Power Rankings: Yankees, Braves rise to challenge Dodgers for No. 1

Dodgers maintain top spot, Yanks creeping up (1:21)

Mark Teixeira and Jeff Passan break down this week's Power Rankings with the Dodgers and Yankees holding the top two spots. (1:21)

For only the second time this season, we have a unanimous No. 1. The first time around, back in Week 7, it was the Houston Astros. This time it's their chief rival for week-to-week dominance -- the high-flying Los Angeles Dodgers, who have already built a 13-game lead in the National League West.

Houston fell from its usual spot running neck-and-neck with L.A. for the top slot, a reflection of the seven-game losing streak it didn't snap until Sunday. But in the Astros' place, we're seeing the rise of some familiar franchises when it comes to talking about having the talent and a historic commitment to winning, as the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox all gained ground. The Bronx Bombers' move up to the No. 2 slot doesn't seem likely to be transient, not with their potent lineup healing up. The Braves' 16-5 romp through their June schedule has brought them into the top five and threatens to end the NL East race before the All-Star break. And the reigning champs? Better work from Boston's bullpen this month might erase its biggest question heading into the second half.

The Yankees' three-spot gain might have been the most significant in terms of prominence, but several other teams picked up four spots to tie for the biggest gains on the week. The Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals were among them, with both clubs returning to the top 10 and boxing out the slumping Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. Those same Phillies were among the biggest losers, dropping six spots, a run into the red exceeded only by the Arizona Diamondbacks' seven-slot decline.

For Week 12, our panel of voters was composed of Bradford Doolittle, Christina Kahrl, Eric Karabell, Tim Kurkjian and David Schoenfield.

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1. Los Angeles Dodgers

2019 record: 54-25
Week 11 ranking: 1

Wow! The Dodgers swept the Rockies with three walk-off home runs, and the heroes, all rookies, were not any of the guys headed to the All-Star Game. On Friday, Matt Beaty hit a two-run walk-off in the ninth inning. On Saturday, Alex Verdugo walked it off in the 11th, his second home run of the game. On Sunday, it was Will Smith, who had a pinch-hit, three-run jack to send Dodger Stadium into a frenzy. This is the best team in baseball right now and there shouldn't be an argument about it. -- Schoenfield

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2. New York Yankees

2019 record: 49-28
Week 11 ranking: 5

The Astros snapped the Yankees' eight-game winning streak Sunday, but the Yankees' home run streak continued as they reached 26 consecutive games on DJ LeMahieu's 10th homer. They're now one game away from tying the 2002 Rangers' record of 27 games in a row. Of course, the big news of the week was the return of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Stanton went 5-for-17 in four games, including a four-RBI game on Saturday. Judge went 0-for-10 in three games with a walk and four strikeouts. -- Schoenfield

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3. Minnesota Twins

2019 record: 50-27
Week 11 ranking: 3

Twins catchers continue to amaze, as the combination of Mitch Garver, Jason Castro and Willians Astudillo have provided the AL Central leaders with tremendous production. Garver has been particularly potent against left-handed pitchers, even hitting first in the lineup at times. Castro slugs against right-handers and is a strong defender. Astudillo has played everywhere in the field except shortstop (can you imagine?) and center field. These fellows will not get MVP votes, but what a crew. -- Karabell

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4. Houston Astros

2019 record: 49-30
Week 11 ranking: 2

A seven-game losing streak seemed unthinkable for Houston, but that's just what the Astros endured, finally winning Sunday against the Yankees. During the slide, Houston averaged 2.7 runs, down significantly from their season average of 5.12. Part of the problem: Leadoff hitters (primarily Alex Bregman) were 4-for-28 (.143) with three runs scored. But help is on the way as regular leadoff man George Springer is on track to be activated Tuesday after missing a month because of a hamstring injury. -- Steve Richards

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5. Atlanta Braves

2019 record: 46-32
Week 11 ranking: 6

After taking two of three from the Mets and Nationals, the Braves have won five straight series, going 13-3 in that span. Josh Donaldson found his power groove in those 16 games, hitting .313/.371/.703 with seven home runs and four doubles. Keep an eye on Mike Soroka, who left Sunday's game in the third inning after being hit in the arm by a pitch. That game ended in a 10-inning victory, however, with Johan Camargo's pinch-hit homer in the 10th. -- Schoenfield

