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Gary Sanchez (photo credit: www.baseballdailydigest.com)

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

1– Chicago Cubs (82-47) SD Score +3.55; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 1

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

The Cubs had another chance to either go perfect or win both series’ but lost two 1-run games to the Dodgers. It doesn’t matter this week for their spot in the rankings, but it will be interesting to see how the Cubs play in the postseason.

2 – Washington Nationals (75-55); SD Score +2.22; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 2

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

Very tough week for the Nationals as they weren’t able to win a series.

3 – Texas Rangers (77-54); SD Score +0.15; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – at Reds (1-1), Indians (3-1)

The Rangers showed why they have the record they have by taking three of four games against Cleveland and they did it easily.

4 – Toronto Blue Jays (74-56); SD Score +1.75; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – Angels (1-2), Twins (3-0)

Not a bad time to play the Angels and Twins, though not taking the series against the Angels was a bit of a letdown. Starting today, the Blue Jays start a huge three-game series at Baltimore.

5 – Cleveland Indians (73-56); SD Score +1.51; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 3

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

This week was another tough road trip for the Indians. In their five losses, they were outscored 32-3. Ouch.

6 – Los Angeles Dodgers (73-57) SD Score +1.06; Record this week (5-2) Ranking Last Week – 7

Opponents – at Reds (1-0), Giants (2-1), Cubs (2-1)

The Dodgers are getting it done and by winning series’ against the Giants and Cubs, they are setting themselves up nicely for the postseason.

7 – Boston Red Sox (72-58); SD Score +2.15; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 6

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

The Red Sox are still among the best in the league, despite this week’s setback. They are tied with the Orioles for the Wild Card and the schedule gets more favorable this week.

8 – St. Louis Cardinals (68-61) SD Score +1.40; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 8

Opponents – Mets (1-2), A’s (1-2)

Getting Matt Carpenter back is big, but losing 3-2 to Oakland was also big as they could have at least been .500 for the week. Fortunately for them, they play the Brewers and Reds this week.

9 – San Francisco Giants (71-59); SD Score +0.96; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 9

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

The Giants needed to get a series win against the Dodgers and losing 1-0 on Wednesday had to be disappointing. Hunter Pence being out again does not help.

10 – Baltimore Orioles (71-59); SD Score +0.27; Record this week (4-3) Ranking Last Week – 11

Opponents – Nationals (2-0), at Nationals (1-1), at Yankees (1-2)

Taking three of four against the Nationals was huge for the Orioles. They have a big series against Toronto that they need to play well in.

11 – Houston Astros (68-62); SD Score +0.68; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 13

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

This was a much better week for the Astros as they were able to topple the Pirates. Jose Altuve continues to light it up as he is now hitting .356 and for August, he has driven in amazing 25 runs (87 total).

12 – Detroit Tigers (69-61); SD Score +0.34; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 12

Opponents – at Twins (3-0), Angels (1-2)

The Tigers were able to sweep the Twins but lost their last two the Angels. If they can play well against the White Sox and Royals, they’ll be in good shape.

13 – Seattle Mariners (68-62); SD Score +0.61; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 10

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

The Mariners did not have a good week, losing five of seven. Now they have to go to Texas.

14 – Kansas City Royals (68-62); SD Score -0.48; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 15

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

The new trend continues for the Royals as they beat two quality teams on the road this week. Lorenzo Cain is back and Alex Gordon seems to be hitting his stride.

15 – Pittsburgh Pirates (67-61); SD Score +0.19; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents – Astros (1-2), at Brewers (4-0)

One-run losses are never fun, as the Pirates could have won on Wednesday, which would have given them a series win over Houston. But they made up for it by winning four straight at Milwaukee.

16 – Miami Marlins (67-63); SD Score +0.03; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 14

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

Miami’s Wild Card chances took a bit of a hit this week, but fortunately for them, there’s a month left. The bad news is, they start a road trip this week at the Mets and at Cleveland.

17 – New York Yankees (67-62); SD Score -0.24; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 18

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

The Yankees keep on winning and this time, beating two quality teams in the same week. They are only 3 ½ games out of the Wild Card and also have really found something special in rookie Gary Sanchez, who has hit an amazing 19 extra base hits in August (11 home runs, 8 doubles).

18 – Colorado Rockies (62-68); SD Score +0.52; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 16

Opponents – at Brewers (0-3), at Nationals (2-1)

This was a tale of two teams. They beat the Nationals in Washington two out of three, but get swept by the Brewers. The Rockies are nothing short of a very strange team right now.

19 – New York Mets (66-64); SD Score -0.24; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 19

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

The Mets improved their Wild Card chances as they won both series’ this week, cutting the lead to just 2 ½ games out.

20 – Chicago White Sox (63-66); SD Score -0.66; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 20

Opponents – Phillies (1-1), Mariners (3-1)

This was a much better week for the Sox than it prior and taking three of four against the Mariners was important as it kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

21 – Philadelphia Phillies (60-70); SD Score -2.42; Record this week (2-3), Ranking Last Week – 21

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

Not a great week, but also not a terrible one. Unfortunately, at this stage of the season, there’s not too much else to say about the Phillies.

22 – Los Angeles Angels (56-74); SD Score -0.56; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 23

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

“The Angels seemed to have lost the ability to make life hard for good teams.” That was last week, this is now.

23 – Tampa Bay Rays (55-74); SD Score -0.38; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 22

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

Due to the quality of opponents the Rays faced this week, they held their own. The only problem is, they’re still 15 ½ games out of the Wild Card.

24 – Oakland A’s (57-73); SD Score -1.55; Record this week (4-2), Ranking Last Week – 27

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

And just like that, the A’s are back in spoiler mode. Khris Davis has been quite the find this year with 33 home runs, 83 RBI’s, and a .528 slugging percentage.

25 – San Diego Padres (55-75); SD Score -1.07; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 24

Opponents –Cubs (0-3), at Marlins (2-1)

It’s never a good time to play the Cubs, but they did well against Miami.

26 – Milwaukee Brewers (56-74); SD Score -1.45; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 25

Opponents – Rockies (3-0), Pirates (0-4)

Inconsistency, thy name is Milwaukee. At least they discovered Jonathan Villar.

27 – Arizona Diamondbacks (55-76); SD Score -2.01; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 28

Opponents – Braves (2-2), Reds (2-1)

The Diamondbacks prevailed in the battle for the basement this week, but there’s still time.

28 – Cincinnati Reds (55-74); SD Score -1.70; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – Dodgers (0-1), Rangers (1-1), at Diamondbacks (1-2)

Despite how the week went, getting a quality win against the Rangers was a positive.

29 – Minnesota Twins (49-81); SD Score -1.84; Record this week (0-6), Ranking Last Week – 29

Opponents – Tigers (0-3), at Blue Jays (0-3)

Remember when the Twins were playing really well? Neither do we.

30 – Atlanta Braves (48-83); SD Score -2.83; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 30

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

Another week, another Braves’ 30th ranking.

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)