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Astros primed to push Yankees atop AL?

The Houston Astros have won seven straight through Monday to take the lead in 13 MLS games, and fall within 5 games of the New York Yankees for the best baseball record.

Houston’s Jordan Alvarez was AL’s Player of the Month in June, hitting 0.418 with nine home runs and 28 RBI and a huge home run on Monday. The 1.061 OPS is best in majors and is second in baseball with a score of 25, behind only Aaron Judge.

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The Astros have gone 7-2 against New York teams over the past two weeks, winning all four contests against the Mets and capturing three of five Yankees.

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

Ranking (movement from last week)

1 – New York Yankees (-)

  • The Yankees led the big business with 58 home races in July.

2. Houston Astros (+1)

  • Super easy schedule up to the All-Star Break with Serial vs. Kings, Athletics (six matches) and Angels.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (+1)

  • Mookie Betts returns from the injured list playing second base.

4 – New York Mets (-2)

  • Max Scherzer is back on Tuesday, and Jacob Degrom started his rehab job on Sunday.

5. Atlanta Braves (+1)

  • The Braves went 24-10 in their first 34 games for second player Michael Harris in the major tournaments.

6 – San Diego Padres (-1)

  • Shout out to Numar Mazra for hitting .304 in June.

7. Milwaukee Brewers (+3)

  • Luis Ureas had a big week, going 10 for 30 with three homeowners and eight RBIs.

8. Boston Red Sox (-1)

  • Rich Hill (4.20 ERA in 15 starts) heads to the list with a knee injury.

9- Toronto Blue Jays (-1)

  • Outstanding possession off the season Matt Chapman scored 0.215 in his first 75 games for Toronto.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (-1)

  • The next series of Cardinals with the leading NL Central Brewers isn’t until August 12th.

11. Minnesota Twins (+2)

  • Carlos Correa hit .342 with a 1,012 OPS in the June 21 games.

12 – Rays of Tampa Bay (-1).

  • Isaac Paredes, who is back in the Austin Meadows trade, has 13 hours and 0.911 OPS in 41 games.

13. Cleveland Guardians (+1)

  • Emmanuel Klass may be the best savior in baseball.

14. San Francisco Giants (-2)

  • The Giants are fading fast in the NL West race, losing eight out of 10.

15. Philadelphia Phillies (-)

  • Rhys Hoskins hit 0.318 with nine home runs in the last 30 games – and the Phillies won 21-9.

16. Texas Rangers (-)

  • Cory Seeger has a six HR in 86 AB against the left hand, nine in 210 against the right hand.

17. Miami Marlins (-)

  • Stephen Ockert is 5-0 with a 2.36 ERA in 33 games.

18. Chicago White Sox (+1)

  • Dylan Cease’s last three starts: 1.00 ERA, 28 strokes in 18 rounds.

19. Seattle Mariners (+2)

  • Robbie Ray has a 2.06 ERA with 49 strokes in his last seven starts.

20. Los Angeles Angels (-2)

  • Noah Syndergaard has been quietly solid: 3.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 12 starts.

21 – Baltimore Orioles (-1)

  • Tyler Wells is 5-0 with 1.93 ERA in his last five starts.

22- Arizona Diamondbacks (-)

  • Faithful Ian Kennedy (3.58 APR at 27 2/3 IP) moves to the list of those with a calf injury.

23- Colorado Rockies (-)

  • Zach Fenn has 10 players and 32 steals in 69 games for Class A Spokane.

24. Chicago Cubs (+2)

  • Seiya Suzuki scores on the field in his first game outside the injured list.

25 – Pittsburgh Pirates (-1)

  • Veteran leftist Jose Quintana (3.43 ERA in 15 starts) continues his performance.

26. Detroit Tigers[-1][-1)

27. Cincinnati Reds (-)

  • Brandon Drury’s watch: 17 HR and 45 RBI in 69 games.

28. Kansas City Royals (-)

  • Loyal Rookie José Cuas has a 1.98 ERA with 17 appearances.

29. Washington Nationals (-)

  • Josh Bell hit 0.439 (25 for 57) with five runs in 16 games from June 16 to July 3.

30. Auckland Athletics (-)

  • Frankie Montas was pulled from his start on Sunday after one turn with a shoulder injury.

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