For an explanation of how the SD Score is calculated, see below. Teams will take big jumps forwards and backwards in the first month as the stat ‘sample size’ is small.
1 – Washington Nationals (13-5); SD Score +1.36, Ranking Last Week – 16
Opponents – at Braves (3-0), at Mets (3-0)
After a slow start, the Nationals have won 10 of their last 12 games, including 7 in a row. That’s one way to climb any rankings list.
2 – Houston Astros (13-6); SD Score +1.32, Ranking Last Week – 7
Opponents – vs Angels (3-1), at Rays (2-1)
The Astros have really been showing off their powerful offense as well as their ability to win close games.
3 – Baltimore Orioles (12-5); SD Score +0.95, Ranking Last Week – 3
Opponents – at Reds (2-1), vs Red Sox (2-1)
Baltimore’s tough wins against the Reds and Red Sox keeps them atop the AL East. Dylan Bundy been lights out with a 1.37 ERA and zero earned runs in his last two starts.
4– New York Yankees (11-7); SD Score +2.69 Ranking Last Week – 1
Opponents – vs White Sox (2-1), at Pirates (1-2)
The Pirates were able to knock the Yankees out of the top spot, but New York is very much in contention for the AL East this year.
5 – Colorado Rockies (13-6); SD Score +0.97, Ranking Last Week – 10
Opponents – at Dodgers (1-1), vs Giants (3-0)
Colorado has owned the Giants lately and was able to split with the Dodgers and take control of the NL West. They have a big series this week with Washington which should tell us a little more about how good they really are.
6 – Arizona Diamondbacks (12-8); SD Score +1.58, Ranking Last Week – 8
Opponents – at Padres (1-2), vs Dodgers (2-1)
The Diamondbacks rebounded from stumbles in San Diego by taking control of the Dodgers series with a couple of wide-margin victories.
7 – Cleveland Indians (10-8); SD Score +0.70, Ranking Last Week – 22
Opponents – at Twins (3-0), at White Sox (2-1)
The Indians rebounded from a difficult start by winning six of their last eight.
8 – Chicago Cubs (10-8) SD Score +0.65, Ranking Last Week – 15
Opponents – vs Brewers (2-1), at Reds (2-1)
The Cubs had a good week, but it could have been disastrous if not for late-game heroics. But that’s why they’re the champs.
9 – Miami Marlins (10-8); SD Score +1.03, Ranking Last Week – 6
Opponents – at Mariners (1-2), at Padres (2-1)
Miami was able to end the week with two victories after sub-par performances against the Mariners.
10 – Boston Red Sox (11-8); SD Score +0.34, Ranking Last Week – 13
Opponents – at Blue Jays (2-1), at Orioles (1-2)
The Red Sox missed an opportunity to take control of the AL East against Baltimore this week, but have another chance against the Yankees.
11 – Cincinnati Reds (10-9); SD Score +1.19, Ranking Last Week – 4
Opponents – vs Orioles (1-2), vs Cubs (1-2)
The Reds have come back to earth as they faced two of the best teams in baseball.
12 – Los Angeles Dodgers (9-10) SD Score +1.05, Ranking Last Week – 2
Opponents – vs Diamondbacks (0-1), vs Rockies (1-1), at Diamondbacks (1-2)
The Dodgers ended up struggling this week but were able to avoid what would have been a really bad sweep against Arizona. They need to beat up on the Giants who appear to be spiraling out of control.
13 – Texas Rangers (9-10) SD Score +0.63, Ranking Last Week – 28
Opponents – at A’s (1-2), vs Royals (4-0)
The Rangers climbed up in the standings a bit with a sweep over the Royals. They need to keep this streak alive for a bit.
14 – Tampa Bay Rays (10-10); SD Score +0.26, Ranking Last Week – 17
Opponents – at Red Sox (0-1), vs Tigers (3-0), vs Astros (1-2)
The Rays are in the race in the AL East, one of the toughest divisions in the majors. They got a big sweep against Detroit and avoided a sweep against the Astros. They’ll be tested at Baltimore even more.
