Here are this week's rankings:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (83-34 overall record, No. 1 ranking last week) -- If left-hander Clayton Kershaw returns as expected in the next two weeks, the Dodgers are poised to be on top of the baseball world come the end of the postseason. The last time that happened was 1988, when Tommy Lasorda was the skipper, Orel Hershiser was the bulldog and Kirk Gibson was the hero.
2. Boston Red Sox (67-50, No. 4) -- As much experienced talent as they have, it's amazing they are being led by 20-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers. Left-hander Chris Sale isn't bad either, as he looks primed to become the Red Sox' second American League Cy Young winner in as many years. (Rick Porcello won it last season).
3. Cleveland Indians (63-52, No. 6) -- Left-hander Andrew Miller has thrown two bullpen sessions, and it looks like the difference-maker will be back within the next week after a simulated game or a brief rehab assignment. With Houston slipping, it seems inevitable manager Terry Francona will face his old team (the Red Sox) in the AL Championship Series.
4. Washington Nationals (70-46, No. 3) -- They were primed to be moved up to No. 2 until right fielder Bryce Harper's unfortunate run-in with a slippery first-base bag, which has probably knocked him out of action for three-to-four weeks. They did get center fielder Michael A. Taylor back Aug. 13 and are due to have shortstop Trea Turner back in the next two weeks.
5. Houston Astros (72-45, No. 2) -- General manager Jeff Luhnow couldn't pull off a deal for solid bullpen help and had to settle for second-tier help in a trade for right-hander Tyler Clippard.
6. Chicago Cubs (61-55, No. 9) -- Surprising heat from the St. Louis Cardinals may be just what the doctor ordered to get the Cubs fully focused. I always have a healthy respect for a champion until they are unseated.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (65-52, No. 7) -- Having right-hander Zack Greinke still separates them from Colorado. Adding outfielder J.D. Martinez and right-hander David Hernandez is helping.
8. Colorado Rockies (65-52, No. 5) -- Going 7-10 during the past three weeks has left them vulnerable to be overtaken in the wild-card race.
9. New York Yankees (61-55, No. 8) -- The euphoria of deadline acquisition right-hander Sonny Gray has given way to the reality that the Yankees are too flawed to make serious run this season.
10. Milwaukee Brewers (61-59, No. 11) -- They're too young to seriously challenge for a title. This may be their last week in the top 10.
11. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (61-58, No. 16)
12. St. Louis Cardinals (61-57, No. 17)
13. Minnesota Twins (59-57, No. 18)
14. Seattle Mariners (59-60, No. 10)
15. Baltimore Orioles (58-60, No. 14)
16. Kansas City Royals (59-58, No. 12)
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (58-60, No. 15)
18. Tampa Bay Rays (59-60, No. 13)
19. Miami Marlins (56-60, No. 20)
20. Texas Rangers (56-60, No. 19)
21. Toronto Blue Jays (56-61, No. 22)
22. New York Mets (53-62, No. 24)
23. Atlanta Braves (52-63, No. 21)
24. Detroit Tigers (53-64, No. 23)
25. Oakland Athletics (52-66, No. 25)
26. San Diego Padres (51-66, No. 26)
27. Cincinnati Reds (49-69, No. 27)
28. San Francisco Giants (47-72, No. 28)
29. Chicago White Sox (45-70, No. 29)
30. Philadelphia Phillies (43-72, No. 30)