Another month in the books, and with July 4th quickly approaching, it’s the Oakland A’s that continue to make fireworks throughout Major League Baseball.  Oakland’s rock solid pitching staff (3.19 ERA, 2nd in MLB) and steady offense have led to numerous weeks on top of MLB Power Rankings lists, including the one at The Wife Hates Sports.

But before we fully commit to July, let’s revisit some standout MLB stats from June, and not just tying to the Oakland A’s, but to any team that jumps to the forefront – both for good and bad reasons.

TEN Eye-Popping MLB Stats from June (2014)

  • To say it was an ugly month for the Colorado Rockies and its pitching staff would be an understatement.  The Rockies posted an MLB-worst 6.48 ERA in June, a run and a half higher than any other team.  The offense posted an MLB-best .283 batting average, but it wasn’t enough to save Colorado, which floundered to an 8-20 record.
  • Just how ugly of an offensive month was it for the Padres?  San Diego finished June twenty-nine percentage points below the Mendoza line, and the team’s .171 batting average was fifty-six percentage points worse than any other team in baseball.
  • It took a few months, but the power surge for the Orioles has finally arrived.  Baltimore slammed 46 home runs in the month of June, thirteen more than any other team in baseball.  Adam Jones led the team with 9 HR, while Chris Davis hit six and a trio of players (Nelson Cruz, Manny Machado and Steve Pearce) slugged five.
    adam-jones-baltimore-orioles

    Adam Jones and the Orioles had a major power surge in June

  • The Mariners posted the best run differential in baseball during the month.  Seattle’s +47 differential was eleven runs better than any team in the American League.  Seattle also posted an MLB-best 10-3 road record during the month.
  • The 2014 Rangers are eerily similar to Texas teams of five to ten years back, when the pitching floundered and the offense raked.  This team has been decimated by injuries, but the lack of depth – especially in the rotation – is a growing concern.  The Rangers’ AL-worst 4.97 ERA in June is also a sign that some retooling might need to be in the team’s immediate future.
  • The Rays held opponents to a .219 batting average in June, which was second to only the Mariners.  Despite battling through a number of injuries, this was a clear sign that Tampa Bay still has plenty of pitching to compete.  The offense was 12th in batting average (.257) for the month, making the team’s 13-16 record a bit of a surprise.  The clutch hits and wins just were not there.
  • With one of the better, more consistent pitching staffs in baseball, the A’s were a bit of a surprise in June, landing in the middle of the pack, with a mediocre 3.73 team ERA (15th in baseball).
  • The Dodgers got back into the NL West race thanks to its pitching, which dominated in June, posting an MLB-best 2.49 ERA.  Clayton Kershaw headlined the group, not only throwing a no hitter, but also dominating in his other five starts.  Kershaw’s stats say it all: 6-0 record, 0.82 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 61 K’s in 44 IP.  The rest of the rotation – Josh Beckett (1.09 ERA), Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.19 ERA), Zack Greinke (3.82 ERA) and Dan Haren (4.15 ERA) – shouldn’t be ignored, either.
clayton-kershaw-los-angeles-dodgers

Clayton Kershaw was nearly unhittable in the month of June

  • It’s not all doom and gloom for fans of the Cubs, that is, if the team’s pitching performance in June is any indication.  Chicago managed the 6th best ERA (3.26) and 4th best BAA (.231) in the month.  The headliner was easily Jake Arrieta, acquired in a trade with the Orioles last season.  The young fireballer went 4-0, with a 0.92 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 48 K’s in six starts.
  • Don’t count the Pirates out of the NL Central race!  Pittsburgh had a great June, posting a 17-10 record and getting back above .500.  At the forefront was the offense, which received a spark following the call-up of rookie Gregory Polanco.  The Pirates’ offense had a .350 on-base percentage, which was the best mark in Major League Baseball – and even trumped the likes of the Tigers, Dodgers and Rockies.

As outlined in some of the statistics above, it’s no surprise to see the Rockies and Rangers amongst the teams free falling in the latest rankings.  Both are featured in this week’s bottom five:

Philadelphia Phillies: -28 points

Colorado Rockies: -27 points

Texas Rangers: -27 points

St. Louis Cardinals: -27 points

New York Yankees: -25 points

Elsewhere, the Atlanta Braves regained the National League East lead, and by the slimmest of margins (a half game over the Nationals).  Riding a six-game win streak and a solid stretch, Atlanta headlines the top five winners over the last week:

Atlanta Braves: +48 points

Seattle Mariners: +41 points

Los Angeles Angels: +24 points

Detroit Tigers: +22 points

Cincinnati Reds: +18 points

The A’s maintain a large lead, while the Brewers, Dodgers and Mariners battle for second place.  The latest rankings are as follows, highlighting the clubs that had positive or negative jumps:

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 2, 2014

Note: Statistics and point totals as of Wednesday at 12pm (7/2/14) and do not include today’s games

1. Oakland Athletics (165 points) – Previously: #1 (-1)

2. Milwaukee Brewers (113 points) – Previously: #2 (-6)

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (112 points) – Previously: #3 (+12)

4. Seattle Mariners (109 points) – Previously: #9 (+41)

5. Detroit Tigers (99 points) – Previously: #5 (+22)

6. Los Angeles Angels (99 points) – Previously: #6 (+24)

7. San Francisco Giants (84 points) – Previously: #4 (-15)

8. Washington Nationals (84 points) – Previously: #8 (+12)

9. Toronto Blue Jays (70 points) – Previously: #10 (+7)

10. Atlanta Braves (70 points) – Previously: #16 (+48) 

11. Baltimore Orioles (63 points) – Previously: #12 (+2)

12. Kansas City Royals (56 points) – Previously: #11 (-7)

13. Cincinnati Reds (53 points) – Previously: #13 (+18)

14. St. Louis Cardinals (47 points) – Previously: #7 (-27)

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (43 points) – Previously: #15 (+18)

16. Miami Marlins (8 points) – Previously: #18 (-5)

17. New York Yankees (4 points) – Previously: #14 (-25)

18. New York Mets (-4 points) – Previously: #17 (-19)

19. Cleveland Indians (-5 points) – Previously: #23 (0)

20. Chicago Cubs (-8 points) – Previously: #25 (+3) 

21. Tampa Bay Rays (-8 points) – Previously: #27 (+18)

22. Boston Red Sox (-20 points) – Previously: #20 (-22)

23. Chicago White Sox (-21 points) – Previously: #26 (0)

24. Minnesota Twins (-22 points) – Previously: #22 (-20)

25. Colorado Rockies (-24 points) – Previously: #19 (-27)

26. San Diego Padres (-26 points) – Previously: #28 (+16)

27. Philadelphia Phillies (-28 points) – Previously: #21 (-28)

28. Texas Rangers (-35 points) – Previously: #24 (-27)

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (-36 points) – Previously: #29 (+6)

30. Houston Astros (-61 points) – Previously: #30 (-11)

* All stats per MLB.com and ESPN.com

Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week

The Wife Hates Sports’ MLB Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record.  It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system.  The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and pitching staff, too.