1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Move: None, Team Rating: 93, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Offense, Weaknesses: Speed
Los Angeles continues to boast the best record in baseball, and have one of the most diverse rosters in baseball. There are talks of them making a move for another pitcher, which would only bolster their roster
2. New York Yankees
Move: None, Team Rating: 91, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Bullpen, Offense, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching
New York scuffled a bit at Fenway over the weekend, but still are one of the top teams in the American League. Starting pitching has hit a major slump, which was considered a strong point at the beginning of the year. New York could make a move.
3. Houston Astros
Move: None, Team Rating: 89, Strength: Bullpen, Starting Pitching, Offense, Weakness: None
Houston has begun to get fully healthy, which is a dangerous sign for the rest of the league. They are 8-2 in their last ten games, and have a comfortable lead in the AL West. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole continue to be one of the best 1-2 punches in the game.
4. Minnesota Twins
Move: None, Team Rating: 77, Strengths: Offense, Starting Pitching Weaknesses: Bullpen
The Twins can certainly hang with the rest of the elite teams in the bigs, and while they are 5-5 in their last ten games, they had some tough luck losses against the Yankees. Getting help in the bullpen is a priority for the deadline, because the offense is in great shape.
5. Boston Red Sox
Move: +2, Team Rating: 93, Strengths: Offense, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching & Bullpen
Boston has made up ground on the Tampa Bay Rays, and while the Andrew Cashner trade wasn’t a big splash, they could improve the bullpen. Overall the offense has carried them thus far, and they had a strong series against the Yankees to give them an edge out of the break.
6. Atlanta Braves
Move: -1, Team Rating: 83, Strengths: Offense, Bullpen, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching
Atlanta leads the NL East by 6.5 games, and are over the 60 win mark. I still have my doubts about the starting pitching moving forward, but offensively they are strong. The bullpen has also bounced back from a pedestrian first half.
7. Cleveland Indians
Move: +3, Team Rating: 89, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Bullpen, Weaknesses: Offense
As mentioned prior it was going tup be an up and down run for Cleveland. Over the last few weeks they have gone on a strong stretch, and are now just one game behind the Twins. Once Cleveland’s rotation gets healthy, they will be the sneaky contender in the AL even with subpar offense.
8. Oakland Athletics
Move: +6, Team Rating: 75, Strengths: Offense, Bullpen, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching
Rooted in Oakland is alive and well. They have been dominant over the last month, and are in the wild card hunt. 59-47 is an amazing record after a sluggish stretch in the beginning of the year. I would like to see them add a strong starting pitcher to help solidify the rotation.
9. Chicago Cubs
Move: -2, Team Rating: 86, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Offense, Weaknesses: Bullpen
The NL Central is going to be a tight race, and while the Cubs aren’t playing as good of baseball as the other two teams at the moment, it is best to not overreact. This team still is built for a playoff run, but they do need to pick it up on the road.
10. Tampa Bay Rays
Move: -2, Team Rating: 78, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Bullpen, Weaknesses: Offense
The Rays have had an injury bug within the rotation, which will call for more bullpen games. The offense has dropped off a bit as well. With Boston hunting them down, it will be interesting to see what the Rays do at the deadline, if anything.
11. St. Louis Cardinals
Move: +2, Team Rating: 84, Strengths: Bullpen, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching
Going 8-2 in the last ten games has pushed them to the top of the NL Central, however that could change within the next few days. Offensively they have picked things up, but their overall offensive numbers have been average. It is hard to tell if this Cardinals roster can keep it up for the next two months.
12. Washington Nationals
Move: +8, Team Rating: 89, Strengths: Starting Pitching, Weaknesses: Bullpen
About a month ago the Nationals were one of the most disappointing teams in the league. The starting pitching collectively went on a run, and the offense picked it up as well. The bullpen is still horrendous, and the big weakness heading into th edeadline.
13. Philadelphia Phillies
Move: -1, Team Rating: 88, Strengths: Offense, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching, Bullpen
The Phillies have the talent to make a run, but the pitching is a big concern. Offensively they go missing at times, and this group might go down as a disappointment come the end of the year. Philadelphia likely won’t be shy at making a deal at the deadline.
14. Milwaukee Brewers
Move: -4, Team Rating: 85, Strengths: Offense, Weaknesses: Bullpen & Starting Pitcher
The rotation has been about what you’d expect, and that is the downside to this Brewers offense. The bullpen also hasn’t been as good as last year with the injuries. Milwaukee is in a tight race for the division, but pitching will hurt them in the long run.
15. Los Angeles Angels
Move: None, Team Rating: 77, Strengths: Offense, Weaknesses: Starting Pitching, Bullpen
The Angles eventually landed over .500, but just as I thought they are still a middle of the road team. Offensively they have picked up their play, but allowing over 530 runs isn’t a great stat. Consistency has also been an issue, which is why they continue to sit in the middle of the rankings.