Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson put the rest of the league on notice after he guaranteed a World Series victory.
“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said at Clayton Kershaw’s annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose last week. “This is our year.”
Well, the Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors, are certainly heading in the right direction, as they are the top ranked team in USA TODAY Sports’ MLB power rankings for the second consecutive week.
With Monday’s trade deadline here, we could see a major shift in power over the final two months of the season.
From 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our 10-person panel:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers: —
►Kershaw starting to throw again doesn’t mean people have stopped biting their nails in Los Angeles.
2. Houston Astros: —
►Five earned runs against the Tigers? McCullers looks more vulnerable with every start.
3. Washington Nationals: —
►That home run derby against the Brewers on Thursday was a good distraction from the bullpen.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks: +1
►J.D. Martinez is making the Arizona front office look very good right now.
5. Colorado Rockies: +1
►Club means business with addition of Pat Neshek and Jonathan Lucroy.
6. Cleveland Indians: +1
►Next 13 games vs. teams with winning records (Red Sox, Yankees, Rays).
7. Boston Red Sox: -3
►Another week, another third baseman.
8. New York Yankees: —
►Aaron Judge’s busted tooth worth sole possession of 1st place in the AL East.
9. Chicago Cubs: —
►Wade Davis still hasn’t blown a save this season, and the Cubs are slowly putting room between themselves and the Brewers.
10. Kansas City Royals: +2
►Is Melky Cabrera enough for the Royals to make a push?
11. Tampa Bay Rays: —
►The Rays really can’t afford to lose divisional games right now.
12. Milwaukee Brewers: -2
►Gave up eight home runs to the Nationals before losing two of three against the Cubs. It’s been a bad week.
13. St. Louis Cardinals: +3
►Even sweeping the Rockies doesn’t help their wild card situation.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates: —
►Still waiting for the fire sale.
15. Seattle Mariners: +2
►Sunday was a welcome change for Robinson Cano after batting .136 in his previous seven days.
16. Texas Rangers: -1
►Beltre joining the 3,000-hit club is a nice distraction from your daily dose of Darvish trade talks.
17. Minnesota Twins: -4
►Well that was a quick vacation to Minneapolis for Jaime Garcia.
18. Los Angeles Angels: —
►Not even Mike Trout can pull off this miracle.
19. Baltimore Orioles: -1
►Looks like the ship is sinking and the whole crew is going down with it.
20. Miami Marlins: +4
►It looks like Giancarlo Stanton is mad he lost the Home Run Derby.
T-21. Atlanta Braves: -1
►Swept by the Phillies. Ouch.
T-21. Toronto Blue Jays: —
►If you need a walk-off grand slam, call on Steve Pearce.
23. New York Mets: —
►Jacob deGrom finally lost a game again.
24. Detroit Tigers: -2
►Was Sunday’s gem the last of Justin Verlander’s days in Detroit?
25. Oakland Athletics: -1
►They specialize in the walk-off, whether winning or losing.
26. San Diego Padres: +2
►The Padres are playing the Brad Hand deal to perfection.
27. Cincinnati Reds: -2
►If Zack Cozart gets dealt does the donkey go with him?
28. Chicago White Sox: -1
►Is Melky Cabrera the last one to go?
29. San Francisco Giants: —
►This week’s Battle of the Bay — four games against the A’s — hardly conjures memories of 1989 World Series.
30. Philadelphia Phillies: —
►Who’s leaving Philadelphia next?
Gallery: MLB photo of the day