Coming out of the All-Star Break this year, last week featured just one series for each MLB team. With six different teams finishing last week undefeated in their only action this week, it was a tight race to determine who had the most impressive stretch. Meanwhile in the WNBA, two teams clinched early playoff berths in the Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces, but one team had a week that blew theirs out of the water.
This was a decision that was labored over. With so many teams undefeated coming out of the break thus far, a lot of new factors had to be considered. Who surprised us the most, who had the most games played on their winning streak out of the break, whose players performed best in the MLB All-Star Game, who had the most impressive run differential.
While the Houston Astros pulled off an impressive week by sweeping the Yankees in a doubleheader before sweeping the scorching hot Seattle Mariners, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off their first four-game sweep of the rival San Francisco Giants since 1995, we expect to see that level of performance from those teams. We were looking for something truly unexpected. In come the Toronto Blue Jays, our MLB Team of the Week. They brought us out of the break in style, beating the Boston Red Sox 28-5. That is the kind of game that you really have to watch to get a full scope of just how many runs that is. When you start to get around 15 runs or so, every number just sounds the same unless you actually watch it. If you score 28 in a video game you’re not even having fun anymore. The Blue Jays seemed to still be having fun, though, winning 4-1 the next day and finishing the sweep with an 8-4 victory to close out the week.
A +30 run differential in a three game series against a team that’s competing to get into the postseason is quite hard to believe. The Blue Jays now find themselves in the American League’s top Wild Card spot as they gear up for a playoff run of their own.
The Connecticut Sun are our WNBA Team of the Week, and this one required a lot less deliberation. They were the only team in the league to go 3-0 last week, and they did it with a home blowout of the New York Liberty and back-to-back road wins over the Minnesota Lynx. The Sun are getting hot at the right time, as the playoff race heats up. They trail the top-seeded Chicago Sky by two games and the Las Vegas Aces by one game, both of whom have already clinched playoff spots. It’s only a matter of time until the Sun join them with an x next to their name in the standings. The only question is whether or not they can gain pole position before the end of the regular season.