1. Chicago Cubs (1 last week): Spending final two weeks of season on playoff-bound cruise control something of a novelty for 140-year old franchise.
2. Washington Nationals (3): Nats have potential for deep postseason run, but flawed bullpen will bring some unwanted suspense.
3. Texas Rangers (2): Bench coach Steve Buechele — college roommate of John Elway at Stanford — is father of Texas Longhorns freshman quarterback Shane Buechele.
4. Cleveland Indians (4): Ending lengthy recuperation from separated shoulder, catcher Yan Gomes played in minor-league tuneup game — and got hit by a pitch that broke his wrist.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (5): Starting pitcher Julio Urias, 20, has picked off six base runners this season. Nobody else has picked off as many as five.
6. Boston Red Sox (6): Dramatic ninth-inning rallies are a blast, but rotation behind David Price and Rick Porcello is shaky.
7. Baltimore Orioles (8): If O’s fail to qualify for playoffs, they’ll rue many missed scoring opportunities last week against Rays.
8. Toronto Blue Jays (7): Josh Donaldson isn’t fully recovered from hip ailment, but Donaldson at 80 percent is more dangerous than most hitters at 100 percent.
9. Detroit Tigers (9): Rick Porcello … Doug Fister … Max Scherzer. Think Tigers are regretting salary-dump decisions to part with superior starters?
10. San Francisco Giants (12): Johnny Cueto leads NL with five complete games.
11. Seattle Mariners (16): Whatever happens, M’s figure to exceed seemingly optimistic 85-86 victory bar set by general manager Jerry Dipoto.
12. New York Mets (11): Return of Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares, disabled since July with a thumb injury, provides Mets with a late-inning defensive replacement for Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce.
13. New York Yankees (10): Yanks planning on giving Billy “Country Breakfast” Butler steady diet of at-bats against lefties.
14. Houston Astros (13): Manager A.J. Hinch on team’s 4-15 record against Rangers: “I want to see them again. If we see them again, it means we’re meeting in October, so bring it.”
15. St. Louis Cardinals (14): Adam Wainwright’s 6.14 ERA in 16 road starts is second-highest in majors.
16. Kansas City Royals (15): Two consecutive pressure-packed Octobers — 31 postseason games since 2014 — apparently have taken their toll.
17. Miami Marlins (18): Giancarlo Stanton recovered faster than expected from groin strain suffered in August.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates (17): The only fate worse than losing consecutive single-elimination wild card games at home? Not contending for a single-elimination wild card game at home.
19. Chicago White Sox (20): When Jose Abreu hit a home run last week, he delivered on Ruthian promise made to young cancer patient.
20. Colorado Rockies (19): Rookie Raimel Tapia, 22, has featherweight look and unconventional batting style of future fan favorite.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (22): Going into weekend, Brewers starters’ ERA over last month was 2.73, better than Cubs and Dodgers.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (23): Despite worst offense in MLB — last in on-base percentage, last in runs per game — Phils have surpassed last season’s total of 63 victories.
23. Oakland Athletics (24): During four-game pummeling of Kansas City last week, A’s outscored Royals 43-12.
24. Los Angeles Angels (21): With rotation wracked by injuries, Angels not taking chances with Tyler Skaggs, sidelined from last start by mild flexor strain.
25. Tampa Bay Rays (25): Corey Dickerson’s home run last Wednesday gave Rays 200 homers for the season, a franchise record.
26. Cincinnati Reds (28): Reds dropped out of race early, but Bryan Price’s ability to keep them motivated after All-Star break might have earned manager a contract extension.
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (26): Manager Chip Hale on team achieving first home series sweep in mid-September: “We’d have liked to have done it earlier.”
28. San Diego Padres (27): General manager A.J. Preller must be really good at his job, because he’s done everything to he can to lose it.
29. Atlanta Braves (29): During 20 seasons at soon-to-be-vacated Turner Field, Braves won 10 division titles.
30. Minnesota Twins (30): Fans anxious for next significant home game — on Monday, April 3, their 2017 season opener against the Royals.