The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing their worst baseball of the year, but is it bad enough to drop them out of the top spot of the MLB Power Rankings?
It has been a historic two weeks for Major League Baseball. For the first time in MLB history, there are two teams carrying 12-plus-game winning streaks at the same time. It’s not who you think, though. The MLB-leading Los Angeles Dodgers would have been the easy choice for one of the big winners, but they are heading in the wrong direction with nothing going right. Not even Clayton Kershaw has been able to arrest their freefall.
The Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks have been the big winners, carrying 15-game and 13-game win streaks, respectively. Both teams feature deep lineups, strong rotations and nasty arms out of the bullpen. Even with the Dodgers previously on pace to set the MLB record for single-season wins, the Indians and Diamondbacks would have to be taken seriously as World Series contenders.
The Dodgers have been so historically good for most of the season that their mini-slide can be overlooked for one more week, but how far can the Indians and Diamondbacks climb up the weekly MLB Power Rankings?
Last week: 4-6
Last rank: 30
Recent callup J.P. Crawford will be taking some of Maikel Franco’s playing time at third base for the final month of the season. The 2017 season has been a massive step back in the wrong direction for the third baseman. Franco is hitting .222/.278/.386 on the year. He seemed like an easy breakout candidate after hitting 25 home runs last year in his age-23 season. Franco’s OPS is now down nearly 100 points from the high-water mark he posted in an 80-game cameo in 2015.
Chicago White Sox
Last week: 2-8
Last rank: 28
The Washington Nationals may have soured on top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito, but the White Sox have seen nothing but good things out of the big right-hander. Heading into his start Friday night, Giolito is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 20 innings. Command was an issue for him last year when he debuted with the Nationals, but Giolito has walked only four hitters in those 20 innings.
Things have not gone quite as well for another prospect that came over from the Nationals with Giolito. Reynaldo Lopez is 0-3 in four starts with a 4.84 ERA. He is looking more and more like a future reliever unless he can figure out his control issues.