mlb-power-rankings.png

Back on May 21, the Dodgers and Giants were set to square off for the first time in 2021. The Giants shockingly had a one-game lead in the NL West over the Padres with the Dodgers two games back. 

The Dodgers would sweep the Giants in San Francisco. 

Like many others, I thought this was the beginning of the end for the 2021 Giants. 

Instead, we forgot to tell them that "on paper" was how things were supposed to go this year. The collection of players who were supposed to be either third or fourth place (aside: how funny is it now to think about people picking the Diamondbacks ahead of the Giants?) this season have instead completely trampled all over the script. Willie Mays Hayes' "not bad for a has-been and a couple never-will-bes, eh?" line has never felt so real. This entire roster was supposed to be has-beens and never-will-bes. 

Since that sweep at the hands of their biggest rivals, the Giants have barely lost. They took three of four from the Dodgers in L.A. the following weekend. They took three of four from the surging (at the time) Cubs. The Angels were playing good baseball until the Giants swept them. Then the Giants took down the A's in the battle of the Bay. 

I found it funny that a few fans of a different team yelled at me for having the Giants at No. 1 last week and pointed out that "other sites" had a different team at the top. First off, my rankings are the Official Power Rankings, so the impostors don't count. Secondly, why am I the only one out here willing to admit I was wrong about a team? 

The Giants have the best record in baseball, their run differential isn't out of whack, they are good at both home and on the road, they've played more road games than home games, they have beaten lots of good teams and on and on we could go. There is absolutely nothing about them that appears fraudulent. 

Oh, except for "I didn't think they would be good." 

That's it. They are 77 games into the season and there's nothing else about this Giants team that screams a backslide is coming. 

Sure, there's a possibility that they could crumble. That possibility remains for every single team. I'm just pointing out that you have to have an awfully big ego to look at a team 77 games into a season and ignore everything they've shown in order to stick to your guns because you don't feel like they should be this good. Sometimes we get things wrong. Being able to be accountable and adaptive are good traits.

Enjoy life at the top, San Francisco. 

Biggest Movers
5 Blue Jays
5 Dodgers
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Giants Something interesting to watch will be the Giants at the trade deadline. They should be able to pick up a bunch of money if that's how they can add to this group. I'm not sure what kinds of high-priced veterans out there would be available, but I'm not going to doubt this front office or the club's ability to get the most out of anyone. -- 101-54
2 Astros They stormed into first place with a 10-game winning streak, but lost a pair of games in Detroit. In fact, the Astros went 2-5 vs. the Tigers this year. Baseball can be weird, eh? 1 91-64
3 Rays Their season-long losing streak reached seven, but they've rebounded by taking series from both the Red Sox and Angels. 3 97-59
4 Red Sox They weren't even playing that well heading into the series, but then BOOM, the Yankees show up and the Red Sox go into Terminator mode. The good news is they get to face them 13 more times. 3 88-67
5 Athletics The A's won all five of Cole Irvin's starts in June and he posted a 2.64 ERA in the process. The A's grabbed him from the Phillies in late January for cash. That's a Moneyball special. -- 84-71
6 Padres Dinelson Lamet back to the injured list with a forearm injury? Sigh. The good news is the Padres have a ton of prospect currency and you know general manager A.J. Preller isn't shy about pulling the trigger on trades. 2 78-77
7 Dodgers They are now 3-7 against the Padres. Does it matter? Will it matter down the stretch? 5 99-56
8 White Sox Scuffling a bit, having lost seven of their last nine. Losing the four games to the scorching-hot Astros wasn't too bad, but then 2-3 against the Pirates and Mariners hurt a bit. Can they get right against the Twins? 4 88-68
9 Brewers Big series on tap to start the week against the Cubs, in which the Brewers have a great opportunity to truly put some distance between themselves and the rest of the Central. 4 93-62
10 Blue Jays Here they come? The Jays have won seven of their last eight games. Just wait until George Springer gets hot. 5 87-69
11 Mets They have a four-game lead and we know rotation reinforcements are coming in the second half in Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard, but at some point they've got to start hitting better. They only average 3.59 runs per game and that's last in baseball. 1 73-81
12 Indians Still hanging around, but, man, that rotation. Now that they've lost Aaron Civale for a while the team's three best starters are on the injured list. 1 76-79
13 Cubs It's been a really tough schedule the entire month, but the offense has been brutal in June. Maybe it'll just be inconsistent and we'll see them swing hot bats in July like they did in May? If not, this is trouble. 4 67-88
14 Yankees Apparently the Steinbrenner family sold the team to the Red Sox. Who knew? 2 88-67
15 Mariners The sneakiest above-.500 team in the land! Seriously, how many people who aren't Mariners fans off the top of their heads would know they had a winning record? 1 85-70
16 Reds Luis Castillo in June: 1.71 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 32 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. He's back. 2 81-75
17 Braves Might they have something in rookie southpaw Kyle Muller? The former second-rounder has a 2.70 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through his first 10 innings. 2 82-72
18 Nationals It's modest, but it looks like Josh Bell might be heating up. In his last 21 games, he's hitting .275 with a .565 slugging. He has three homers and 10 RBI in his last eight games. 3 64-92
19 Angels Patrick Sandoval is on a nice little run in the rotation. The Angels have won his last three starts and he has a 3.44 ERA in his seven starts since joining said rotation. 2 74-81
20 Phillies Aaron Nola tying Tom Seaver's record with 10 straight strikeouts in New York was a pretty cool moment. 2 81-75
21 Tigers I keep saying it but it bears repeating: This non-contender is not to be taken lightly. The Tigers have gone 25-20 since May 7. They've gone toe to toe with good teams. For example, they just split four games with the Astros. 2 75-80
22 Cardinals The Cardinals won on May 29. Since then, they have won only seven games against 19 losses. They have gone from first to fourth place and are eight games back. 2 86-69
23 Twins Here they come? They've won seven of nine. But did they dig too big a hole? I believe they did, but I've been wrong before. 2 69-87
24 Marlins They're still doing it! They have a +17 run differential and are 11 games under .500. The 6-16 record in one-run games while being 11-6 in games decided by five runs or more would be the culprits of skewing this thing. 2 64-91
25 Pirates Max Kranick made his MLB debut on Sunday in St. Louis and was perfect through five innings. He was chased by a weather delay. Total bummer, but they've been playing good ball lately overall. 2 58-97
26 Rangers What can you say about Kyle Gibson? After a 5.35 ERA last season, his first on his three-year deal with the Rangers, he's now 6-0 with an AL-best 2.00 ERA in 15 starts. The nine-year veteran looks like a first-time All-Star at age 33. 2 57-99
27 Royals That's a five-game losing streak and the Royals have lost 17 of their last 21. 3 71-84
28 Rockies Jon Gray returned from the injured list and looked excellent on Friday (five scoreless innings, 10 strikeouts, no walks). He's a free agent after the season and it's almost July with the Rockies clearly a "sell" team. Just saying ... 2 71-83
29 Orioles Trey Mancini in the Home Run Derby? I think we have our feel-good favorite (it also gave me an excuse to say something positive about the Orioles this week!). -- 50-106
30 Diamondbacks They won two games this past week and one of them came on the road. Progress! -- 50-105