15 – Philadelphia Phillies (9-9); SD Score +0.55, Ranking Last Week – 26
Opponents – at Mets (2-1), vs Braves (3-0)
The Phillies made up some ground in the NL East and have won 5 of 6.
16 – Minnesota Twins (8-10); SD Score +0.41, Ranking Last Week – 5
Opponents – vs Indians (0-3), vs Tigers (1-2)
The Twins got rocked this week, unlike last week when they lost close games. They need to turn it around.
17 – Detroit Tigers (10-8); SD Score -1.53, Ranking Last Week – 11
Opponents – at Rays (0-3), at Twins (2-1)
After losing four straight, the Tigers were able to win two straight against the Twins, who have been in a slump. They are tied with Cleveland in the AL Central but have to worry about Miguel Cabrera being on the DL now.
18 – Oakland A’s (10-9); SD Score -1.14, Ranking Last Week – 23
Opponents – vs Rangers (2-1), vs Mariners (3-1)
Oakland has played much better and had a nice five game winning streak going. Their SD score would be better if not for 7-0 and 11-1 losses.
19 – Chicago White Sox (8-9); SD Score -0.04, Ranking Last Week – 14
Opponents – at Yankees (1-2), vs Indians (1-2)
This was a difficult week for Chicago as they didn’t fare well against two of the best teams in the AL.
20 – St. Louis Cardinals (9-10) SD Score -1.08, Ranking Last Week – 29
Opponents – vs Pirates (3-0), at Brewers (3-1)
After a horrible start, the Cardinals have won six of seven and climbed out of last place. Can they keep pace with Chicago?
21– Seattle Mariners (8-12); SD Score +0.23, Ranking Last Week – 25
Opponents – vs Marlins (2-1), at A’s (1-3)
Seattle is another team that is very up and down. They need to win consistently to get back to last year’s form.
22 – Milwaukee Brewers (9-11); SD Score -0.40, Ranking Last Week – 12
Opponents – at Cubs (1-2), vs Cardinals (1-3)
The Brewers had chances to sweep the Cubs and at least split with the Cardinals, but weren’t able to hold leads. The ability to win games like that will define their season.
23 – New York Mets (7-6); SD Score -0.31, Ranking Last Week – 9
Opponents – at Phillies (3-0), at Marlins (1-3)
The Mets have been closing out games, including a big 16 inning game against the Marlins. Unfortunately, they lost the last 3 to Miami.
24 – Kansas City Royals (7-11); SD Score -0.63, Ranking Last Week – 18
Opponents – vs Giants (1-1), at Rangers (0-4)
The Royals were playing good ball, but got swept by the Rangers and are now in last in the AL Central.
25 – Pittsburgh Pirates (8-10); SD Score -1.21, Ranking Last Week – 19
Opponents – at Cardinals (0-3), vs Yankees (2-1)
The Pirates are very hard to read. Just when you think they’re headed for a long losing streak, they come out and beat up a good team.
26 – Los Angeles Angels (8-12); SD Score -1.83, Ranking Last Week – 20
Opponents – at Astros (1-3), vs Blue Jays (1-2)
The Angels have really struggled on offense and now lead the AL with the largest difference in run production – they are now minus 20.
27 – Atlanta Braves (6-12); SD Score -1.68, Ranking Last Week – 24
Opponents –vs Padres (1-0), vs Nationals (0-3), at Phillies (0-3)
Atlanta had a rough week after facing the Padres. It might not get better for awhile.
28 – San Diego Padres (8-12); SD Score -2.94, Ranking Last Week – 27
Opponents – at Braves (0-1), vs Diamondbacks (2-1), vs Marlins (1-2)
Beating the Diamondbacks and Marlins for a 3 game winning streak saved San Diego from last place in the NL West.
29 – San Francisco Giants (6-13); SD Score -1.78, Ranking Last Week – 21
Opponents – at Royals (1-1), at Rockies (0-3)
The Giants are reeling and now Madison Bumgarner is out for a long time after a biking accident.
30 – Toronto Blue Jays (5-13); SD Score -1.34, Ranking Last Week – 30
Opponents – vs Red Sox (1-2), at Angels (2-1)
Toronto needs all the help it can get and they need to get on a winning streak.
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)