1. San Francisco Giants (57-36, previously No. 1) – Although the Giants still are at the top, they didn't have the best weekendas they were swept by the Padres. On Sunday, Johnny Cueto finally lost a game, as it was his first loss since April. Even with the poor start to the second half, they are in good shape moving forward.
2. Washington Nationals (56-37, previously No. 3) – Washington has extended its lead in the NL East to six games and isgetting big contributions at the plate and on the mound as its plus-114 run differential is second-best in the National League. It isn’t just Daniel Murphy getting it done at the plate either as Wilson Ramos’ .327 average is third in the AL.
3. Chicago Cubs (55-36, previously No. 4) – The Cubs are looking to get back on track after a tough end to the first half of the season. Their pitching suffered a bit and was one of the bigger reasons for their tough stretch. Kris Bryant has 25 home runs, which lead the National League.
4. Texas Rangers (55-38, previously No. 2) – Even with playing so poorly of late, the Rangers still have a 4.5-game lead in the AL West, but the Astros are coming on strong. Aside from Cole Hamels – 3.00 ERA – the Rangers are desperate for better performances from the mound and certainly will be looking to add a starter before the deadline.
5. Cleveland Indians (54-37, previously No. 5) – The Indians have a plus-88 run differential, which is the only positive one in their division. Although they aren’t known much for their hitting, their pitching staff led by Danny Salazar could be as tough as any in a playoff series.
6. Baltimore Orioles (53-37, previously No. 6) – Even though the Orioles’ pitching hasn’t been the greatest, their offense has made up for it as they still sit at the top of the AL East standings. It isn’t just Mark Trumbo having a good season, as Manny Machado’s 4.2 WAR is fifth-best in the AL.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (52-42, previously No. 7) – The Dodgers are 5.5 games back in the NL West, but are primed for a second half push, especially with getting ace Clayton Kershaw back on the mound at some point this week. Ideally, their offense would step up a bit as well since pitching has led the way all year.
8. Toronto Blue Jays (52-42, previously No. 9) – Toronto will be a team to watch during the second half as even though they are in third place in the AL East, many predict them to win the division. Their offense is among the best in baseball and they will likely make a move to improve their pitching at the deadline, which could put them over the top.
9. Boston Red Sox (51-39, previously No. 8) – Currently one of the hotter teams in the game, the Red Sox have somehow smoothed things out after a tough June. Dave Dombrowski has already made a number of trades to help the club and with their powerful offense, they should be there until the end. They do need to solidify the starting rotation and it starts with David Price at the top.
10. Houston Astros (50-42, previously No. 10) – Led by Jose Altuve and his AL-leading .346 batting average, the Astros continue to make a surge after a tough start to the year. Houston is another team that likely will add to its roster at the deadline, which will only make the second half even that much more exciting.
11. New York Mets (49-42, previously No. 11) – Not only are the Mets batting with the Marlins for the NL East, but also the final spot in the Wild Card. The NL East is hopeful to potentially get three teams into the postseason. Noah Syndergaard was dominant on Sunday afternoon and the Mets hope he can give them more performances like that the rest of the way.
12. Miami Marlins (49-42, previously No. 12) – Miami is one of the most interesting teams in baseball as they have the talent to make a playoff push, they just need to put it all together. Everyone knows about Jose Fernandez, but they also have Martin Prado and Christian Yelich both in the top five in hitting in the National League.
13. Detroit Tigers (48-44, previously No. 14) – The Tigers are stuck in the middle of not totally being out of playoff contention, but not really being in it either as they currently sit 6.5 games out of first place in the AL Central. Closer Francisco Rodriguez is having a good year as his 25 saves for second in the AL.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (47-44, previously No. 13) – Once thought of as the best division in baseball, the NL Central currently isn’t living up to expectations. If the postseason started now, St. Louis would not be in the mix as they are out of the Wild Card game. They need their pitching to improve in the second half.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates (47-45, previously No. 15) – Much like the Cardinals, the Pirates are in the same spot. Winning the division likely won’t happen with the Cubs at the top, so they need to make a push for the Wild Card, but need to do it soon with a few teams in front of them.
16. Kansas City Royals (46-45, previously No. 16) – Kansas City has dropped seven of its last 10 games and despite looking like they will be able to make a run at the division, signs are going against it of late. Pitching carried them last year and it just hasn’t been as dominant this year.
17. Seattle Mariners (46-46, previously No. 18) – The Mariners will get Felix Hernandez back this week, but it might be too late for them to make a real serious run at the postseason, but don’t completely shut the door as their offense is one of the best in baseball.
18. Chicago White Sox (45-46, previously No. 17) – Things were looking good at the beginning of the year for the White Sox, but things went South in a hurry as their offense hasn’t been able to do anything at the plate. It’s a shame because their pitching staff is one of the best in baseball.
19. New York Yankees (44-46, previously No. 19) – It almost appears at this point the Yankees will be sellers and their dominant bullpen will be the prime target for other teams. Being under team control for a few more years, Andrew Miller will be interesting, as he will get a lot of interest, but for what is the question and if the Yankees would be willing to part ways with the left-hander. Aroldis Chapman almost is lock to be dealt given he’s on a one-year deal.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (43-50, previously No. 20) – It’s been much of the same for the Phillies of late, which isn’t a bad thing as they were playing very poorly for a stretch, but have steadied the ship of late. With such a young team they are laying the foundation for 2017.
21. Colorado Rockies (42-49, previously No. 21)
22. San Diego Padres (41-51, previously No. 23)
23. Oakland Athletics (40-52, previously No. 24)
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (40-53, previously No. 25)
25. Los Angeles Angels (40-52, previously No. 26)
26. Milwaukee Brewers (39-51, previously No. 22)
27. Tampa Bay Rays (35-56, previously No. 27)
28. Cincinnati Reds (34-58, previously No. 29)
29. Minnesota Twins (33-58, previously No. 28)
30. Atlanta Braves (32-60, previously No. 30)