It’s hard to argue with mathematics, and when it comes to the baseball rankings roundup, it’s hard to argue with the lofty status still occupied by the Giants.
The National League West leader is also ranked well ahead of its California counterparts, according to the four polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today and SI.com). The Cubs, with the best record in baseball, are first in all four polls.
The Giants peaked at No. 2 according to Bleacher Report and USA Today (rising 10 spots in that poll) and gained an average of 3.75 places.
You can see the Dodgers (who were buoyed by an eight-spot rise in Bleacher Report’s poll) in distant second place with an average ranking of 10.75.
Meanwhile, neither the Angels (average ranking of 22.25), A’s (25.25) and Padres (27.0) gained much or lost much. The Padres should at least be admired for their consistency. They were ranked 27th by all four polls.
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 2.75
Average change: +3.75
From Bleacher Report (No. 2): “Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija have been the best 1-2-3 in any rotation in baseball, and even with Jake Peavy struggling, the starters have a 3.52 ERA that ranks sixth in the majors.”
Average rank: 10.75
Average change: +3
From ESPN (No. 12): “Los Angeles is hoping Kenta Maeda's most recent outing (five innings, no runs on two hits) gets him back on track. He had been 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his prior five starts.”
Average rank: 22.25
Average change: +1
From Bleacher Report (No. 22): “With three home runs last week, Albert Pujols is now tied with Mike Trout for the team lead with 11, but he's still hitting only .229/.307/.427 on the year.”
Average rank: 25.25
Average change: +.75
From Bleacher Report (No. 23): “Khris Davis is swinging a hot bat and now ranks among the A.L. leaders in home runs (14, second), RBIs (34, 13th) and slugging percentage (.525, 16th).”
Average rank: 27
Average change: -2
From ESPN (No. 27): “James Shields, with a respectable 3.06 ERA despite a 2-6 record, is rumored to be on the trading block, with the White Sox the most likely suitor. San Diego may have to eat part of his large contract to move him.”
Compiled by Jeff Caraska