Chicago Cubs' Jorge Soler (68) celebrates after hitting a three-run home run (credit:

For an explanation of how the SD Score is calculated, see below.

1– Chicago Cubs (103-58) SD Score +3.58

It was one of the best regular seasons in the last 30 years. Can the Cubs go all the way?

2 – Boston Red Sox (93-69); SD Score +3.00

The Red Sox could have secured home field, but had a rough final week. This is still not a team anyone wants to face.

3 – Washington Nationals (95-67); SD Score +2.10

The Nationals are poised to quietly make a run. If they can make it to the NLCS, they will be hard to beat.

4 – Cleveland Indians (94-67); SD Score +1.51

What a finish for Cleveland as they won their final 3 games and get to host the Red Sox in the divisional round instead of having to go to Fenway. If Cleveland can get by Boston, the sky is the limit.

 5 – Texas Rangers (95-67) SD Score +0.27

The Rangers were able to secure home field throughout the AL playoffs and did it on the success of their record in one-run games (36-11), a new major league record. How will they fare in a difficult AL crowd for the postseason?

6 – Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71) SD Score +1.12

Congrats to the Dodgers for defying the odds and winning the NL West. You have to wonder how much losing to the Giants at the end will affect the playoffs.

7 – Toronto Blue Jays (89-73); SD Score +1.34

The Blue Jays were able to overcome a rough September and outlast the Tigers for the final Wild Card spot. This week’s match against the Orioles should be a great one.

8 – Baltimore Orioles (89-73); SD Score +0.45

If the Orioles can make it to the division series, they should give Texas a lot to worry about.

9 – San Francisco Giants (87-75); SD Score +1.04

The Giants should feel fortunate to be in the playoffs, but they will have to play infinitely better than they have since July to make a deep run.

10 – New York Mets (87-75); SD Score +0.47

The Mets overcame a lot to get to this point. Now they get one game to prove they belong in the playoffs.


11 – St. Louis Cardinals (86-76) SD Score +1.09

12 – Detroit Tigers (86-75); SD Score +0.48

13– Seattle Mariners (86-76); SD Score +0.96

14 – Houston Astros (84-78); SD Score +0.29

15 – New York Yankees (84-78); SD Score -0.47

16 – Colorado Rockies (75-87); SD Score +0.31

17 – Kansas City Royals (81-81); SD Score -0.68

18 – Miami Marlins (79-82); SD Score -0.64

19 – Pittsburgh Pirates (78-83); SD Score -0.35

20 – Chicago White Sox (78-84); SD Score -0.53

21 – Los Angeles Angels (74-88); SD Score -0.16

22 – Milwaukee Brewers (73-89); SD Score -1.02

23 – Tampa Bay Rays (68-94); SD Score -0.75

24 – Oakland A’s (69-93); SD Score -1.69

25 – San Diego Padres (68-94); SD Score -1.24

26 – Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93); SD Score -1.65

27 – Cincinnati Reds (68-94); SD Score -1.81

28 – Philadelphia Phillies (71-91); SD Score -2.87

29 – Atlanta Braves (68-93); SD Score -1.98

30 – Minnesota Twins (59-103); SD Score -2.15

SD Score explanation:

Run production is one of the best measures of how a team is performing and how dominant or bad they are.

The formula takes each team’s runs scored and runs allowed totals and how many standard deviations from the league average they are.

Example: 1927 Yankees

The 27 Yankees score 975 runs (1927 AL average was 762 and SD of team runs for the AL was about 115). Take the difference from the league average (975-762=213) and divide by the SD (115), the 1927 Yankees were 1.85 SD above the league average in runs scored.

They allowed 599 runs (the SD in runs allowed for the 1927 AL was about 88.5), which was 163 runs less than the league average. 163/88.5 gives us a 1.84 SD above the league average in runs allowed.

Add 1.85 and 1.84 to get a final SD Score of +3.69 for the 1927 Yankees, which is amazing.

(SD ranking explanation found in “Baseball Dynasties: The Greatest Teams of All Time” by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein)