Aug 28, 2015, 12:00 PM 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) Twice blew 5-run leads to the Mets this week. That about sums things up.
29. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) In an otherwise dismal year, George Mason’s Justin Bour has been a bright spot.
28. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 25) A wretched stretch of baseball (4-18 since Aug. 5) leaves them last in the NL Central.
27. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) They’ve had 15 pitchers throw at least 30 innings this season. None has an ERA under 4.00.
26. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) Taylor Jungmann is a nice-looking young arm in an organization that needs a lot more of those.
25. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 24) They’ve lost 22 of their last 24 road games. That’s really not good.
24. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 26) Good to see Ron Washington get another coaching job. He should get another shot as a manager down the road.
23. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 23) Dave Dombrowski takes over a Red Sox where both of his predecessors built World Series teams.
22. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 22) Robinson Cano has really turned his season around. He hit just .251 in the first half, but is batting .340/.403/.569 with eight homers and 28 RBI in 36 second-half games.
21. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 17) Justin Verlander just nearly missed his third career no-hitter, but perhaps that was a sign he’s returning to form. He’s allowed just one run in his last four starts (29 IP).
20. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 21) A former third overall pick back in 2011, Trevor Bauer now holds a 4.46 ERA in four major league seasons. This year he leads the league in walks.
19. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 20) I don’t know if Trayce Thompson will end up being the ‘best athlete in the family’ like his brother Klay suggested, but he could be a star in the making.
18. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) All-Star roster of names: Spangenberg, Yangervis, Gyorko, Jankowski, Odrisamer, Rzepczynski, Quackenbush.
17. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) A lot of nice building blocks here. A team to watch moving forward.
16. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 12) The O’s have lost eight of 10, but they are somehow still only 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.
15. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 15) Former Nats reliever Xavier Cedeño has a 2.04 ERA in 51 appearances this season.
14. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 16) Seven wins in their last eight games have the Twins right back in the playoff race. They are getting hot at the right time.
13. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Finally on track with 3 straight series wins. But only chance they have is for Mets to fade as well.
12. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 11) Albert Pujols (34 HR) could hit 40 homers this season, yet he’s on pace for a career-low in doubles. Weird.
11. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 14) Texas currently holds an AL Wild Card spot, but they would be seven games out in the NL.
10. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) Kelby Tomlinson: .346/.382/.519 in first 20 games of career. Where do they find these guys?
9. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 5) Miller and Betances get all the love in the Yankees’ bullpen, but Bryce Harper’s good friend Chasen Shreve (1.97 ERA in 47 G) has been excellent as well.
8. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 6) Starters’ ERA: 3.15 (2nd in NL). Relievers’ ERA: 4.14 (13th in NL).
7. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 8) All season it looked like the Angels were the Astros’ biggest threat, but now it’s ‘here come the Rangers.’
6. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Apr 6-July 30: 3.6 R/G, 0.9 HR/G, 52-50 record. July 31-Aug 27: 6.3 R/G, 1.8 HR/G, 19-6 record.
5. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 7) As amazing as the Blue Jays have been since they acquired Troy Tulowitzki, he has just a .678 OPS since the trade.
4. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) They’ve won an amazing 21-of-27 games, all but locking up a wild card berth.
3. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) On pace for 99 wins, something no Pittsburgh club has done since 1909!
2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) The Royals are far and away the best team in the AL Central with a 13-game lead in first. Should be fun having them back in the playoffs.
1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Own a winning record vs. every other NL team this year, except for San Diego (3-4).
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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