Aug 8, 2015, 2:09 PM EST
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 28) It has been a trainwreck of a season for the Marlins, but at least Jose Fernandez (2.30 ERA, 53 SO, 43 IP) is back to pitching like one of the best starters in baseball.
29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 30) The Phillies are amazingly 14-5 in the second half so far and have now caught up to the Marlins in fourth place in the NL East.
28. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 29) Even without Troy Tulowitzki, the Rockies have one of the best lineups in baseball. Nolan Arenado is a special player.
27. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 27) If I’m the Brewers, I’m getting Dave Dombrowski on a plane to Wisconsin ASAP.
26. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 25) It didn’t happen this year, but there is young talent there to build upon in 2016.
25. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 26) Could Cherington and/or Farrell be in trouble after this disappointing season?
24. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Odd trade with Atlanta, bringing in Johnson for Swisher and Bourne.
23. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 24) Michael Bourn hasn’t been the same since he left Atlanta, perhaps he can revive his career now that he’s back with the Braves.
22. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 21) They decided not to trade Aroldis Chapman, but what’s the sense in having a top-shelf closer on a bad team?
21. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) 10th in AL in ERA? That wasn’t supposed to be the case this season.
20. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 20) A week ago they still had playoff hopes, but they have now lost four straight to last place teams.
19. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 17) Arizona is a starter or two away from being a real playoff contender. Not sure they have enough to do it this year.
18. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Just when you thought they had a run in them, they lose 6 of 8.
17. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) Tumultuous week in Detroit sees longtime GM Dombrowski depart.
16. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 16) Tough, back-to-back losses by Boxberger.
15. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) They still think they’ve got a shot this year. They might be right.
14. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) Not trending in the right direction.
13. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Davis is on a roll at the plate, pitching remains inconsistent.
12. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 8) If they are having this much trouble with the Diamondbacks and Rockies, what is going to happen when they play at L.A. and San Francisco?
11. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) Trout is actually having his best season to date. No, seriously.
10. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 13) Winners of seven straight, the Mets are starting to hit their stride. Are they peaking too early?
9. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) Trending upward, and they don’t appear likely to reverse course.
8. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 7) A former 18th round pick, Matt Duffy is now a legit candidate for NL Rookie of the Year with a .310/.348/.814 slash line in 96 games.
7. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 10) It is remarkable what Jake Arrieta (12-6, 2.50) has turned into since he left Baltimore.
6. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 6) Showing some impressive resiliency for a young club in a race for the first time.
5. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Can they hold off this Canadian invasion? We’re about to find out.
4. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 4) Joc Pederson has just one homer in 17 games since the All-Star break. Did the Home Run Derby throw off his swing?
3. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 3) Friday night was a very impressive win for the Pirates over Clayton Kershaw in the series opener. This team is no joke.
2. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 2) Zobrist: 3 homers in first 8 games with Kansas City. Already worth it.
1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) St. Louis reached 30 games over .500 this week. They are on pace for 104 wins.
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)...
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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