1. Houston Astros (73-40, No. 2 last week):
This is the seventh season of my power rankings. To me, this No. 1 team, after its acquisitions at the trade deadline, leads the rest of the pack by a mile.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (74-40, No. 1): The Dodgers' front-office inaction means the club will really have to thread the needle perfectly to win the World Series. But they should play in a third consecutive Fall Classic.
3. New York Yankees (72-39, No. 3): It'll take an amazing turnabout in the rotation's performance for them get past Houston to play in the World Series.
4. Minnesota Twins (69-42, No. 4): On June 9, Jake Odorizzi won his ninth game in 13 starts. He had just two losses to his name, and he had a 1.92 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Since then, his ERA is 7.04 and his WHIP is 1.59 in eight starts. Hard to imagine these Twins getting very far with Odorizzi pitching like that. The Twins are, however, benefiting from Cleveland pushing them.
5. Atlanta Braves (66-47, No. 5): Solid bullpen additions at the deadline do help. Closer Shane Greene has stumbled out of the gate with Braves, but his stuff should play. The only question is mentally can he do the job when the games have import to them.
6. Cleveland Indians (66-45, No. 11): The Indians have gone 33-12 since June 10. Bold gambit to trade star right-hander Trevor Bauer, but the deal enabled them to pick up two huge bats in Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes while picking up three solid prospects. Starters Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac were good enough to fuel the front-office chutzpah.
7. Chicago Cubs (60-51, No. 12): The most interesting thing to watch is how a front office and a manager without a contract beyond this season tiptoe through the last two months of the season. The Cubs picked a good week to go 4-2 against St. Louis and Milwaukee. Ben Zobrist, 36, is on his reinstatement/rehab tour in the minors to come back from personal issues. He could be ready in about 2-3 weeks.
8. Oakland Athletics (64-48, No. 8): A 26-12 run by manager Bob Melvin's squad has the A's in a pitched, three-team battle with Cleveland and Tampa Bay for the two American League wild-card spots. Oakland made solid but unspectacular additions for the pitching staff with starters Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark and lefty matchup guy Jake Diekman.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (65-48, No. 13): The Rays have won eight of their last nine -- just when it looked like Cleveland and Boston were going to push this Tampa Bay team out of the playoffs. Ironically, the Rays' record is 8-1 at Fenway in 2019.
10. Washington Nationals (58-53, No. 6): A 25-10 record leading up to All-Star break put them close enough to Braves to overtake them. Then ace right-hander Max Scherzer got hurt, and since then they've gone just 11-11. They added bullpen help at the deadline, but right now, they sure look a stellar starter short.
11. St. Louis Cardinals (58-52, No. 10)
12. Philadelphia Phillies (58-53, No. 14)
13. New York Mets (55-56, No. 18)
14. Milwaukee Brewers (57-56, No. 9)
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (56-56, No. 16)
16. Boston Red Sox (59-55, No. 7)
17. Texas Rangers (57-54, No. 19)
18. San Francisco Giants (56-56, No. 15)
19. Cincinnati Reds (52-58, No. 22)
20. Colorado Rockies (52-60, No. 20)
21. Los Angeles Angels (56-57, No. 17)
22. San Diego Padres (51-60, No. 21)
23. Toronto Blue Jays (45-69, No. 26)
24. Chicago White Sox (48-61, No. 23)
25. Seattle Mariners (47-67, No. 24)
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (48-63, No. 25)
27. Miami Marlins (42-67, No. 28)
28. Kansas City Royals (40-73, No. 27)
29. Baltimore Orioles (38-73, No. 29)
30. Detroit Tigers (32-75, No. 30)