Oct 3, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 27) Now Bryan Price will return as manager. Like Brad Ausmus, he was hired the same winter as Matt Williams and has had less success.
29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 30) Jeremy Affeldt says Phillies fans are so terribly mean that free agents think twice about signing there.
28. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 29) It sounds like the Braves could be big players in free agency this offseason.
27. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 26) Was wonderful to see Zito back in the big leagues, back wearing green and gold.
26. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 28) Walt Weiss has been endorsed by both Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado. Will that be enough?
25. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 25) New GM David Stearns will essentially have to start from scratch with that pitching staff.
24. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 24) Former Nats third base coach Bo Porter interviewed for the Marlins’ managerial job. I think he deserves a second chance, maybe with a good roster this time.
23. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Ausmus will return as manager next year. What will his roster look like?
22. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Sale sets new franchise record for strikeouts in a season (270).
21. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 22) It’s been a rough year for GM A.J. Preller. He just got fined for holding an illegal international workout last summer.
20. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 17) Time for new GM Jerry Dipoto to build them into the contenders they were supposed to be.
19. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) As they often have, they exceeded expectations this season.
18. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Really tough situation in Boston: Lovullo has turned them around, but can’t fire Farrell while undergoing cancer treatment.
17. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) From 96 wins to potentially a last-place finish. That’s a real disappointment.
16. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 18) Patrick Corbin looks to be finally turning a corner after an up-and-down first season back from Tommy John.
15. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 16) Never could quite make the necessary move to get into serious contention.
14. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 14) Just days away from a long offseason. I have a feeling they will be a lot more aggressive in free agency than people think.
13. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 12) Hughes: (LW: 12) Speaking of Jeremy Affeldt, he is calling it a career after this season. He has a 0.86 ERA in 33 postseason appearances. Pretty good.
12. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Not sure anybody has been able to figure out how they’ve done it, but credit to them for hanging in the race all year.
11. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) They’ve been through an awful lot this season, but they’re in it down to the final weekend.
10. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) It’s not a failure if they miss the playoffs, but it would be a big disappointment given where they stood not long ago.
9. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) It’s not a word you usually associate with them, but the Yankees are quite a resilient bunch.
8. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) A remarkable second-half surge: From sub-.500 to cusp of a division title.
7. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 8) The pitching matchups between the Mets and Dodgers could be epic. Mets may have best staff overall, but Dodgers could have game’s two best pitchers.
6. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 6) That said, I’m taking the Dodgers over the Mets.
5. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Not exactly cruising into the postseason, but they’re still formidable this time of year.
4. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) For the first time in 22 years, the playoffs are heading north of the border.
3. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 4) Cubs fans tried to convince Steve Bartman to attend their wild card game. Why in the heck would they want him there? Makes no sense.
2. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 2) The Pirates are headed to the playoffs for the third straight year. They are no longer just happy to be there. It’s time to make a deep run.
1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) Oh man, that rap song the Cardinals made is terrible. If you haven’t seen it, don’t.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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