The San Francisco Giants split a two-game series with Boston Red Sox, who started last week a half-game out of first place in the American League East, and took two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are in second place in the National League West.
Perhaps more curious, was the elevation of the Dodgers by ESPN to 11th this week from 14th. Perhaps the Worldwide Leader in Sports was awed by the National League team’s 2-4 record in last week’s games, which featured three one-run losses and two one-run wins.
Bleacher Report, which does not bill itself as the Worldwide Leader in Sports and apparently values basic mathematics, dropped the Dodgers from No. 6 to 11th.
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Meanwhile, among the the state’s other three major league teams, the A’s dropped behind the fourth-place Padres. The Angels and A’s had average ranking drops of minus-3.0 and minus-3.75. The Padres had the biggest average gain of any California team with a plus-.25.
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 4.5
Average change: -1.75
From ESPN (No. 5): “A mid-week split with the Red Sox saw Madison Bumgarner and David Price face off Wednesday with the Giants getting the edge. After Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Dodgers, San Francisco hasn’t played a game decided by more than two runs since June 5 as it clings to the NL West lead.”
Average rank: 11.5
Average change: -2.25
From SI.com (No. 12): “With too many second basemen on the roster, the Dodgers have tried to use Howie Kendrick to cover for all of those injuries and weak at-bats, and Kendrick has rewarded them by batting a terrible .219/.276 (on-base percentage)/.284 (slugging percentage).”
Average rank: 23.75
Average change: -3.0
From ESPN (No. 24): “Here’s a bright spot: Matt Shoemaker may have rediscovered the feel on his splitter, as he has a 2.85 ERA in seven starts since returning from the minors, with 54 Ks and just four walks.”
Average rank: 26.5
Average change: +.25
From Bleacher Report (No. 26): “With Andrew Cashner joining Tyson Ross on the disabled list and James Shields traded to the Chicago White Sox, the San Diego Padres starting rotation is unrecognizable from a year ago.”
Average rank: 27.25
Average change: -3.75
From Bleacher Report (No. 28): “One positive takeaway from last week was a strong outing from ace Sonny Gray. After lasting just five innings in his first start back from the disabled list, Gray went 7.2 innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs on Friday. He took the loss, but it was his first quality start since April 22, so it’s a step in the right direction.”
Compiled by Jeff Caraska