Baseball

Red-hot, blue – Dodgers dominate baseball rankings roundup

Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson rounds thr bases after hitting a walk-off home run against the Rockies in the 10th inning Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Los Angeles. Dodgers won, 4-3. It was his first home run of the season and the final home game for iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully will cap his career this week with the Dodgers’ final three regular-season games in San Francisco.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson rounds thr bases after hitting a walk-off home run against the Rockies in the 10th inning Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Los Angeles. Dodgers won, 4-3. It was his first home run of the season and the final home game for iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully will cap his career this week with the Dodgers’ final three regular-season games in San Francisco. The Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers, winners of six of seven games last week, soared to an average ranking of 4.25 according to the four polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, SI.com).

The National League West winners for a fourth consecutive season enjoyed an average climb of 1.75 spots in those power rankings.

Meanwhile, checking on the state’s other major league teams: The Giants struggled to a 3-4 mark last week, and fell an average of 1.75 spots for a ranking of 12.5. Despite that adversity, they’re still in the running for a wild-card spot.

There is no such postseason carrot in front of the Angels (22.25), A’s (24.5) and Padres (26.25). Of the state’s five teams, the Angels (4-3 last week) enjoyed the biggest rise with an average of two spots.

Going out of state, but worth noting, the Cubs, who seemed to have clinched the N.L. Central around the Fourth of July, have been ranked no lower than second in USA Today’s poll. The team won its 100th game Monday night with a romp over the Pirates.

Sorting the data:

Dodgers

Average rank: 4.25

Average change: +1.75

High/low: 4/6

From ESPN (No. 4): “The last week of the regular season will see Los Angeles battling Washington for the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in their division series. Sunday was the final home game broadcast by the legendary Vin Scully (which ended in a 10th-inning home run by Charlie Culberson, his first of the season).”

Giants

Average rank: 12.5

Average change: -1.75

High/low: 11/14

From Bleacher Report (No. 14): “(since the All-Star break) they’ve gone a dreadful 25-41 with a minus-16 run differential in the second half and have struggled to find any semblance of momentum. Losing Johnny Cueto to a groin strain has made their task that much more difficult, as he was scratched from his Sunday start and ruled out for Tuesday as well, which is significant.”

Angels

Average rank: 22.25

Average change: +2.0

High/low: 23/26

From USA Today (No. 22): “Mike Trout in line for fifth consecutive top-two finish in MVP race.”

A’s

Average rank: 24.5

Average change: -1.0

High/low: 23/25

From ESPN (No. 23): “Ryon Healy continues to impress, hitting .303/.336/.522 in 65 games and playing better than expected at third base (he split time between third and first in the minors). Pencil him in as a starter for 2017.”

Padres

Average rank: 26.25

Average change: +1.0

High/low: 26/27

From Bleacher Report (No. 26): “… a breakout season from Wil Myers has been the highlight of the season … The 25-year-old has posted an .806 OPS with 28 doubles, 28 home runs, 92 RBI and 28 stolen bases, giving the Padres their first 20/20 player since Will Venable in 2013.”

Compiled by Jeff Caraska

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