MLB Power Rankings: Why Dodgers are World Series favorites, plus Yankees stay at No. 1 this week – CBS Sports

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Entering the weekend, the four best records in baseball belonged to the Yankees, Phillies, Guardians and Orioles. The Dodgers had the fifth-best record in MLB, and they were a full six games behind the Yankees. For many people back in the spring, hearing such a thing would’ve qualified as an upset, perhaps even a major upset. 
Interestingly, they were still the betting favorites to win the World Series, just as they are Monday morning at +300.
It isn’t shocking that they would have shorter odds than the Orioles or Guardians, but the Yankees and Phillies are both pretty well built for the postseason and play in large markets — the Yankees a mega-market. This might be a good illustration of the Dodgers brand at this point. They’ve been in the playoffs so many times in a row and are such a juggernaut that they sit above the Yankees in the minds of the betting public. 
Also, it’s entirely possible the books and bettors are looking forward at the Dodgers’ playoff potential. There isn’t much doubt that they’ll be there. Most projection systems have them in the 99-100% range for making the postseason. If you look at some areas where they’ve stumbled at times this season, we’d get into lineup depth and the banged-up rotation. 
In the playoffs, depth doesn’t much matter. You’re going to play the best players every day and the Dodgers have Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman in addition to a solid supporting cast with Teoscar Hernández and Will Smith. That’s five huge bats that few other teams could match. By the end of the year, the rotation could house a fully functional Clayton Kershaw along with Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Maybe Walker Buehler finally gets back to looking like his old self by then, too. 
The potential is there for a stellar postseason run. That’s why the odds were the way they were before the Dodgers went into Yankee Stadium for a possible World Series preview this past weekend. 
And they went into Yankee Stadium and showed everyone how they can flex their muscles on the big stage. Yamamoto dominated on Friday and the Dodgers outlasted the Yankees in a pitchers duel. Saturday, behind a Hernández explosion, they put up 11 runs in a rout. They pushed the hell out of the Yankees Sunday night, falling just short, but taking two of three in the Bronx is a great series. 
Of course, it still isn’t enough to put the Dodgers on top of the Power Rankings this week. They are five games worse than the best record in baseball while the Yankees, Phillies and Orioles all have a better run differential. Before they won the series in New York, they lost one in Pittsburgh. They’ve lost more than they’ve won in their last 17 (8-9). I’m not going to be put them over the Yankees just because they won a series over them, especially since Juan Soto was out for the Yanks (and the Yankees likely win Friday if Soto wasn’t out, since it was a scoreless tie going to the 11th). 
This is definitely an elite team, but it is not — at this specific moment — the best team in baseball, even if it might be the one most likely to win the World Series.   
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