1. Oakland Athletics (61-37, previous: 1) – Another week, another stay at the top of the baseball world for the Athletics. It’s hard to find a flaw on their team as they are second in the AL in runs scored and second in the AL in fewest runs allowed. Under the radar this year, even with their success has been slugger Brandon Moss, who is fifth in the AL with 22 homers. Oakland will look to improve on its stellar record with nine straight games against the Astros and Rangers.

2. Los Angeles Angels (59-39, previous: 2) – The Angels continue to do their thing as they have won seven of their last 10 games and still are right there with the A’s in the AL West. Los Angeles has a plus-88 run differential, the best in baseball besides Oakland. Garrett Richards has came onto the scene this year with a 2.47 ERA, fourth in the American League. The Angels are in the midst of a relatively tough stretch with nine straight games against first place teams.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-45, previous: 3) – Los Angeles is tied for first in the NL West despite being one game over .500 at home, compared to 10 games over .500 on the road. Clayton Kershaw is in the midst of a ridiculous stretch and has a 1.92 ERA on the year, second best in the National League. The Dodgers will wrap up a nine-game road trip this week with games against the Pirates and Giants, a battle for first in the division.


4. Milwaukee Brewers (55-45, previous: 4) – Losers of seven of their last 10 games, the Brewers have just a half game lead on the Cardinals in the NL Central. Milwaukee did get second baseman Jean Segura back after he missed some time returning to the Dominican Republic because of the sudden death of his 9-month-old son. Milwaukee will continue a seven game homestand with games against the Reds and Mets.

5. Detroit Tigers (55-41, previous: 5) – Being the only team in the AL Central with a positive run differential, it’s no surprise the Tigers have a 6.5 game advantage in the division. Miguel Cabrera continues to prove he is one of, if not the best hitter in all of baseball as he currently leads the league in RBIs with 76. Detroit will finish a series in Arizona before a tough weekend set against the surging Angels.

6. San Francisco Giants (55-44, previous: 8) – It is going to be a very exciting second half for fans in the NL West as the Giants and Dodgers will be going back and forth in search of a division title. Madison Bumgarner has led their rotation with 11 wins, third most in the NL. The first big series of the second half comes this weekend when the Giants and Dodgers will face off.

7. Baltimore Orioles (54-44, previous: 7) – Baltimore continues to go about its business and leads the American League East by four games over both the Blue Jays and Yankees. Nelson Cruz has proven to be one of the better free agent signings in all of baseball as his 28 home runs and 74 RBIs are both second most in the American League. The Orioles will continue a brutal West Coast trip with games against the Angels and Mariners coming up.

8. St. Louis Cardinals (54-45, previous: 6) – The Cardinals have finally caught the Brewers in the NL Central race. Along with their dominant starting rotation, Matt Adams has swung a hot bat all season long as his .323 average is second in the National League. St. Louis will host the Rays for a brief two-game interleague series before a weekend series in Chicago with the Cubs.

9. Washington Nationals (54-43, previous: 11) – Washington has won three straight games and now holds a one game lead over the Braves in the National League East. Besides having a strong pitching staff, Ian Desmond is tied for third in the NL with 62 RBIs. The Nationals will look to build on their lead with games against the Rockies and Reds on the road this week.

10. Atlanta Braves (54-45, previous: 12) – The Braves are sure to be key players in both the NL East and NL wild card races during the second half as whichever team doesn’t win the East will be right there contending for one of the two wild card spots. Closer Craig Kimbrel has proven he’s one of the best closers in the game as his 30 saves leads all of baseball. Atlanta has a good shot of getting back into first in the division with games against the Marlins and Padres this week.

11. Seattle Mariners (53-46, previous: 9) – Despite slumping a little, losing six of their last 10 games, the Mariners still would be in the playoffs if they began today as the second wild card team. After getting off to a slow start, second baseman Robinson Cano has picked it up of late as he his currently hitting .334, second in the American League. They will look to improve on their 25-26 home record in the second half to secure a spot in the postseason.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-47, previous: 13) – Pittsburgh continues to climb back into the playoff race as it has had a solid past few months after a slow start. Andrew McCutchen has been a major part of the turnaround as he has a 4.8 WAR, second in the National League. The Pirates will finish a series with the Dodgers before departing for a 10-game road trip.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (51-49, previous: 14) – Injuries are starting to catch up to the Blue Jays as they are now four games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East. Despite being on the DL, Edwin Encarnacion is still third in the AL in homers with 26 on the year. Toronto will finish a series with the red-hot Red Sox before a weekend set in New York with the Yankees.

