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Justin Upton powers Braves to top spot in rankings

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With Justin Upton leading the way, the Braves are off to a flying start in the National League East.

Power has defined the first week and a half of the baseball season. Power pitching has led to a record rate of 7.61 strikeouts per team per game that, if sustained, would be the eighth straight year strikeouts have increased.

Power bats are also on the rise, with each team averaging 1.09 home runs per game, which would be the sixth-highest rate in baseball history. Six teams are scoring at least half their runs via homers, something only one team has ever done for an entire season (the 2010 Blue Jays).

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that the top two teams in the first edition of SI.com's 2013 MLB Power Rankings -- Atlanta and Oakland -- either lead or are tied for the league lead in home runs.

And the rankings themselves are more powerful than ever. A new quantitative formula has been devised to rank teams according to season record, recent record (with a small strength of schedule component) and run differential.

NOTES: All stats are updated through Wednesday, April 10. A team's "last week" ranking refers to the offseason rankings.

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