1. Chicago Cubs (last week, 1): Their 22 victories in August were most by a Cubs team in any month since September 1945.
2. Texas Rangers (2): Rangers began weekend with 30-8 record in one-run games — a .789 winning percentage, highest in major league history.
3. Washington Nationals (3): Stephen Strasburg, who threw Friday bullpen session without problems related to right-shoulder soreness, could be difference-maker in playoffs.
4. Cleveland Indians (4): Outfielder Coco Crisp will have no issues transitioning to new team. It was his first team, 15 years ago.
5. Toronto Blue Jays (7): Aaron Sanchez went into weekend with Cy Young Award numbers — 13-2, 2.88 ERA — but the 24-year-old has reached his innings-pitched limit.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (5): Crazy talented, consistently confounding outfielder Yasiel Puig says demotion to minors taught him humility.
7. Boston Red Sox (6): Yoan Moncada, switch-hitting Cuban infielder signed last year for $31.5 million, will see action at hot corner.
8. Baltimore Orioles (8): Largest crowd in Baltimore during crucial three-game series against Blue Jays last week was 16,162.
9. Detroit Tigers (10): If Tigers want playoff berth, they’ll have to figure out how to beat Cleveland. Seven of final 16 games are against opponent that’s 11-1 versus Detroit.
10. San Francisco Giants (9): Listless Giants went into weekend with 15-29 record since All-Star break, worst in the majors.
11. Houston Astros (13): Astros opened first weekend of September with killer schedule: 13 consecutive games against teams in first place.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (11): Birds girding for a franchise-record sixth straight trip to postseason.
13. New York Yankees (15): Reliever Adam Warren on clubhouse vibe of surging Yanks: “People giving up on us, I don’t know if it motivated us, but it lifted expectations and allowed us to pay free and easy. You can feel the difference. Guys are out there having fun.”
14. Kansas City Royals (12): Activation of closer Wade Davis from DL could be booster shot for stretch run.
15. New York Mets (18): Loss of productive second baseman Neil Walker to season-ending back surgery just another obstacle for star-crossed Mets.
16. Miami Marlins (16): Push for first playoff berth since 2003 hinges on ability of variously ailing key players — Derek Dietrich, Justin Bour, Giancarlo Stanton — contributing at full strength.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (17): Manager Clint Hurdle on following four-game sweep of Milwaukee by losing three straight to Cubs: “You just keep showing up and keep playing. It’s the beauty of the sport and the beauty of what these men out there do, are built to do.”
18. Seattle Mariners (14): Five months of smoke and mirrors couldn’t mask reality that team’s most glaring vulnerability is undependable bullpen.
19. Colorado Rockies (20): With contract of Walt Weiss expiring after season, Rox will devote September to saving job of popular manager.
20. Chicago White Sox (19): Carlos Rodon’s newly acquired changeup helped second-year lefty dominate hitters in August.
21. Philadelphia Phillies (21): Ryan Howard will enjoy ceremonious farewell denied Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz.
22. Los Angeles Angels (26): Ricky Nolasco’s shutout of Reds was his first in nearly four years.
23. Milwaukee Brewers (22): Crew will use six-man rotation during grueling September schedule calling for 18 road games.
24. Oakland Athletics (23): Starter Ross Detwiler, acquired in July trade with Cleveland, threw best game of career in loss to Astros last week.
25. Tampa Bay Rays (25): Tim Beckham’s indifferent effort on base paths gave former No. 1 overall draft pick a wrist-slap ticket to Triple-A.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (27): In his first appearance since return after demotion to minors, Shelby Miller looked like the vintage version of Shelby Miler.
27. Cincinnati Reds (24): Expanded roster will make September more interesting for Reds fans than anything they saw between April and August.
28. San Diego Padres (28): Right fielder Hunter Renfroe is first Padres prospect to be named MVP of PCL since Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1989.
29. Atlanta Braves (30): Scoring at least seven runs in five straight home games is something Braves last accomplished in 1953, their first year in Milwaukee.
30. Minnesota Twins (29): September call-up time gives long-touted outfield prospect Byron Buxton chance to finally deliver on immense potential.