May 29, 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 – Hughes: (LW: 29) After looking like a playoff team at times last year, the Brewers look headed towards a lengthy rebuild right now.
29. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 30) I can’t imagine covering the Miami Marlins this season, or in recent years in general. Just a complete trainwreck.
28. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) We didn’t know what remade Oakland team would look like this year, but did anyone think it would be this bad?
27. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 26) It will be interesting to see what happens in the fallout of Ruben Amaro’s comments about Phillies fans. They already didn’t like him and he just shook the hornets nest.
26. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 20) Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected before a game even started last week. That’s about how well things are going right now for Cincy.
25. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 28) Manager Walt Weiss sports a 159-210 (.431) record in his three seasons at the helm.
24. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 16) Severe overestimation of the quality of their rotation by front office entering season.
23. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 22) The Diamondbacks are second in the NL in runs scored behind the Nationals, but it’s tough to win with one of MLB’s worst pitching staffs.
22. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) If they’ve got a run in them, now would be a good time to do it while the division remains up for grabs.
21. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 25) Do people realize how good Jason Kipnis is? A second baseman with .949 OPS, leads AL in WAR.
20. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Had a nice week earlier this month, but now they’re coming back to earth.
19. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) Given how weak the AL East is, they really just need to hang around until it starts to come together.
18. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 24) Welcome back, Prince Fielder. And sorry for forgetting about you.
17. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 14) The Padres have been relatively average, but Craig Kimbrel has been nothing like his usual self. He’s got a 5.00 ERA through 20 appearances.
16. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 17) With the disasters in Philly and Miami, the Braves are actually looking like a pretty stable franchise after all the changes they made this offseason.
15. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) It’s been kind of lost amid the Bryce Harper hype, but Mike Trout still playing at MVP levels.
14. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Most productive hitters so far this season: Logan Forsythe and David DeJesus. Go figure!
13. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Finally starting to look like the team many of us thought they’d be this season.
12. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) Lose 10 of 11, then sweep the Royals! Somebody explain this team. I can’t.
11. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 21) Gerrit Cole – 24 years old and 7-2 with a 2.11 ERA – should be receiving more attention than he’s getting.
10. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 8) The Cubs feel like they can play with the Nationals after matching up so closely at Wrigley. Should be a fun series in D.C. next week.
9. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 7) New York has another very impressive young starter in Noah Syndergaard. He has a 2.55 ERA through four career starts.
8. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Every member of the regular lineup has been above average except for Nick Castellanos.
7. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 10) So much for this being an off-year for the Giants. They are starting to round into form as one of the league’s best teams.
6. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) They’ve won 19 of their last 25. How exactly are these guys doing this?
5. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 2) KC has become a baseball town once again. Right now, five Royals are in line to start the All-Star Game!
4. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 3) The Dodgers remain in first place in the NL West, but it’s a safe bet the Giants take over by the end of the week.
3. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 5) The Nats have the best offense in the NL without Anthony Rendon having played a game and Jayson Werth either ineffective or injured all year. Pretty amazing, really.
2. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) It feels like this is happening a year ahead of schedule. But the longer it keeps up, maybe next year is now.
1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) I had a feeling Michael Wacha would someday turn into a Wainwright/Carpenter like ace and carry the torch in St. Louis. Looks like that’s happening this year.
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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