Dodgers leap into top spot

Updated: August 19, 2013, 3:14 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

Los Angeles Dodgers fans can rejoice. After weeks of playing nearly flawless baseball, their team is atop the Week 21 version of the Power Rankings. The Dodgers compiled baseball's best 50-game record (42-8) in more than 70 years as they vaulted over the Atlanta Braves to claim the top spot.

The Braves dropped one spot to No. 2, although they went a respectable 4-2 on the week against a pair of division opponents.

The Texas Rangers were one of this week's biggest winners, climbing four spots to No. 3 behind another brilliant outing by Yu Darvish last Monday. The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox both dropped a place or two, but remained in the top five.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Which teams do you think should be among baseball's top five? Go ahead and rank the teams yourself.

Tell us what you think about the Power Rankings. Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER.

2013 Power Rankings: August 19
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Dodgers
72-51
4
Last Week: 5
The unsung heroes of this 42-9 stretch: The bullpen has a 1.49 ERA since the All-Star break while holding opponents to a .169 average and just four home runs in 84.1 innings. Oh, yeah, Clayton Kershaw: MVP. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
2
Braves
76-48
1
Last Week: 1
Jason Heyward is hitting .337/.417/.589 in the second half with six home runs. Looks like the leadoff position suits him just fine. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
3
Rangers
71-53
4
Last Week: 7
Derek Holland has quietly put together an impressive season with a 2.95 ERA and 157 K's and in 168 innings. Yu Darvish and Holland is as good as any 1-2 punch in the AL right now. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
4
Tigers
73-51
2
Last Week: 2
Max Scherzer is the first MLB pitcher to 18 wins this year, Detroit has the best winning percentage in the AL and scouts for the Skynet Cyborgs were spotted scanning Miguel Cabrera's swing this weekend. We attempted to reach Cabrera for comment but he just kept leaving the park. -- Ryan Callery, Walkoff Woodward
5
Red Sox
73-53
1
Last Week: 4
Ryan Dempster's plunking of Alex Rodriguez was pretty dumb. Combined with his poor performance, it helped secure Boston's third series loss in a row and stretched the bullpen out just in time for a 7-hour flight to San Francisco so they could play the Giants at 10 p.m. ET. Not wise. -- Hunter Golden, Fire Brand of the AL
6
Pirates
72-51
3
Last Week: 3
Have lost seven of nine and now head to San Diego and San Francisco for a short road trip. Jeff Locke has struggled since the All-Star break (WHIP over 2.00) and they need to get Pedro Alvarez (.175 in August) going. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
7
1
Last Week: 8
Yadier Molina returns from DL, prospect Kolten Wong is called up, and the Cardinals win key series over the Pirates and Cubs. -- Matt Philip, Fungoes
8
Reds
70-54
2
Last Week: 10
Just when it looked as though Cincinnati had dropped out of the NL Central race, a 5-2 trip (and nine wins in 12 games overall) pulled the Redlegs within 2.5 games of first-place Pittsburgh. -- Chad Dotson, Redleg Nation
9
Rays
70-52
3
Last Week: 6
With Evan Longoria working his way out of a slump, and a few other regulars on the disabled list, the Rays relied on unsung heroes to gain ground in the American League East. Jason Bourgeois and Jose Lobaton accounted for three walk-off wins during the week, brining Tampa Bay to within a game of the Red Sox. -- Tommy Rancel, The Process Report
10
1
Last Week: 9
Bartolo Colon hit the DL with a groin strain this week, which is good and bad: The good is it may explain his recent struggles; the bad is it means more reliance on Tom Milone, who has looked very shaky lately. -- Jason Wojciechowski, Beaneball
11
Orioles
67-56
--

Last Week: 11
Adam Jones has four games with three-plus hits in August and is hitting .375 for the month. -- ESPN.com
12
Royals
64-59
--

Last Week: 12
Eric Hosmer owns the longest average home run distance this season at 422 feet -- ahead of Justin Upton, Hunter Pence, Mike Trout and Mike Napoli. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
13
Indians
66-58
--

