Aug 14, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Jose Fernandez’s latest injury just the latest dagger in a season full of them.
29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) End of an era with Doug Melvin out as GM in Milwaukee.
28. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) At least Carlos Gonzalez is on a tear.
27. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 26) See Nats fans, it can always be worse. Just look at the A’s, who also had high expectations for this season.
26. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Give them credit for playing well under interim manager Pete Mackanin.
25. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 25) Eduardo Rodriguez was looking like a really nice building block earlier this season, but now he sports a 4.83 ERA in 14 starts.
24. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Playing a role in deciding NL Central race: 9-4 vs. Pirates, 4-8 vs. Cardinals.
23. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Not sure what they were thinking with the odd Bourn/Swisher acquisition.
22. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 24) The Indians are last place in the AL Central, but they have the best record of any last-place team. Hey, just trying to be positive here.
21. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 21) Robinson Cano is having his worst season since 2008. No wonder the Mariners have been a disappointment this year.
20. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Put so many chips into this season. Now where do they go from here?
19. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 17) It’s too bad Miguel Cabrera has been so injured this season. When healthy, he’s put up some special numbers.
18. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 18) Much like Doug Fister, Jeff Samardzija has significantly hurt his free agent stock in the final year of his contract.
17. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) David Peralta might be the best player you’ve never heard of.
16. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 14) After breaking out in the first half as a surprise contender, the Twins are just 8-17 since the All-Star break.
15. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 15) Cole Hamels has given up nine earned runs in 13 2/3 innings. Panic!
14. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 13) Manny Machado has 24 homers, 57 RBI, 15 steals and an .879 OPS. He turned 23 last month.
13. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 16) Toronto isn’t the only red-hot team in the AL East, Tampa Bay has won seven of nine.
12. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) It’s put-up or shut-up time. Prove to everyone you are what you say you are.
11. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 11) Despite losing 14 of their last 19, the Angels still hold a playoff spot. Can they keep it that way?
10. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) Might have a better chance of winning NL West than Wild Card right now.
9. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 5) The Yankees still look like a playoff team, but it will be very hard for them to beat Toronto for the AL East title.
8. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 6) The Astros have lost seven of their last nine, but the Angels – second in their division – aren’t taking advantage.
7. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Might never lose another game. Not just in 2015, but in 2016 and beyond. Sheesh.
6. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) “Kershaw and Greinke, everyone else is stinky.” Who likes it?
5. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) Fifth-best team in MLB but only third-best team in NL Central.
4. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) Getting to that point where they might as well start lining up Cole to pitch Wild Card Game.
3. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 9) Count me as one who is excited to see the Jays possibly make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Even R.A. Dickey is pitching well!
2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) The AL Central looked like a deep division before this season, but the Royals are so far ahead they can coast to the finish line.
1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Did what they needed to vs. Pirates and didn’t let them gain any ground.
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.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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