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Corey Seager of the Dodgers (photo credit: sportingnews.com)

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

1– Chicago Cubs (89-48) SD Score +3.48; Record this week (7-1), Ranking Last Week – 1

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

The Cubs are continuing to find ways to win and winning 5 one-run games was huge this week.

2 – Texas Rangers (82-56) SD Score +0.59; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 3

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

The bats of the Rangers came to life this week, but the story of their season is their 30-9 record in one-run games, which by season’s end could be tops in MLB history.

3 – Washington Nationals (80-57); SD Score +2.12; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 2

Opponents – at Phillies (3-0), at Mets (1-2), Braves (1-0)

The Nationals got back on track, but struggled a bit against the Mets. No playoff ground lost this week was the important thing.

4 – Cleveland Indians (79-57); SD Score +1.67; Record this week (6-1), Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – Twins (3-0), Marlins (3-0), Astros (0-1)

It’s always good to be at home when you need to get back on track. Cleveland is going to have a real shot at home field advantage if they can keep this up.

5 – Toronto Blue Jays (77-60); SD Score +1.62; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 4

Opponents – at Orioles (2-1), at Rays (1-2), at Yankees (0-1)

Winning the series against Baltimore was a must as the Blue Jays struggled the rest of the week. The very important series against Boston starts on Friday.

6 – Los Angeles Dodgers (77-60) SD Score +0.91; Record this week (4-3) Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – at Rockies (1-2), Padres (2-1), Diamondbacks (1-0)

The Dodgers have a firm grip on control of the NL West and Corey Seager (24 HR; .313/.375/.527) should be a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year.

7 – Boston Red Sox (76-61); SD Score +2.46; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 7

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

This was a good bounce-back week and the Sox have a chance to take the lead in the AL East this week.

8 – Baltimore Orioles (75-62); SD Score +0.27; Record this week (4-3) Ranking Last Week – 10

Opponents – Bluejays (1-2), Yankees (2-1), at Rays (1-0)

The Orioles are still tied for the 2nd Wild Card spot and face the Tigers in what should be a huge series with playoff implications.

9 – Detroit Tigers (75-62); SD Score +0.39; Record this week (6-1), Ranking Last Week – 12

Opponents – White Sox (3-0), at Royals (2-1), at White Sox (1-0)

The Tigers continue to roll and Francisco Rodriguez has been amazing this year with 38 saves.

10 – St. Louis Cardinals (72-64) SD Score +1.19; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 8

Opponents – at Brewers (2-1), at Reds (1-2), at Pirates (1-0)

The Cardinals are staying alive in the Wild Card race, but need to keep it up.

11 – Houston Astros (73-64); SD Score +0.65; Record this week (5-2), Ranking Last Week – 11

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

Solid week for the Astros who need all the wins they can get with a tough schedule and only trailing the Wild Card by 2 games.

12 – San Francisco Giants (73-64); SD Score +0.88; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 9

Opponents – Diamondbacks (1-1), at Cubs (1-3), at Rockies (0-1)

While it was another tough week for the Giants, they did lose 4 one-run games.

13 – New York Mets (72-66); SD Score -0.04; Record this week (6-2), Ranking Last Week – 19

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

The Mets have completely rebounded and are now only 1 game out of the Wild Card and they get the Reds and Braves this week.

14– Seattle Mariners (70-67); SD Score +0.23; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 13

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

Another 2-5 week for the Mariners and they’re losing ground quickly.

15 – New York Yankees (71-65); SD Score -0.35; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 17

Opponents – at Royals (2-1), at Orioles (1-2), Blue Jays (1-0)

The Yankees are still alive in the Wild Card hunt, but they need to have a great week.

16 – Kansas City Royals (71-66); SD Score -0.39; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 14

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

While the Royals didn’t win a series this week, they played well against two good teams and lost 4 one-run games. They’re still in the hunt for a Wild Card berth, but will have to have a great September.

17 – Colorado Rockies (66-71); SD Score +0.64; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents – Dodgers (2-1), Diamondbacks (1-2), Giants (1-0)

Another week, another up and down one for the Rockies. They should be much better than their record is.

18 – Pittsburgh Pirates (67-68); SD Score -0.12; Record this week (0-7), Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – at Cubs (0-3), at Brewers (0-3), Cardinals (1-0)

Miserable week for the Pirates as they couldn’t figure out a way to get a single victory.

19 – Miami Marlins (68-70); SD Score -0.18; Record this week (1-7), Ranking Last Week – 16

Opponents – at Mets (1-3), at Indians (0-3), Phillies (0-1)

Miami will have to run the table in September to overcome their Wild Card odds.

20 – Chicago White Sox (65-72); SD Score -0.69; Record this week (2-4), Ranking Last Week – 20

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

The Tigers have essentially ended the season for the White Sox. Ten games is too much to overcome in a month.

21 – Los Angeles Angels (62-75); SD Score -0.24; Record this week (6-1), Ranking Last Week – 22

Opponents – Reds (3-0), at Mariners (2-1), at A’s (1-0)

Over the next several days, I feel a little bad for Texas and Seattle as the Angels continue to play the role of the spoiler.

22 – Philadelphia Phillies (61-76); SD Score -2.52; Record this week (1-6), Ranking Last Week – 21

Opponents – Nationals (0-3), Braves (0-3), at Marlins (1-0)

Last week was an average week. This was a miserable one. Onto to next year.

23 – Tampa Bay Rays (58-78); SD Score -0.35; Record this week (3-4), Ranking Last Week – 23

Opponents – Red Sox (1-2), Blue Jays (2-1), Orioles (0-1)

Due to the quality of opponents the Rays faced this week, they held their own. The only problem is, they’re still 16 ½ games out of the Wild Card.

24 – Milwaukee Brewers (60-77); SD Score -1.16; Record this week (4-3), Ranking Last Week – 26

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

Inconsistency, thy name is Milwaukee. It had to feel good to hurt Pittsburgh though.

25 – San Diego Padres (57-80); SD Score -1.31; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 25

Opponents – at Braves (0-3), at Dodgers (1-2), Red Sox (1-0)

As is the case with other teams, the Padres are a team to steer clear from as they can be the spoiler.

26 – Arizona Diamondbacks (58-79); SD Score -1.94; Record this week (3-3), Ranking Last Week – 27

Opponents – at Giants (1-1), at Rockies (2-1), at Dodgers (0-1)

Arizona hurt both the Giants and Rockies this week, but as in the case of others, it’s on to 2017.

27 – Oakland A’s (58-79); SD Score -1.96; Record this week (1-6), Ranking Last Week – 24

Opponents – at Astros (0-3), Red Sox (1-2), Angels (0-1)

The Red Sox crushed the A’s 27-4 in those two losses which didn’t help things. The A’s have a chance to be a spoiler in the coming weeks, but largely will be looking towards 2017.

28 – Cincinnati Reds (57-79); SD Score -1.75; Record this week (2-5), Ranking Last Week – 28

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

The Reds don’t seem to be as hot as they were in July and August and look ready to prepare for next year.

29 – Atlanta Braves (54-84); SD Score -2.31; Record this week (6-1), Ranking Last Week – 30

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

The Braves seem determined to not end the season with the league’s worst record

30 – Minnesota Twins (51-87); SD Score -1.80; Record this week (3-5), Ranking Last Week – 29

Opponents – at Indians (0-3), White Sox (2-2), Royals (1-0)

The Twins probably won’t even be able to be a spoiler the rest of the way.

 

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)