Power Rankings: Shake-up in the Top 5

It’s the middle of August, and though the season isn’t that old, this time of year means the same in a 60-game regular season as it does in normal times: simply, it’s getting late quickly. Three weeks are in the books, with six to go. And while it would still

It’s the middle of August, and though the season isn’t that old, this time of year means the same in a 60-game regular season as it does in normal times: simply, it’s getting late quickly.

Three weeks are in the books, with six to go. And while it would still seem a little rash to predict an Orioles-Marlins World Series, it’s not too early to speculate on what improbable storylines might become a little more believable in another week or so.

There are 17 teams with .500-or-better records (that includes the Cardinals, who have played only eight games). The Rockies seem legitimately capable of making the National League West a true race with the Dodgers, the Indians may be well-equipped to stay in the thick of things despite a recent upheaval of their rotation and the Marlins — the Marlins! — could make a run at the postseason, despite making several dozen roster moves after the weirdest start in anyone’s history.

Biggest jump: The Brewers went from “meh” to something much more interesting, which is what happens when you take three of four from the Cubs at Wrigley Field to get back to .500. Milwaukee jumped eight spots, from No. 19 to No. 11, and is now tied for second in the NL Central with St. Louis (which has played 12 fewer games).

Honorable mention: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Orioles, who jumped seven spots, from No. 22 to No. 15. The O’s rank in the top three in MLB in average, slugging and OPS. They have 12 wins already, with six weeks remaining. Most projection models had them winning no more than 22 games all season.

Biggest drop: Clearly, the Red Sox are struggling, and it reflects in our rankings, where they dropped another five spots to No. 28. They’ve lost seven games in a row and have been outscored by opponents, 67-32, over that stretch.

Power Rankings Top 5

1) Dodgers (16-7, 1 last week)
Since briefly abandoning their masher strategy and employing a series of bunts early last week in an effort to break out of an offensive slump against the Padres, the Dodgers have been on a tear, outscoring opponents, 36-14. They’re on a five-game winning streak and could further add to it this week when they play the struggling Mariners for two at home, followed by two more in Seattle. Meanwhile, Mookie Betts has six homers and 13 RBIs over 10 games since returning to the lineup following a finger injury.

2) A’s (16-6, 3)
Unscientifically, this is most likely the highest the A’s have ever landed in our Power Rankings. They were relentless against the Giants over the weekend, staging two dramatic late-game comebacks against their Bay Area rivals before rolling to a 15-3 win in the finale. Oakland has scored 48 runs this season in the seventh inning or later, the second most in the Majors, trailing only Arizona (52).

3) Yankees (15-6, 2)
Though the rivalry is more fun when both teams are fighting it out for the top spot in the American League East standings, Yankees-Red Sox matchups are always notable, regardless of the big picture. The first-place Yanks have won nine straight vs. the Sox, including six this year. Going back to last year, New York has outscored Boston, 98-50, in the past 15 meetings, of which the Yankees have won 14. Here’s a little more historical perspective — the Yanks have won 10 straight over the Red Sox for the first time since tying a franchise record with 12 straight from 1952-53.

4) Cubs (13-6, 5)
The Cubs lost three of four to the Brewers over the weekend, but that’s the first hiccup they’ve had through three weeks of the season, and that’s significant. Chicago has dropped four of seven to Milwaukee, but against everyone else, it’s 10-2. This week will be a litmus test of sorts — the Cubs will play the Cardinals five times in the next three days, and between now and Aug. 29, they’ll play three seven-inning doubleheaders.

5) Twins (14-8, 4)
It’s been a good season so far for Minnesota, but it’s not without its quirks. The Twins have lost four of six against the last-place Royals, but they have won 12 of their other 16 games. On Sunday, they received another strong start from sinkerballer Randy Dobnak, who has emerged as an early AL Rookie of the Year Award candidate. The right-hander allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in the Twins’ 4-2 win over Kansas City, and he carries a 1.42 ERA through five starts this year.

The rest of the field of 30
6) Braves (13-10, 6 last week)
7) Indians (13-9, 7)
8) Rockies (13-8, 8)
9) Rays (14-9, 9)
10) Padres (11-12, 11)
11) Brewers (10-10, 19)
12) Astros (11-10, 10)
13) Cardinals (4-4, 14)
14) Reds (9-11, 12)
15) Orioles (12-9, 22)
16) White Sox (11-11, 13)
17) D-backs (11-11, 21)
18) Marlins (9-6, 15)
19) Phillies (8-9, 16)
20) Nationals (8-11, 17)
21) Mets (9-14, 18)
22) Rangers (10-10, 24)
23) Blue Jays (7-11, 25)
24) Angels (7-15, 20)
25) Tigers (9-10, 26)
26) Giants (8-15, 27)
27) Royals (9-13, 28)
28) Red Sox (6-16, 23)
29) Mariners (7-16, 29)
30) Pirates (4-14, 30)

Voters: Alyson Footer, Richard Justice, Anthony Castrovince, Jesse Sanchez, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.