MLB power rankings: Astros’ seven-game win streak lands them at No. 1

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The Houston Astros have caught fire over the past month, winning 16 of 20 to confirm their status in the upper tier of World Series contenders. For that, they take over the top spot in USA TODAY Sports’ weekly MLB power rankings from the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost six in a row over the past week.

It’s no coincidence that Houston’s surge coincided with the return of budding ace Framber Valdez, who didn’t make his first start of the year until May 28 due to a finger injury. The 27-year-old lefty came into the year with high expectations following a great 2020 postseason (1.88 ERA in 24 innings) and picked up right where he left off, posting a 1.67 ERA in his first five starts of 2021.

The Astros play their next 10 games against the Orioles and Tigers so they certainly should be able to keep this run going for the next couple of weeks. But Houston will be without Alex Bregman who hit the IL with a strained quad that’s going to keep him out “a while” according to manager Dusty Baker.

Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve celebrate an Astros win.

Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve celebrate an Astros win.

Here’s how our seven-person panel voted this week:

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RANK (movement from last week)

1. Houston Astros (+7)

  • Buckle up: Next nine games against Padres, Cubs, Giants.

4. Tampa Bay Rays (-3)

  • Ace Tyler Glasnow lost to elbow injury, team suffers four walk-off losses, summons Wander Franco. Sheesh.

7. Oakland Athletics (-1)

8. San Diego Padres (-1)

9. Chicago Cubs (–)

10. Cleveland (+2)

11. New York Mets (–)

12. Milwaukee Brewers (-3)

13. New York Yankees (+1)

14. Toronto Blue Jays (-1)

15. Philadelphia Phillies (–)

16. Cincinnati Reds (-1)

17. Atlanta Braves (+1)

18. Los Angeles Angels (+2)

19. Washington Nationals (+4)

20. St. Louis Cardinals (-4)

21. Seattle Mariners (+1)

22. Miami Marlins (-1)

23. Kansas City Royals (-4)

24. Minnesota Twins (–)

25. Detroit Tigers (–)

26. Colorado Rockies (–)

27. Texas Rangers (–)

28. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)

29. Baltimore Orioles (–)

30. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Astros seven-game win streak lands them at No. 1

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Source – sports.yahoo.com

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