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

1 – Houston Astros (26-12); SD Score +2.16 , Ranking Last Week – 3

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

Houston is playing as well as anyone and has a near 8 game lead in the AL West.

2 – Washington Nationals (24-13); SD Score +2.20, Ranking Last Week – 2

Opponents – at Orioles (0-2), vs Orioles (1-0), vs Phillies (2-1)

Baltimore and Philadelphia were able to make every game close against the Nationals this week. Fortunately for Washington, they have a large lead in the NL East.

3 – New York Yankees (22-13); SD Score +2.55 Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents – at Reds (1-1), vs Astros (1-3)

The Yankees didn’t play well, but still maintained their lead in the AL East.

4 – Colorado Rockies (24-15); SD Score +0.11, Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – vs Cubs (2-1), vs Dodgers (2-2)

The Rockies were able to maintain their lead in the NL West by beating two of the better teams in the NL and not lose ground.

5 – Los Angeles Dodgers (22-16) SD Score +2.82, Ranking Last Week – 6

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

Had the Dodgers swept the Rockies, they could have taken over first place, but they played well in both series’.

6 – St. Louis Cardinals (21-15) SD Score +1.13, Ranking Last Week – 11

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

The Cardinals are surging, having won 8 of 9.

7 – Arizona Diamondbacks (21-18); SD Score +1.29, Ranking Last Week – 10

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

The Diamondbacks are another team that is up one week and down the next. Except when they go .500 for a week.

8 – Baltimore Orioles (22-14); SD Score +0.66, Ranking Last Week – 5

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

Going into this week, the Orioles were 7-1 in one-run games. They went 1-4 in them this week and have lost four in a row.

9 – Milwaukee Brewers (21-17); SD Score +0.85, Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – vs Red Sox (2-1), vs Mets (3-0)

The Brewers had a fantastic week, culminated with Manny Pina’s 3-run HR in the bottom of the 8th on Sunday to cap the comeback over the Mets.

10 – Minnesota Twins (19-15); SD Score +0.01, Ranking Last Week – 16

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

The Twins have control of the AL Central. The Twins. Let that sink in.

11 – Cleveland Indians (19-17); SD Score +0.98, Ranking Last Week – 8

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

In losing to Minnesota two out of three, the Indians lost control of the AL Central. What’s worse is they struggled against the Blue Jays as well.

12 – Cincinnati Reds (19-18); SD Score +0.43, Ranking Last Week – 7           

Opponents – vs Yankees (1-1), at Giants (1-3)

Just when you think the Reds have it together, they struggle again. They’re still doing well overall, but if they can string consistency together, they’ll have a shot at seriously contending for the postseason.

13 – Boston Red Sox (19-18); SD Score +0.38, Ranking Last Week – 9

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

At this point, the Red Sox don’t have the same magic as in 2016.

14 – Chicago White Sox (17-18); SD Score +0.73, Ranking Last Week – 13

Opponents – vs Twins (0-2), vs Padres (2-1)

While the White Sox finally ended their 6 game skid against the Padres, it was against the Padres.

15 – Texas Rangers (19-20) SD Score +0.50, Ranking Last Week – 24

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

There’s something about struggling and then playing the Padres to reverse your fortunes.

16 – Tampa Bay Rays (19-21); SD Score +0.56, Ranking Last Week – 14

Opponents – vs Royals (1-3), at Red Sox (2-1)

Well, they didn’t end up faring better against the Royals, but the Rays did play well against Boston. Their problem is they’re in the AL East.

17 – Chicago Cubs (18-19) SD Score +0.04, Ranking Last Week – 12

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

The Cubs are fortunate to have not gotten swept by St. Louis, but have lost seven of their last nine.

18 – Detroit Tigers (18-18); SD Score -0.62, Ranking Last Week – 18

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

Detroit is about as up and down as you can get. Win, lose, win, lose, win, lose.

19 – Toronto Blue Jays (17-21); SD Score -0.39, Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – vs Indians (2-1), vs Mariners (4-0)

Remember that winning streak that the Blue Jays needed? Well, they beat two solid teams and are on a five game winning streak.

20 – Seattle Mariners (17-21); SD Score -0.22, Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents – at Phillies (2-0), at Blue Jays (0-4)

The Mariners were on a roll. Until they got swept by Toronto. Yeah, we all saw that coming.

21 – Los Angeles Angels (19-21); SD Score -0.68, Ranking Last Week – 21

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

The Angels were looking like a team that could give the Astros a run for their money. Now they look like just another team that is inconsistent.

22 – New York Mets (16-20); SD Score -1.35, Ranking Last Week – 23

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

The Mets were off to a good start, but that sure went south. Now they have a difficult series against the Diamondbacks.

23 – Kansas City Royals (16-21); SD Score -1.35, Ranking Last Week – 28

Opponents – at Rays (3-1), vs Orioles (3-0)

That’s two series’ in a row the Royals have won. Now let’s see how they fare against the Yankees.

24 – Philadelphia Phillies (14-21); SD Score -0.31, Ranking Last Week – 19

Opponents – vs Mariners (0-2), at Nationals (1-2)

The schedule has not been kind to the Phillies as they have lost 9 of 12 to 3 very good teams.

25 – Miami Marlins (14-22); SD Score -0.83, Ranking Last Week – 20

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

It looks like Miami and Atlanta are about the same team. Except that Miami lost 2 of 3 against the Braves.

26 – Pittsburgh Pirates (16-22); SD Score -1.75, Ranking Last Week – 22

Opponents – at Dodgers (0-3), at Diamondbacks (2-2)

The Pirates are a very unpredictable team as they play well when you think they’re done and play poorly when you think they’re back. Still the case.

27 – Oakland A’s (16-21); SD Score -2.07, Ranking Last Week – 25

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

The A’s are hanging around but need to play well at Seattle this week.

28 – Atlanta Braves (13-21); SD Score -1.49, Ranking Last Week – 27

Opponents – at Astros (0-2), at Marlins (2-1)

Make it 0-8 against teams with a winning record.

29 – San Francisco Giants (15-24); SD Score -2.98, Ranking Last Week – 30

Opponents – at Mets (1-2), vs Reds (3-1)

The Giants rebounded from their low of last week and have won 4 out of 5. Still a long way to go.

30 – San Diego Padres (14-25); SD Score -3.35, Ranking Last Week – 29

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

Another tough week for San Diego. Now they face the suddenly hot Brewers.

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)