1. Chicago Cubs (91-51, previously No. 1) – The Cubs will enter the postseason as the World Series favorites as they continue to dominate the rest of baseball. As everyone knows, the playoffs are all about pitching and the Cubs have that with two of the top three pitchers in NL ERA – Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, as well as Jake Arietta.
2. Washington Nationals (85-58, previously No. 3) – Washington is one of the hottest teams in baseball as it has won three straight and seven of 10 to open up a nine-game lead in the NL East. Max Scherzer has turned his season around as he now has a 2.78 ERA, which is fifth in the NL and he will be vital for them given his postseason experience.
3. Texas Rangers (85-59, previously No. 2) – The Rangers haven’t played as well as they were as of late, but they have all but clinched the AL West and could be the team to beat in the American League. With all the moves they made at the trade deadline, it sure seems like it’s paying off given their great second half.
4. Cleveland Indians (83-59, previously No. 5) – Cleveland is playing well at the right time and can only hope it will carry into the postseason as it has won seven of its last 10 games to pretty much wrap up the AL Central. Corey Kluber leads what might be the best rotation in the AL as the Indians will certainly be tough out in a three-game pllayoff series.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (80-62, previously No. 6) – By winning seven of their last 10 games, the Dodgers have separated themselves a bit from the Giants in the NL West, but is a race that will likely come down to the final week of the season. Corey Seager’s 5.9 WAR is the second-best in the NL.
6. Boston Red Sox (80-62, previously No. 7) – The Red Sox are playing well at the right time as they currently are on top of the AL East standings, and this comes after a tough road trip. The biggest difference for the Red Sox this month is their bullpen as they went into Sunday not allowing an earned run in the month of September.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (78-64, previously No. 4) – Toronto’s offense is clearly still alive and well, as they are led by Edwin Encarnacion’s 39 homers and 115 RBIs, second and first in the AL respectively, but the question is can they get the pitching to win key games down the stretch?
8. Baltimore Orioles (78-64, previously No. 9) – Like the Blue Jays, the Orioles are led by their offense. Mark Trumbo has 41 home runs, which are the most in all of baseball, but the Orioles won’t be going anywhere unless their starting rotation can step it up and win them some games.
9. San Francisco Giants (77-65, previously No. 8) – The Giants have won three straight games to get back into things in the NL West, but even if they can’t win the division, they seem to be a lock for the postseason in the Wild Card. Given their experience and starting rotation once the postseason comes, they will be a tough out.
10. New York Yankees (76-66, previously No. 16) – The Yankees have certainly made things interesting with their great second half of the season since the trade deadline and their commitment to youth. As it stands now, they have a 13 percent chance of making the postseason, but stranger things have happened.
11. Detroit Tigers (76-66, previously No. 10) – Detroit and New York are both two games out in the AL Wild Card race, but with the teams ahead of them playing well, things will be tough. Michael Fulmer has been the biggest reason for the Tigers’ turnaround in the second half as his 2.76 ERA leads the AL.
12. New York Mets (76-67, previously No. 18) – The Mets have won seven of their last 10 games to currently put themselves in the postseason as one of the Wild Card teams. It seems like it will come down to them and the Cardinals for the second Wild Card team. Noah Syndergaard continues to blow away the competition as his 2.48 ERA is second in the NL.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (75-67, previously No. 11) – Despite what many would consider an under-performing year, the Cardinals are still right in the thick of the NL Wild Card race. Their plus-77 run differential indicates they have been inconsistent all year long, but also means a hot streak down the stretch likely gets them into the playoffs.
14. Houston Astros (75-68, previously No. 13) – While the Astros are in the midst of a solid second half, it doesn’t look like it will be enough to reach the postseason given the number of teams ahead of them in the standings. They continue to be led by Jose Altuve and his .340 batting average, which is best in the American League.
15. Seattle Mariners (75-68, previously No. 14) – Seattle has won three straight to put them at least back in the conversation for the final AL Wild Card spot. With how many teams are in front of them, they will need to have a few more of these winning streaks to have any shot. They are led by Nelson Cruz and his 35 homers, which are fifth in the AL.
16. Kansas City Royals (74-68, previously No. 12) – Kansas City is essentially out of the playoff picture and with how good they have been of late, their dominance may come to an end as the majority of their roster will likely be torn apart following the year.
17. Miami Marlins (71-72, previously No. 17) – The Marlins have picked a bad time to play some of their worst baseball of the season. Losers of six of their last 10 games, the Marlins’ hopes of reaching the postseason will have to wait until next year.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates (69-72, previously No. 15) – Like the Marlins, the Pirates are in the same boat as a few weeks ago they had a shot at being in the playoff race down the stretch, but a poor stretch, partly because of injuries have the Pirates missing the postseason.
19. Colorado Rockies (69-74, previously No. 20) – Colorado will be an interesting team to watch this offseason as they appear to be one or two pitchers away from being a legitimate playoff contender as they have proven over the past few seasons they have the offense to succeed.
20. Chicago White Sox (68-74, previously No. 19) – It will be an interesting offseason for the White Sox to see how they approach their future. They could deal Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to really build for the future, or they could add to what they have and really make a statement for 2017.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (64-79, previously No. 23)
22. Los Angeles Angels (63-79, previously No. 24)
23. Philadelphia Phillies (63-80, previously No. 21) –
24. Oakland Athletics (60-82, previously No. 22)
25. Cincinnati Reds (60-82, previously No. 25)
26. Tampa Bay Rays (60-82, previously No. 26)
27. San Diego Padres (59-84, previously No. 27)
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (58-84, previously No. 28)
29. Atlanta Braves (55-88, previously No. 30)
30. Minnesota Twins (53-90, previously No. 29)