I’ll be honest. These PRs are a lot harder than I originally thought. For the teams who are on the outside looking in this week, I am deeply sorry. This was not an easy decision.
5. San Fransisco Giants (38-22)
Current Standings: 1st place in the NL West
Last 10: 8-2
Run Diff: +75
Most notable stat? The Giants are 18-9 at Oracle Park
Somehow….Someway…The San Fransisco Giants have entered the second week of June with the best record in the National League. And no, the Giants don’t have the luxury of placing Fernando Tatis in the middle of their order, nor do they have the privilege of throwing Trevor Bauer on the mound every fifth day, but they do what most teams in the National League don’t, and that is mounds on top of mounds of experience.
The average age of the Giants starting lineup is right around 33 years old (33.75 if you want to be exact.) Do you understand how crazy that is. To put into perspective of just how crazy that is, I want to show you this stat; According to Statista, the average of of the San Diego Padres is 26.7 years old. The Dodgers, 28 years old, the Rockies 27.6 years old and the Diamondbacks 28.8 years old.
So what does all this mean? It means that the Giants starting lineup is by far, the oldest lineup in the NL West and is still managing to kick some serious ass. Respect your elders kids.
4. San Diego Padres (37-26)
Current Standings: 2nd place in the NL West
Last 10: 3-7
Run Diff: +69
Most notable stat? The Padres are 18-20 against teams over .500
Not the best week for the San Diego Padres. But look, this happens. All teams go through dry periods, even the ones who are contending for a championship. However, It’s the the teams who have the ability to bounce back from these droughts who truly separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
So what exactly is going on with the current state of the Padres? Well for starters, the Padres are just not hitting the baseball. We all know this team can pitch, seeing that have the best team ERA in baseball (2.96,) but there are more components that go into the game than being able to mow down batters. During the Padres last 7 losses, the Friars have managed to scrap a total of just 13 measly runs which averages out to roughy 1.8 runs per game. That is not going to cut it.
It is worth asking as to why I still have the Padres in my PR’s. Well, for starters, I think it would be a DRASTIC jump if I had ranked the Friars as the best team in baseball last week, and then had completely left them off my board today. I do not believe that one bad stretch defines a team. The Padres will just fine and I almost willing to guarantee it. This is an insanley talented ball club who are going to figure things out soon. They just need to regroup, refocus, and begin to once again, play their brand of baseball.
3. Boston Red Sox (37-24)
Current Standings: 2nd place in the AL East
Last 10: 6-4
Run Diff: +48
Most notable stat? The Red Sox are 16-11 against teams who are over .500
Over the weekend, the Red Sox made a trip to Bronx for the first meeting this season between the two biggest rivals in baseball. For Boston, the Sox had a point to prove, seeing how the national media had not yet given them the respect they may have already deserved.
As the weekend came to a close, it became very clear that this Red Sox team should not only be respected by the national media, but should also be treated as a serious title contender. The Sox went into the Bronx and swept the Yanks for the first time since 2011. It was a statement of dominance that was measured by power, good pitching and a hell of a lot of grit.
Now yes, the Red Sox have one of the best offenses in baseball which is highlighted by superstars in the likes of J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, but that is not solely who we should be leaning our credit towards when talking about this teams success. Alex Cora is one of, if not the best managers in all of baseball. The skillful insights he brings to the game is uncanny. The energy he provides to a clubhouse is unmatched and his ability to not only manage, but control the ebbs and flows of a ball game are admirable. Alex Cora is thus far, your 2021 MLB manager of the year.
2. Chicago White Sox (37-23)
Current Standings: 1st place in the AL Central
Last 10: 7-3
Run Diff: +90
Most notable stat? The White Sox lead the division in run differential by 96 runs
A lot of great things happened for the White Sox this week. For starters, the Sox debuted their new “City Connect” uniforms which I have to say, has to be one of the coolest uniforms I have ever seen in any sport. Secondly, White Sox manager, Tony La Russa earned his 2,764th managerial win, surpassing legendary Giants skipper John McGraw for second place on the all-time wins list. (Connie Mack holds the record with 3,731 wins)
And lastly, and arguably the most important thing to happen to the White Sox over the last week, is that they continue to flat out play a fantastic brand of baseball. During the White Sox last 10 games, in which the Sox are 7-3, the Southside smashers have been outscoring their opponents by a clip of 42-27. And during that stretch, the White Sox have held their opponents to one run of fewer 6 times. That is called dominate baseball folks.
I don’t know about you guys, but to me, the Southside is beginning to feel a lot like the summer of 2005.
1. Tampa Bay Rays (39-23)
Current Standings: 1st place in the AL East
Last 10: 7-3
Run Diff: +77
Most notable stat? The Rays are host to the best road record in baseball (23-10)
If you were to tell me at the beginning of the season, that during the week of June 9th, I would have the Tampa Bay Rays ranked as the best team in baseball, heck if you were to tell me that even a month ago, I would have called you crazy. But here we are, with the decision coming with relative ease.
The Tampa Bay Rays are absolutely incredible. With a May of 22-6, the Rays quickly established themselves as one of baseballs perennial forces, seemingly dominating everyone in their path.
But here’s the crazy thing. The Rays, who currently have the best record in the major leagues, are an abstract anomaly. The Rays have 654 strike outs as a team. That leads baseball. They have a .229 team BA which ranks as the 24th worst in the league and have been caught stealing 16 times which again….leads baseball. The highest paid player on the Rays is Kevin Kiermaier, and with a salary of $11,666,666, Kiermaier is just the 96th…yes 96th highest paid player in baseball.
In conclusion, The Tampa Bay Rays should not have the best record in baseball. But they do…and that is what makes baseball the greatest sport ever created.