Jun 12, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 29) Finally, finally the Phillies look like they will trade Jonathan Papelbon. All kidding aside, he’s going to be a huge acquisition if a contender gets him.
29. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 30) The worst team in baseball, the Brewers are already 16 1/2 games back in the NL Central!
28. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) At this point, everyone’s just waiting for Billy Beane to start placing calls to his fellow GMs.
27. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 28) Jose Fernandez looks like he will make his 2015 debut very soon. So much for the preseason expectation of him boosting a team in the thick of the playoff hunt.
26. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 26) So it’s come to this: David Ortiz (.670 OPS) benched vs. lefties.
25. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 19) For all that was made about Yasmany Tomas not being ready, he looks pretty good with a .331 average and a .793 OPS.
24. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Popular World Series by many experts (including yours truly) just hasn’t been able to get things going.
23. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Starting to dig out of their hole, but it’s a big hole. Maybe too big.
22. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 24) Nolan Arenado is really turning into a fine young player. He is the game’s best defensive third baseman and hits for average and power.
21. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 25) Look who is back pitching with scoreless outings in seven of his last eight games: Ryan Mattheus.
20. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Samardzija, Quintana and Danks collectively sport a 4.68 ERA. That’s not going to work.
19. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Return of Matt Wieters is huge for them, brings not only his bat but sense of confidence behind the plate.
18. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 17) Shelby Miller has been great for the Braves, but Julio Teheran has not. Might be time to worry about the right-hander.
17. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 16) Much like Teheran, Andrew Cashner is struggling after being very consistent for several years. It’s not early anymore, either.
16. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Besides Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, nobody has an OPS over .724.
15. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Detroit has gone 12-18 over its last 30 games. That’s not an encouraging trend.
14. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) We knew they could hit. Now they’re starting to pitch as well, giving them a shot.
13. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 9) Matt Harvey was tremendous when he first returned this season, but he’s been awful in his last four starts. Makes you appreciate how good Stephen Strasburg was in his first year back from Tommy John.
12. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Slowly but surely starting to look like a threat again in the AL West.
11. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) Chris Archer, folks. He’s really, really good.
10. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 8) Losing Ryan Zimmerman to the DL is rough, especially with Werth already out. They need Anthony Rendon to start playing like he did last year.
9. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 6) A.J. Burnett is an ageless wonder. He’s 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA at 38 years old.
8. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 10) Well, look who finally found a home for the 2015 season. Something tells me Rafael Soriano gets the closer job and untucks a few times before this season is over.
7. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Served a little dose of reality this week when swept by the Royals.
6. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 2) The Carlos Correa Era begins, adding yet another young talent to a roster full of that.
5. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) The Andrew Miller injury will really hurt them; besides Dellin Betances, that bullpen is shaky.
4. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 7) Looks like the Giants will break their streak of having down seasons in odd-years. They look scary.
3. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 3) Everyone focuses on Kershaw and Greinke, but the Dodgers’ rotation is looking quite deep with Brett Anderson, Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger.
2. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Continue to prove last October was no fluke, and they’re going to make up the entire AL All-Star team because of it.
1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) Already a two-time All-Star, Jhonny Peralta is enjoying a career-year at age 33.
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.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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