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Major League Baseball Power Rankings

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

1– Chicago Cubs (63-41) SD Score +3.18; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents –at White Sox (0-2), White Sox (2-0), Mariners (2-1)

The Cubs had a nice winning streak going until their new closer, Aroldis Chapman, had a small meltdown in the bottom of the 8th inning on Saturday.

But the play of the week goes to pitcher Jon Lester as he was called upon to PINCH HIT in the bottom of the 12th of Sunday’s game, and he notched the game-winning RBI on a squeeze bunt.

2 – Washington Nationals (61-44); SD Score +2.14; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 2

Opponents – at Indians (1-1), at Giants (2-2)

The Nationals could have swept the Indians, but lost a tough Game 1. The Nationals rarely have a bad week and are still one of the favorites in the NL.

3 – Cleveland Indians (60-42); SD Score +1.88; Record this week (4-1), Ranking Last Week – 3

Opponents – Nationals (1-1), A’s (3-0)

Even though it was a shorter week for the Indians, they took care of business. With the addition of Andrew Miller, their bullpen just got a lot tougher.

4 – Texas Rangers (62-44); SD Score +0.21; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 7

Opponents – A’s (1-2), Royals (4-0)

Getting the sweep against the Royals was needed. This week will be a big test as they play at Baltimore and at Houston.

5 – San Francisco Giants (61-44); SD Score +1.03; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – Reds (1-2), Nationals (2-2)

The Giants have struggled since the All Star break, but Denard Span, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik, and Hunter Pence are all back. They also acquired Eduardo Nunez from Minnesota. The Giants could be back in a hurry.

6 – Toronto Bluejays (59-46); SD Score +1.59; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 8

Opponents – Padres (2-1), Orioles (2-1)

The Bluejays were able to win both their series’ this week, but need more out of Josh Donaldson who is batting just .263 since the All Star break (15 for 57).

7 – Baltimore Orioles (59-45); SD Score +0.54; Record this week (2-5) Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – Rockies (1-2), at Twins (0-1), at Bluejays (1-2)

The Orioles took a step backwards, but fortunately for them, they escaped defeat twice this week by winning an extra-innings game. The bad thing is, those were there only victories this week.

8 – Boston Red Sox (57-46); SD Score +1.70; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – Tigers (0-3), at Angels (2-2)

Getting swept by the Tigers hurt the Sox a bit, but winning 2 of their last 3 got them back on track. They have a big 4-game series in Seattle and also a tough series in LA this week.

9 – Los Angeles Dodgers (59-46) SD Score +1.40; Record this week (3-2) Ranking Last Week – 9

Opponents – Rays (1-1), Diamondbacks (2-1)

The Dodgers have been finding ways to win despite not being at full strength. Will the bottom fall out or are they for real?

10 – St. Louis Cardinals (56-49); SD Score +1.75; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 10

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

Though the Cardinals could have finished the week with a win, they still won more than they’ve lost for another week in a row. Playing the Reds and Braves this week should help.

11 – Miami Marlins (57-48); SD Score +0.41; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 13

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

The Marlins are improving each week and being able to split the series with the Cardinals was huge as they were down in the 9th on Sunday.

12 – Houston Astros (55-49); SD Score +0.73; Record this week (1-5), Ranking Last Week – 11

Opponents – Yankees (1-2), at Tigers (0-3)

As hot as the Astros have been, they were that cold this week. Getting swept by the Tigers was not what they needed heading into a series with the Bluejays and then Texas.

13 – Detroit Tigers (57-48); SD Score +0.38; Record this week (6-0), Ranking Last Week – 16

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

What a week for the Tigers. They were able to sweep two of the hottest teams in the Majors and cut into the Indians’ lead in the division race. Miquel Cabrera’s 1.500 OPS this week certainly helped Detroit’s perfect week.

14 – Seattle Mariners (52-51); SD Score +0.61; Record this week (5-4), Ranking Last Week – 14

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

The Mariners came very close to winning the series against the Cubs on Sunday, but that has been the story of their season.

