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

1 – Los Angeles Dodgers (68-31) SD Score +3.70, Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents – at White Sox (2-0), vs Braves (2-2)

Wow, the Dodgers finally lost a game! The worst news though is Clayton Kershaw exiting Sunday’s game with lower back pain. He missed almost three months with back trouble last year.

2 – Houston Astros (65-33); SD Score +3.58, Ranking Last Week – 2

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

The Astros are still the top team in the AL and have the best offense in the Majors.

3 – Washington Nationals (59-38); SD Score +2.35, Ranking Last Week – 3

Opponents – at Reds (1-0), at Angels (1-1), at Diamondbacks (2-1)

Washington is as consistent as any team and seems to be a lock to be in the NLCS.

4 – Boston Red Sox (55-45); SD Score +1.36, Ranking Last Week – 4

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

Boston is still in the driver’s seat for the AL East title.

5 – Colorado Rockies (58-42); SD Score +1.22, Ranking Last Week – 7

Opponents – vs Padres (3-0), vs Pirates (2-1)  

After losing a lot of ground, Colorado came out and had a big week as they put up 61 runs in six games.

6 – Arizona Diamondbacks (53-39); SD Score +2.25, Ranking Last Week – 5

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

Arizona should still be able to make the Wild Card game, but needs to get back to where they were a month ago.

7 – New York Yankees (51-46); SD Score +2.21, Ranking Last Week – 8

Opponents – at Twins (1-2), at Mariners (3-1)

The AL East title could come down to the last couple of weeks and the Yankees have as good of chance as anyone to win it.

8 – Chicago Cubs (51-46) SD Score +0.49, Ranking Last Week – 13

Opponents – at Braves (3-0), vs Cardinals (2-1)

The Cubs have taken over the division lead and have a big series against Milwaukee this week. Perhaps the Cubs have decided to be the defending champs for the rest of the year.

9 – Cleveland Indians (51-45); SD Score +1.73, Ranking Last Week – 10

Opponents – at Giants (1-2), vs Blue Jays (3-0)

After a bit of a slump, the Indians were able to get a sweep against Toronto and maintain a lead in the AL Central.

10 – Milwaukee Brewers (53-48); SD Score +0.70, Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – at Pirates (0-4), at Phillies (1-2)

The Brewers are doing what they historically do – lose big after the All Star break. They have a difficult road this week as they play at Washington and then play at home against the Cubs.

11 – Tampa Bay Rays (51-48); SD Score +0.28, Ranking Last Week – 9

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

Tampa is still very much alive for the AL East title and a Wild Card berth. Going forward, they need to have a better showing against teams like Texas.

12 – Kansas City Royals (50-47); SD Score -0.44, Ranking Last Week – 14

Opponents – vs Tigers (2-2), vs White Sox (3-0)

Kansas City really could win this division. Let’s see how the next four weeks go.

13 – Minnesota Twins (49-48); SD Score -1.41, Ranking Last Week – 11

Opponents – vs Yankees (2-1), vs Tigers (1-2)

The Twins have hung around the top of the AL Central all year, but could be losing their grip on both the division title and a Wild Card berth.

14 – Texas Rangers (48-50) SD Score +0.23, Ranking Last Week – 12

Opponents – at Orioles (0-4), at Tampa (3-0)

After losing four straight to the Orioles, the Rangers came right back and swept a good team in Tampa. Don’t count the Rangers out.

15 – Seattle Mariners (49-51); SD Score -0.15, Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – at Astros (2-1), vs Yankees (1-3)

The Mariners had a great chance to be .500 or better, but could not play well enough to beat the Yankees.

16 – Los Angeles Angels (49-51); SD Score -0.37, Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents – at Nationals (1-1), vs Red Sox (2-1)

Considering who the Angels played this week, they stayed alive in the Wild Card race and showed they can hang with good teams.

17 – Pittsburgh Pirates (49-50); SD Score -0.52, Ranking Last Week – 19

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

The Pirates are back in the Wild Card race, but more importantly, they’re in the division race after taking four games from Milwaukee.

18 – Atlanta Braves (47-50); SD Score -0.81, Ranking Last Week – 16

Opponents – vs Cubs (0-3), at Dodgers (2-2)

The Braves still have a shot at the Wild Card, but they are pretty far down the line. They need a big winning streak.

19 – St. Louis Cardinals (47-51) SD Score +0.43, Ranking Last Week – 17

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

The Cards are continuing to fade to the back of the division after their rebound before the All Star break. 

20 – Baltimore Orioles (47-51); SD Score -1.58, Ranking Last Week – 21

Opponents – vs Rangers (4-0), vs Astros (1-2)

The Orioles came out and had a good week. They even avoided a sweep with a big comeback in Sunday’s game against Houston. They too could see a berth in the Wild Card game.

21 – Detroit Tigers (45-52); SD Score -0.41, Ranking Last Week – 20

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

The Tigers need to all of a sudden become a great team and go 2-1 in every series for the rest of the year.

22 – Miami Marlins (44-52); SD Score -0.79, Ranking Last Week – 23

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

The Marlins are fading away and a series loss to the Phillies probably shows that they’re not ready anyways.

23– New York Mets (45-51); SD Score -0.88, Ranking Last Week – 24

Opponents – vs Cardinals (2-2), vs A’s (2-1)

The Mets are a long way from the World Series team of two seasons ago.

24 – Oakland A’s (44-54); SD Score -1.61, Ranking Last Week – 22

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

Oakland is gonna be nothing more than a potential spoiler for the rest of the year.

25 – Toronto Blue Jays (44-54); SD Score -1.91, Ranking Last Week – 25

Opponents – at Red Sox (2-2), at Indians (0-3)

Toronto has been able to rebound from that awful start, but the Wild Card door seems to be closed.

26 – San Diego Padres (43-55); SD Score -2.80, Ranking Last Week – 28

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

The Padres have played better as of late.

27 – Cincinnati Reds (41-57); SD Score -1.71, Ranking Last Week – 27          

Opponents – vs Nationals (0-1), vs Diamondbacks (1-2), vs Marlins (1-2)

The losses have piled up too high for Reds to get out from this. They need to regroup and acquire a lot of promising prospects.

28 – Chicago White Sox (38-52); SD Score -1.10, Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – vs Dodgers (0-2), at Royals (0-3)

Chicago’s other team could be the worst in baseball.

29 – Philadelphia Phillies (34-62); SD Score -1.63, Ranking Last Week – 30

Opponents –at Marlins (2-1), vs Brewers (2-1)

The Phillies were able to win two series this week, including one over the first place Brewers.

30 – San Francisco Giants (38-62); SD Score -2.42, Ranking Last Week – 29

Opponents – vs Indians (2-1), vs Padres (1-3)

Even though Madison Bumgarner took a loss to the Padres, it had to feel good for Bay Area fans to watch their team beat Cleveland, if you know what I mean.

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)