The San Francisco Giants are the hottest team in baseball.
Entering Monday, they were 27-8 since May 11, which is their best mark over a 35-game span in franchise history. That was helped by a 6-0 record last week that included sweeps at home over Milwaukee and at Tampa Bay.
Behind the solid week, the Giants rose an average of 1.5 spots in the weekly baseball rankings roundup, according to the four polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today and SI.com). Yet, the California team with the best increase was the Giants’ bitter rival.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who went 5-2 last week, received an average boost of 2.75 spots, including a four-spot jump on Bleacher Report (now No. 7).
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Even with a perfect week, USA Today didn’t think the Giants deserved to move up from the No. 4 slot they sat in the previous week. The Washington Nationals, who were one game below the Giants as of Monday, were ranked No. 3.
It just goes to show that things aren’t always perfect.
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 3
Average change: +1.5
From Bleacher Report (No. 3): “The Giants are playing great baseball right now, but they’re not without needs. Adding a reliable fifth starter and perhaps some outfield depth figures to be on the deadline to-do list.”
Average rank: 8.75
Average change: +2.75
From ESPN (No. 12): “Los Angeles needs better contributions from the back end of its rotation. Through Saturday, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda were a combined 16-5 with a 2.06 ERA and 0.829 WHIP. All other starters were 9-16 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.366 WHIP.”
Average rank: 23
Average change: +0.75
From ESPN (No. 24): “Tim Lincecum’s debut was a success as he allowed one run and four hits in six innings ... . Considering the Angels’ record, however, you wonder if he ultimately ends up as trade bait.”
Average rank: 26
Average change: -0.5
From ESPN (No. 27): “Since the start of June through Saturday, the Padres had scored 91 times in 17 games, tying them for the second most in the league and fifth in the majors. San Diego was batting .282/.329/.458 since June 1 and Wil Myers leads the majors with nine homers in June.”
Average rank: 27
Average change: -0.25
From Bleacher Report (No. 29): “With series losses to the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels last week, they’ve now gone a combined 3-12 in their last 15 games while dropping five straight series in the process.”
Compiled by Noel Harris