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Grading the weekend series: Indians rolling to top of AL Central

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Justin Masterson's shutout helped propel the Indians to an A this weekend.
Justin Masterson's shutout helped propel the Indians to an A this weekend. (USATSI)

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It's that time again. We'll just do one team per traditional letter grade based upon the weekend series (plural!). In doing so, not every team gets mentioned and there are three teams who deserved an A this weekend that didn't get one.

First of all, the Pirates are the best team in baseball and have now won nine in a row. Seeing as how I had them as the subject of my power rankings -- in which they were ranked first -- I'll look elsewhere for the sake of variety.

Also, the Angels, Braves and Orioles swept their respective series. Call them honorary A students.

As for what's left ...

TeamGradeAnalysis
AThe four-game sweep over the White Sox was impressive, even though Chicago is 8-24 since May 26. Taking down the easy opponent is mitigated, however, by the Indians ascending to the top of the division, as they are now tied for first in the AL Central with the Tigers. Yes, being tied means the Indians are at "the top" of the division. They're just not alone.
B+The took two of three from the Padres, capping it off with a Jeff Mathis walk-off grand slam. And after winning only 14 games combined in April and May, the Marlins won 15 in the month of June.
CThe Royals pushed all their chips to the center of the table this season when they sent a good prospects package to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis. And with the Tigers struggling, being in playoff contention is there for the taking. Splitting with the Twins is just not good enough, so it's an average grade for what appears an average-at-best ballclub.
DAfter an 11-game winning streak, the Blue Jays faced a huge test in a seven-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Boston. They went 2-5 and fell down to 8.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. They're still in contention, but this past week was a huge step backward.
FThey were swept in three games by the Braves and outscored 20-7. And they've let the entire NL West get within four games of them as the Snakes have only won five of their past 15. The bright side is only the team that has been in last place played well this past week, but the D-Backs really need to get things together or they'll be out of first before the All-Star break.
 
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