BP: Padres and Rockies reverse roles

The Giants lead the bigs in runs in July thanks in part to the 18-game hitting streak of Buster Posey (right). Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire

The San Diego Padres were one of baseball's biggest stories at the All-Star break. They were on top of the National League West standings despite starting the season with a $37 million payroll, the second lowest in the major leagues behind the Pittsburgh Pirates' $34 million.

Two weeks into the season's second half, the Padres are still quite the story. They continue to lead the NL West, up by three games on the San Francisco Giants, and have improved their probability of making the postseason, which would be their first playoff berth since 2006. According to Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report, the Padres' chance of qualifying for the playoffs has risen from 52.5 percent following the games of July 11, the final day of play before the break, to 75.9 percent.

The gain of 23.4 percent in that two-week span is the largest in the major leagues. They lead a top five that looks like this: