10. St. Louis Cardinals, 73-59, 1st in the NL Central (ranked 9th last week)
St. Louis has once again found themselves back in the driver’s seat of the NL Central, holding a two-game lead over the Cubs at the moment. Winners of eight of their last 10 games, the Cardinals pulled off a sweep of the Rockies and took two of three away from the Brewers this week.
Rookie OF Lane Thomas has turned it on in August, hitting .320/.433/.760 with 3 HRs and 8 RBI, while it’s a small sample size of 21 games Thomas has been crucial with a quieter month from guys like Goldschmidt. But the bullpen in St. Louis has settled into a routine behind Carlos Martinez as their closer, with veteran Andrew Miller and John Gant doing a much better job getting the ball to their closer.
9. Tampa Bay Rays, 77-58, 2nd in the AL East (ranked 11th last week)
The Rays disappointingly split a series with the Orioles earlier this week and have already lost their three-game series with the Astros. Tampa Bay now sits a game back of Oakland for the final AL Wild Card spot and are losers of six of their last 10 games.
The Rays need their two aces in Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow to return, but both aren’t expected back until mid-September, meaning Charlie Morton is the only “true starter” in their rotation that was there to start the season. Trevor Richards has had two solid starts and but the Rays can’t realistically rely on bullpen games for the rest of the season. Snell and Glasnow need to come back and be elite once again or else the Rays may fall short of the postseason.