MLB Standings: Red Sox back in first, Cubs holding on

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 6: Chris Young (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 6: Chris Young (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox took back first place in the most recent AL East standings, while the Chicago Cubs cling to a slim lead in the NL Central.

With fewer than two full months left to play this season, three MLB division races are basically wrapped up. The Houston Astros jumped out to a huge early lead in the American League West, and despite a largely mediocre performance since the All-Star break, no one is capable of closing the gap in the division.

The National League East followed a similar pattern. The Washington Nationals raced out to a big lead in April and never looked back. The NL West was far closer in the early months of the season, but a historically dominant run through the summer has the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting pretty in first place with no signs of slowing down. As for the rest of the MLB standings, the AL East, AL Central and NL Central are the only races worth watching down the stretch.

This time last week, the Yankees held a slim lead atop the AL East, but an undefeated run, including sweeps over the Indians and White Sox at Fenway Park, put the Red Sox back in first place and helped Boston build a three-game lead in the division. But things get tougher next week with a two-game series on the road against the Rays and a three-game set in the Bronx.

The Cubs took a step back with back-to-back home series losses to the Diamondbacks and Nationals. Chicago has now lost four of its last five games heading into a four-game Western road trip beginning Monday night in San Francisco and concluding with three games in Arizona, and the Cubs hold a slim half-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

American League East

Boston Red Sox (63-49, .563, – GB)

Last Week: 2-0 vs. Indians, 4-0 vs. White Sox

  • Home Record: 36-20
  • Road Record: 27-29
  • Runs Scored: 533
  • Runs Allowed: 456
  • Run Differential: +77
  • Streak: Won 6
  • Last 10: 8-2

New York Yankees (59-51, .536, 3 GB)

Last Week: 1-2 vs. Tigers, 2-2 at Indians

  • Home Record: 32-20
  • Road Record: 27-31
  • Runs Scored: 573
  • Runs Allowed: 458
  • Run Differential: +115
  • Streak: Won 2
  • Last 10: 5-5

Tampa Bay Rays (58-55, .513, 5.5 GB)

Last Week: 3-1 at Astros, 1-2 vs. Brewers

  • Home Record: 30-25
  • Road Record: 28-30
  • Runs Scored: 507
  • Runs Allowed: 503
  • Run Differential: +4
  • Streak: Won 1
  • Last 10: 5-5

Baltimore Orioles (55-56, .495, 7.5 GB)

Last Week: 3-0 vs. Royals, 2-2 vs. Tigers

  • Home Record: 35-23
  • Road Record: 20-33
  • Runs Scored: 522
  • Runs Allowed: 575
  • Run Differential: -53
  • Streak: Won 2
  • Last 10: 7-3

Toronto Blue Jays (52-59, .468, 10.5 GB)

Last Week: 2-1 at White Sox, 1-2 at Astros

  • Home Record: 27-26
  • Road Record: 22-30
  • Runs Scored: 438
  • Runs Allowed: 523
  • Run Differential: -85
  • Streak: Won 1
  • Last 10: 5-5

Eduardo Nunez has been red-hot at the plate since joining the Red Sox, and led the club with 11 hits and nine RBI last week. Nunez also homered twice. Andrew Benintendi and Christian Vazquez hit .462/.611/.846 and .421/.450/.684, respectively, and each homered and drove in three runs.

Doug Fister led the pitching staff, and picked up two win while postsing a 3.21 ERA in two starts. Drew Pomeranz allowed one run in 6.1 innings in his most recent start, and Eduardo Rodriguez notched a quality start as well.