1. Washington Nationals (9-2, previously No. 6) – The Nationals are where many expected following just over a week into the season. Aided by a 5-0 record at home, they already lead the NL East by four games. They are allowing a remarkable 2.18 runs per game to this point in the season.
2. Chicago Cubs (9-3, previously No. 2) – It was tough to have them at No. 2 and not at the top because the Cubs have been dominant to start the season. They have a plus-40 runs differential, which is by far the best in baseball. They have a good mix of veterans and younger players, which should take them deep into October.
3. Baltimore Orioles (8-3, previously No. 1) – Baltimore’s offense is leading the way, led by Mark Trumbo and Manny Machado, who are No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of batting average in the AL. It remains to be seen what its starting rotation will be like, but they just need to keep them in games with how good the offense can be.
4. Kansas City Royals (8-4, previously No. 5) – When it comes to the Royals, they get it done with pitching and things have been no different this year. Ian Kennedy has a 0.66 ERA, which is the second-best in the AL and Wade Davis is tied for the league-lead in saves with five.
5. Chicago White Sox (8-4, previously No. 11) – The White Sox are an interesting team to keep an eye on this year, as they made a good amount of offseason moves to put themselves in a position to contend in the AL Central. One of those additions – Mat Latos – is off to a great start with a 0.75 ERA.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-5, previously No. 7) – With a plus-24 run differential, the Dodgers are leading the NL West. On paper, especially the rotation, they have one of the best teams in the league, but the bullpen will need to tighten up as it’s been a shaky start for Los Angeles’ relievers.
7. Detroit Tigers (7-4, previously No. 10) – Detroit has a plus-15 run differential, which is the best in the division, but they are in third place. Some wondered how starter Jordan Zimmermann would adjust to the AL, but it’s going just fine has he has yet to allow an earned run.
8. Colorado Rockies (7-5, previously No. 15) – It’s a question of how long they can sustain their success as the Rockies score a ton of runs, but don’t have very good pitching. They have already allowed the most runs in the National League and if they want to contend in the long term, that needs to change.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (7-5, previously No. 14) – After a rough first series of the year against Pittsburgh, the Cardinals have turned things around in a big way. One thing to watch though is Adam Wainwright, who has struggled to open the year coming back after missing almost the entire season last year.
10. San Francisco Giants (7-6, previously No. 3) – The Giants have scored the third-most runs in the NL, which is somewhat surprising, as normally they are known for their pitching. Angel Pagan is batting .381, which is good for the fourth-best mark in the NL.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-6, previously No. 9) – The Pirates are looking to find consistency to open the season, as they can’t put complete games together where they get both the pitching and timely hitting. It looks like the NL Central will once again be the toughest division in baseball this year.
12. Texas Rangers (7-6, previously No. 18) – Despite all the injuries, the Rangers are off to a good start led by ace Cliff Lee. One thing to watch is if the team looks to make a trade soon, especially for a catcher. They will also need to get more consistent performances from the mound to stay in first place for the whole year.
13. Boston Red Sox (6-5, previously No. 12) – The biggest key for the Red Sox in their last few games has been they are getting better performances from the mound. It’s clear with the lineup they have – Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez – that they will be able to score runs, they just need to get the pitching to keep them in games.
14. Cincinnati Reds (6-6, previously No. 4) – The Reds have cooled off following a red-hot start to the season, which was to be expected. It’s unlikely they will stay around .500 for the majority of the season as they are in a rebuilding phase after trading away many of their key players in the offseason.
15. Oakland Athletics (6-7, previously No. 8) – It’s been a strange start to the season for the A’s as they are 3-7 at home, but 3-0 on the road. As was the case last year, Sonny Gray has been excellent at the top of the rotation, but they need others to step up if they want to go anywhere in the AL West.
16. Toronto Blue Jays (6-7, previously No. 17) – The Blue Jays will be a fun team to watch, as their lineup is arguably the best in baseball, especially when it comes to hitting for power. Josh Donaldson is tied for the American League lead with five home runs so far.
17. Philadelphia Phillies (6-7, previously No. 21) – Even though it is a rebuilding year, the Phillies appear to be a team fun to watch with all the young players they have contributing. One of the biggest players to keep an eye on is Vince Velasquez, who has yet to allow an earned run this year.
18. Cleveland Indians (5-5, previously No. 19) – Cleveland has played roughly two games fewer than everyone else because of weather, but are off to a decent start all things considered. Corey Kluber got roughed up by the Mets on Sunday, but should be fine moving forward.
19. New York Yankees (5-6, previously No. 13) – The Yankees lost three in a row until their win on Sunday. The biggest problem for the Yankees to open the year has been their starting rotation, which is among the worst in the American League in terms of ERA.
20. New York Mets (5-6, previously No. 20) – The offense has started to come alive for the Mets, which was an issue in the first few games of the season. The biggest news with the Mets has been off the field with Matt Harvey and his newborn baby, although the latest is good news and Harvey should return to the rotation soon.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (5-7, previously No. 16)
22. Seattle Mariners (5-7, previously No. 26)
23. Tampa Bay Rays (5-7, previously No. 23)
24. Los Angeles Angels (5-7, previously No. 24)
25. Houston Astros (5-8, previously No. 22)
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-8, previously No. 27)
27. San Diego Padres (4-9, previously No. 25)
28. Miami Marlins (3-7, previously No. 28)
29. Minnesota Twins (3-9, previously No. 30)
30. Atlanta Braves (3-9, previously No. 29)