The Atlanta Braves won five of seven against the New York Mets and Houston Astros last week and enter Monday having won 11 of 13, four games behind the Mets in the National League East.
The Mets head to the Bronx to play the Yankees for two games starting Monday while the Braves face the Pirates for three in Pittsburgh, perhaps another opportunity for Atlanta to pick up some ground.
The Braves moved up two spots to No. 3 in this week’s power rankings, right behind the Mets who took over the second spot from the Astros, who dropped to No. 4.
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Here’s how USA TODAY Sports’ eight-person panel voted this week
Rank (movement from last week)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)
- Dustin May strikes out nine across five scoreless in return from Tommy John surgery.
2. New York Mets (+1)
- Dropping three of four in Atlanta last week was the first NL East series the Mets lost this season.
3. Atlanta Braves (+2)
4. Houston Astros (-2)
- Houston plays 24 of its last 39 games at Minute Maid Park.
5. New York Yankees (-1)
- Frankie Montas has a 9.00 ERA (14 ER in 14 IP) through three starts for New York.
6. St. Louis Cardinals (+2)
7. Philadelphia Phillies (-1)
- Went 5-14 against the Mets, but are 29-13 against the rest of the NL East entering Monday.
8. Seattle Mariners (+2)
- With baseball’s easiest remaining schedule, Mariners has a shot to host wild-card series.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (–)
- Matt Chapman has a .917 OPS in 27 games since the All-Star break.
10. San Diego Padres (-3)
11. Cleveland Guardians (+2)
- Shane Bieber is 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his last five starts.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (–)
- Wander Franco suffers injury setback while on rehab assignment.
13. Minnesota Twins (+2)
- Jose Miranda’s last 25 games: .347 average, five home runs, 21 RBI.
14. Baltimore Orioles (–)
- Adley Rutschman trails only Juan Soto and Aaron Judge in walks since the All-Star break.
15. Milwaukee Brewers (-4)
- Their four-game NL Central lead turned into a five-game deficit in less than a month.
16. Chicago White Sox (–)
- Elvis Andrus, who was released by Oakland, is now the White Sox’s shortstop.
17. Boston Red Sox (+1)
- Alex Verdugo is hitting .356 in 104 at-bats since the All-Star break.
18. San Francisco Giants (-1)
- Giants head to Detroit and Minnesota this week.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks (+1)
- Top prospect Jordan Lawlar is hitting .329 in 80 minor-league games this season.
20. Chicago Cubs (+4)
- Cubbies have won 11 of their last 16 games entering Monday.
21. Texas Rangers (-2)
22. Miami Marlins (-1)
- Marlins have the NL’s worst average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in August.
23. Colorado Rockies (–)
- Brendan Rodgers is batting .353 in 29 games since the break.
24. Los Angeles Angels (-2)
- Patrick Sandoval faced 28 batters on 97 pitches in a complete-game shutout vs. Tigers.
25. Cincinnati Reds (–)
- Alexis Diaz’s last 12 outings: 0.68 ERA, 20 strikeouts, two walks.
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)
- Pittsburgh’s six series are against contenders: Braves, Phillies, Brewers, Blue Jays, Mets, Cardinals.
27. Kansas City Royals (+1)
- Rookie Vinnie Pasquantino’s last 27 games: .306 average, .888 OPS, 5 HR.
28. Detroit Tigers (-1)
- Riley Greene’s 448-foot homer Sunday was the longest Shohei Ohtani has given up in the majors.
29. Oakland Athletics (–)
30. Washington Nationals (–)
- C.J. Abrams had three RBI in his first six big-league games with Washington.