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MLB Power Rankings: Nationals, Dodgers climbing

May 8, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

May 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) is congratulated by manager Matt Williams (9) after the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 7 - 5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

30. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Craig Counsell is a hero in Milwaukee, but not sure he can save this sinking ship.

29. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Chase Utley’s OPS is .389. Not his OBP. Not his slugging percentage. His OPS. Yikes!

28. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 27) An average team on offense, the Indians pitching staff is what is holding them back. Only four teams have a worse team ERA.

27. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 26) Chicago’s rotation ranks 28th in baseball with a 5.41 ERA despite having Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija.

26. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 17) Former third overall pick Mike Zunino has a .200 average in 210 career games including a .177 clip so far this year. Nobody misses in the draft these days like Seattle.

25. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 28) With a .159 average so far, Shin Soo-Choo looks to be declining rather fast. Just two years ago he was one of the best players in the NL.

24. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) A 5.38 team ERA was bad in 1998. In 2015, it’s a downright embarrassment.

23. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 21) Oakland has the second-most runs in the majors so far, yet they’re 12-18. Seems like they will hit their stride soon.

22. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) If they think Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the answer, they misread the question.

21. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 12) Is it time to start worrying about Chris Tillman? He’s allowed 22 earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (6.25 ERA) so far.

20. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 9) Boston’s rotation continues to look like one of the worst in baseball. Just go ahead and trade for Cole Hamels already.

19. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) McCutchen was hitting under .200 til Thursday and dealing with knee injury. That’s troubling for Bucs.

18. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 19) Toronto has a lineup that should make them a World Series contender, but their pitching is just terrible.

17. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Shelby Miller (4-1, 1.66) blossoming into the frontline starter he wasn’t in St. Louis.

16. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 24) They’re a mess, and yet they’re a .500 club at the moment.

15. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Have to get more than a .264 OBP out of Billy Hamilton.

14. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 14) Former Nationals pitcher Nathan Karns is the only Rays starter with an ERA above 2.70.

13. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 25) Minnesota is seventh in runs scored and Byron Buxton is tearing it up in the minors. Finally, some hope for the Twins.

12. Angels – Hughes (LW: 13) Mike Trout is hitting .298 through 28 games this year, which for him is technically a slump.

11. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 16) Have quietly won 11 of their last 15, looking like the team we thought they would be.

10. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Leading the NL in runs scored so far this season. Wait … the Padres?!

9. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) While Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Addison Russell get the attention, Anthony Rizzo has 1.068 OPS.

8. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Three straight series wins has them back on track.

7. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 8) Jose Altuve is proving last year was no fluke with a .336 average and a league-best 11 steals.

6. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 6) Alex Rodriguez has now passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. Next up? Babe Ruth.

5. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Rank near the bottom of the NL in almost every offensive category. Pitching can’t carry them forever.

4. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 3) Miguel Cabrera is hitting .350 through 29 games and could be on his way to another batting title. Is it me, or is he almost underrated?

3. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain are all hitting over .300. What do they think this is, October?

2. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Joc Pederson leading the NL in homers as a rookie and helping carry this star-studded lineup.

1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Phenomenal 2.59 staff ERA, and that’s with Adam Wainwright done for the season.

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  1. scnatsfan - May 8, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Please lets get to 500 this series

    • ArVAFan - May 8, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      +3

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2015 at 12:00 PM

        or, actually, +2 of 3? (2/3?) 😉

    • ArVAFan - May 8, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      I’d settle for 2 of 3, but since I’m asking, I’m asking for a sweep.

  2. manassasnatsfan - May 8, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    One game at a time, one series at a time

    • nats128 - May 8, 2015 at 12:29 PM

      Yes MNF! That is the formula of success including the postseason!

  3. nats128 - May 8, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    “5. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Rank near the bottom of the NL in almost every offensive category. Pitching can’t carry them forever.”

    The Mets also have major flaws in defense which were magnified in the Nats series at Shortstop and Leftfield. Of course the Nats had there own defensive blunders like the Werth misread and stumble that brought in 3 runs.

    The Nats have alot of work to do to climb the team ranks in defense. To many earned runs for the Nats pitchers have been due to poor fielding plays not rules as errors and the same for the Mets.

    Ian Desmond is no longer last in shortstop UZR at a -4.0, he has been passed by Elvis Andrus and Marcus Semien.

  4. tcostant - May 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    It should have been noted that the Red Sox just fired their pitching coach.

    • ehay2k - May 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      They should fire their GM – the pitching coach can’t make a good staff out of a bad one.

      • nats128 - May 8, 2015 at 3:44 PM

        Anyone who saw that tinder box they put together of starters and there Free Agents signings of Hanley and Panda to go with Papi you can sense that dysfunction wont be far behind.

    • infideljack - May 8, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      They should build a new stadium and get rid of that old fire trap.

  5. ehay2k - May 8, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Utley has an OPS+ of 8

    That is no bueno. And if he gets 500 PAs this year, the Phillies have to pick up his $15M option for 2016. He’s already at 99.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 8, 2015 at 3:05 PM

      Ouch.

      • jd - May 8, 2015 at 3:12 PM

        The Phills keep ignoring the ‘best before’ label on their players and wind up with nothing and they never learn. I think they have a long leash on their people because they won one world title but some adult should start seeing that there’s a problem there.

      • nats128 - May 8, 2015 at 3:43 PM

        I think thats why Clippard was traded. Get value for him becuz Rizzo wasnt going to extend a Qualified Offer. I think most people dont get jd’d point as they get to attached to players.

  6. jfmii - May 8, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Mr. Hughes: Do you and Mr. Zuckerman do the ordering for the Power Rankings? Or do you get the rankings from somewhere else, and do the commenting?

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