May 15, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 30) Scooter Gennett looked like a future All-Star last season, his first full year in the bigs. He’s been awful so far in 2015.
29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 29) As bad as it seemed the last two seasons for Philly, this year it’s much worse. They are on pace for 58 wins, which would be their worst finish since 1994.
28. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 24) Will the Rockies trade Tulo, or won’t they? Everyone’s tired of talking about it. Just get him on a playoff team, one way or another.
27. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) Nightmare start to the season, but Corey Kluber’s 18-K gem this week was incredible.
26. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 25) Ross Detwiler: 0-5, 6.95 ERA in 8 starts to date. Not going well for the ex-Nats lefty.
25. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) Can Carlos Rodon save the White Sox? Top prospect is off to a great start.
24. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) They’ve actually scored more runs than they’ve given up. Don’t be surprised if things turn for them soon.
23. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 22) Addison Reed, who allowed the grand slam to Michael Taylor, is probably going to lose his closing job quite soon.
22. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 17) Shelby Miller (4-1, 1.60) has been one of the best pitchers in baseball so far. The rest of their rotation, however, has been terrible.
21. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 26) Nelson Cruz has 15 HRs, 1.136 OPS. Imagine what those numbers would be if he didn’t play at Safeco Field!
20. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Jimmy Paredes (1.050 OPS) making a strong case to be this year’s Steve Pearce.
19. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Hard to see how they can compete with 5 starters sporting ERAs over 4.50.
18. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 11) Things aren’t going well for Miami, but Giancarlo Stanton sure can hit it far, can’t he?
17. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Hard to see how they can compete with 3 starters sporting ERAs over 5.00.
16. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 16) Lincecum has a 2.43 ERA through seven starts. Is Timmy back? He’s averaging only 87.5 miles per hour on his fastball, so probably not.
15. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 19) Andrew McCutchen is starting to heat up and they certainly need him to. That division is tough.
14. Angels – Zuckerman (LW: 12) They’re pitching well, and they need it: Lineup has worst OBP, OPS in AL.
13. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 15) Former Nats pitcher Jason Marquis is their only starter with an ERA above 3.00. They may have something in Anthony DeSclafani.
12. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Minnesota’s surprising early success doesn’t feel sustainable, but stranger things have happened.
11. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 10) Count me as one who had no idea Derek Norris would be this good someday when the Nats traded him.
10. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi leading a very good pitching staff.
9. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 8) Bryce Harper has to be the NL MVP at this point. The sky is the limit if he can stay healthy.
8. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 9) The Cubs are as advertised so far. It should be a fun series when the Nats go to Wrigley later this month. Harper vs. Bryant and all.
7. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 5) Losers of four straight, it will be interesting to see how long New York can hang in first place. Noah Syndergaard looks good, though.
6. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) First in AL in homers, last in batting average and strikeouts. But it’s working for now.
5. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 6) Michael Pineda’s strikeout-to-walk ratio: 54-to-3. That’s insane.
4. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Jose Iglesias (.360 AVG, .902 OPS) making a big difference after missing 2014.
3. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) Eric Hosmer picking up where he left off in October: Among league-leaders in bunch of categories.
2. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 2) Joc Pederson has a .972 OPS despite hitting just .243. He was a .302 hitter in the minors, though, so expect those numbers to go up.
1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) St. Louis is looking like the best team in baseball and Jason Heyward has been abysmal so far. What if they get him going?
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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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.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
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