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(photo credit: tribevibe.mlblogs.com)

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

1– Chicago Cubs (73-43) SD Score +3.41; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents – Angels (2-0), Cardinals (2-2)

The Cubs are still the top team and had a nice winning streak going. There’s no reason to think they’re going to slow down anytime soon.

2 – Washington Nationals (69-47); SD Score +2.44; Record this week (3-2), Ranking Last Week – 2

Opponents – Indians (1-1), Braves (2-1)

Daniel Murphy (.348/.387/.616) and Max Scherzer are having MVP seasons and the Nationals are still rolling.

3 – Cleveland Indians (67-48); SD Score +1.92; Record this week (4-1), Ranking Last Week – 3

Opponents – at Nationals (1-1), Angels (4-0)

The Indians are back on track after dropping only one game this week.

4 – Texas Rangers (69-50); SD Score +0.07; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – at Rockies (2-0), Rockies (1-1), Tigers (1-2)

Overall, the Rangers have been consistent, but losing 3 of the last 4 hurt. Prince Fielder’s early retirement also put a somber end to the week.

5 – Toronto Blue Jays (67-51); SD Score +1.59; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – Rays (2-1), Astros (2-1)

And the Blue Jays are in first place in the AL East. They just win almost every week but will need to play well at the Yankees and at Cleveland.

6 – Baltimore Orioles (66-51); SD Score +0.70; Record this week (3-4) Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – at A’s (1-3), at Giants (2-1)

The Orioles could have easily been 2-5 for the week but are now just a half game back in the AL East.

7 – San Francisco Giants (66-51); SD Score +0.82; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 7

Opponents – at Marlins (2-1), Orioles (1-2)

The Giants did finally win a series, but giving up 7 straight runs to lose 8-7 in the rubber match against the Orioles had to sting.

8 – Boston Red Sox (64-52); SD Score +2.03; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 9

Opponents – Yankees (1-2), Diamondbacks (3-0)

Getting the sweep against the Diamondbacks was big as the Red Sox are now tied for the Wild Card and just a couple games back in the AL East race.

9 – Los Angeles Dodgers (65-52) SD Score +0.95; Record this week (3-3) Ranking Last Week – 8

Opponents – Phillies (2-1), Pirates (1-2)

The Dodgers had another .500 week, but still only trail the Giants by a game.

10 – Detroit Tigers (63-54); SD Score +0.44; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 10

Opponents – at Mariners (0-3), at Rangers (2-1)

The Tigers could have used at least one win in Seattle. Especially since they have a 4-game series with the Red Sox.

11 – Seattle Mariners (62-54); SD Score +0.82; Record this week (5-1), Ranking Last Week – 13

Opponents – Tigers (3-0), at A’s (2-1)

The Mariners picked a good week to stay hot as they swept the surging Tigers. Now they’re back in 2nd place and very much in the Wild Card race.

12 – St. Louis Cardinals (62-56); SD Score +1.23; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 12

Opponents – Reds (2-1), at Cubs (2-2)

The good thing for the Cardinals is that they didn’t lose any ground to the Cubs. The bad news is they didn’t gain any ground either.

13 – Houston Astros (61-57); SD Score +0.74; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – at Twins (3-1), at Blue Jays (1-2)

The Astros are starting to look better than they had but they need to regain that consistency.

14 – Miami Marlins (61-56); SD Score +0.14; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 11

Opponents – Giants (1-2), White Sox (1-2)

This was a tough break kind of a week for the Marlins as they dropped four 1-run games.

15 – Pittsburgh Pirates (59-56); SD Score +0.02; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents – Padres (2-1), at Dodgers (2-1)

The Pirates played good ball this week and ensured themselves of two wins over the Dodgers by scoring 16 runs in their two wins against them.

16 – New York Yankees (60-57); SD Score -0.60; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents – at Red Sox (2-1), Rays (2-1)

The Yankees have won 17 of their last 30 games and continue to impress. This week’s Toronto series should be a good one.

17 – New York Mets (59-58); SD Score -0.18; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 14

Opponents – Diamondbacks (0-3), Padres (2-1)

This could have been a bounce-back week as the Mets played two of the weaker teams. Instead, they got swept at home by the Diamondbacks. Now comes a long road trip.

18 – Colorado Rockies (56-62); SD Score +0.46; Record this week (1-6), Ranking Last Week – 16

Opponents – Rangers (0-2), at Rangers (1-1), at Phillies (0-3)

Getting swept by the Phillies sure halted the Rockies hot August and set them back a bit. Since getting over .500, they’ve gone 4-9.

19 – Kansas City Royals (57-60); SD Score -1.04; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 20

Opponents – White Sox (2-1), at Twins (2-1)

The story of the 2016 Royals – (31-43) against teams over .500 and (26-17) against teams under .500. Fortunately for them, they played two teams under .500 this week. They move past the White Sox this week by beating them head to head.

20 – Chicago White Sox (56-61); SD Score -0.85; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 19

Opponents – at Royals (1-2), at Marlins (2-1)

The White Sox stopped the bleeding by winning a series against the Marlins, but losing 19 of their last 30 has likely thrown them out of the playoff hunt.

21 – Philadelphia Phillies (56-63); SD Score -1.82; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 24

Opponents – at Dodgers (1-2), Rockies (3-0)

The Phillies are now riding a four game winning streak and host the Dodgers and Cardinals this week. Don’t be surprised if they win 4 games next week also.

22 – Milwaukee Brewers (52-64); SD Score -1.19; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 23

Opponents – Braves (2-2), Reds (1-2)

The Brewers’ 16-22 record in one-run games reared its ugly head this week, but they have been playing better baseball overall than they had been.

23 – Los Angeles Angels (49-68); SD Score -0.57; Record this week (0-6), Ranking Last Week – 21

Opponents – at Cubs (0-2), at Indians (0-4)

Remember how the Angels had making life difficult for good teams? Not this week.

24 – Oakland A’s (52-66); SD Score -1.73; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 25

Opponents – Orioles (3-1), Mariners (1-2)

When the A’s shift into spoiler mode, they sure make life difficult for playoff-bound teams. Taking three of four against the Orioles changed the balance of power in the AL East this week.

25 – San Diego Padres (50-67); SD Score -0.80; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 22

Opponents – at Pirates (1-2), at Mets (1-2)

The road trip took its toll on the Padres, but the playoffs are likely unreachable even if they played at home each day.

26 – Arizona Diamondbacks (48-69); SD Score -2.14; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 28

Opponents – at Mets (3-0), at Red Sox (0-3)

Getting swept by the Red Sox was expected, but going into New York and sweeping the Mets? Let’s say very unexpected.

27 – Tampa Bay Rays (47-69); SD Score -0.83; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – at Blue Jays (1-2), at Yankees (1-2)

The Rays surprisingly won 2 games on the road against 2 hot teams, but the schedule just gets harder.

28 – Cincinnati Reds (48-68); SD Score -2.06; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 29

Opponents – at Cardinals (1-2), at Brewers (2-1)

The Reds have now won 16 of their last 30 and have found some consistency. Unfortunately for them, they waited until the summer was almost over to find it.

29 – Minnesota Twins (47-71); SD Score -1.43; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 27

Opponents – Astros (1-3), Royals (1-2)

The Twins had been playing well until they gave up 53 runs in a week.

30 – Atlanta Braves (44-74); SD Score -2.54; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 30

Opponents – at Brewers (2-2), at Nationals (1-2)

Not a bad week, but also wasn’t a good week either.

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)