Another full week in the books (our first since the All-Star break), which means it's time for grades. As a reminder, we just assign each of the five traditional letter grades to one team for the week, instead of going through the tedious process of grading every single team every single week.
On top this week, the team from Baltimore that continues to turn heads in the AL East.
|A||Coming out of the All-Star break, the Orioles faced a daunting 10-game road trip out West against three AL West teams that were occupying playoff positions in the Athletics, Angels and Mariners. After losing two of three to the A's, the Orioles went 5-2 this week, winning series in Anaheim and Seattle. Their two losses were only by one run each, too. That's a wildly successful road trip. They're now 12 games over .500 and have a 53.3 percent chance to win the AL East, per Fangraphs.com.|
|B||Though they were at home, the Angels still had a tough week, getting to face first-place teams in back-to-back series. They dropped the series to the Orioles, meaning they can't get an A, but coming back to take three of four from the Tigers warrants a bump and some attention. The Angels aren't going away, even if people obsessed with their disappointing 2013 season can't grasp this fact. They have the second-best record in all of baseball and are on pace to win 98 games.|
|C||The Pirates took two of three from the first-place Dodgers to start the week, but then were crushed 8-1 twice in a row by the lowly Rockies. Salvaging Sunday's series finale means a 3-3 week, which ultimately means they land in the meaty part of the curve. They're still only three games out in the NL Central and only 1½ back of the second wild card.|
|D||A seven-game road trip to the West resulted in a 3-4 record, so it wasn't a total disaster -- plus, they can go through stretches like this and still easily take the AL Central. Still, the three straight losses against the Angels were at least mildly troubling, especially the two runs combined in the final three games of the series against pretty unexciting opposing pitchers.|
|F||The Reds came out of the All-Star break in great shape in the standings and with the chance to make some noise to begin the second half against some tough competition, namely the Brewers and Nationals. And they went 1-5, scoring only 10 runs. They've now dropped all the way back to .500 (52-52) and are closer to the Marlins and Mets than the Pirates in the wild-card standings. The situation is getting dire.|