mlb_rankings_945
Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs 29-13
The Cubs lost four games by a combined seven runs last week. That sort of thing will happen to throw off the historic pace. Overall, however, we’re not worried since all four losses were on the road, and Chicago still outscored its opponents (Milwaukee, San Francisco) for the week.
2 Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox 27-17
▲ 1
Wouldn’t it be something if we got a Cubs-Red Sox World Series? What a thing that might have been back in 2003, although it still would be great to see in 2016. After a rough start to the week, Boston salvaged its weekend with two straight wins against Cleveland.
3 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 27-17
▲ 2
The Nats pitching surrendered just 10 runs in six games last week, which is exactly the kind of performance the team needs to be dominant in 2016. Max Scherzer’s ERA is down to 3.80 now, and it should keep dropping.
4 St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 23-21
▲ 9
Our rankings are a bit volatile this week, due to the sample size of games played now being large enough to employ more advanced metrics (strength of schedule, run differential, etc.). The Cards jumped up a bit, because they’ve been a bit unlucky this season already. A 2-5 record in one-run games is a perfect example.
5 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners 26-17
▲ 2
The Ms had a big week, and they have a four-game winning streak as they head back home to host wallowing Oakland. Seattle has gotten five wins out of journeyman Wade Miley so far this season; we don’t expect that kind of good fortune to continue, however.
6 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 26-16
▼ 4
The Os coughed up 27 runs in their three losses last week, and that’s not a good sign for the pitching staff, obviously. In three wins, Baltimore gave up just seven runs. It’s logical to assume the team will go as far as its pitching takes it in 2016.
7 Chicago White Sox Chicago White Sox 26-18
▼ 3
It was a rough week for the ChiSox, as they lost two one-run games while scoring just 15 runs all week. Think the team is missing Adam LaRoche about now? Probably, but we know the front office is too stubborn to admit a mistake.
8 Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays 20-21
▲ 9
Two losses over the weekend dampened the week’s early success, but the Rays are another team underperforming right now. They’ve played a tough schedule, and Tampa Bay has outscored its opponents this season. Luck tends to even out over time, so the Rays have some love coming.
9 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians 22-19
▲ 7
Just like the Rays, two Tribe losses over the weekend put a sad face on the end of a great week. Corey Kluber still has a losing record and a 4.10 ERA, but his peripheral numbers are starting to fall into their expected place, otherwise.
10 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 25-19
▼ 2
After last Sunday’s drama, the Rangers got swept in Oakland before recovering to sweep the Astros in Houston. Texas has changed its closer, but we think it won’t be long before the team switches its bullpen around again. Keep an eye on that situation.
11 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 22-23
▲ 3
Despite the losing record, the Dodgers have been the victim of some close-game bad karma. Seven one-run losses this season were highlighted this week by consecutive walk-off losses to the San Diego Padres on the road. L.A. will get it turned around.
12 Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Blue Jays 22-24
▲ 8
If the Blue Jays ever figure out their pitching staff, watch out. With 10 one-run losses this year, it’s clear that Toronto is experiencing a rough road right now. No one-run losses last week, but the Jays did give up 31 runs in three losses to the Rays. That was ugly.
13 Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks 21-25
▲ 14
This is our biggest overcorrection of the week, and bear with us. Arizona has played an average schedule so far, and the D’backs have played that schedule to a near-draw in the run differential department. Meanwhile, Zack Greinke is 5-3 with normalizing numbers, finally.
14 Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies 21-21
▼ 2
It’s always bad when Colorado gives up 13 runs on the road, as it did in St. Louis last week. Otherwise, the Rockies gave up just six runs in the other four games they played during the week. Trevor Story is slowly coming back down to Earth, but just wait until he plays more games in Coors Field, right?
15 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 27-19
The Giants are more like a .500 team that’s experienced even more “devil magic”, as Baseball Prospectus calls it. A 10-5 record in one-run games isn’t a sustainable model for success, when S.F. has outscored its very average schedule of opponents by just six runs total.
