1. Los Angeles Dodgers (79-41)
Fun Fact: The last time a pitcher qualified for the ERA title with an ERA under 1.50 was Bob Gibson in 1968. Ryu is currently sitting at 1.45. Still the best team in majors right now and they are rolling.
2. New York Yankees (79-41)
The Bronx Bombers overtook Houston for the 2nd spot in these rankings. They keep winning despite not making any moves at the trade deadline. Maybe Brian Cashman did actually know what he was doing.
3. Houston Astros (77-41)
The top 3 in the rankings are pretty much interchangeable depending on what you are looking for. They lost for the 1st time in August to the Orioles, which is considered the biggest moneyline upset since 2005.
4. Cleveland Indians (72-47)
The Indians overtook the Twins to grab the AL Central lead. The Indians took 3 of 4 from the Twins over the weekend and are now in a rough stretch that includes the Red Sox, Yankees and then Mets. Puig has provided a major spark offensively, hitting .357/.413/.571 with six extra-base hits in 46 at bats.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (70-50)
The rise of the Rays continues as they continue to play solid ball. They don’t have the talent of the top 3 teams but will be one of the hardest to beat in the one game wildcard playoff.
6. Minnesota Twins (71-47)
They went 2-4 last week and were only able to win 1 of 4 against the Indians. They have lost the top spot in the AL Central but are still a really good team. They need to take advantage of their upcoming fixtures against the Brewers, Rangers and White Sox.
7. Atlanta Braves (70-50)
Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin have combined for a 10.50 ERA with 0 saves and 2 blown saves. They hold a 6 game lead on the Nationals and 8 on the Mets, but if they can’t figure out the bullpen…Oh and they have lost 13 of 25 games since the start of play July 16.
8. Chicago Cubs (64-54)
The addition of Nick Castellanos has really paid off as he has 10 extra base hits in his first 10 games with the Cubs, including a multi-homer game against the Reds. Have separated themselves from the other NL Central teams but the Brewers and Cardinals are playing well too.
9. Oakland Athletics (67-51)
Their season is going to rest on the pitching arms of Mike Fiers and Chris Bassitt. Fiers and Bassitt have combined for9 quality starts in 12 starts since the All-Star break, combining for a 1.89 ERA. The next week will be telling as they play the Giants, Astros, Yankees and Giants again.
10. New York Mets (61-57)
The hottest team in baseball has landed in the Top 10 of the rankings for the first time this season. Just a few weeks ago, they were in the 20’s in the rankings. They have won 15 of their last 17 and that includes taking 2 of 3 from the Nationals. Can they keep it up as they play the Braves (2 times), Indians, Cubs and Phillies to finish out the month?
11. St. Louis Cardinals (61-55)
The Cardinals had the unfortunate opportunity to go face to face with the Dodgers and were swept in a 3 game series. They followed that up with sweeping the floundering Pirates. The Brewers are closing the gap on the Cardinals.
12. Washington Nationals (63-55)
Max Scherzer is almost back and the team did go 5-4 on the recent road trip. They need to tighten up their bullpen as their efforts as a group has resulted in a 6.00 ERA. This just happens to be the worst in the NL by almost 1 full run.
13. Milwaukee Brewers (62-57)
The Brewers went 5-1 in the last week and this included series wins against the Pirates and Rangers. The rotation is being held together with duct tape. Adrian Houser (1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 ER), Jordan Lyles (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 2 ER), Gio Gonzalez (1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 ER) and Chase Anderson (1 GS, 5.2 IP, 2 ER) all had a really good week pitching.
14. Boston Red Sox (62-59)
Everyone is asking what is going on with the Red Sox right now. Chris Sale is having the worst season of his career but did rebound with an impressive 8 inning gem against the Angels. As a team, the Red Sox have only won 2 games in August so far.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (60-59)
I am 100 percent convinced that the Diamondbacks will finish the season at 81-81. They have been straddling the line pretty much all season. They have a 4 game series against the Giants this week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 2-2 in that series.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (60-58)
Eventually teams are going to drop out of contention, and the Phillies look ready for it. They have been hit so hard by injuries this season and lost both series last week to the Diamondbacks and the Giants. They have gone 23-31 since June 8th.
17. Texas Rangers (59-59)
It seems the playoff hopes are dwindling down to its last thread. Baseball Prospectus has their playoff odds at 0.1%. When Joey Gallo was injured, their hopes of making the postseason took a big hit. Hunter Pence is batting .262 since the break with a .393 slugging percentage.
18. San Francisco Giants (59-60)
The Giants took 3 of 4 from the Phillies and then were swept by the Nationals. This team is still technically in the playoff race but doesn’t have the look of a team that should have been buyers during the trade deadline. I wonder if the front office is regretting not selling off players as most said they should.
19. Cincinnati Reds (56-61)
The Reds have won 7 of their last 12 games since trading for Trevor Bauer. The rookie, Aristides Aquino, who replaced Puig has homered 8 times in 12 games. Since being called up, he’s hitting .429 with 16 RBI, with more than half of his total hits clearing the fence.
20. Los Angeles Angels (58-62)
Just a few weeks ago, the Angels were within 4 games of a wild card spot. They have gone 4-12 since that time and see to be underachieving. Mike Trout is doing everything he can to carry this team but you can’t expect him to take the mound to save the season. They need to find competent starting pitching ASAP.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (50-72)
The Blue Jays recently went 4-3 in series against the Rays and Yankees. That’s very good and I can’t help but wonder how good this team would have been if Bo Bichette was called up earlier in the season. Since Bichette was called up, the team has gone 10-5.
22. San Diego Padres (55-63)
Fernando Tatis Jr is quickly becoming one of the top players in Major League Baseball. Tatis is playing a solid defense at shortstop, is batting .320, and has 22 homers and 16 stolen bases in just 82 games. The Padres still have a shot to finish 2nd in the NL West this season.
23. Chicago White Sox (52-64)
The White Sox have been playing better as of late going 6-4 in their last 10. This is a very young team that is definitely looking towards the future. Speaking of future, Tim Anderson has been killing it since the break, hitting .360. It seems his offense might finally be catching up to the talent he possesses.
24. Colorado Rockies (53-66)
Considering the talent levels on this team I found it surprising that they have had six losing streaks of at least four games. Easily one of the most disappointing teams this Major League season.
25. Seattle Mariners (48-71)
The Mariners have only 1 game in the month of August and have only won 2 out of their last 10 games. At least Marco Gonzalez looks like a good long term option in their rotation. Justus Sheffield has a lot of potential but it is still up in the air.
26. Miami Marlins (44-73)
The Marlins have so many good options for players that they could call up to get experience, I am looking at you Monte Harrison. Having Curtis Granderson hit .186 with .643 OPS isn’t good enough to justify keeping potential stars in the minors.
27. Kansas City Royals (43-76)
The major story with the Royals is Jorge Soler who will be the 1st player in history of the franchise to hit for 40 home runs. In 2017, Mike Moustakas set the franchise record with 38 homers. Soler is currently at 35 and will easily set the record. I am hoping that Soler will continue the hot streak and possibly hit 50.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (49-69)
The Pirates have now gone 4-24 since the All-Star break but do have Bryan Reynolds who is in the mix for the NL Batting Title. They have not won consecutive games since July 7th.
29. Baltimore Orioles (39-80)
The Orioles followed up a performance in which they gave up 23 runs to the Astros, with a walk off 2 run blast by Rio Ruiz the next day.
30. Detroit Tigers (35-80)
The Tigers became the first team to reach the 80 loss mark this season. On a positive note, Miguel Cabrera is only 27 home runs away from 500 in his career.