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6. Tampa Bay Rays

2019 record: 45-33
Week 11 ranking: 4

We'll be watching to see how Blake Snell bounces back when he faces the Twins on Tuesday. He recorded only one out against the Yankees in his last start, giving up six runs, two hits and four walks, and in four starts this month, he has a 10.29 ERA and has gotten through the fifth inning only once. The Rays -- and their bullpen -- need more than that from Snell. -- Richards

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7. Boston Red Sox

2019 record: 42-37
Week 11 ranking: 8

After taking two of three at Minnesota and posting an exciting comeback win over the Blue Jays on Friday for their eighth win in nine games, it seemed the Red Sox had turned the corner for good on their up-and-down season. But two disheartening losses to Toronto this weekend set the Sox back on their heels again, repeating what has been a pattern for the defending champs. -- Richards

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8. Chicago Cubs

2019 record: 42-35
Week 11 ranking: 7

Cole Hamels has had a career renaissance as a Cub. Since last summer's trade from the Rangers, the veteran lefty has a 2.67 ERA in 28 starts (including 18 quality starts), with the Cubs winning 18 of those games. He has posted a remarkable 23.9% strikeout rate and .285 wOBA allowed during his time as a Cub. Even as a 36-year-old free agent over the winter, he'll be in demand. -- Kahrl

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9. Colorado Rockies

2019 record: 40-37
Week 11 ranking: 13

The loss of star shortstop Trevor Story to a sprained right thumb for the next few weeks, coupled with three walk-off losses to the Dodgers, cast a shadow on the Rockies' week, right at a time when they had been shooting up the standings. The team can only hope that Brendan Rodgers, who batted .246/.300/.277 during his first stint with the big club but .350/.413/.622 in 37 games for Triple-A Albuquerque this season, provides even a fraction of Story's production in the veteran's absence. -- Tristan H. Cockcroft

10. St. Louis Cardinals

2019 record: 40-37
Week 11 ranking: 14

The Cardinals' bullpen has the majors' 10th-best ERA (4.08), but might have some tough calls to make about who pitches the late frames. Usual closer Jordan Hicks enters the week questionable because of triceps tendinitis, and Carlos Martinez, the most logical immediate fill-in, has been surrounded by chatter that he could be a second-half starter for the team. Lost in all that is that John Gant is the team's pitching leader in WAR (1.4), carrying this pen behind seven relief wins, 10 holds and a 2.40 ERA. -- Cockcroft

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11. Cleveland Indians

2019 record: 42-35
Week 11 ranking: 15

To keep their postseason hopes alive, the Indians are putting their faith in the kids, moving Oscar Mercado into center field (and ditching Leonys Martin after long since cutting Carlos Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez), and calling up top prospect Bobby Bradley to man first base and let Carlos Santana take over at DH. Bradley ripped a double in his debut, but even if he rakes, the Indians will still need a fresh bat for either outfield corner. -- Kahrl

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12. Milwaukee Brewers

2019 record: 42-36
Week 11 ranking: 9

Playing .500 baseball in June might temper expectations for Milwaukee, but the Cubs haven't been any better, reigniting a division-wide race for the NL Central. With the lineup struggling to get offense from four different positions, pressure is mounting to do something about Travis Shaw, still struggling to get back on track since returning from the IL with a .283 wOBA in June. -- Kahrl

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13. Oakland Athletics

2019 record: 41-38
Week 11 ranking: 16

Losing both top starter Frankie Montas (to an 80-game PED suspension) and closer Blake Treinen (to a strained shoulder) in the same week was grim news for an A's team still hanging around in the AL wild-card race, with little in the way of equivalent quality to call upon to shore up the staff. Facing a trio of contenders in the Cardinals, Angels and Twins next on the schedule, the A's status as buyers or sellers at the deadline might be determined by the Fourth of July. -- Kahrl

