Week 13 brings a drastic leap-frog maneuver by the Houston Astros. They are surely to blame for the heat dome phenomenon melting the rest of the AL West (and coast).
Your local drug store is selling out of box fans and some of your neighbors have their heads stuck in their freezers. The swift, almost unceremonious passing of the Summer Solstice brought a huge shift in the week 13 rankings. The Houston Astros jumped 8 spots since last week. On the other hand, the NL West continues to dominate the list. Let’s dive into week 13!
Now riding an 11-game winning streak in which they’ve outscored their opponents 93-23. They have absolutely beaten teams they should during the streak (Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers), but also thumped the Chicago White Sox. At the tail end of that 4-game beatdown of the Sox, they ballooned Lance Lynn‘s ERA by 0.63 in a 4-inning onslaught.
The Giants’ pitching staff has the best WHIP in the majors at 1.11 and the third-best ERA of 3.22. Kevin Gausman is now 8-1 with a 10.4 K/9 and 265 ERA+. Buster Posey continues to drink from the Fountain of Youth, leading the primary position players with a 168 OPS+. They also own the best run differential in the NL (+101). They gained a spot this week, moving up from the three-hole in the rankings.
The team that budgetary constraints just can’t seem to beat! Matt Olson has a 1.116 OPS in the last 30 days. Maybe the worst part of a 3-4 week was a game-ending triple play at the hands of the New York Yankees. Sean Murphy hit one up the third-base line off of Aroldis Chapman, but the Yankees went around the horn to turn off the lights. It is the first-ever game-ending triple play in a one-run game in Yankees’ history. That’s some insanely bad luck, right?
I’m not the person to credit for this info, have to give it where due. I’m just the compiler. @SABR has the triple play database, @SlangsOnSports gave out the info about the 27 to end, and then @JamesSmyth621 gave the info about the other two game enders in Yankees history. 😊
— Jessica Brand (@JessicaDBrand) June 25, 2021
The White Sox slip two places and deservingly so. They had a bad week. José Abreu is in a 2-for-18 slump. Yermin Mercedes is slashing .149/.216/.188 ever since he homered on a 3-0 Eephus pitch from Willians Astudillo. Astudillo has since been designated, by the way. Lucas Giolito hasn’t seen his name in the win column since May 30th, for those who still stand by the pitcher win. They’ve been decimated by injuries and Andrew Vaughn has yet to get his sea legs under him. At least Liam Hendriks is stellar and they got to kick the tires on Adam Frazier while playing the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Kings of LA slip down a notch, primarily due to being swept by the San Diego Padres. Also, being served up a combined no-hitter by the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night doesn’t help. The Cubs are now the only team with two no-nos against the Dodgers and at Dodger Stadium to boot. Getting Cody Bellinger back in the lineup is a plus. Still waiting for the real Mookie Betts to get healthy and mashing again.
The biggest plus in their current 7-game winning streak is the sweep of the Dodgers. It is the first sweep, home or away, of the Dodgers by the Dad Squad since 2013. Jake Cronenworth homered in all three games and it birthed one of Don Orsillo’s finest calls, “The Crone Zone.” They also treated Trevor Bauer accordingly in his start, hitting three solo homers off him. Interestingly enough, they only gained one spot from last week, so our panel must scrutinize them pretty fiercely.
— Don Orsillo (@DonOrsillo) June 24, 2021
The Sox fall a spot, in part due to losing 2 of 3 to the Kansas City Royals. Then they went to Tampa Bay for the Wander Franco coronation party and reignited the Rays’ winning ways. That is in spite of winning the series opener, and Franco’s glorious debut, 9-5 in 11 innings. Rafael Devers maintains a solid grip on second place in the majors in RBIs with 60, just a hair behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. They lost a combined no-hitter in the ninth, ending on a walk-off wild pitch Thursday night.
A precipitous fall from first place last week is no doubt due to a 7-game losing streak. Although, they did right the ship by taking the last two of three from division rival Boston. Tyler Glasnow – who looks headed for Tommy John surgery – was injured halfway through the last ranking cycle. There may be a Glasnow Ghost haunting the Rays’ clubhouse if you believe in that kind of thing. In his debut, Wander Franco became only the second player in the Integration Era (1947 to the present) to go 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and a homer. The only previous name on the list? ESPN’s own Eduardo Perez.
Cleveland was just a .500 team for the week, but they’ve steadily climbed into the back pocket of the AL Central-leading White Sox. It’s the perfect time for Cleveland to pounce. They are riding a strong bullpen; second-best opponent average (.216) and third-best bullpen ERA (3.38). Eddie Rosario took issue with his former team, the Minnesota Twins, who intentionally walked José Ramírez to get to him. He iced a 2-run single to right in the 8th inning Thursday to make the Twinkies pay. A solid win to wrap up the week.
10. Chicago Cubs
Another .500 team for the week, but finished with a bang, defeating the Dodgers with a combined no-hitter. They are snugly just a half-game back of the Milwaukee Brewers, which may look to some readers as a Top 10 snub. However, they are the only NL Central team with a positive run differential (+24). Patrick Wisdom continues to be a fan favorite with 10 homers and an OPS over 1.000 in 27 games. He’s tied with Anthony Rizzo for 5th in position player bWAR on the team (~1.5).
*Note: Statistics in this article are current through Thursday’s games during week 13.