The Cubs are having their best season in years and enter the week with their magic number for clinching a wild card berth at five. But unless something changes with this weekend's critical series against Pittsburgh, they're the third-best team in the National League Central -- which is far less a knock against the Cubs and more a compliment to baseball's best division. It's certainly led to an interesting wild card race, much better than the mediocre hellscape of the race for the American League's No. 2 wild card spot.
Stay tuned for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23
Is their deal with the devil finally over?
They're the first team since the 2006 White Sox with three players with 35 or more home runs (Donaldson/Bautista/Encarnacion, Konerko/Dye/Thome).
Jake Arrieta is an alien. Has to be.
Wade Davis, who will close in the postseason, has actually lowered his ERA from 1.00 in 2014 to 0.97 in 2015.
With great starting pitching, a solid bullpen and a lineup featuring Cespedes-Wright-Duda, this Mets team could be scary in the postseason.
The biggest question is if Masahiro Tanaka will return to the Yankees rotation this week to tee him up for the Oct. 6 wild card game.
Would argue they're the least intimidating of any NL playoff team, despite scary-high payroll.
Two and a half games up on Houston, three up on Los Angeles entering the season's final week. Not safe, but close.
Gunning for the wild card, but have a four-game series against Texas to end the season.
Their bullpen has a 6.21 ERA in September, which is no way to try to hang on to a playoff spot.
Technically, they woke up Monday morning with a 0.1 percent chance of making the postseason.
Even if they don't make the playoffs, this team (and Paul Molitor) deserves a ton of credit for being in contention every week of the season.
Both Matt Williams and Jonathan Papelbon need to get out of DC now. This has gotten completely out of hand.
Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are a rock-solid 1-2 duo around which to build.
If Manny Machado gets two more steals, he'll be the first player with 30 HR, 20 SB and .800+ OPS before turning 24 since Mike Trout in 2012.
Ender Inciarte (.304 AVG, .743 SLG, 21 steals) flying under the radar just like David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and most of this D-Backs team.
Chris Archer's rough September (6.58 ERA in five starts) shouldn't take away from what's been a spectacular season for the 27-year-old.
This is the most exciting thing to happen at Petco Park all season.
We had them ranked No. 4 as the top AL team before the season. Uhhh...
|22||21||For all the offseason buzz, they didn't fix a defense that was the third-worst in baseball by UZR last year. This year: Dead last.|
Victor Martinez has been worth -1.9 WAR this year, and still has three years left on a $68 million contract. Yikes.
They've had four winning streaks of at least three games in September already. Odd.
We are all witness to Nolan Arenado's breakout season (41 HR, 126 RBI, .888 OPS).
The Tim Hudson-Barry Zito matchup on Saturday was awesome, even if the game ended with a 14-10 score.
Rallied for seven runs on Trevor Rosenthal and the Cardinals in the ninth inning Sunday, proving Brewers can definitely play spoiler in this final week.
You better believe they're going to want to impact the playoff race with series against Cubs and Pirates this week.
Swept out of Miami just another dark chapter in this sad season.
At least they don't have to worry about Papelbon anymore?