1. Chicago Cubs (69-41, previously No. 1) – The Cubs have certainly gotten back on track as they have now won seven straight and nine of their last 10 to open a remarkable 11-game lead in the NL Central. They are getting it done both at the plate and from the mound, as their plus-182 run differential is by far the best in the game.
2. Washington Nationals (66-45, previously No. 3) – If it weren’t for the Cubs, the Nationals would likely be the hottest team in the NL, as they have won seven of their last 10 and now lead the NL East by seven games. Stephen Strasburg’s 15 wins are tied for the most in the game.
3. Texas Rangers (65-47, previously No. 2) – Texas has finally got things together as they have won seven of its last 10 games to now lead the AL Central by seven games. They won the trade deadline by many accounts with all the deals they made, but it’s worth noting they only have a plus-4 run differential, which needs to improve for them to go deep in October.
4. Baltimore Orioles (63-47, previously No. 6) – The Orioles continue to lead the AL East and have been led by their offense, primarily Mark Trumbo and his MLB-leading 31 homers. It will be worth keeping an eye on their pitching to see if they can improve any because it’s unlikely hitting can take them all the way to a World Series.
5. San Francisco Giants (63-48, previously No. 4) – By losing six of their last 10 games, the Giants have made things interesting in the NL West as they only lead by just a game. They continue to be led by their pitching as Johnny Cueto has 13 wins and a 2.20 ERA, second and third in the NL respectively.
6. Cleveland Indians (62-47, previously No. 5) – Cleveland isn’t playing as well as it once did as things are starting to tighten up in the AL Central. The most encouraging thing for them for them is they have a plus-81 run differential, which is by far the best in the division.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (63-49, previously No. 9) – The Blue Jays have dropped two straight but still are in second place in the AL East. They continue to be led by Edwin Encarnacion and again, they are another team who goes as far as their pitching will take them.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-49, previously No. 7) – The Dodgers looked good over the weekend taking two-of-three from the Red Sox to make things even more interesting in the NL West. Corey Seager is having a tremendous year as he has a 4.4 WAR, good for the second-best mark in the NL.
9. Detroit Tigers (61-50, previously No. 10) – Until the weekend, the Tigers were the hottest team in baseball as they have climbed right back into the playoff hunt and have been led by their pitching. Fransisco Rodriguez has done his job as he is second in the AL with 32 saves.
10. Boston Red Sox (60-50, previously No. 8) – It was a disappointing West Coast trip as they went 5-6 and are now three games out in the AL East. They have started to get the pitching on a consistent basis, but need the offense to get back to their early season level. A huge issue is still David Price, as the Red Sox lost all three of his West Coast starts.
11. Miami Marlins (59-52, previously No. 11) – It would appear with the Marlins being seven games out in the NL East, their best shot of making the postseason is through the Wild Card. With some additions at the deadline, this could be the year for the Marlins.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (58-53, previously No. 12) – Dropping two straight and six of their last 10 games isn’t a good sign, but somehow they are still right in the middle of the NL Wild Card race. A big thing for them is their plus-71 differential, which may be a sign a run is coming.
13. Seattle Mariners (57-53, previously No. 17) – The Mariners are making a run. While it appeared like a long-shot a few weeks ago, Seattle has won three straight and six of 10 to climb back into the Wild Card race. Nelson Cruz has 27 homers, which are fifth in the AL.
14. Houston Astros (57-54, previously No. 13) – After a tremendous last two months, the Astros have fallen off by losing eight of their last 10 games. Jose Altuve still leads the AL in hitting, but their recent losing streak came at a bad time as many teams are now back in the AL Wild Card mix.
15. New York Mets (57-54, previously No. 14) – Being nine games out in the division is never good at this time of the season, but they are in a good spot for the NL Wild Card. They are starting to get some players back from a health perspective, as it appears if they can hit then they will be fine.
16. New York Yankees (56-55, previously No. 15) – As it doesn’t appear like the Yankees will reach the postseason, the biggest news occurred off the field when Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement this week, effective after Friday’s game. This will be the biggest story surrounding the Yankees this week and overall, the team rebuilding and really making a run at the postseason.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-54, previously No. 16) – Things are trending downwards for the Pirates as they have lost six of their last 10 games and with things now focused on the Wild Card, having a minus-9 run differential doesn’t seem like an ideal situation.
18. Colorado Rockies (55-56, previously No. 18) – Although the postseason seems like a long-shot at this point, Nolan Arenado has 29 homers to lead the NL, while Trevor Story is second with 27. They at least make the games fun with their powerful offense.
19. Chicago White Sox (53-58, previously No. 19) – Chicago has dropped seven of its last 10 games and while the postseason seemed unlikely, it really won’t happen now. It will be interesting to see how things go in the offseason with a few of their starters clearly wanted by other teams.
20. Kansas City Royals (53-58, previously No. 20) – While the Royals have won two in a row, things haven’t gone their way this year as it looks like they will be on the outside looking in at the postseason. With the current state of the roster, it’s a wasted season given they don’t have many left with all their talent.
21. Philadelphia Phillies (52-61, previously No. 21) – The Phillies have won six of their last 10 games and are playing quite well of late. Led by their young core, if there was one thing to point towards for the second half of the season, it is their home record as they are just 25-29 on the year.
22. Milwaukee Brewers (49-60, previously No. 22)
23. Los Angeles Angels (49-62, previously No. 24)
24. Oakland Athletics (48-63, previously No. 23)
25. San Diego Padres (48-63, previously No. 25)
26. Tampa Bay Rays (45-65, previously No. 27)
27. Cincinnati Reds (45-65, previously No. 28)
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (45-66, previously No. 26)
29. Minnesota Twins (45-66, previously No. 29)
30. Atlanta Braves (41-70, previously No. 30)