LA Dodgers look unbeatable atop baseball standings

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With an 88-38 record entering Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 7½ games better than the second-best team in baseball.

The NL West leaders (by 19½ games) are 28-8 since the All-Star Break and on track to shatter the franchise record of 106 wins, accomplished in both 2019 (NLDS loss) and 2021 (NLCS loss).

In the second half, Mookie Betts is hitting .313 with a 1.003 OPS and Julio Urias is 6-1 with a 1.05 ERA in seven starts.

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They head to New York this week for a three-game series against the Mets (82-47), who are tied with the Houston Astros for the best non-Dodgers record in baseball.

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

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)

  • Dodgers pitchers have a 2.39 ERA in the past 27 games, holding hitters to a .183 average.

2. New York Mets (–)

  • After three against the Dodgers, the Mets only have six games remaining against teams above .500.

3. Houston Astros (+1)

  • Alex Bregman’s last 14 games: .365 BA, 1.232 OPS, 5 HR, 15 RBI.

4. Atlanta Braves (-1)

  • They’ll be keeping an eye on the Mets-Dodgers scores while bashing the Rockies.

5. New York Yankees (–)

  • Split a four-game series with the lowly Athletics – getting one-hit in Saturday’s 11-inning loss.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (–)

  • Cardinals’ .859 OPS since the All-Star break is the best in baseball.

7. Philadelphia Phillies (–)

  • Bryce Harper returns after two months on the injured list.

8. Tampa Bay Rays (+4)

  • Tampa Bay has won 11 of 15 and enters Monday 7.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East

9. Seattle Mariners (-1)

10. Cleveland Guardians (+1)

  • In a possible playoff preview, Guardians lost weekend series vs. Mariners.

11. Toronto Blue Jays (-2)

  • Getting swept by the Angels at home was not ideal

12. San Diego Padres (-2)

  • Juan Soto missed three games with a back issue last week.

13. Baltimore Orioles (+1)

  • GM Mike Elias says top prospect SS Gunnar Henderson has “put himself in a spot to be considered” for a call-up.

14. Minnesota Twins (-1)

15. Milwaukee Brewers (–)

  • When will outfield prospect Sal Frelick (.388 in Class AAA) get the call?

16. Boston Red Sox (+1)

  • He’ll be back when rosters expand but Jarren Duran demoted to Class AAA.

17. San Francisco Giants (+1)

  • Getting swept in Minnesota may have been the nail in the coffin for Giants’ postseason hopes.

18. Chicago White Sox (-2)

19. Arizona Diamondbacks (–)

  • Swept the White Sox to get in on the schadenfreude.

20. Texas Rangers (+1)

  • Nathaniel Lowe’s last 14 games: .414 BA, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 1.245 OPS.

21. Miami Marlins (+1)

  • Sandy Alcantara’s four complete games are more than any team in baseball.

22. Chicago Cubs (-2)

  • Rough week ahead with three-game series vs. Blue Jays and Cardinals.

23. Los Angeles Angels (+1)

  • Angels’ pitching has been great as of late, with a 3.24 ERA and .217 BAA in their last 28 games (13-15).

24. Colorado Rockies (-1)

  • Brendan Rodgers’ 2.1 dWAR is second among second basemen.

25. Cincinnati Reds (–)

26. Kansas City Royals (+1)

  • It’s a shame Bobby Witt Jr. (18 HR, 26 steals) won’t much Rookie of the Year consideration.

27. Detroit Tigers (+1)

  • Riley Greene has 17 hits (.309 average) and 11 runs in his last 13 games.

28. Oakland Athletics (+1)

  • Sean Murphy responds to not being traded by hitting .314 with 4 HR in August.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates (-3)

30. Washington Nationals (–)

  • 30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses is hitting .333 with six home runs since being called up in early August.

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