1. (2) Portland Beavers, 95-54, Past Weeks 34-14: The Beavers are close to locking up division title #2 and the #1 playoff seed. The Beavers are a deep, talented team but lack any marquee star that is typically found on championship teams.
2. (9) Philadelphia Phillies, 87-62, Past Weeks 33-15: The Phillies have returned to championship form as all the pieces seem to be lining up at the right time. With two aces in Chance and Harvey, this team is going to be a tough playoff opponent.
3. (5) Anaheim Angels, 88-61, Past Weeks 32-16: The Angels have played great but still find themselves losing ground. Dotel and Charles do a lot in making this team the toughest first round opponent in either league.
4. (7) Washington DC Nationals, 87-62, Past Weeks 31-17: With Marquez pitching brilliantly and Swann’s bat having come alive, the Nats are staying with the Phils and will be a tough team to face in the playoffs.
5. (13) New York Yankees, 86-63, 67-54, Past Weeks 33-15: The Yankees have been playing great ball which has led to their clinching their 2nd division title and having the lead for the #2 playoff seed. The arrivals of Ozzie Percival, Raul Lee, and Marco Harper have given the pitching a major boost.
6. (1) Montreal Expos, 85-64, Past Weeks 26-22: Marte seems to be a lock for this season’s MVP with his gaudy batting average along with big-time power numbers, but Montreal is anything but a lock for the division. The fight with the Reds looks like it may be decided on the final day.
7. (6) Kansas City Royals, 85-64, Past Weeks 28-20: Danny Alexander’s big bat continues to provide the biggest boost to this team as they now sit tied for the division.
8. (3) Charlotte Knights, 85-64, Past Weeks 25-23: A poor showing in divisional play has opened up the AL South race as the Royals and Rangers are right on their heels.
9. (17) San Francisco Giants, 84-65, Past Weeks 31-17: With homerun contest winner Jolbert Romero leading the offense despite showing signs of fatigue, the Giants have stood large of late and are on the verge of their first division title.
10. (8) Cincinnati Reds, 85-64, Past Weeks 28-20: Great pitching and big time slugging have the Reds tied with the Expos. Unfortunately, their bullpen weaknesses may be their fatal flaw in both the regular season race and the playoffs.
11. (10) Texas Rangers, 84-65, Past Weeks 28-20: Free agency has been good to the Rangers as Cy Young candidate Jeff Bollea and speedster Tony Contreras are keeping them in the race. Right now they are on the outside as they sit 1 game back in both the division and the #2 wild card races.
12. (15) Seattle Mariners, 81-68, Past Weeks 27-21: The Mariners remain a solid team with excellent pitching, but they are going to need catch a big winning streak if they hope to continue into the postseason.
13. (11) Chicago Cubs, 81-68, Past Weeks 25-23: The Cubs need some masterful pitching during this final week as they stand 4 GB for the division and 2nd wild card with only 13 remaining, because their “anemic” offense just isn’t going to get it done.
14. (4) San Diego Padres, 80-69, Past Weeks 23-25: The Padre’s have slumped and Ralph Levine’s arrival could not pull them out of it. With 4 GB in the division and 13 left to play, the Padres need to pray for a miracle.
15. (14) Arizona Diamondbacks, 79-70, Past Weeks 25-23: The D’backs stranglehold on the NL West is almost over, thanks to an under achieving performance by one of the more talented pitching staffs.
16. (18) Oakland Athletics, 75-74, Past Weeks 22-26: The A’s are the last place team in baseball’s best division but there is a lot of good young talent on this team which gives the fans hope for next season.
17. (12) Detroit Tigers, 75-74, Past Weeks 21-27: Luckily for the Tigers, the Twins have played just as badly and are allowing the Tigers to limp their way to the division title. MVP candidate Damian Chen is having another outstanding season and is excited to play in his first postseason game.
18. (20) New York Mets, 74-75, Past Weeks 24-24: The Mets remain solid and with their well-stocked farm system have the look of a team on the verge for next season.
19. (21) Atlanta Braves, 73-76, Past Weeks 24-24: Despite their mediocre season, the Braves appear headed to repeat as division champs and give Dee Dee another shot at postseason glory.
20. (19) Minnesota Twins, 73-76, Past Weeks 22-26: Ever since the trading deadline passed, the Twins have had a hard time playing with any consistency and their bid for a 3rd division title is at risk.
21. (16) Los Angeles Dodgers, 71-78, Past Weeks 17-31: The Dodger pitching has remained solid but the Dodger bats have fallen silent and have led to the demise of their once promising season.
22. (23) Boston Red Sox, 69-80, Past Weeks 20-28: The Red Sox are a distant 2nd place and are going to need a lot of help on the pitching staff to compete next season.
23. (26) St. Louis Cardinals, 69-80, Past Weeks 24-24: The Cards put together a solid week that found them briefly leading the division. A big finale could still find this team in the postseason.
24. (22) Florida Marlins, 69-80, Past Weeks 20-28: The Marlins had their shot at this division and then sank back down. It appears that another sub .500 division title is not going to happen for them this season.
25. (24) Cleveland Indians, 67-82, Past Weeks 19-29: The Tribe faded fast after their brief stint atop the division. There is great hope for the future with some major prospects in their system.
26. (25) Pittsburgh Pirates, 66-83, Past Weeks 19-29: Redmond and Sherman need more help. We’ll see if the Bucs can find it next season.
27. (30) Baltimore Orioles, 62-87, Past Weeks 25-23: With a respectable week, the O’s climb a few spots and avoid the shame of a 100-loss season.
28. (28) Toronto Blue Jays, 62-87, Past Weeks 17-31: Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall this week in Toronto and by shipping out stud closer Marco Harper for youth, the hope is that he can be put together next season.
29. (27) Houston Astros, 58-91, Past Weeks 16-32: The Astros just couldn’t make it work enough to compete in the sad NL South, but good talent awaits in AAA and below that could lead to a change in their fortunes next season.
30. (29) Tampa Bay Rays, 57-92, Past Weeks 17-31: The Rays still have a shot at avoiding 100 losses, which would be a spectacular accomplishment for this stripped down ball club.
31. (30) Milwaukee Brewers, 51-98, Past Weeks 18-30: Lira, Shuey, and Parrish got to escape for greener pastures. Perhaps their replacements can make a difference next season.
47. (32) Chicago White Sox, 41-108, Past Weeks 14-34: This team would be a long shot for the AAA playoffs.