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MLB Power Rankings: Nats, Astros making a push

Jul 3, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

USA Today

Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:

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30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) What a mess. Really, what else can you say?

29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Well, they proved this week they’re at least better than the Phillies. So they’ve got that going for them.

28. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) Great to see Jose Fernandez back. Not great to get him back with team way out of the race.

27. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 26) Troy Tulowitzki is healthy and productive. When do the trade rumors start up again?

26. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 23) The A’s are 22-15 in their last 37 games. Too late to get back in this thing?

25. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 25) Adam LaRoche may have signed up for a pretty big mess in Chicago, at least for this year.

24. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 27) Between Uehara, Ogando and Tazawa, Boston has three relievers worth shopping at the deadline. All have cool names, too.

23. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Think they’d rather have Trea Turner and Joe Ross right now or Wil Myers?

22. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Been a really tough year in Cincy, but Todd Frazier in the Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park will be a blast for hometown fans.

21. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 24) Felix Hernandez might be the best ‘best player on a perennially losing team’ in sports.

20. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Former Nats prospect Robbie Ray (part of the Doug Fister trade) has 2.55 ERA in 7 starts.

19. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 20) The Indians are 15-23 at home and 22-18 on the road. Always weird to see a split like that.

18. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 17) Lineup is feeble with Freddie Freeman on the DL.

17. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) All of Queens in full-blown panic mode until Sandy Alderson acquires a hitter or two.

16. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 15) Justin Verlander just continues to struggle. It’s an unfortunate fall for a guy who at a time looked like a future Hall of Famer.

15. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 16) Texas is enjoying a much better team this season at 41-39. If only they had a healthy Darvish to pair with Gallardo.

14. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 11) Minnesota is 10-15 in their last 25 games. Are they starting to fall back down to Earth?

13. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Albert Pujols is on pace for over 50 home runs. His career-high is 49.

12. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 13) The Blue Jays are fourth in the AL East, but just one game out of first place.

11. Rays – Hughes: (LW:5) The Rays’ bullpen has five guys with sub-3.00 ERAs with 26 appearances or more. Among them is Xavier Cedeno (2.75 ERA, 31 G).

10. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 10) Brett Gardner just keeps getting better. He’s hitting .304 with nine homers, 15 steals and an .868 OPS.

9. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) Return of Matt Cain from Tommy John surgery is a big boost for the defending champs.

8. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 12) Manny Machado  is starting to really realize his potential. He’s hitting .302 with 16 homers, 44 RBI and 11 steals.

7. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) Still really raw in a lot of areas, but they’re in the race and going to stay in the race.

6. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) Starting to all come together, and that’s with Zimmerman, Rendon, Werth still on DL.

5. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 6) Trying to lead NL in homers for first time since 1983.

4. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) Hitting .290 with .360 on-base percentage since getting no-hit by Max Scherzer.

3. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) Chris Young (7-4, 2.64) is yet another Nationals player doing well elsewhere.

2. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 3) Houston just keeps winning, but they may end up needing more help in their rotation around Keuchel and McCullers.

1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Have won more home games this season than Phillies have won home and road combined!

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  1. ArVAFan - Jul 3, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    For those interested, MLB auctions has the items up from Scherzer’s no-hitter. Balls, bases, the cleat cleaner, and Ramos’ wrist wraps are available. Chocolate sauce not included.

  2. Danny - Jul 3, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    And then we scored 1 run in consecutive games looking lost against two rookies.

    • unkyd59 - Jul 3, 2015 at 5:19 PM

      Robles…?

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