1. Los Angeles Dodgers (91-38 overall record, No. 1 ranking last week) -- As good as they are from top to bottom, everyone is holding their breath until left-hander Clayton Kershaw takes the hill in San Diego Sept. 1 to prove his latest back issues are behind him.
2. Cleveland Indians (73-56, No. 2) -- By the end of the regular season, Terry Francona's squad may be the best in the American League. Reliever Andrew Miller's importance to the Indians may not be as great as Kershaw's is to the Dodgers, but it's huge. There's no firm timetable for Miller's return from a second stint on the disabled list with patellofemoral syndrome in his right knee.
3. Washington Nationals (78-51, No. 4)
-- Right-hander Max Scherzer is due back Aug. 28 from his latest bout with neck stiffness. The club is also due to get outfielder Jayson Werth and shortstop Trea Turner back after lengthy absences. There's still no firm idea when right fielder Bryce Harper could be ready. In the Nationals' oddity world, their manager, Dusty Baker, is not signed beyond this season.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (73-58, No. 10) -- Wondering how the Diamondbacks have experienced a big turnaround this season? A quintet of starting pitchers headed by Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray and Patrick Corbin have made 115 starts, with 65 fitting the definition of a quality start.
5. Chicago Cubs (69- 60, No. 6) -- With September looming, the Cubs have just a two-game lead in the National League Central over the upstart Brewers. Left-hander Jon Lester is still about 9-10 days away from being back in the rotation.
6. Boston Red Sox (73-57, No. 3) -- With all the money they pledged to starters David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, it's sure looking like the signing of right-hander Doug Fister may be one hell of a significant pickup. I never thought the offense would miss slugger David Ortiz this much. And, oh, rookie third baseman Rafael Devers is now having a hard time, too.
7. Houston Astros (79-51, No. 5) -- Right-hander Lance McCullers threw three innings at a Double-A rehab game with Corpus Christi, allowing five walks and three runs. He is due to make his next rehab start Aug 31, again with Corpus Christi. He looks like the Astros' best chance of adding someone with impact to their pitching staff. With the Astros not pitching well enough from top to bottom, it's hard to see them getting past anyone in the playoffs. Super set-up man Chris Devenski got flattened at midseason from overuse.
8. New York Yankees (70- 59, No. 7) -- The Yankees have gotten a big lift in their rotation with CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka's return from the disabled list.
9. Colorado Rockies (71-59, No. 9) -- Compared to the Diamondbacks' 65 quality starts, the Rockies have 46 from their five primary starters.
10. Minnesota Twins (67-63, No. 12) -- The Twins have hopped back over the Milwaukee Brewers into the top 10 because they have a much better chance of being a playoff team. As inspiring a story as it has been, however, it's hard to believe a starting rotation so bereft of talent can make the playoffs.
11. Milwaukee Brewers (68-63, No. 8)
12. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (66-65, No. 11)
13. Baltimore Orioles (65-65, No. 17)
14. Seattle Mariners (66-65, No. 13)
15. Kansas City Royals (64-65, No. 14)
16. Miami Marlins (66-63, No. 18)
17. Texas Rangers (64-66, No. 15)
18. Tampa Bay Rays (65-67, No. 19)
19. St. Louis Cardinals (65-65, No. 16)
20. Toronto Blue Jays (61-69, No. 20)
21. Pittsburgh Pirates (63-68, No. 21)
22. Atlanta Braves (57-71, No. 22)
23. San Diego Padres (57-73, No. 23)
24. Cincinnati Reds (55-76, No. 24)
25. Detroit Tigers (56-73, No. 26)
26. Oakland Athletics (58-72, No. 27)
27. New York Mets (57-73, No. 25)
28. San Francisco Giants (52-80, No. 28)
29. Chicago White Sox (52-77, No. 29)
30. Philadelphia Phillies (48-81, No. 30)