Last Week: 13
The Indians had a glass half-full/glass half-empty kind of week. On the half-full side, Ubaldo Jimenez allowed only one hit in a strong start against Oakland, Asdrubal Cabrera broke an 0-for-20 hitting slump, and they went 4-3 this week. On the half-empty side, Scott Kazmir's comeback has stalled due to a dead arm, Corey Kluber has a sprained finger, and the offense continues to be inconsistent. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced Lajaway
14
--

Last Week: 14
Once they get through the Reds this week, the schedule is much easier the rest of the way, with only two series against the Dodgers against winning teams. They're five behind in the wild-card race but not quite dead yet. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
15
Yankees
64-59
--

Last Week: 15
It's amazing the Yankees are as close as they are considering CC Sabathia's struggles this year. He leads the AL in hits and earned runs allowed and is third in home runs allowed. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
16
--

Last Week: 16
Twelve of the 16 Nats-Braves games have been won by two runs or fewer. Unfortunately for the Nats the closeness hasn't affected the results. The Braves hold a 12-4 series lead -- Harper Gordek, Nats Baseball
17
--

Last Week: 17
Injuries continue to pile up, as Colby Rasmus hit the DL and Jose Reyes missed a number of games this past week. At 10 games under .500, the Jays are figuratively and literally limping to the finish line. -- Matthias Koster, Mop-Up Duty
18
Mets
56-66
2
Last Week: 20
The Mets' bats couldn't back up a solid outing by Matt Harvey on Sunday as New York completed a long West Coast trip with a 4-6 record. -- ESPN.com
19
Twins
54-68
7
Last Week: 26
Pitcher Andrew Albers, who was called up earlier this month, looks to be a bright spot. The left-hander has compiled a 2-1 record with a 1.85 ERA in three starts. -- ESPN.com
20
1
Last Week: 19
Their 4.33 ERA is 27th in the majors, but since the All-Star break it's 4.78. Move the fences back out! -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
21
Angels
55-68
3
Last Week: 18
After losing three of four to the Yankees and just barely avoiding being swept by the Astros, the Angels' season is more about finding usable pieces for 2014 than it is about competing in 2013. -- Hudson Belinsky, Halos Daily
22
Rockies
58-67
1
Last Week: 21
The Rockies are making a push for the wosrt road record in the National League. At 22-40 they're neck and neck with the Astros and Marlins. -- Logan Burdine, Blake Street Bulletin
23
Brewers
54-70
4
Last Week: 27
After having one of the worst starting rotations in Major League Baseball to begin the year, the Brewers' starters have turned it around in recent weeks. Their collective 3.30 ERA in the second half is the fifth-best mark in baseball. -- J.P. Breen, Disciples of Uecker
24
Cubs
53-70
1
Last Week: 23
Starlin Castro's mental gaffe Saturday continued to add fuel to the fire that he is not part of the team's future. Until he can mature mentally, the front office has to question if the contract it gave him was the right idea. -- Joe Aiello, The View From The Bleachers
25
Giants
55-68
--

Last Week: 25
They enter the week a half-game behind the Padres for fourth/last place. The only other defending World Series champ to finish last was the 1998 Marlins. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
26
Padres
56-68
4
Last Week: 22
The best hitters since the All-Star break in terms of OBA: Jayson Werth (.509), Mike Trout (.485), Miguel Cabrera (.478) and ... yes, Will Venable (.450), who is hitting .370/.406/.670. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
27
Marlins
47-75
2
Last Week: 29
Marlins have blown just one game they led entering the ninth but have suffered 12 walk-off losses as they're 9-16 when the game is tied entering the ninth. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
28
4
Last Week: 24
The Phillies finally scored their first runs in the Ryne Sandberg era Sunday afternoon, three games in. It's the little things that count now that they are playing for draft position. -- Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley
29
1
Last Week: 28
The White Sox have won five of their past seven games and are hitting .307 as a team during that span. -- ESPN.com
30
Astros
41-82
--

Last Week: 30
The only Astros with an OPS+ above league average are Jason Castro, Chris Carter and L.J. Hoes (in 16 games). The only pitchers still on the team with an ERA+ better than league average are Jose Cisnero, who has a 1.63 WHIP, Jarred Cosart in six starts, and Brett Oberholtzer in 34 innings. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.