1. Chicago Cubs (64-41, previously No. 1) – The Cubs were already the best team in baseball, but they are now even stronger after the addition of reliever Aroldis Chapman. The bullpen was really their only weakness if they had one, and they got one of the best relievers in the game.
2. Texas Rangers (62-44, previously No. 5) – Winning four straight and seven of their last 10 games has moved the Rangers up to the best team in the American League. Their offense has led the way as their starting rotation likely needs to get its act together before the postseason. Texas may the favorites in the AL after landing Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy at the deadline.
3. Washington Nationals (62-44, previously No. 2) – Even though the Nationals aren’t playing too great of late, they still have firm control of the NL East. Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos continue their outstanding offensive seasons as they are No. 1 and 2 in the NL in batting, hitting .355 and .330 respectively.
4. San Francisco Giants (61-44, previously No. 3) – The Giants have dropped six of their last 10 games to allow the Dodgers to close the gap in the division. For San Francisco to make a deep run in the postseason they will need some other pitchers to emerge other than Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, which could come from lefty Matt Moore who was acquired from the Rays.
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5. Cleveland Indians (60-43, previously No. 6) – Cleveland as won three straight and six of its last 10 games to continue to lead the AL Central. To go along with a dominant rotation, they traded for left-hander Andrew Miller, which will make them even tougher late in games.
6. Baltimore Orioles (59-45, previously No. 4) – The Orioles are hanging on by a thread at the top of the AL East. With as powerful of an offense that they have, they will certainly be looking to get better pitching performances, which included trading for lefty Wade Miley.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (59-46, previously No. 7) – The Dodgers have won six of their last 10 games to close the gap in the NL West. Corey Seager has flown under the radar this year for really having a solid season as he currently has a 4.1 WAR, which is tied for second in the NL. By getting Rich Hill and Josh Reddick in a trade with the A’s, they improved their lineup and rotation.
8. Boston Red Sox (58-46, previously No. 8) – It really has been an up-and-down year for the Red Sox as they have shown signs of life and then have fallen back down several times. They also continue to search for consistency from the mound. This current West Coast trip is vital for the team as they are currently in second place in the AL East.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (59-47, previously No. 9) – Even though the Blue Jays are in third place in the AL East, many feel they have the best chance to win the division based on talent. To go along with a great offense, Aaron Sanchez currently leads the AL with a 2.71 ERA and they also acquired Francisco Liriano, which should help the rotation.
10. Detroit Tigers (57-48, previously No. 15) – Detroit is one of the hottest teams in baseball as it has won six straight and eight of 10 to now only trail the Indians by 4.5 games in the division, but are just one game out in the Wild Card. The Tigers are a veteran team and with that experience appear poised to make a run.
11. Miami Marlins (57-49, previously No. 11) – The Marlins have separated themselves from the Mets for second place in the NL East and would in the NL Wild Card play-in game. Miami is a fairly young team, so that might be worth watching as the second half plays out. Getting starter Andrew Cashner could help their young rotation.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (56-49, previously No. 13) – Although it seemed like the Cardinals would make a run, they just haven’t been able to string together wins. While the division may be out of reach, the NL Wild Card will go right down to the end with the Cards likely being in the mix, currently a game back.
13. Houston Astros (56-49, previously No. 10) – While the Astros have lost three straight, they still remain 2.5 games out of the AL Wild Card play-in game, which might be their only way of making the postseason. Jose Altuve continues to lead the way as his .356 batting average is the best in baseball.
14. New York Mets (54-51, previously No. 12) – The Mets have lost seven of their last 10 games to fall even further back in both the NL East and the NL Wild Card race. If they can get more timely hitting and their pitching back to full strength, they have the talent to make a run, but need to sooner rather than later. They did acquire outfielder Jay Bruce from the Reds at the deadline, which will boost their offense.
15. New York Yankees (53-52, previously No. 17) – Although the Yankees don’t want to admit it, by trading Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran they are thinking towards the future, which was the best move considering where they are in the standings and so many teams in front of them. It won’t be a total rebuild as they likely will be able to compete in the AL East next year and now have one of, if not the best minor league systems in baseball.
16. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-51, previously No. 14) – Pittsburgh is another team that needs to make a run sooner than later as the NL Wild Card picture is more crowded than it’s been in year’s past and there are several teams ahead of them.
17. Seattle Mariners (52-52, previously No. 16) – The Mariners would need to have a second half for the ages to reach the postseason, although they did get some help with getting ace Felix Hernandez back from the DL. Nelson Cruz’s 26 homers are tied for fourth in the AL.
18. Colorado Rockies (52-53, previously No. 20) – The Rockies have caught fire as they have won eight of their last 10 games, but it doesn’t appear likely they will be able to reach the postseason. If they want to get over the hump, expect them to be in the market for a big-time starter this offseason.
19. Chicago White Sox (51-54, previously No. 19) – Sitting 10.5 games out in the AL Central, it doesn’t appear to be the year for the White Sox, although they were one of the most mentioned teams at the trade deadline given how many talented, young players they have.
20. Kansas City Royals (50-55, previously No. 18) – Losers of four straight and eight of 10, Kansas City will not be making the postseason, which is really a disappointment considering all the talent on the roster. Their window is also closing with many players reaching free agency in the next year or two.
21. Philadelphia Phillies (48-59, previously No. 22) – Philadelphia is just looking to build momentum for 2017 as much of their roster will be the same. Currently they have a lot of young players getting their first taste of the big leagues, which will only help for next year.
22. Milwaukee Brewers (47-57, previously No. 25)
23. Oakland Athletics (47-58, previously No. 21)
24. Los Angeles Angels (47-58, previously No. 23)
25. San Diego Padres (46-60, previously No. 24)
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (43-63, previously No. 26)
27. Tampa Bay Rays (42-62, previously No. 27)
28. Cincinnati Reds (42-62, previously No. 28)
29. Minnesota Twins (41-64, previously No. 29)
30. Atlanta Braves (37-68, previously No. 30)