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MLB Power Rankings: Braves sink to the bottom

Sep 4, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

USA Today

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

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

30. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 25) The Braves are in an absolute freefall, but with 13 combined games against the Nats and Mets, they can be big-time spoilers.

29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 30) Interim manager Pete Mackanin is 27-33 this year with the Phillies. Compared to Ryne Sandberg’s 26-48, that’s not bad at all.

28. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 28) Speaking of managers, it looks like Bryan Price will get the axe after this season. He was hired the same year as Matt Williams.

27. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 29) Giancarlo Stanton began a minor league rehab assignment, but had a setback in his rehab. It has been that kind of year for the Fish.

26. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 27) Carlos Gonzalez has homered twice in consecutive games to set a career-high of 35 on the season. He has 25 in his last 50 games alone!

25. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 24) Best team in the AL late last summer. Worst team in the AL late this summer.

24. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 26) Whoever gets the Brewers’ GM job will have a decent starting point with that lineup. That division, though. Yikes.

23. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) They still have one of the most-productive lineups in baseball, but the pitching staff has been a mess.

22. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Have played surprisingly well for interim manager Torey Luvullo under difficult circumstances.

21. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Didn’t come close to living up to the expectation, and Jack Zrduriencik paid the price for it.

20. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) Rank last or next-to-last in AL in runs, homers, walks, OBP, slugging, OPS. Not good.

19. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 16) Losers of 12 of their last 14, the bottom has fallen out in Baltimore. Who goes this offseason?

18. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 18) Justin Upton has 24 homers, 73 RBI, an .808 OPS and is on pace to set a career-high in steals. He will get paid handsomely this offseason.

17. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 17) Goldschmidt vs. Harper for the NL MVP won’t be as heated as Trout vs. Miggy, but it could end up a pretty interesting debate.

16. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) The loss of executive Mark Shapiro to Toronto is a big deal for Cleveland.

15. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Kevin Kiermaier is becoming a human highlight reel.

14. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) A one-time powerhouse is slowly slip-sliding away.

13. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Give them credit: When it looked like they might fade away, they’ve hung in there.

12. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 13) Their offense is exploding with Harper and Zimmerman leading the way. Their rotation now has to follow suit, especially next week against the Mets.

11. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 10) Tim Lincecum is done for the season and possibly as a San Francisco Giant. What a run if it is indeed over.

10. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) Have won 15 of 20, trying to orchestrate a dramatic turnaround of their season.

9. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) It’s crunch time for this young team, which now must hold off Texas’ late charge.

8. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 6) The Mets want to avoid the media fiasco that was Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown, but now it looks like they could be in a public battle over Matt Harvey with Scott Boras.

7. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) They have 7 games left vs. the Blue Jays. They’re 4-8 against them so far.

6. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 4) The Cubs have lost six of their last eight. They have time to recover with their lead in the playoff race, but they are cooling off at a bad time.

5. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 8) The Dodgers just got a big boost for the final month in top infield prospect Cory Seager.

4. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) They’re 26-6 since July 29. A remarkable infusion of excitement in Toronto.

3. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 3) A.J. Burnett’s career looked like it was in jeopardy earlier this season, but it looks like he’s going to give it one last ride pretty soon here.

2. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 2) Yordano Ventura’s last 5 starts: 4-0, 1.13, 43 strikeouts. KC might have its young ace back.

1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) The Cardinals nearly got swept for the first time this season by the Nats. But, of course, they rallied twice in comeback wins.

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

  1. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    Anyone see a good article about the Mets v. Boras battle over Harvey?

    • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      Ok, here’s one:
      http://deadspin.com/the-mets-have-a-matt-harvey-problem-1728740506

      • nats106 - Sep 4, 2015 at 2:30 PM

        Those comments are priceless. My favorite was the one about Harvey being shut down and eaten by a grizzly bear in the off season.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 4, 2015 at 3:04 PM

        Of course, grizzlies are mostly dormant/hibernating during the off-season, so it would really have to be in the Spring that he’d be eaten. And I don’t think there are that many grizzlies in Florida.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2015 at 3:30 PM

        It only takes one.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 4, 2015 at 4:54 PM

        Yes, but if there’s only one I’m guessing s/he gets Bartolo Colon before Matt Harvey.

  2. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Anyone watching the Cubs game and wondering why the rookie pitcher is still in there?

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