May 8, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
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.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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