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

1 – Houston Astros (46-24); SD Score +3.19, Ranking Last Week – 1

Opponents – vs Rangers (1-2), vs Red Sox (1-2)

Houston has had two average weeks now, but they’re still a hair above the rest.

2 – Colorado Rockies (46-26); SD Score +2.21, Ranking Last Week – 2

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

The NL West is easily the best division and the Rockies are still leading it and just find ways to win.

3 – Los Angeles Dodgers (44-26) SD Score +3.01, Ranking Last Week – 4

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

The Dodgers have won 9 of 10 and Clayton Kershaw being healthy and at his best is a great way to kick off a good week.

4 – Arizona Diamondbacks (44-26); SD Score +2.70, Ranking Last Week – 6

Opponents – at Tigers (2-0), at Phillies (3-0)

The Diamondbacks are quietly one of the top 5 teams in the majors.

5 – Washington Nationals (42-27); SD Score +2.03, Ranking Last Week – 3

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

Washington is easily one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the National League and has a great handle on the NL East. We’ll have to see what happens when they play the NL West in order to see how good they really are.

6 – New York Yankees (38-29); SD Score +3.24, Ranking Last Week – 5

Opponents – at Angels (1-2), at A’s (0-4)

Not a great week for the Yankees. Two walk-off losses and four straight losses to the A’s. The AL East race all of a sudden got a lot closer.

7 – Boston Red Sox (39-30); SD Score +0.91, Ranking Last Week – 7

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

Boston was able to defeat the Astros and close the gap on the Yankees.

8 – Cleveland Indians (36-31); SD Score +1.21, Ranking Last Week – 10

Opponents – vs Dodgers (1-2), at Twins (4-0)

The Indians are a good ball club and reclaimed the AL Central lead. Just not sure they have the same mojo as last season.

9 – Milwaukee Brewers (38-33); SD Score +0.48, Ranking Last Week – 8

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

The NL Central has been less than mediocre, but the Brewers are still surpassing expectations. Eric Thames is an All-Star.

10 – Tampa Bay Rays (37-35); SD Score +0.48, Ranking Last Week – 13

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

Tampa is still rising and they are competing well in a difficult division.

11 – Texas Rangers (34-34) SD Score +0.39, Ranking Last Week – 19

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

The Rangers got back to .500 and even beat the Astros in a series. They need to go on a run now and they can get back in this division race.

12 – Chicago Cubs (34-34) SD Score +0.37, Ranking Last Week – 11

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

It’s still weird to see the Cubs at .500.

13 – Los Angeles Angels (36-37); SD Score -0.07, Ranking Last Week – 18

Opponents – vs Yankees (2-1), vs Royals (1-3)

The Angels too have issues, but their biggest is consistency. That said, the Angels are playing well lately and they beat the Yankees.

14 – Minnesota Twins (34-33); SD Score -1.36, Ranking Last Week – 9

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

The Indians finally caught up to Minnesota and it wasn’t too pretty. The Twins are still likely in contention for a Wild Card this year, which still is a surprise.

15 – Toronto Blue Jays (33-35); SD Score -0.46, Ranking Last Week – 14

Opponents – vs Rays (1-1), vs White Sox (1-2)

After being left for dead, the Blue Jays are still alive and kicking.

16 – Baltimore Orioles (34-34); SD Score -1.39, Ranking Last Week – 12

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

The Orioles are in a tough spot, being in the AL East, but they’re still hanging around.

17 – Kansas City Royals (33-35); SD Score -0.92, Ranking Last Week – 26

Opponents – at Giants (2-0), at Angels (2-1)

The Royals are inching back to .500, but the question will be, can they maintain it?

18 – Seattle Mariners (34-37); SD Score -0.41, Ranking Last Week – 17

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

Seattle’s biggest problem is on defense and how many runs they give up. In their losses this week, they gave up 46!

19 – Detroit Tigers (32-36); SD Score -0.30, Ranking Last Week – 15

Opponents – vs Diamondbacks (0-2), vs Rays (2-2)

The Tigers seem destined to just hover at mediocrity this year.

20 – Chicago White Sox (31-37); SD Score +0.14, Ranking Last Week – 17

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

The White Sox are another team that is slowly fading away to the world of non-contention, despite the good week they had this week.

21 – St. Louis Cardinals (31-37) SD Score -0.43, Ranking Last Week – 16

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

The Cardinals are now officially struggling. Given how good the NL West is, it’s hard to imagine them truly making a run in the 2nd half of the season.

22 – Miami Marlins (30-37); SD Score -0.09, Ranking Last Week – 25

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

Miami is too up and down and there just aren’t enough Wild Card spots available.

23 – New York Mets (31-37); SD Score -0.90, Ranking Last Week – 23

Opponents – vs Cubs (2-1), vs Nationals (1-3)

Considering their schedule, the Mets had a decent week. Their problem is, they’re so far away from the Nationals.

24 – Atlanta Braves (31-37); SD Score -1.21, Ranking Last Week – 24

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

The Braves are quietly playing better ball, but see the Mets.

25 – Pittsburgh Pirates (31-38); SD Score -1.24, Ranking Last Week – 21

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

The Pirates, like most of the NL Central teams, just can’t play well consistently. They did, however, beat the Rockies in a series.

26 – Oakland A’s (31-38); SD Score -2.17, Ranking Last Week – 27

Opponents – at Marlins (0-2), vs Yankees (4-0)

The A’s had an impressive week as they swept the Yankees in a four-game series.

27 – Cincinnati Reds (29-39); SD Score -0.90, Ranking Last Week – 20          

Opponents – at Padres (0-3), vs Dodgers (0-3)

It’s one thing to get swept by the Dodgers. It’s another to get swept by the Padres.

28 – San Diego Padres (28-42); SD Score -3.39, Ranking Last Week – 28

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

And….the Padres weirdly had a decent week.

29 – San Francisco Giants (26-45); SD Score -2.44, Ranking Last Week – 29

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

I’m not sure the Giants could beat me and 10 of my friends right now.

30 – Philadelphia Phillies (22-46); SD Score -2.69, Ranking Last Week – 30

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

I’m pretty sure 10 of my friends and I could win at least one game against the Phillies.

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)

 

 

  • UserName

    “Washington is easily one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the National League and has a great handle on the NL East. We’ll have to see what happens when they play the NL West in order to see how good they really are.”

    Nationals vs NL West, 2017

    Swept the Giants in San Francisco.
    Took 2 of 3 from the Dodgers in LA. The one the Nats lost? Kershaw.
    Took 2 of 3 from the Padres in DC.
    Took 2 of 3 from the Diamondbacks in DC
    Took 3 of 4 from the Rockies in Denver

    Does whoever wrote this article not know how to use the “Previous Month” arrow on a calendar app?

    • Matt Andruscavage

      Wasnt a criticism of Washington. I simply meant going forward as the Dodgers, Rockies and Diamondbacks are even better now. If they play well again, theyll be the clear number 1 team in the NL

      • UserName

        I didn’t take it as criticism. The concept just doesn’t make sense. They’ve played half of their scheduled West Coast matchups and done extremely well. It’s a long sample size that includes road and home games, day and night games, lefties and righties. There are plenty of warts on the Nats and fair play if you want to rank them based on those warts but the criteria you mentioned (“we’ll see how they do once they play the NL West”) is already there, no wait-and-see about it.

        • Matt Andruscavage

          Fair enough. The word ‘again’ would have been better suited as a series against Colorado, Arizona and LA now will be very interesting and telling.

          • UserName

            Has LA changed that much since 2 weeks ago?