Jun 19, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) They can’t even use their bullpen phone properly. What else is there to say?
29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Here’s hoping Uecker is OK after suffering concussion.
28. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 28) Watch Billy Beane trade all his stars for prospects and then be right back in the division race next season.
27. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 26) In 2011 it was fried chicken and beer. In 2015 it’s liking pictures of Instagram models. Gotta be careful, Pablo.
26. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) Redmond: .421 winning percentage. Jennings: .433 winning percentage. Not much difference.
25. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Arenado is a legit budding star.
24. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 20) Rock bottom is rapidly approaching as the White Sox have dropped seven straight.
23. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 24) Kyle Seager is really returning to form, so Seattle has to be encouraged by that.
22. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Need to start trading guys like Chapman, Frazier sooner rather than later.
21. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 17) Bud Black deserved better. Wasn’t his fault team hasn’t taken off yet.
20. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 23) Michael Bourn has a .664 OPS in three seasons since signing with Cleveland. The Nats were smart for passing.
19. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Bad division leaves them within reach, but tough to see it happening.
18. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 25) Quietly playing a whole lot better than most realize. Goldschmidt is a legit MVP candidate.
17. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 16) Hey guys, you’re making my World Series pick look really stupid right now. Yes, this is about me.
16. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Teetering on the brink of disaster, they’ve got to right the ship. Now.
15. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 19) The ol’ leave the visitors bullpen phone off the hook trick, eh? Nice.
14. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 15) 25-year-old infielder Jose Iglesias is thriving with a .333 batting average after missing all of 2014 with stress fractures in both of his shins.
13. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Nats are trying to give them a chance to seize the division, but they’re not seizing it yet.
12. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 14) The Blue Jays are reportedly scouting Jonathan Papelbon… again. Just trade for him already.
11. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Holes starting to emerge in defending champs’ roster.
10. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 12) Texas just called up prospect Rougned Odor again. We’ll see if he can improve on his .180 average this season.
9. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 7) When they lost seven of eight earlier this month I thought it was starting to slip away, but then they won two straight against the Cardinals.
8. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 5) Reliever Dellin Betances (0.26 ERA in 31 G) is 6-foot-8, 260 pounds and has a fastball that averages over 96 miles per hour. Yeah, that’s not intimidating.
7. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) What a luxury to be able to call up a kid like Schwarber just to DH for a couple days.
6. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 11) The average baseball fan wouldn’t recognize most of the names in their lineup, but this team looks very good.
5. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) For all the attention Kershaw gets, Greinke has been fantastic since coming to L.A.
4. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 6) Former No. 1 pick Carlos Correa became the second-youngest player in 100 years to steal three bases in one game this week. Rickey was the youngest.
3. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) There’s no better 1-2-3 in baseball right now than Cole-Liriano-Burnett.
2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) Sounds like MLB finally fixed the glitch on All-Star voting after finding 65 million false ballots. Nice try, Royals fans.
1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Despite all the injuries, they just keeping hacking away. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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