom, Max Scherzer and Edwin Diaz are Mets' World Series contenders

Ben Verlander breaks down three reasons why the New York Mets are a World Series-caliber team, starting with the dominance of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer on the mound and ending with the best player in baseball, Edwin Diaz.

2. Houston Astros

Owners of the best record in the American League, the Houston Astros are moving forward. Lance McCullers Jr. returned for the first time this season and was masterful in his debut, striking out five and not allowing a run over six innings.

The Astros have no weaknesses: Their rotation is fantastic, their bullpen has the best ERA in baseball for most of the season, their defense ranks in the top three, and their offense is top 10 in most categories. This team is a force to be reckoned with.

The Houston Astros continue to dominate the AL while the Yankees struggle

The Houston Astros continue to dominate the AL while the Yankees struggle

Ben Verlander explains why the Houston Astros are the best team in the American League, with their continued dominance as Justin Verlander leads the team on the field and the Yankees continue to struggle.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers just snapped a 12-game winning streak on Sunday. With each winning by a few runs, it was one of the most impressive hitting streaks I’ve ever seen.

The Dodgers are dominant in every sense of the word. However, they were dealt a major blow on Monday when it was announced that their ace, Walker Buehler, would undergo season-ending elbow surgery. But make no mistake: The Dodgers are the best team in the league right now.

Here’s to another great week of Major League Baseball!

Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst for FOX Sports and host of “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization Follow him on Twitter @Ben Verlander.

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