Sports

The Times' baseball rankings

Major League BaseballSportsBaseballMinnesota TwinsDenard SpanJonathon NieseAroldis Chapman
Oakland remains The Times' top-ranked team and is only getting better with addition of Samardzija and Hammel

Last week's ranking in parentheses, statistics are through Friday's games:

OAKLAND: AL's best pitching staff (3.18 ERA) gets a lot better with addition of Samardzija and Hammel. (1)

DETROIT: Victor Martinez has nearly as many home runs (21) as strikeouts (23) in 302 at-bats (3)

DODGERS: Zack Greinke's 11 wins before All-Star break are most by Dodger since Kaz Ishii in 2002. (4)

MILWAUKEE: Remember when Francisco Rodriguez was K-Rod, and then he was washed up? He has MLB-best 27 saves. (2)

ANGELS: Last time Angels were .500 as a franchise, they were 1-1 in 1961; they're almost back at 4,269-4,272. (5)

ATLANTA: Freddie Freeman is a fixture at first base. He's played in the field all but two innings this season. (15)

SEATTLE: Manager Lloyd McClendon says A's acquisitions don't concern him. He must be playing for the wild card. (9)

WASHINGTON: Denard Span has only one HR but he leads MLB lead-off batters with 32 extra-base hits. (16)

BALTIMORE: Orioles hit MLB-best 46 HRs in June and have at least two in 25 of last 43 games. (10)

ST. LOUIS: Cardinals anxious about Monday, when Michael Wacha will have MRI on right shoulder. (7)

PITTSBURGH: Vance Worley (2-1, 2.28 ERA in 27 2/3 IP) is most recent steal by Bucs from Twins. Last year it was Francisco Liriano. (13)

KANSAS CITY: Christian Colon (Canyon HS; Cal State Fullerton) goes 3-for-4 in first start; his first MLB hit is a triple. (14)

TORONTO: This is not a left-handed compliment: Blue Jays batting just .144 vs. lefties last 12 games. (8)

CINCINNATI: Aroldis Chapman has at least one strikeout in last 36 appearances, three shy of Bruce Sutter's MLB record. (12)

15. SAN FRANCISCO: Giants were 2-8 on recent homestand — winless when the other team scored. (6)

16. N.Y. YANKEES: Power pen: relievers David Robertson and Dellin Betances combine for 132 strikeouts in 80 innings. (11)

17. CLEVELAND: Lonnie Chinsenhall (.338) trying to become Indians' first batting champion since Bob Avila hit .341 in 1954.

18. CHICAGO WHITE SOX: Left-hander Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16) has allowed to one extra-base hit to a left-handed hitter. (23)

19. SAN DIEGO: Since June 18, starters have a 1.92 in 98 1/3 IP and relievers a 0.50 in 352/3 IP, both MLB bests. (27)

20. TAMPA BAY: He is who he was: James Loney hit .284 for Dodgers; since leaving, a combined .284 for Boston and Rays. (29)

21. BOSTON: It used to be a good thing when Mookie Betts would "strike out" — he was once top prep bowler in Tennessee. (19)

22. MIAMI: Marlins play them a little too close for comfort: have 13 last at-bat wins and 15 last at-bat losses. (20)

23. CHICAGO CUBS: Jake Arrieta had most dominant June (4-0 record, 0.92 ERA) of any pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. (26)

24. MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer's trip to disabled list saves AL All-Star manager John Farrell an unpopular decision. (21)

25. N.Y. METS: Jonathon Niese, team's most reliable starter, OK after being struck by line-drive in Friday start vs. Texas. (22)

26. TEXAS: Losing combination: Rangers go 19 games without using same batting order, and go 4-15. (24)

27. PHILADELPHIA: So much for Citizens Bank Park being a hitter's paradise. Phillies are 26th in batting average and runs. (17)

28. HOUSTON: George Springer's 17 HR, 46 RBI before All-Star break are both franchise records. (25)

29. ARIZONA: Mark Trumbo hasn't played since April 21 yet is third on team with seven HR and seventh with 19 RBI. (28)

30. COLORADO: Justin Morneau could be NL All-Star DH, giving Minnesota fans a former Twins star to cheer. (30)

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Major League BaseballSportsBaseballMinnesota TwinsDenard SpanJonathon NieseAroldis Chapman
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