14. Washington Nationals

2019 record: 37-40
Week 11 ranking: 17

The Nationals had a nice sweep of the Phillies that included Max Scherzer throwing seven scoreless innings with 10 K's while sporting an ugly looking black eye after his bunting practice mishap. Speaking of ugly, the Nationals led the Braves 8-4 on Saturday through six innings and ended up losing 13-9 as the bullpen -- again -- imploded. The pen then picked up another loss in Sunday's 10-inning defeat. The current bullpen ERA of 6.29 would be the worst since the 1950 St. Louis Browns (the Orioles are hot on their heels though). -- Schoenfield

15. Cincinnati Reds

2019 record: 36-40
Week 11 ranking: 19

Don't count out the Reds just yet. A six-game win streak during the past week included a key sweep of the Astros, and the team took two games at Milwaukee's Miller Park over the weekend. Yasiel Puig has been instrumental in the offense's sudden rebirth, with five home runs during the past nine games. -- Cockcroft

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16. Philadelphia Phillies

2019 record: 39-38
Week 11 ranking: 10

Leadoff hitter wanted. The loss of Andrew McCutchen to a season-ending knee injury has crippled Philly's already underachieving lineup, with middle infielders Cesar Hernandez and Jean Segura struggling in the role, and even Bryce Harper getting a chance. McCutchen scored 45 runs in 59 games, setting the table for others. Who is next? Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn are fast but not exactly disciplined at the plate. The search continues. -- Karabell

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17. Texas Rangers

2019 record: 42-36
Week 11 ranking: 12

Since being swept in a four-game series at Houston May 9-12, the Rangers have lost only one series, going 25-14 in that stretch, which is the best record in the AL West. Entering the week, they are six games over .500, their high-water mark for the season, but they've hit that mark three previous times only to lose their next game. We'll see if that pattern continues Tuesday at Detroit. -- Richards

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18. Arizona Diamondbacks

2019 record: 39-40
Week 11 ranking: 11

Arizona's yo-yo of a season continues. The D-backs have lost seven of their past nine, which comes on the heels of winning seven of eight. For the season, they've had three losing streaks of at least five games to largely neutralize four winning streaks of at least four games. With all the ups and downs, it's no surprise the Snakes check in at 39-40 overall. -- Richards

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19. Los Angeles Angels

2019 record: 39-40
Week 11 ranking: 20

Lefty Andrew Heaney remains winless after five starts, and one must wonder if the elbow problems that delayed the start to his season remain an issue. Heaney walked four Blue Jays in his most recent outing, giving up five runs and his ERA spiked to 5.68. Not all signs are bad; Heaney has 32 strikeouts in 25⅓ innings and his average fastball velocity is up from 2018, when he returned from Tommy John surgery with 180 solid innings. The Angels really need Heaney to get back on track. -- Karabell

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20. San Diego Padres

2019 record: 38-40
Week 11 ranking: 21

The Padres continue to get quality outings from their spot starters as they aim to build in extra rest for their other young hurlers. Rookie Logan Allen was the latest standout, tossing seven scoreless innings in a victory this past Tuesday against the Brewers, with John Cena in attendance cheering him on (and paying up on a $1 bet between the two). Allen will attempt to duplicate the effort as the Padres begin an interleague series in Baltimore on Tuesday. -- Cockcroft

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21. New York Mets

2019 record: 37-41
Week 11 ranking: 18

Left-hander Steven Matz stands to face division rivals Philadelphia and Atlanta this week, and while his 4.28 ERA might not impress, how about some context? Remove the nightmare April outing when Matz retired nary a Phillie while permitting six earned runs, and his ERA drops to a more palatable 3.54. He is not an ace but after years of injuries, Matz is on pace for 30 starts. Ultimately, the Mets are disappointing but there are far bigger problems here than Matz. -- Karabell

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22. Pittsburgh Pirates

2019 record: 36-40
Week 11 ranking: 23

Pete Alonso, Chris Paddack and Mike Soroka might be getting the most headlines in the NL Rookie of the Year race, but has anyone else noticed the Pirates' Bryan Reynolds (2.4 WAR)? One of the pieces the team got back in the Andrew McCutchen trade, Reynolds has 13 multihit games in his past 27, batting .404/.459/.586 during that time span to nail down a near-everyday role across all three outfield spots. -- Cockcroft