16 New York Mets New York Mets 25-18
▼ 10
The Mets have played the easiest schedule in MLB so far this year, which is why they’ve been dropped a bit this week in our rankings. This week was a perfect example of what we mean: The Mets dropped two of three against the Nations before sweeping the Brewers.
17 Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 23-19
▼ 7
The Pirates are like the Giants, in terms of playing a weaker schedule and barely outscoring it. Pittsburgh is a good team, but it cannot be giving up almost five runs a game against a team like Atlanta while expecting to compete for a playoff berth.
18 Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Angels 20-24
▲ 3
The Halos took three of four from the crosstown Dodgers last week, losing only to Clayton Kershaw. However, they couldn’t sustain that success against Baltimore at home over the weekend. It’s been that kind of season for the Angels.
19 New York Yankees New York Yankees 21-22
The Yankees finished the week on a five-game win streak, fueled by a four-game sweep of the A’s on the road. Aroldis Chapman notched three more saves, too, meaning the team is 9-4 since his first save of the season. Talk about a magic elixir!
20 Kansas City Royals Kansas City Royals 22-21
▼ 2
Back above .500 after a four-win week against the Sox squads from Boston and Chicago, the defending champions need to find some offense. The Royals have scored just 13 runs in their last five games—three of them wins still.
21 Miami Marlins Miami Marlins 22-21
▼ 10
The Marlins have been outscored this season by 11 runs, but they’re still over .500, somehow. Miami can’t still be living off that four-game sweep of the Dodgers? Perhaps. Losing two to the Phillies while getting outscored 10-8 in those games illustrates our point about this team.
22 Detroit Tigers Detroit Tigers 21-22
Everyone loves a five-win week, especially when it gets you closer to .500 on the season. Of course, three of those victories came against the Twins, but the Tigers don’t care. Those are the games a team needs to win if it wants to matter in MLB these days.
23 San Diego Padres San Diego Padres 19-26
▲ 3
The two walk-off wins against L.A. were the only wins of the week for San Diego. That says more about the Dodgers’ luck than it does about the Padres’ talent. After all, San Diego scored just three runs in three games against the Giants earlier in the week.
24 Houston Astros Houston Astros 17-28
▲ 4
We noted this before, but 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel is 2-6 with a 5.92 ERA. He is probably hurt, but we’re just speculating. The whole Houston rotation has followed him into the abyss (4.99 ERA for Astro starters, after a 3.71 ERA last year).
25 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 19-26
▼ 1
The A’s had a terrible weekend. They got swept in four straight at home by the Yankees, while putting their best hitter (Josh Reddick) and best pitcher (Sonny Gray) on the disabled list. Teams with bottom-five payrolls cannot afford those kinds of injuries.
26 Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia Phillies 25-19
▼ 17
This was another big correction in our rankings, because what the Phils are doing is just not plausible. They’ve been outscored by 31 runs, yet the team is six games over .500 on the season. With a 14-3 record in one-run games, Philadelphia is playing on glass stilts, folks. It just can’t last, and when it does implode, it will be ugly.
27 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 18-26
▼ 2
They caught the Cubs in an offensive slump early in the week, winning two of three. However, the Mets put the Brewers right back in the corner with a three-game sweep to finish the week. The good news is that they were only outscored by one run over the six games total.
28 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 12-31
▲ 2
Out of the basement for the Braves! Firing the manager wasn’t the answer, although the team seemed to respond with a three-win week. Of course, two of those wins were against the Phillies (see what we mean, Philly fans?).
29 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 11-32
A one-win week for the American League’s favorite 2016 punching bag is becoming the “norm”, unfortunately. Shame on Toronto for letting the one win get away from them. The Twinkies are 4-9 in close losses and 1-9 in blowout losses. They’re just bad, anyway you look at it.
30 Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati Reds 15-29
▼ 7
A winless week drops the Reds into our basement, fair or not. Incidentally, all seven losses were interleague games. Cincy managed just seven runs in three games against the Mariners to end the week. Ouch.

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