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Padres land at #10 in ESPN’s latest MLB power rankings

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MLB: Houston Astros at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Tenth. Tenth? TENTH?!

The utter blasphemy. The preposterousness. The BLASPHEMY.

The hottest team in baseball - sans the Dodgers - is being viewed as the 10th-best team in the league? C’mon man.

According to the MLB staff at ESPN.com, the San Diego Padres are #10 in the major leagues, right behind the Cleveland Indians and one spot ahead of the Chicago White Sox.

Here’s what the staff had to say about the ranking:

“It was a historic week for the Padres. They became the first team to hit a grand slam in four consecutive games and then Jake Cronenworth hit one Saturday, giving them five in six games. During that six-game win streak, they hit 17 home runs and scored 51 runs (8.5 per game).”

At the halfway point of this abbreviated season, the Padres, who are riding a seven-game win streak, are second in the majors with 163 runs scored and are tied for fifth in run differential at +28.

They’ve also got the best player in baseball - Fernando Tatis Jr. - as well as one of major league baseball’s brightest and most-surprising up-and-coming talents in Jake Cronenworth. Prior to the season, Cronenworth was just a random player the team acquired in the trade for Tommy Pham. Now, he’s an above-average two-way player that can play all of the infield positions who is also hitting .347/.410/.627.

After struggling to begin the season, Manny Machado has found his groove as of late. In the last week, he’s recorded 11 hits, three home runs, and nine RBIs. He’s now second on the team with eight deep shots and tied for 15th in the major.

The bullpen has been the biggest issue this season but things seem to have been rectified as of late. Dinelson Lamet has been the team’s best pitcher by far, leading the team in Ks (45), hits allowed (17), and ERA (1.89). Zach Davies has also been a pleasant surprise falling behind Lamet for second on the team in of the aforementioned categories.

There’s certainly some negative regression coming to this team, but I don’t think we need to prepare for a huge snap back into mediocrity. While the bats may regress, the pitching will look to bounce back in the other direction, so it all may balance itself out.

As of now, the Friars are streaking and the immediate schedule looks favorable through the rest of the month. I think it may be fine to get your hopes up about the future of this franchise.