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

1 – Los Angeles Dodgers (91-38) SD Score +3.64, Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents – at Pirates (3-1), vs Brewers (1-2)

It’s hard to believe that the Dodgers lost three games this week, but it happens.

2 – Houston Astros (79-51); SD Score +3.14, Ranking Last Week – 2

Opponents – vs Nationals (1-2), at Angels (2-1)

The Astros are still sitting pretty atop the AL, but the postseason will be a challenge.

3 – Washington Nationals (78-51); SD Score +2.36, Ranking Last Week – 3

Opponents – at Astros (2-1), vs Mets (2-2)

Washington will have a difficult road to the World Series, but they’re my pick.

4 – Cleveland Indians (73-56); SD Score +2.42, Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – vs Red Sox (2-2), vs Royals (3-0)

Cleveland is consistently winning and has a firm grip on control of the AL Central.

5 – Boston Red Sox (73-57); SD Score +1.40, Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – at Indians (2-2), vs Orioles (0-3)

Boston wasn’t able to extend their lead and getting swept by Baltimore was concerning.

6 – New York Yankees (70-59); SD Score +2.43, Ranking Last Week – 9

Opponents – at Tigers (2-1), vs Mariners (2-1)

The Yankees are still within striking distance of the Division title.

7 – Arizona Diamondbacks (73-58); SD Score +1.74, Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – at Mets (3-1), vs Giants (3-0)

Not a bad time to play the Mets and Giants. Big week for Arizona.

8 – Colorado Rockies (71-59); SD Score +1.04, Ranking Last Week – 7

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

Colorado is still on track to play Arizona in the Wild Card, but there’s a lot of season left.

9 – Chicago Cubs (69-60) SD Score +1.23, Ranking Last Week – 8

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

The Cubs had an easy schedule but couldn’t capitalize.

10 – Milwaukee Brewers (68-63); SD Score +0.26, Ranking Last Week – 10

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

Puzzling but good week for Milwaukee as they struggled with San Francisco but beat the Dodgers. They’re still in it.

11 – Los Angeles Angels (66-65); SD Score -0.21, Ranking Last Week – 11

Opponents – vs Rangers (1-3), vs Astros (1-2)

The Angels are hanging on but need to come up with series wins.

12 – Minnesota Twins (67-63); SD Score -0.37, Ranking Last Week – 12

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

The Twins have a great chance to play in the Wild Card game, but have to beat teams like the White Sox.

13 – St. Louis Cardinals (65-65) SD Score +0.66, Ranking Last Week – 13

Opponents – vs Padres (1-2), vs Rays (1-2)

The Cardinals are not stepping up like they were and they’re losing ground.

14 – Seattle Mariners (66-65); SD Score -0.36, Ranking Last Week – 14

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

Seattle needs to win more games than they lose each week starting now.

15– Texas Rangers (64-66) SD Score +0.52, Ranking Last Week – 16

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

The Rangers are barely hanging onto Wild Card contention and desperately need to go on a run.

16 – Miami Marlins (66-63); SD Score -0.06, Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents –at Phillies (3-1), vs Padres (3-0)

The Marlins had a big week and got themselves a lot closer to a potential Wild Card berth.

17 – Kansas City Royals (64-65); SD Score -0.92, Ranking Last Week – 15

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

The Royals are just trying all they can to stay in the hunt, but may be falling behind.

18 – Baltimore Orioles (65-65); SD Score -0.25, Ranking Last Week – 19

Opponents –vs A’s (2-1), at Red Sox (3-0)

The Orioles had a big week and just might still have a shot.

19 – Tampa Bay Rays (65-67); SD Score -0.34, Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents –vs Blue Jays (2-1), at Cardinals (2-1)

Tampa is hanging on by a thread.

The below teams are likely out of the race:

20 – Pittsburgh Pirates (63-68); SD Score -0.95, Ranking Last Week – 20

21 – Toronto Blue Jays (61-69); SD Score -1.67, Ranking Last Week – 21

22 – Detroit Tigers (56-73); SD Score -1.07, Ranking Last Week – 22

23 – Atlanta Braves (57-71); SD Score -1.21, Ranking Last Week – 23

24– New York Mets (57-72); SD Score -1.04, Ranking Last Week – 24

25 – Oakland A’s (58-72); SD Score -1.66, Ranking Last Week – 25

26 – San Diego Padres (57-73); SD Score -2.90, Ranking Last Week – 26

27 – Cincinnati Reds (55-76); SD Score -1.65, Ranking Last Week – 27          

28 – Chicago White Sox (52-77); SD Score -1.75, Ranking Last Week – 28

29 – San Francisco Giants (52-80); SD Score -2.26, Ranking Last Week – 29

30 – Philadelphia Phillies (48-81); SD Score -2.17, Ranking Last Week – 30

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)

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