The Dodgers and Mets – baseball’s biggest spenders – stay on top

Less than three weeks into the 2022 Major League Baseball season, division races are already starting to take shape as the top three in this week’s power rankings remain unchanged.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (11-4) and New York Mets (12-5) have the best records in baseball through Sunday, but the NL West frontrunners were only a half-game ahead of the San Francisco Giants. The Mets have already built a four-game lead in the NL East, and took three of four from the Giants last week in Queens.

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Elsewhere, the New York Yankees (10-6) won five of six last week and should further improve their record with series against the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. The Yankees were tied with the Toronto Blue Jays atop the AL West through Sunday.

Here’s how USA TODAY Sports’ eight-person panel voted this week:

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have the Dodgers atop this week’s power rankings.

Rank (movement from last week)

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)

  • Cody Bellinger has four home runs, three steals and a .915 OPS in 15 games.

2. New York Mets (–)

  • Carlos Carrasco’s first three starts: 1.47 ERA, 20 K, 2 BB in 18.1 innings.

3. Toronto Blue Jays (–)

  • Jordan Romano’s eight saves led the American League through Sunday.

4. San Francisco Giants (+1)

  • New addition Carlos Rodon has a 1.06 ERA and 29 K in 17 innings.

5. New York Yankees (+3)

  • Nestor Cortes struck out 25 in his first 15 ⅔ IP, giving up just seven hits with three walks.

6. Tampa Bay Rays (+3)

  • Wander Franco tied for the AL lead with 11 extra-base hits through Sunday.

7. St. Louis Cardinals (+3)

  • Cardinals bullpen had a 1.95 ERA in the first 14 games.

8. San Diego Padres (+5)

  • Joe Musgrove continues to shine: 1.89 ERA, 21 K, 1 BB in 19 innings.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (+1)

  • Lefty Eric Lauer racked up 23 strikesouts in his first three games.

10. Atlanta Braves (-4)

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. started his rehab assignment expected to last 2-3 weeks.

11. Chicago White Sox (-7)

  • Eloy Jiménez will miss about two months with a hamstring strain.

12. Seattle Mariners (+3)

  • Ty France’s 42 total bases through Sunday were the most in baseball.

13 Boston Red Sox (-1)

  • Facing a big four-game series this week in Toronto.

14. Houston Astros (-7)

  • Rafael Montero starts 2022 with 7 scoreless appearances, striking out 13 with no walks.

15. Los Angeles Angels (+1)

  • Shohei Ohtani struck out 26 in his first three starts.

16. Colorado Rockies (+1)

  • Colorado’s .426 slugging percentage led baseball through Sunday.

17. Cleveland Guardians (+3)

  • José Ramírez (20 RBI in 15 games) should be in the MVP conversation all year.

18. Minnesota Twins (+1)

  • Right-hander Bailey Ober looking sharp with 2.81 ERA through three starts.

19. Philadelphia Phillies (-5)

  • When given the chance, third baseman Alec Bohm (.393 BA in 28 AB) is producing.

20. Miami Marlins (+5)

  • Jazz Chisholm had 15 RBI and a 1.067 OPS through 13 games.

21. Detroit Tigers (-3)

  • Miguel Cabrera becomes seventh player with 3,000 hits and 500 HR.

22. Chicago Cubs (-1)

  • Cubs’ .354 on-base percentage was the best in baseball through Sunday.

23. Oakland Athletics (+1)

  • Averaged 3,627 in attendance for last week’s three-game set vs. Orioles.

24. Kansas City Royals (-2)

  • Andrew Benintendi hit .388 (19-for-49) in his first 15 games.

25. Texas Rangers (-2)

  • Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, Texas’ $500 million middle infield, combined for 1 HR in 15 games.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (+3)

  • Tough week ahead with three vs. Dodgers, four at Cardinals.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (-1)

  • Daniel Vogelbach (.936 OPS) and Michael Chavis (.308 AVG) each off to strong start.

28. Washington Nationals (-1)

  • Closer Tanner Rainey started the year with five scoreless outings.

29. Baltimore Orioles (+1)

  • Three of the Orioles’ first six wins of 2022 were shutouts.

30. Cincinnati Reds (-2)

  • Nick Lodolo got his first big-league win Sunday, snapping team’s 11-game losing streak.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Dodgers, Mets stay on top as season heats up

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