1. Los Angeles Dodgers (67-35, No. 1 last week):
The Dodgers are keeping their foot on the gas. The question is whether the front office will do their job to build up a firewall against any key injuries.
2. New York Yankees (64-34, No. 2): The Yankees have had a magical season to date. GM Brian Cashman knows he has to help the rotation and he'll figure out how to do it with an eye on winning the World Series.
3. Houston Astros (64-37, No. 5): The Astros will be getting back stud shortstop Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz, a very useful bench weapon, back soon. Like the Yankees, the team we are watching today won't be the team we see starting Aug. 1. There will be a significant addition to rotation.
4. Atlanta Braves (60-41, No. 4): The Braves earned a much-needed split with the Nationals at home to slow that fast-moving train, though they should not be fooled by right-hander Kevin Gausman's teasing performance against the Nats July 21. OK, Alex Anthopoulos' pickup of Josh Donaldson at a $23 million price tag is the best move of the offseason. It delivered a guy who has been there and done that in previous pennant chases. His July numbers: .275/.456/.765, eight homers and 19 RBIs.
5. Minnesota Twins (60-38, No. 3): The Twins have stumbled a bit lately. They have to add a late-inning guy. Wouldn't hurt to deal for big-time starter with a presence. As constituted now, the pitching staff in totality isn't good enough.
6. Washington Nationals (52-46, No. 7): Would the Orioles and Nats make a trade? Reliever Mychal Givens is the perfect fit for the team 35 miles south of Baltimore. I don't think there are any real restraints on executives Mike Rizzo and Mike Elias.
7. Oakland Athletics (57-43, No. 9): Executive vice president Billy Beane is at it again, but his GM, David Forst, is the one searching for pitching help. Right-hander Homer Bailey was a low-risk reach who may need to be sprinkled with pixie dust for him to make a difference. More likely, the club is hoping to get lefty Sean Manaea during the next 2-3 weeks to lift the rotation. Lefty A.J. Puk might be able to help in the pen.
8. Chicago Cubs (54-45, No. 10): President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer are smart enough to know they need fortifications. Rumor has them talking to Tigers with the hope of acquiring closer Shane Greene, who would be the setup guy in Chicago, and outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Do they have the ammo? They'll have the will to go for it if they have enough trade chips to get a couple of solid pieces.
9. Boston Red Sox (54-46, No. 8): The Sox are just 5-5 since the All-Star Game. That's not good enough to leapfrog the Rays and the suddenly rampaging Indians and A's. Right-hander Andrew Cashner probably won't be a huge help, but right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, activated from the injured list July 20, and recently recalled young lefty Darwinzon Hernandez might be able to lift the late innings above the inconsistencies.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (57-45, No. 6): They need help and do have a lot of young chips to deal for rotation help and back-end-of-the-bullpen help. Don't sleep on them.
11. Cleveland Indians (57-41, No. 13): The Indians have gone 20-8 throughout the last five weeks. That's without starters Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger (he's been back the past two weeks). It's pretty heady stuff for a team that was poised to trade the present for the near future. Now that may be jettisoned for an addition, as the club may jump back into buying mode.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (53-48, No. 12)
13. Philadelphia Phillies (52-48, No. 15)
14. St. Louis Cardinals (51-47, No. 18)
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-50, No. 16)
16. Los Angeles Angels (52-49, No. 14)
17. Texas Rangers (50-49, No. 11)
18. San Francisco Giants (50-50, No. 23)
19. San Diego Padres (47-52, No. 19)
20. Colorado Rockies (47-52, No. 17)
21. Chicago White Sox (44-52, No. 20)
22. Pittsburgh Pirates (46-52, No. 21)
23. Cincinnati Reds (44-53, No. 22)
24. New York Mets (45-54, No. 24)
25. Toronto Blue Jays (38-63, No. 25)
26. Kansas City Royals (37-64, No. 27)
27. Seattle Mariners (40-62, No. 26)
28. Miami Marlins (36-61, No. 28)
29. Baltimore Orioles (31-67, No. 30)
30. Detroit Tigers (30-65, No. 29)