1. Chicago Cubs (29-13, previously No. 1) – The Cubs are blowing away the rest of baseball both from the mound and at the plate. Jake Arrieta has a 1.29 ERA, the best in the game and Anthony Rizzo’s 34 RBIs are the second-most in the National League. It will be interesting to see justhow early they can clinch the NL Central.
2. Boston Red Sox (27-17, previously No. 2) – The story with the Red Sox of late is their offense, led by Jackie Bradley Jr. and his 27-game hit streak. The center fielder is batting .342 on the year and that isn’t even best on the team as Xander Bogaerts is batting .346. They are 1-2 in the entire American League.
3. San Francisco Giants (27-19, previously No. 8) – The Giants might be the hottest team in all of baseball – winners of nine of their last 10 and taking 2-of-3 from the Cubs over the weekend. Along with Madison Bumgarner from the mound, Hunter Pence continues to swing a hot bat as he has 32 RBIs, tied for fourth in the NL.
4. Washington Nationals (27-17, previously No. 4) – After a bit of a tough start to the year, the Nationals have got things together to jump to the top of the NL East standings. Washington is led by its pitching as Stephen Strasburg has seven wins, good for second in the NL and Gio Gonzalez has a 1.86 ERA, which is third in the NL.
5. Baltimore Orioles (26-16, previously No. 5) – Even though the Red Sox have been red-hot of late, the Orioles have kept pace as they have won six of their last 10 games to be tied with Boston in the division. Mark Trumbo has continued his fast start to the year as he has hit 13 home runs, tied for the most in the American League.
6. Seattle Mariners (26-17, previously No. 9) – The Mariners are among the hottest teams in the game as they have won four straight and six of 10 to lead the AL West. They are led by their offense as they have scored the second-most runs in the American League. Robinson Cano still leads the way as his 39 RBIs lead the AL.
7. Chicago White Sox (26-18, previously No. 3) – The White Sox had their worst week of the season – losing seven of 10 games – but still lead the AL Central. Pitching continues to lead them as they have two pitchers with the top two ERA’s in the American League. Chris Sale is at 1.58, while Jose Quintana is at 1.98.
8. New York Mets (25-18, previously No. 10) – By way of winning three straight games, the Mets have closed the gap in the NL East. They have received strong performances from the mound, but besides Yoenis Cespedes, they haven’t been able to get much going at the plate. Cespedes leads the NL in home runs (14) and RBIs (35).
9. Texas Rangers (25-19, previously No. 6) – The Rangers have won three straight and six of 10 to remain in second place in the AL West. From the mound, Colby Lewis has rebounded nicely from a tough year in 2015 as he has a 2.75 ERA, good for 10th in the American League.
10. Philadelphia Phillies (25-19, previously No. 7) – We say it every week, but despite how much the numbers don’t match up, the Phillies are team that finds ways to win. With a minus-31 run differential it doesn’t seem sustainable with the lack of offensive production, but the pitching has been among the best in baseball – and that doesn’t figure to change.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (23-19, previously No. 14) – Even with a down week by Cubs standards, the Pirates couldn’t make up much ground in the NL Central. As is the case with most Pirates teams, they have been led by their pitching. Gerrit Cole has a 2.79 ERA, 13th in the National League.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (23-21, previously No. 13) – Like the Pirates, the Cardinals are looking up at the Cubs and both teams may need to set their eyes on the Wild Card already. Matt Carpenter is having a good year at the plate for St. Louis as he has 32 RBIs, which are good for fourth in the National League.
13. Cleveland Indians (22-19, previously No. 18) – The Indians have won six of their last 10 games to jump back into the AL Central mix. They have a plus-26 run differential, one of two teams to have a positive one in their division. Danny Salazar is having a good start to the year on the mound as his 2.32 ERA is fourth in the American League.
14. Miami Marlins (22-21, previously No. 11) – Even with a negative run differential, the Marlins are still right there with the rest of the NL East as it is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. Martin Prado’s .353 batting average is third in the NL.
15. Kansas City Royals (22-21, previously No. 17) – It has been a strange year for the Royals as uncharacteristically they have a minus-13 run differential. The usual dominant Kansas City pitching just hasn’t been there this year and that will be one of the keys to turning things around.
16. Colorado Rockies (21-21, previously No. 16) – Sitting at .500, Colorado is in second place in the NL West. They are led by its offense as Nolan Arenado has 14 home runs, second in the NL, and Trevor Story has 12 home runs, fourth in the NL.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (22-23, previously No. 12) – The Dodgers are one-game below .500, but it is a good sign that they have a run differential of plus-15. Clayton Kershaw has been his usual dominant self as his 1.67 ERA is second in the National League. They should be able to get to the top of the NL West sooner than later.
18. New York Yankees (21-22, previously No. 22) – The Yankees are one of the hottest teams in baseball as they have won five straight and seven of 10 to jump to third in the AL East. For New York, it will need some of their star players – Mark Teixeira, Masahiro Tanaka – to get things going as individually many players are below their typical averages.
19. Tampa Bay Rays (20-21, previously No. 21) – After a tough start to the year, the Rays are turning things around in what is shaping up to be a very competitive American League East. They do need Chris Archer to start pitching to his capabilities as he’s had a tough start to the year.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (22-24, previously No. 15) – It’s been a frustrating week for the Blue Jays as they have fallen into last place in the American League East, losing six of 10 games. For manager John Gibbons he didn’t see the end of any games this week as he was either suspended or ejected.
21. Detroit Tigers (21-22, previously No. 24)
22. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-25, previously No. 20)
23. Los Angeles Angels (20-24, previously No. 23)
24. Oakland Athletics (19-26, previously No. 25)
25. San Diego Padres (19-26, previously No. 19)
26. Milwaukee Brewers (18-26, previously No. 26)
27. Houston Astros (17-28, previously No. 28)
28. Cincinnati Reds (15-29, previously No. 27)
29. Atlanta Braves (12-31, previously No. 30)
30. Minnesota Twins (11-32, previously No. 29)