Jul 3, 2015, 11:51 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) 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!
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.
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