The New York Mets won four of five against the Atlanta Braves in a crucial series over the weekend, expanding their NL East lead to 6½ games entering Monday, the largest the cushion since June 18.
Jacob deGrom returned after more than a year away from a big-league mound and in two starts has given up three earned runs with 18 strikeouts to only one walk. DeGrom looked dominant in 5 ⅔ innings Sunday against the Braves giving up one hit with 12 strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season.
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Mets starting pitchers had a 2.36 ERA in the last 25 games and have gone 12-3 since the All-Star break. New York (70-39) is tied for baseball's second-best record entering Monday and is 30 games over .500 for the first time since 2006.
Across town, the Yankees have gone 6-10 since the break and dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 in this week's MLB power rankings.
Here's how USA TODAY Sports' eight-person panel voted this week
Rank (movement from last week)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)
Started August with seven consecutive wins against the Giants and Padres.
2. Houston Astros (+1)
Trey Mancini hit three homers with seven RBI in his first six games with Houston.
3. New York Mets (+1)
Jacob deGrom, who looks like himself, racked up 18 strikeouts in his first 10 ⅔ innings.
4. New York Yankees (-2)
Five straight losses through Sunday, heading into a tough three-game set in Seattle.
5. Atlanta Braves (–)
Losing four of five to the Mets was bad, but they'll play another four-game set next week.
6. San Diego Padres (+1)
Landing Juan Soto and immediately getting swept by the Dodgers sums things up pretty well.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (-1)
Within 10 games of the Yankees (9 ½ entering Monday) for the first time since June 15.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (+5)
Seven-game winning streak has St. Louis atop the NL Central.
9. Philadelphia Phillies (+1)
Having won nine of 10, the Phillies are only three games behind the Braves through Sunday.
10. Seattle Mariners (-1)
Luis Castillo gets the win in Mariners debut, striking out eight in 6 ⅔ innings.
11. Minnesota Twins (+1)
Deadline addition Michael Fulmer started his Twins career with three scoreless outings.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (-4)
Turns out that trading your best player isn't great for morale!
13. Tampa Bay Rays (-2)
Tyler Glasnow on a 2022 return: "Not something I’m willing to rush into and make a stupid judgment call because my ego wants to get tickled for a week."
14. Baltimore Orioles (+1)
Only 2 games out of the wild-card entering Monday. Good thing they traded their All-Star closer.
15. Cleveland Guardians (-1)
Franmil Reyes (92 HR in 411 games from 2018-2021) designated for assignment.
16. Chicago White Sox (–)
Dylan Cease sets MLB record with 13 consecutive starts giving up one earned run or less.
17. Boston Red Sox (+1)
Eric Hosmer, who rejected trade to Washington, goes 2-for-10 to start his time in Boston.
18. San Francisco Giants (-1)
California native JD Davis homered twice in his first three games for the Giants.
19. Texas Rangers (+1)
Since the All-Star break, Martin Perez has a 1.35 ERA in three starts.
20. Miami Marlins (-1)
Jesus Luzardo looking sharp (2 ER in 12 innings) since returning from the injured list.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)
Closer Mark Melancon, signed to a two-year deal in the offseason, gets demoted.
22. Colorado Rockies (–)
Claimed Dinelson Lamet off waivers after the Brewers DFA'd him.
23. Los Angeles Angels (–)
Mickey Moniak broke his finger after homering twice in his first five games with Angels.
24. Chicago Cubs (+1)
Offseason signing Andrelton Simmons gets released.
25. Cincinnati Reds (+1)
Justin Dunn (Winker/Suarez trade) will make his Reds debut Monday.
26. Detroit Tigers (-2)
Matt Manning goes seven scoreless innings against the Rays.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)
Dropped a weekend set in Baltimore after sweeping the Brewers.
28. Kansas City Royals (–)
MJ Melendez has 15 hits, 4 HR and 13 RBI in his last 15 games.
29. Oakland Athletics (–)
Seth Brown has five home runs in his last eight games through Sunday.
30. Washington Nationals (–)
Luis Garcia getting reps at second base with C.J. Abrams' arrival on the horizon.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Mets bash Braves in NL East series, Yankees slump