Befitting a team that began the week with the most wins (49) than any team in the majors, the Giants were ranked first by Bleacher Report for the most significant news in the weekly baseball rankings roundup.
The Cubs, 1-6 last week, still hold the top spot in the other three polls. The Giants won two of three from them in May. The teams won’t meet again until Sept. 1 for a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
Meanwhile, among the other California teams, the Dodgers (7.5 average ranking) enjoyed an average climb of nearly two spots, and the Padres (23.75) had the biggest increase (+2.25) of any state team, but they only peaked at 23rd.
The A’s (25) rose an average of two spots, and the Angels (25.5) appear headed in the opposite direction with an average descent of 2.5.
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 2.25
Average change: +0.75
From Bleacher Report (No.1): “The biggest question mark in the early going was the back of the rotation, but Jake Peavy has gone 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA and an opposing batting average of .196 in his last five starts. They could still use another quality bullpen arm, and the No. 5 starter spot is still up in the air, while a healthy Hunter Pence will be a welcome addition to the lineup once he returns.”
Average rank: 7.5
Average change: +1.75
From Bleacher Report (No. 6): “It's shocking to see Clayton Kershaw ever struggle on the mound, but he allowed nine hits and four earned runs over six innings to the Pirates on Sunday. His ERA jumped from 1.57 to 1.79 as he took his second loss of the season.
The last time Kershaw failed to record a quality start in back-to-back games was Aug. 27 and Sept. 2 of the 2013 season, so best of luck to the Colorado Rockies on Friday.”
Average rank: 25.5
Average change: -2.5
From ESPN (No. 26): “Albert Pujols passed Harmon Killebrew on the all-time home run list with his 574th home run, 11th-most all time. Next up: Mark McGwire at 583 and Frank Robinson at 586.”
Average rank: 23.75
Average change: +2/25
From USA Today (No. 25): “Underrated trade chip: Jon Jay, with (National League)-best 24 doubles and .345 OBP.”
Average rank: 25.0
Average change: +2
From Bleacher Report (No. 27): “Dillon Overton became the latest Oakland pitcher to make his MLB debut last week, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in 5.2 innings to pick up the win Saturday. He joins Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Andrew Triggs, Zach Neal and J.B. Wendelken as first-year pitchers this season for the A's, as the team has been besieged by injuries.”
Compiled by Jeff Caraska