Here are my power rankings for this week.
1. San Francisco Giants (50-27, No. 1 last week): The Giants have gone 10-2 the past two weeks, displaying one of the key qualities of a really good squad — beating the heck out of the teams you should beat. They went 4-0 against the Diamondbacks, 2-1 against the Phillies and 2-0 against the Angels. Then to cap it off, they went 2-1 against a very good A’s team.
2. Houston Astros (48-30, No. 6): This may be evolving into manager Dusty Baker’s best chance to win that elusive World Series.
3. Oakland Athletics (47-33, No. 2): I am not saying he’s still a star player, but A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus is picking up the pace. At the end of April, he was batting .151. At the end of May, he was batting .202. And now on June 28, he’s up to .226. The old pop isn’t there, but his defense and savvy still impress Bob Melvin enough to be in the lineup everyday on a 47-win team.
4. San Diego Padres (47-33, No. 8): The date was June 4, 2016. The Padres pulled off the biggest heist since the Great Brink’s Robbery. The Padres pedaled quickly aging right-hander James Shields and got back two minor leaguers — right-hander Erik Johnson and a then-17-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr. Last I heard of this kid Tatis, he was hitting his 25th homer. Anybody know where James Shields is these days?
5. Tampa Bay Rays (47-32, No. 5): The Rays’ calculus said it was finally time for Wander Franco, the No. 1 prospect in baseball, to arrive in St. Petersburg. It’s going to be worth watching.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-31, No. 3): Some Dodger pitching facts: The starting rotation has two nine-game winners (Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias) and two seven-game winners (Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler). Kenley Jansen has given up only one homer to date in 30.2 innings this season. He does have 19 walks, which might mean he is pitching around the right people.
7. Boston Red Sox (47-31, No. 7): It was fitting that Dustin Pedroia Day was held while the Red Sox were in a pennant race. He played more than 1,500 games in his storied career and was an integral part of three world championships in Beantown. He was a player who brought me enormous joy watching. He always brought it every game, every play. There aren’t too many players you can say that about.
8. Chicago White Sox (45-32, No. 4): We all know about the two big IL guys — outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert — but Billy Hamilton, Adam Eaton, Adam Engel (again) have all on the IL recently. That doesn’t include second baseman Nick Madrigal — out for the season — and right-hander Michael Kopech, who is on the mend. Chicago’s depth is being severely challenged.
9. Milwaukee Brewers (45-33, No. 9): The flip side of Wander Franco arriving in St. Petersburg was former Rays shortstop Willy Adames arriving in Milwaukee. Adames hit .197/.254/.371 in 142 plate appearances with the Rays this year. He’s hitting .281/.356/.496 in 135 plate appearances so far with the Brewers.
10. Cleveland Indians (41-33, No. 12): Don’t sleep on manager Terry Francona getting the most out of his team. With his rotation down (Zach Plesac, Shane Bieber and Adam Civale), he won’t let his squad quit. They get big bopper Franmil Reyes back and he packs quite a wallop.
11. New York Mets (40-33, No. 11)
12. Chicago Cubs (42-36, No. 10)
13. Washington Nationals (37-38, No. 15)
14. New York Yankees (40-37, No. 13)
15. Toronto Blue Jays (40-36, No. 19)
16. Seattle Mariners (41-38, No. 14)
17. Cincinnati Reds (38-38, No. 17)
18. Philadelphia Phillies (36-39, No. 18)
19. Atlanta Braves (37-40, No. 21)
20. St. Louis Cardinals (37-40, No. 16)
21. Los Angeles Angels (37-40, No. 20)
22. Detroit Tigers (34-43, No. 23)
23. Kansas City Royals (33-43, No. 22)
24. Minnesota Twins (33-43, No. 24)
25. Miami Marlins (33-45, No. 25)
26. Colorado Rockies (31-47, No. 26)
27. Texas Rangers (30-48, No. 29)
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (29-47, No. 27)
29. Baltimore Orioles (24-54, No. 28)
30. Arizona Diamondbacks (22-57, No. 30)