14. Cincinnati Reds (51-48, previous: 10) – After playing their best baseball of the season before the break, the Reds have gone downhill as they have lost four straight games and are struggling to find offense as they have managed a total of eight runs in those games. They will try and turn things around by finishing a series with the Brewers before a weekend series against the Nationals.

15. New York Yankees (50-48, previous: 15) – It’s pretty remarkable to think how the Yankees are over .500 and doing what they are doing with all the injuries they’ve had to deal with this season, led by the loss of CC Sabathia for the year and now Masahiro Tanaka for an extended period of time. With six of their next nine games against the struggling Rangers they have a good chance to gain some ground in the AL East.

16. Cleveland Indians (50-49, previous: 16) – Cleveland has lost two straight and is now 6.5 games behind Detroit for first place in the AL Central. It would seem this would be their only chance of making the postseason as there are too many teams ahead of them for the wild card. Improving on their 21-30 road record would be a big start for them to get things rolling in the second half.

17. Kansas City Royals (48-50, previous: 17) – Things were looking up for the Royals to end the first half of the season, but they have lost four straight, including being swept by the Red Sox in the first series of the second half. Eric Hosmer is swinging a hot bat, currently on a 16-game hit streak.

18. Chicago White Sox (48-52, previous: 19) – The lone bright spot for the White Sox besides starter Chris Sale has been rookie Jose Abreu as his 29 home runs lead the American League and his 74 RBIs are tied for second.

19. Boston Red Sox (47-52, previous: 23) – The Red Sox are starting to make things interesting both in the AL East and for upper management as the team decides whether to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Winners of five straight and eight of their last nine, the Sox have played their best ball of the year led by Jon Lester - who has allowed just five earned runs (0.85 ERA) in his last seven starts.

20. Tampa Bay Rays (47-53, previous: 20) – Tampa is one of the hottest teams in the league as it has won five straight and seven of its last 10 games. The Rays, along with the Red Sox, are making the AL East a little more interesting. It will be intriguing to see how their recent win streak affects how they handle David Price at the deadline.

21. Miami Marlins (46-52, previous: 21) – After being at the top of the division just a few weeks ago, the Marlins have certainly fallen off and are now 8.5 games out of first place. Giancarlo Stanton does make watching the team fun on a nightly basis as his 23 home runs and 65 RBIs lead the National League.

22. New York Mets (46-53, previous: 18) – The Mets were perhaps one of the hottest teams in the game entering the All-Star break, but they have lost three straight and are now nine games out of first in the NL East. New York has put a number of players on the trading block, including starter Bartolo Colon and possibly Daniel Murphy, but it will be interesting to see how many takers they will have on any of their players.

23. Minnesota Twins (45-53, previous: 22) – Now that the All-Star game has come and gone in Minnesota, there really isn’t much to look forward to as the Twins are 11 games out of first in the AL Central and no real surge is in sight.

24. San Diego Padres (43-55, previous: 25) – San Diego has won two straight, but the Padres are too far back of the Dodgers and Giants as it will only be a two team race for the division this year.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (43-56, previous: 24) – Being 12 games out of first place and having stud pitchers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels has certainly turned Philly's attention to off the field and whether or not the organization will look to trade either of the left-handers. There is no doubt the interest is there from other teams, it’s just will the club be willing to make a deal?

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (43-57, previous: 28) – Even with the Diamondbacks’ struggles this season, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has had a productive season as he is currently tied for first in the NL with 65 RBIs.

27. Houston Astros (41-58, previous: 29) – The biggest news for the Astros occurred off the field when they didn’t sign No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken to a contract. They will now get the No. 2 overall pick next year as well as their first-round pick based on where they finish this season.

28. Colorado Rockies (40-59, previous: 27) – Colorado leads the entire National League with 464 runs, but on the flip side they lead the National League by allowing 525 runs, the big reason for the Rockies being in last place in the NL West.

29. Chicago Cubs (40-57, previous: 26) – Losers of five straight, the Cubs are now alone as the worst team in the National League as they could trade away even more of their stars at the deadline.

30. Texas Rangers (39-59, previous: 30) – It’s been a nightmare of a season for the Rangers, but even with the struggles Adrian Beltre is hitting .330, good for third best in the American League.

*All stats and records are as of Tuesday, July 22.

Follow Metro sports writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @RyanHannable

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