MLB power rankings: Fernando Tatis Jr. has San Diego Padres set to end postseason drought

Seven wins, five grand slams and one incredibly pointless controversy.

What a week it was for the San Diego Padres.

Building off the momentum from Fernando Tatis Jr.'s opinion-inducing grand slam Monday, the Padres slugged their way to a perfect week and became the first team in baseball history to have a grand slam in four consecutive games.

San Diego hasn't reached the postseason since 2006 — baseball's third-longest drought — but with an expanded field in 2020 and an offense that won't let up, the Padres are poised to get back to the playoffs.

The Padres' 163 runs through Sunday were second-best in the majors, trailing only their NL West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 21-year-old Tatis, limited to 84 games as a rookie in 2019 (still batting .317 with 22 HR and 16 SB), leads the majors with 12 home runs and 29 RBI and has established himself as one of the most electrifying players in the game.

Elsewhere, rookie second baseman Jake Cronenworth is hitting .347 through 75 at-bats and the Padres are getting nice bounce-back campaigns from Manny Machado and Wil Myers.

San Diego might not be up for the task of ending the Dodgers' reign, but they're a good bet to make the postseason in this shortened season.

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jake Cronenworth celebrate a win. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports)

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

Rank (movement from last week)

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)

  • Walker Buehler gets back on track with 10-strikeout game vs. Rockies.

2. Oakland Athletics (–)

  • Bullpen's 2.10 ERA through Sunday was best in the American League.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (+3)

  • Brandon Lowe for AL MVP?

4. Minnesota Twins (+1)

  • Nelson Cruz's 1.122 OPS was tops in the AL through Sunday.

5. New York Yankees (-2)

  • Zack Britton, James Paxton, Gleyber Torres join the list of injured Yankees.

6. San Diego Padres (+7)

  • Slam Diego: Padres slug five grand slams during their seven-game winning streak.

7. Chicago Cubs (-3)

  • Since 2019 All-Star Break, Yu Darvish has 162 K and 13 BB in 118 ⅔ IP.

8. Cleveland Indians (-1)

  • AL Cy Young Award might be Shane Bieber's to lose.

9. Atlanta Braves (–)

  • Still waiting on Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies to return from injury.

10. Chicago White Sox (+9)

  • Seven-game winning streak ends with loss in series finale vs. Cubs.

11. Houston Astros (-1)

  • Yordan Alvarez's season comes to an end with knee injury.

12. St. Louis Cardinals (+2)

  • Kwang Hyun Kim picks up first MLB win with six shutout innings vs. Reds.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (+11)

  • Hyun-jin Ryu has a 3.19 ERA through six starts with Blue Jays.

14. Colorado Rockies (-6)

  • Lefty Kyle Freeland has a 2.87 ERA through six starts.

15. Miami Marlins (-4)

  • Elieser Hernández's first four starts: 2.29 ERA, 25 K, 3 BB in 19 ⅔ innings.

16. Baltimore Orioles (-4)

  • Anthony Santander's first 22 games in August: eight homers, 20 RBI, 1.000 OPS.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (-1)

  • Ketel Marte was hitting .336 through Sunday – with one homer.

18. New York Mets (+4)

  • Dom Smith has 21 RBI in 20 games.

19. Washington Nationals (+2)

  • Stephen Strasburg to have season-ending surgery for carpal tunnel.

20. Milwaukee Brewers (-3)

  • Lost five of six last week including a sweep at the hands of Pittsburgh.

21. Cincinnati Reds (-1)

  • Sonny Gray has 51 strikeouts in 36 ⅔ innings.

22. Texas Rangers (-7)

  • Tough week ahead with four vs. Athletics, three vs. Dodgers.

23. Detroit Tigers (–)

  • Casey Mize struck out seven with no walks in his 4 ⅓-inning debut

24. San Francisco Giants (+1)

  • Top prospect Joey Bart went 4-for-12 to start his big-league career.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (-7)

  • Brandon Workman blew a save on his first pitch as a Phillie.

26. Kansas City Royals (–)

  • Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi tied for AL lead with six steals through Sunday.

27. Seattle Mariners (+2)

  • Halfway through season, Kyle Lewis is favorite for AL Rookie of the Year.

28. Los Angeles Angels (-1)

  • Dylan Bundy, enjoying a renaissance with Angels, is just 27 years old.

29. Boston Red Sox (-1)

  • Having traded closer Brandon Workman, who's next out the door?

30. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)

  • Josh Bell's struggles continue: .205, two home runs in 23 games.

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