MLB best and worst in June

Seattle Mariners
Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners are making noise in the AL West. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Best AL team – Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners finished June with an 18-10 record, which was actually not as good as the Oakland Athletics percentage-wise, but the Mariners had the highest run differential of any team in baseball in June at plus 47. They were sixth in the AL in runs scored and first in ERA at 2.53.

Worst AL team – Texas Rangers

The Rangers were 9-17 in June with a negative 38 run differential. They’ve fallen 14 games back in the AL West as it seems the numerous injuries are taking effect. Their pitching was last in the AL, and their hitting was uncharacteristically bad, as well, finishing 12th in runs scored in the AL.

Best NL team – Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers, Brewers and Reds all finished the month with an 18-10 record, but the Dodgers won the tiebreaker with the best run differential in the NL during June at 39. With the Giants slumping, the Dodgers were able to climb all the way back into first place in the NL West. They were sixth in the NL in runs scored and first in ERA at 2.53.

Worst NL team – Colorado Rockies

The Rockies had one of the worst months in team history, winning only eight games with a run differential of negative 48. Their pitching was awful with a major-league worst ERA of 6.48 in June. The Rockies offense remains one of the best in the league, though, as they finished second in the NL in runs scored.

Best AL player – Adrian Beltre

Despite his team’s lack of success in June, Beltre continued to put up monster numbers. He hit .392 with four home runs and 22 RBI, while scoring 14 runs and getting on base 42 percent of the time. Honorable mention goes to Jose Altuve who hit .411 in June with a .447 OBP to go along with 17 stolen bases.

Worst AL player slump – Xander Bogaerts

The highly touted Red Sox prospect has struggled to live up to the hype all season, but June was absolutely disastrous. The 21-year-old hit just .135 with an OBP of .176. He struck out 27 times and walked just three times.

Best NL player – Andrew McCutchen

The 2013 NL MVP had it all going in June. He hit .343 with a .410 OBP, while hitting eight home runs and collecting 25 RBI. The home run and RBI totals were tied for the NL lead in June. He also stole five bases and scored 19 times.

Worst NL player slump – Jean Segura

To be honest, I could go B.J. Upton here every month as he hit just .196 in June with 34 strikeouts and a .244 OBP, but I decided to give him a break. Well, I guess not really since I called him out anyway. But Segura was on Upton’s level in June, hitting .196 as well with a .239 OBP.

Best AL pitcher – Felix Hernandez

I love it when players make this write up easy. Felix was on fire in June posting a 1.22 ERA and of 0.72 WHIP in six starts (44.1 innings). The Seattle Mariners’ ace won three games and struck out 54 batters.

Worst AL pitcher slump – Justin Verlander

The former MVP looked nothing of the sort in June as he had the second-worst ERA (6.82) of any AL pitcher who threw at least 20 innings. His WHIP for June was 1.61. In Verlander’s first three starts of the month he gave up 20 runs (19 earned); but in his defense, he settled down and only allowed five in his final two starts of the month, so maybe he’s starting to get it together.

Best NL pitcher – Clayton Kershaw

Like King Felix, Kershaw made this an easy decision. He went 6-0 in six starts, posted a 0.82 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and struck out 61 batters in 44 innings. Oh, by the way, he threw a no-hitter in June, while striking out 15 in the process.

Worst NL pitcher slump – Jorge De La Rosa

Part of the Rockies lack of pitching success in June can be blamed on De La Rosa, who finished the month with a 7.11 ERA in six starts. He gave up 25 earned runs in 31.2 innings and had a 1.61 WHIP in June. His fellow rotation partner, Jhoulys Chacin, also added to the Rockies’ ballooned ERA as he posted a 5.55 ERA in June.

Best rookie pitcher – Jesse Hahn

It’s not fair to call Masahiro Tanaka a rookie in my opinion, so I’m giving the award to Jesse Hahn of the San Diego Padres. The former Virginia Tech Hokie posted an ERA of 1.95 and WHIP of 1.05 in five June starts, while striking out 36 and winning four games.

Best rookie player – Billy Hamilton

Could have easily gone Jose Abreu here as he continues to destroy baseballs, but like Tanaka, I don’t really consider him a rookie. Despite my doubts, Billy Hamilton proved everyone wrong in June by hitting .327 with a .348 OBP. He stole 14 bases and scored 18 times in June. Honorable mention goes to Nick Castellanos who led all rookies in June with a .337 average to go along with a .365 OBP.

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