1. Chicago Cubs (14-5, previously No. 2) – Even though the Cubs have played only 19 games, they have a plus-68 run differential, which is absurd at this point in the year. Their offense has been well documented, but Jake Arrieta continues to prove he’s one of the best pitchers in the game, highlighted by his no-hitter this week.
2. Washington Nationals (14-4, previously No. 1) – Partly due because of its 8-1 record at home, Washington is at the top of the NL East. It has a plus-34 run differential, which is highlighted by allowing just an average of 2.5 runs per game – the best in baseball.
3. Chicago White Sox (13-6, previously No. 5) – The White Sox may be one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season as they are at the top of the AL Central. Mat Latos has been a huge boost to the rotation as he is 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA, the second-best mark in the AL.
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4. Kansas City Royals (12-6, previously No. 4) – A 8-3 record at home as been a major key for the Royals so far this season. Kansas City is known for its pitching and that is the case again this year with Edison Volquez’s 1.46 ERA, the fifth-best in the American League.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7, previously No. 6) – The Dodgers have won seven of their last 10 games to jump to the top of the NL West standings. The biggest story with them this year has been the performance of first-year pitcher Kenta Maeda and his 0.36 ERA, the best in the NL.
6. Baltimore Orioles (11-6, previously No. 3) – Baltimore is 7-1 at home, but 4-5 on the road, which will obviously need to change if the Orioles want to stay on top of the AL East. Mark Trumbo is leading the charge on offense hitting .373 with 16 RBIs – second in the AL in both. Also, Manny Machado is batting .380, the best mark in the AL.
7. New York Mets (10-7, previously No. 20) – The Mets are 5-1 in their last six games to move up the standings in the NL East. One of the biggest bright spots for the Mets so far this season has been Neil Walker and his seven home runs, which are tied for fourth in the NL.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (10-8, previously No. 9) – After a rough start, St. Louis has begun to play like everyone has expected it to. Once again it will be a battle for them all year as the NL Central is arguably the best division in the league.
9. Cleveland Indians (9-7, previously No. 18) – The Indians have won three games in a row and are starting to get into the flow of things. They will go as far as their rotation takes them led by Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, although Carrasco was injured Sunday.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (10-9, previously No. 11) – Even though they are one game over .500, they are four games back in the division because of the strong start by the Cubs. The thing the Pirates need to monitor is how good the division is and they can’t fall too far behind so early in the season.
11. Texas Rangers (10-9, previously No. 12) – Despite the number of injures to open the year, the Rangers are tied for first place in the AL West. Their offense has been among the best in the American League, but are still searching for the pitching to match.
12. Oakland Athletics (10-9, previously No. 15) – It’s been a strange start to the season as the A’s are 7-2 on the road, but 3-7 at home. The one constant has been ace Sonny Gray who has three wins to open the year and is looking as good as advertised.
13. Seattle Mariners (9-9, previously No. 22) – Seattle is playing good baseball of late winning seven of its last 10 games. They have been led by their pitching as the Mariners have allowed just 3.66 runs per game. Robinson Cano has paced the offense with his six home runs, the second-most in the AL.
14. Colorado Rockies (9-9, previously No. 8) – The Rockies continue to hang in there early in the season. They continue to be led by their offense, especially Trevor Story, who is one of the best stories in baseball with his eight home runs in the first month of the year.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (10-10, previously No. 16) – Everyone saw this one coming – the Blue Jays have one of the best lineups in baseball. Josh Donaldson leads the American League with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. And besides Donaldson, Jose Bautista is swinging a hot bat as he is second in the league with 16 RBIs.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (10-10, previously No. 26) – The Diamondbacks are one of the hottest teams in the league as they have won seven of their last 10 games to get back in the thick of things in the NL West. They are another team with opposite splits, as they are 3-7 at home, but 7-3 on the road.
17. Boston Red Sox (9-9, previously No. 13) – It’s been up and down for the Red Sox in the first few weeks of the season as they are looking to find their identity. The key for them will be getting more consistent outings from their starters, especially at the top as ace David Price has an ERA over seven.
18. Philadelphia Phillies (9-10, previously No. 17) – The Phillies continue to surprise many in and around the game, especially after the horrible year they had last year. Their rotation is emerging as one of the best young ones in the league, led by Vince Velasquez and his 0.93 ERA, which is fourth in the NL.
19. Cincinnati Reds (9-10, previously No. 14) – Cincinnati is 8-5 at home, but the disappointing thing is they are 1-5 on the road. They might be better than their record indicates because of the number of times they have played the Cubs in the first 19 games of the year.
20. Tampa Bay Rays (8-10, previously No. 23) – The Rays certainly have their issues, but they will be in the mix likely for the majority of the year because of their pitching. Chris Archer is off to a tough start to the year, but he will bounce back and be one of the best the American League has to offer.
21. San Francisco Giants (9-11, previously No. 10)
22. Detroit Tigers (8-9, previously No. 7)
23. Milwaukee Brewers (8-11, previously No. 21)
24. Los Angeles Angels (8-11, previously No. 24)
25. New York Yankees (7-10, previously No. 19) – It’s been a poor start for the Yankees, especially their pitching as they have now lost seven of their last 10 games. A lot was expected of Michael Pineda to start the year, but he’s struggled and Alex Rodriguez is now battling an injury.
26. Miami Marlins (6-11, previously No. 28)
27. Houston Astros (6-13, previously No. 25)
28. San Diego Padres (7-12, previously No. 27)
29. Minnesota Twins (5-14, previously No. 29)
30. Atlanta Braves (4-14, previously No. 30)