15 – New York Mets (54-50); SD Score +0.09; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 12

Opponents – Cardinals (1-2), Rockies (1-3)

While the results on the field weren’t great, but the possibility of losing Yoenis Cespedes to the DL is real bad.

16 – Colorado Rockies (52-53); SD Score +0.22; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents – at Orioles (2-1), at Mets (3-1)

This was a very good week for the Rockies as they won series’ against the Orioles and Mets. Since being called up to the Majors, David Dahl has a 7-game hitting streak and a slash line of .370/.393/.630.

17 – Pittsburgh Pirates (52-51); SD Score -0.05; Record this week (1-4), Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – Mariners (1-1), at Brewers (0-3)

The Pirates are another up and down team, but getting swept by the Brewers was a bad way to end the week. The good news for them is Atlanta and Cincinnati are next on the schedule.

18 – New York Yankees (52-52); SD Score -0.67; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents – at Astros (2-1), at Rays (0-3)

The Yankees had a good thing going after taking 2 of 3 against Houston, but then got swept by the Rays. It’s not going to get easier as they play the Mets, Indians and Red Sox next.

19 – Chicago White Sox (51-54); SD Score -0.65; Record this week (3-7), Ranking Last Week – 19

Opponents – Cubs (2-0), at Cubs (0-2), at Twins (1-2)

Getting a home sweep against the Cubs was big, but then winning only one more game the rest of the week hurt, as they lost ground to the Tigers. A playoff berth is now looking like a long shot.

20 – Los Angeles Angels (47-58); SD Score +0.04; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 21

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

Lately, the Angels are a team that nobody should want to play. Though the playoffs are pretty much off the table, they play hard.

21 – Kansas City Royals (49-55); SD Score -1.18; Record this week (1-6), Ranking Last Week – 20

Opponents – Angels (1-2), 0-4)

The Royals are continuing on their downward spiral and it probably won’t get better anytime soon.

22 – Milwaukee Brewers (47-56); SD Score -1.13; Record this week (6-1), Ranking Last Week – 25

Opponents – Diamondbacks (3-1), Pirates (3-0)

In what was a fantastic week on the field for the Brewers, they may still be trading their star catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

23 – San Diego Padres (45-60); SD Score -1.03; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 23

Opponents – at Bluejays (1-2), Reds (1-2)

The Melvin Upton trade had to be hard for Padres fans, but Will Meyers has definitely been another bright spot this season.

24 – Oakland A’s (47-58); SD Score -1.59; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 22

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

In another difficult week, the A’s were respectable as they took the series against the Rangers. This is another team that can stop a winning streak.

25 – Philadelphia Phillies (48-59); SD Score -2.05; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 24

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

Victories have been hard to come by lately and Malkel Franco’s slump since the All Star break hasn’t helped.

26 – Tampa Bay Rays (42-61); SD Score -0.96; Record this week (4-1), Ranking Last Week – 27

Opponents – at Dodgers (1-1), Yankees (3-0)

While the Rays played well this week, they have a long way to go to reverse their downward trend.

27 – Arizona Diamondbacks (43-62); SD Score -1.75; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – at Brewers (1-3), at Dodgers (1-2)

Things did not go as hoped this week as they won only 2 games. Next up, the Nationals.

28 – Minnesota Twins (40-64); SD Score -1.50; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 28

Opponents – Braves (0-2), Orioles (1-0), White Sox (2-1)

The Twins have won 17 of their last 30 games, but with the start they had, it’s unlikely that they’ll end up looking like one of the worst teams in the Majors by season’s end.

29 – Cincinnati Reds (42-62); SD Score -2.62; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 29

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

The Reds have won 7 of their last 10 and 12 of their last 20. This is definitely an improvement since they were pretty much the worst team in baseball by the All Star break.

30 – Atlanta Braves (37-68); SD Score -2.72; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 30

Opponents – at Twins (2-0), Phillies (2-2)

Despite a respectable week, it’s been a rough stretch for the Braves, as they’ve lost 19 of their last 30 games.

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)