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MLB power rankings: Yankees, Phillies revive World Series memories

It’s been 15 years since the New York Yankees won the World Series, a spirited six-game conquest of the Philadelphia Phillies that gave no indication it’d be more than a decade before either club got back.

And while two-thirds of this season still must play out, it can’t hurt to pause for a little nostalgia atop USA TODAY Sports’ power rankings.

The Yankees have ascended to the top spot in the rankings after a raucous series victory at San Diego gave them the best record in the American League.

And who lurks at No. 2 in the rankings? The Phillies, who even after losing three of their last four have the game’s best record, albeit by just a game over New York.

It’s enough to stir memories of the 2009 World Series, when CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and AJ Burnett shouldered all the starting pitching load for the Yankees while Cole Hamels tried to replicate his Series MVP magic from the previous year.

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Heck, you still can’t miss many of the principals from that series, even if they’re best known as hockey fans or organizers of a cool pickup game these days. Perhaps in October, we’ll get a reprise of the Amtrak Series.

A look at this week’s rankings:

1. New York Yankees (+1)

  • If Soto, Judge and Stanton comprised their frontcourt, the Knicks might still be in the playoffs.

2. Philadelphia Phillies (+1)

  • Trea Turner goes down? Edmundo Sosa simply hits .316 with a 1.000 OPS, and a majors-leading four triples.

3. Baltimore Orioles (+1)

  • Seven no-hit innings, 11 strikeouts show Kyle Bradish is back to dominating after spring elbow scare.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (-3)

  • Fans already calling this the ‘Dylan goes electric’ portion of the season.

5. Cleveland Guardians (+1)

  • Nine-game winning streak was longest since they won AL-record 22 in a row in 2017.

6. Atlanta Braves (-1)

  • Already in a funk before losing their best player.

7. Kansas City Royals (+1)

  • Only the ’76 club – first division winners in franchise history – had a better first third than their 34-20 start.

8. Milwaukee Brewers (-1)

  • Fans boo Craig Counsell’s welcome-home video and then beat him. Cold!

9. Seattle Mariners (+1)

  • This is right around the time Julio Rodriguez emerges from his spring funk.

10. Minnesota Twins (+1)

  • Already snagged the opener of a moderately big series against Royals.

11. Chicago Cubs (-2)

  • Swept in St. Louis, mocked in Milwaukee, back to .500.

12. San Diego Padres (-)

  • With Marlins in town, they could at least pick up the check since Miami’s spotting them Luis Arráez.

13. San Francisco Giants (+4)

  • Just as they reel off five wins in seven games, LaMonte Wade Jr. hits IL with hamstring strain.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (-1)

  • Just 15-17 at Tropicana Field.

15. Detroit Tigers (-)

  • Rookie Colt Keith hits first major league home run in 44th game.

16. Boston Red Sox (-)

  • Garrett Whitlock headed for second major elbow surgery.

17. Texas Rangers (-3)

  • It’s hard to repeat, folks.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (-)

  • Offense has been putrid, to put it nicely.

19. Houston Astros (-)

  • Probably had these four games at Seattle circled for a minute.

20. Cincinnati Reds (+2)

  • Reliever Fernando Cruz struck out all five batters he faced Monday.

21. St. Louis Cardinals (+4)

  • Paul Goldschmidt’s three homers the past two games nearly equals the four he hit in his first 50.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates (-1)

  • They’re gonna wring every bit of worth out of Rowdy Tellez’s $3.2 million deal – even if it means a .467 OPS.

23. Washington Nationals (-)

  • Better start learning this name: Mitchell Parker, quality start machine.

24. New York Mets (-4)

  • Two months to the trade deadline, and they’re still languishing.

25. Toronto Blue Jays (-1)

  • As schedule softens, an early last stand begins.

26. Oakland Athletics (-)

  • Mason Miller’s scoreless streak finally snapped at 19 1/3.

27. Los Angeles Angels (-)

  • 6-19 at home? Make it make sense.

28. Colorado Rockies (-)

  • 7-22 entering May, 11-12 within it.

29. Miami Marlins (-)

  • Lefty Ryan Weathers emerging as a dude, with 3.16 ERA in 11 starts.

30. Chicago White Sox (-)

  • Manager Pedro Grifol said team looked ‘(expletive) flat.’ Team said no. Grifol reiterated. It’s not yet June.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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