It’s shaping up to be a fantastic baseball summer in the Bay Area, with both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics outpacing expectations by a long shot.
Each club has been in first place for most of the season thus far, though their leads have dissipated a bit lately. The Giants have the high-powered Padres and World Series champion Dodgers to deal with, and the A’s are holding off the talented Astros.
MLB power rankings released by The Athletic on Monday still had each team ranked in the top 10, however, with the Giants at No. 7 and the Athletics at No. 9.
Here’s an excerpt about the Giants from the rankings, compiled by James Fegan and Nick Groke.
Buster Posey would be an MVP candidate if the Giants weren’t capping his innings. And their rotation, headed by Kevin Gausman, has the second-lowest ERA in the NL and the third-highest WAR, according to FanGraphs.The Athletic/James Fegan and Nick Groke
Giants catcher Buster Posey is definitely turning back the clock this season, but manager Gabe Kapler is smart to limit his innings. Posey is no spring chicken at 34 years old, and it’s a long season. And that Giants starting pitching has been outstanding. Now, the bullpen just has to follow suit.
As for the Athletics, click the link above to see what was said about them. But I gotta say, it wasn’t very insightful. There was a paragraph about the team’s stadium issues in Oakland, and a bit about how they’re actually in first place, unbelievably. There was a positive comment about catcher Sean Murphy, however. The piece said he’s a long-term solution behind the plate.
But ultimately, each of these squads are surprising the league. This power ranking actually said the Giants “are carrying on as the quietest first-place team in the majors.”
The Athletics definitely fit that bill as well, and are ranked behind the Astros, who are No. 4. The Dodgers, by the way, were No. 3 and the Padres fifth. Each the Giants and the Athletics have a lot of work to do, but getting off to a hot start certainly hasn’t hurt their chances.