MAJOR LEAGUE RANKINGS
Last week’s ranking in parentheses:
1. San Francisco Giants (1): Starter Madison Bumgarner on why Giants own MLB’s best record: “If the pitching’s not there, the offense is. If the offense is not there, the pitching is.”
2. Oakland Athletics (2): Yoenis Cespedes can throw a ball almost as far as he can hit one.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (4): Brewers lead league in only one category: top tailgating scene.
4. Toronto Blue Jays (3): What were the odds this weekend’s showdown series in AL East would be Jays against Orioles?
5. Washington Nationals (10): Nats on a roll since deciding to move third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to left field.
6. Los Angeles Angels (8): With his base-running blunders and low productivity in cleanup spot, Albert Pujols not endearing himself to Halos fans.
7. Detroit Tigers (5): Velocity is down and command is off for Justin Verlander, whose $180 million contract extension has yet to kick in.
8. Miami Marlins (4): If you can’t stand the Heat, there are plenty of good seats to be had at Marlins Park.
9. Seattle Mariners (7): Mariners began their homestand at Safeco Field with three road games against the Yankees.
10. Atlanta Braves (9): Catcher Evan Gattis’ offensive numbers are twice as good as those of departed free agent Brian McCann — and he costs $16 million per season less than the Yankees’ backstop.
11. Baltimore Orioles (11): Manny Machado might need a few weeks on the farm to clear his head. It’s very cluttered right now.
12. New York Yankees (16): Masahiro Tanaka bidding to become first AL pitcher to win Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in same season.
13. St. Louis Cardinals (12): Cards have plenty of time to straighten up and fly right, but all bets are off if Adam Wainwright’s elbow issues are serious.
14. Kansas City Royals (18): Small-ball Royals scored all four runs Wednesday on sacrifice flies.
15. Los Angeles Dodgers (15): A year ago Sunday, Dodgers looked to be trading-market sellers at 29-38. At the July 31 deadline, they were 57-49.
16. Cleveland Indians (17): Lonnie Chisenhall will be the AL leader in batting average, once he accumulates enough plate appearances.
18. Texas Rangers (13): Hard to believe Yu Darvish’s shutout Wednesday of Marlins was first complete game of his MLB career.
19. Minnesota Twins (19): Former Mariners DH Kendrys Morales, inactive since last season, skipped a minor league assignment and showed up ready to rake.
20. Pittsburgh Pirates (22): Uber-prospect Gregory Polanco, with only 500 at-bats beyond Single-A, got promoted to bigs last week.
21. Cincinnati Reds (24): Former middle reliever Alfredo Simon has emerged as Reds’ ace.
22. Houston Astros (25): Among AL pitchers, “average” Dallas Keuchel is first in WAR and third in WHIP.
23. Boston Red Sox (20): 2013 Dodgers are one reason it’s too early to project Sox as sellers.
24. Colorado Rockies (23): Sterling debut of starting pitcher Tyler Matzek almost salvaged train-wreck homestand.
25. Chicago Cubs (29): Best player in Cubs organization, third baseman Kris Bryant, still languishing in Double A.
26. New York Mets (21): Because of ownership’s financial woes, manager Terry Collins will keep his job until Mets finish retooling their roster.
27. San Diego Padres (26): Padres’ lineup against Phils last week included six batters hitting below .210. Sound familiar?
28. Philadelphia Phillies (28): Unimpressive record of Cole Hamels (2-3) latest example of baseball’s most fraudulent stat.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (27): Pitcher Trevor Cahill, a 2010 All-Star at the age of 22, cleared waivers and has been assigned to Single A.
30. Tampa Bay Rays (30): Rays snapped 31-inning scoreless drought Wednesday — and won for the second time in 16 games.