23. Chicago White Sox

2019 record: 36-39
Week 11 ranking: 22

Since he ripped 22 home runs in the first four months of 2017 for the A's, Yonder Alonso has tempted teams trying to tap into that, with the Mariners and White Sox both trading for him, and the Indians giving him a two-year, $16 million deal that represents more than half his career earnings. The payoff? A .307 wOBA across almost 1,000 plate appearances (and down to .255 with the White Sox this season) and an option for 2020 the Sox will be sure not to let vest. Just something to note when the market seems frosty for 30-something first basemen next winter. -- Kahrl

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24. San Francisco Giants

2019 record: 33-43
Week 11 ranking: 24

Any thought Jeff Samardzija might help his trade value for the Giants has been pretty well sunk after he notched only one legit quality start (using runs allowed instead of earned runs) in his past 12 turns, giving up 5.8 runs per nine and 13 home runs in 62 innings. Even if the Giants were willing to pay much of the $19.8 million he has owed in 2020, there might not be any takers. -- Kahrl

25. Seattle Mariners

2019 record: 35-47
Week 11 ranking: 27

Is there anybody left for Jerry Dipoto to trade? Mike Leake has pitched at least five innings in all 16 of his starts but has given up 22 home runs in 101 innings with a 4.54 ERA. He could fill in as a back-end starter, but there won't be high demand for him. Dee Gordon doesn't have any trade value with his sub-.300 OBP and lack of power. Kyle Seager's contract makes him unmovable. Tommy Milone has been a pleasant surprise with a 3.35 ERA and 38-8 SO-BB ratio. Roenis Elias has been OK and just about every team is looking for bullpen help, so maybe he gets moved. -- Schoenfield

26. Miami Marlins

2019 record: 30-46
Week 11 ranking: 26

It would have been unreasonable to expect Jordan Yamamoto to top his debut (seven shutout innings against the Cardinals), but he matched it with seven more against St. Louis in his second start. Finally facing a new opponent Sunday in his third turn, the Phillies snapped the scoreless streak with which he started his MLB career in the first inning, but Yamamoto came away with his third win in three starts. -- Kahrl

27. Toronto Blue Jays

2019 record: 29-49
Week 11 ranking: 25

We're not sure if Rowdy Tellez is a fan of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (or "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey), but he sure likes facing the Red Sox. In seven games against Boston this season, he's slashing .434/.531/1.174 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs scored. Against the rest of the league, his numbers are .201/.252/.377 with nine homers, 26 RBIs and 19 runs scored in 59 games. -- Richards

28. Kansas City Royals

2019 record: 27-51
Week 11 ranking: 29

A groin injury has shelved exciting shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who easily leads the league in stolen bases. Over the past two seasons, he's hitting .273 with 20 home runs, 81 RBIs, 59 stolen bases, 11 triples and 87 runs. Pretty exciting. Mondesi also has 162 strikeouts compared with 27 walks, which makes it tough to bat as high as .273, but he gets away with it. Better plate discipline would be nice, but this version of Mondesi is fun to watch. -- Karabell

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29. Detroit Tigers

2019 record: 26-47
Week 11 ranking: 28

Since taking over as the Tigers' regular shortstop on May 29, super utilityman Niko Goodrum has been on a tear at the plate, hitting for a .320/.370/.533 line (and a .379 wOBA) while making 19 starts at short. He's also the only Tigers shortstop with playable defense as reflected in both defensive runs saved and UZR. Already 27, he might not be a long-term solution, but he's a solid placeholder for a lineup lacking many of those. -- Kahrl

30. Baltimore Orioles

2019 record: 22-56
Week 11 ranking: 30

After the Orioles suffered through a 10-game losing streak they snapped Saturday, one might think a return home would be welcome for the Birds. Think again. Baltimore enters this week's homestand 9-28 at Camden Yards, a .243 winning percentage. Over a full season, that would be the second-worst home winning percentage in the live ball era (since 1920), better than only the 1939 St. Louis Browns (18-59, .234). -- Richards