1. St. Louis Cardinals (79-45 previous No. 1) – The Cardinals still have the best record in baseball, but the Pirates are closing the gap in the NL Central with their hot stretch. Michael Wacha’s 15 wins are tied for the most in baseball, as he’s done a good job picking up the slack with the loss of Adam Wainwright.
2. Kansas City Royals (76-48, previous No. 2) – Kansas City has won three straight and eight of their last 10 to maintain the best record in the American League. Besides their bullpen being among the best in baseball, Eric Hosmer has a .316 average, tied for fourth in the American League.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (75-48, previous No. 3) – Pittsburgh is the hottest team in the NL, as they have won three straight and eight of 10 to get back into the NL Central race. With as good as the two teams are, it will be a good race as the calendar flips to September.
4. Chicago Cubs (72-51, previous No. 10) – While just because the Cubs are behind the Pirates and Cardinals in the division, it doesn’t mean they will miss the playoffs. They have a sizable lead over the rest of the league for the second spot. Anthony Rizzo’s 5.8 WAR is tied for fourth in the NL.
5. New York Yankees (69-55, previous No. 4) – The Yankees are in a dead heat with the Blue Jays in the AL East as they are currently tied at the top. The biggest thing for the Yankees over the final month of the season will be to get solid starting pitching, as it’s clear their offense is leading the way.
6. Toronto Blue Jays (69-55, previous No. 13) – Toronto is making moves as its recent hot stretch has got them to the top of the American League East with the Yankees. Josh Donaldson has 100 RBIs, which leads all of baseball. The Blue Jays’ deal with the A’s in the offseason certainly has paid off.
7. Houston Astros (69-57, previous No. 7) – Houston has won six of its last 10 games to open up a 3.5 game lead in the NL West. They are getting it done at the plate and in the field, as their plus-80 run differential is the third-best in the American League.
8. New York Mets (68-56, previous No. 12) – The Mets are getting hot at the right time, winning four straight to now lead the NL East by 5.5 games. While everyone knows about their pitching staff, their offense has been on fire of late, including scoring 16 runs Monday night, including seven home runs.
9. Los Angeles Dodgers (67-56, previous No. 5) – It’s been a rough week for the NL West as both the Dodgers and Giants have fallen. Los Angeles has dropped five straight and now have just a 1.5 game lead over the Giants. They do have the two best indivudal ERA’s in the NL in Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.
10. San Francisco Giants (64-54, previous No. 8) – With the Dodgers struggling of late, the Giants had a perfect chance to take advantage and get to the top of the division, but they too have struggled. The Giants have lost two straight to remain 1.5 games back in the NL West.
11. Texas Rangers (64-59, previous No. 18) – Many wondered why the Rangers were so aggressive in going after Cole Hamels at the trade deadline, but now it has paid off as they would be one of the two AL Wild Card teams if the season ended today. Texas could be even better if they improved on their 28-30 record at home.
12. Minnesota Twins (63-61, previous No. 11) – Although the Twins are out of the AL Central race, they are one of the teams battling for the Wild Card. It will be tough with the number of teams ahead of them, so they need to get hot quick.
13. Los Angeles Angels (63-61, previous No. 6) – There could not have been a worse time for the Angels to struggle, as they have lost four straight and seven of their last 10 games and now are five games back in the AL West. Albert Pujols and Mike Trout are tied for fourth in the AL with 33 home runs.
14. Washington Nationals (62-61, previous No. 9) – With the Nationals falling to 5.5 games out in the National League East, the question has begun to be asked – is manager Matt Williams safe?
15. Tampa Bay Rays (62-62, previous No. 14) – In what is a down year across the board in the American League, even at .500 the Rays still are in the mix for a Wild Card spot, although it will take an exceptional September. Chris Archer’s 2.77 ERA is fifth-best in the AL.
16. Baltimore Orioles (62-62, previous No. 15) – The Orioles are another team to pick a bad time to go on a losing streak, as their five-game skid has dropped them to .500 overall on the year. Fortunately, they are still in the Wild Card mix, but will need to get hot quickly with a few teams ahead of them.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks (62-62, previous No. 19) – The Diamondbacks are playing some very well lately, but with their poor start and the Cubs and Pirates running away with the Wild Card, it looks like the Diamondbacks are out of luck.
18. San Diego Padres (61-63, previous No. 20) – San Diego is another team where they are playing well – winners of seven of its last 10 games – but it’s too little too late as their poor play earlier in the season has taken them out of the playoff mix.
19. Detroit Tigers (59-65 previous No. 16) – The Tigers keep getting worse and worse and they have dropped four straight games and are now six games below .500. It’s really been a disappointing year for the Tigers.
20. Chicago White Sox (58-65, previous No. 17) – After being in the Wild Card mix just a few weeks ago, the White Sox have fallen off the map. With Chris Sale leading the rotation, the White Sox are in a position to get back in the playoff mix with just a few moves this offseason.
21. Cleveland Indians (58-66, previous No. 23) – It’s been a tough year for the Indians, but the organization kept all of their top starters despite a lot of interest at the trade deadline. Cleveland should be much improved in 2016.
22. Boston Red Sox (57-68, previous No. 24) – The Red Sox are letting their younger players play the rest of the season in a showcase for new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. It’s paying off so far as they have won six of their last 10 games.
23. Seattle Mariners (57-68, previous No. 22) – Even though the Mariners are 11 games below .500, Nelson Cruz has received some buzz as a potential MVP candidate. While it seems unlikely, his 37 home runs lead the American League.
24. Oakland Athletics (55-71, previous No. 25) – Even though the A’s are in last place in the AL West, they still have a plus-17 run differential, as they are the only team in the division besides the Astros to be positive.
25. Atlanta Braves (54-71, previous No. 21) – Atlanta is in third place in the NL East, which normally wouldn’t be that bad of a season, but currently the Braves are 14.5 games out of first place and have a lot of work to do.
26. Milwaukee Brewers (53-72, previous No. 27) – Losers of two straight, Milwaukee is now tied with the Reds for last in the NL Central. The Brewers have a lot of rebuilding to do, as they don’t even have a core player or two to build around at the moment.
27. Cincinnati Reds (52-71, previous No. 26) – Things just keep getting worse and worse in Cincinnati as they have lost nine of their last 10 games and are now a season-high 26.5 games out of first place.
28. Miami Marlins (50-75, previous No. 29) – The Marlins no longer have the worst record in baseball, as the Rockies have taken over the basement in the MLB standings.
29. Philadelphia Phillies (50-75, previous No. 30) – While they may not have the worst record, the Phillies still have the worst run differential in the game at minus-154.
30. Colorado Rockies (49-74, previous 28) – It’s getting rough in Colorado as the Rockies have now lost four straight and eight of 10 to fall 18 games out of first in the NL West. They are now the worst team in the game.