Thursday, July 18, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: All-Star edition

USA Today Sports Images
By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

The past week may have featured fewer actual games thanks to the All-Star break, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been significant movement in the rankings. The Rays and Dodgers made moves towards the top, while the Royals continue to fall off. The Cardinals, though, continue to hold the No. 1 spot, buoyed by their six All-Stars.

Here's how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer/producer Chase Hughes and I see the rest of the league shaking out as the second half of the season begins...

1. St. Louis Cardinals (57-36; LW: 2) - Hughes: At this rate they will have almost half their lineup receiving N.L. MVP votes at the end of the season.

2. Boston Red Sox (58-39; LW: 1) - Roney: Not to harp, but Ben Cherington just traded for another reliever (Matt Thornton). Not saying it'll be an unmitigated disaster, but the trades for Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, and Joel Hanrahan haven't exactly turned out as hoped.

3. Oakland A's (56-39; LW: 4) - Zuckerman: How great was Cespedes in the Home Run Derby? A's will start opening gates earlier so fans can watch Yoenis take BP.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (56-37; LW: 3) - Hughes: Pittsburgh is one back in their division and four up on on the Reds in the wild card race. They also have the best team ERA in the majors. Not a bad situation at the break.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (55-41; LW: 7) - Roney: The Rays are scorching, and with David Price rolling once more (back-to-back completely games before the All-Star break), they could be a huge factor come September.

6. Texas Rangers (55-41; LW: 5) - Zuckerman: Reportedly one of the frontrunners for Garza. They could certainly use him.

7. Atlanta Braves (54-41; LW: 6) - Roney: Freddie Freeman made the All-Star team just in time to withdraw with an injury, infuriating Dodgers fans and Yasiel Puig lovers everywhere. At least teammate Brian McCann got the replacement call.

8. Detroit Tigers (52-42; LW: 9) - Hughes: The Triple Crown race between Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis could be one of the more fun baseball storylines we've seen in years if they keep it up.

9. Cincinnati Reds (53-42; LW: 8) - Hughes: Cincy lost five of their last eight heading into the All-Star break. They now play the Pirates before a long west coast trip.

10. Baltimore Orioles (53-43; LW: 10) - Roney: Crush Davis probably doesn't have a shot at Bonds' record, but if he maintains his current pace, he could surpass Maris' 61 home runs and become just the third player to reach 60 outside of the Steroid Era.

11. New York Yankees (51-44; LW: 11) - Roney: Word is that the Biogenesis suspensions may not be handed down until next season. That'll help them on the field, but a cloud will hover over A-Rod for the rest of the year.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-45; LW: 12) - Zuckerman: Corbin is their only starter with an ERA under 4.00. Yet they're in first place in NL West?

13. Cleveland Indians (51-44; LW: 13) - Hughes: They won four straight heading into the break and are hanging in the wild card race. Playing 13 of their next 16 games against losing teams shouldn't hurt.

14. Washington Nationals (48-47; LW: 14) - Roney: Bryce Harper put on a show at the Home Run Derby -- can't help but wonder if his performance would have been different had he been hitting off someone with better control. Still, nice to be able to share the moment with his father.

15. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-47; LW: 15) - Zuckerman: Puig-mania didn't make it to the All-Star Game, but it will be out in full force this weekend in D.C.

16. Philadelphia Phillies (48-48; LW: 16) - Roney: They're convinced they should be buyers at the deadline, but I think failing to sell off Michael Young and Chase Utley could come back to haunt them -- their value likely won't ever be higher than it is now.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (45-49; LW: 18) - Roney: Jose Reyes played great in his return just before the break; if they're going to make any noise in the crowded AL East, he'll need to sustain that for the rest of the season.

18. Colorado Rockies (46-50; LW: 19) - Zuckerman: Fowler could be on trading block. That would be a nice pickup for a lot of teams.

19. Los Angeles Angels (44-49; LW: 20) - Zuckerman: Pujols and Hamilton are arguably their 4th and 5th best hitters right now. Bizarre World.

20. Kansas City Royals (43-49; LW: 17) - Hughes: Kansas City's pitching staff has turned into a disaster with a 5.38 team ERA in the month of July.

21. Seattle Mariners (43-52; LW: 21) - Zuckerman: Ibanez, Morales, Saunders all on trading block. Morse, though, probably isn't because he's still injured.

22. San Francisco Giants (43-51; LW: 24) - Zuckerman: Lincicum's no-hitter was great, but otherwise things are getting ugly in San Fran, where the World Series champs are falling apart.

23. New York Mets (41-50; LW: 22) - Roney: Is this team loaded with young stud starters, or what? Not only did Harvey start for the NL, but both starting pitchers in the Futures Game (Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero) belong to the Mets organization.

24. Chicago Cubs (40-49; LW: 23) - Hughes: Where to trade Matt Garza is the biggest thing on Chicago's mind at the moment.

25. San Diego Padres (42-54; LW: 25) - Zuckerman: Went into the break in a complete tailspin, having lost 16 of their last 19.

26. Minnesota Twins (39-53; LW: 26) - Hughes: Former Nats prospect Alex Meyer was shut down a few weeks ago with a shoulder injury, whether he pitches again this year is in question.

27. Milwaukee Brewers (38-56; LW: 27) - Hughes: Tom Gorzelanny has been so good this year for Milwaukee they brought him back to life as a starter. Since he's pitched 12 innings without allowing a run.

28. Chicago White Sox (37-55; LW: 28) - Hughes: Chicago's season has been an absolute mess. Will they trade Chris Sale?

29. Miami Marlins (35-58; LW: 29) - Roney: The only thing you can be certain of when watching a Marlins game: Anyone wearing a Miami jersey who isn't currently playing in their last season (Polanco?) will one day retire elsewhere.

30. Houston Astros (33-61; LW: 30) - Zuckerman: Poor Castro: Houston's lone All-Star, then he doesn't even get to play in the game.

110 comments:

Water23 said...

So I was thinking, one of the few good things that has happened in the first half is that the Phils have kept somewhat close and now cannot decided where to be sellers. If in the early part of the second half, they can just stay close then the Nats will reap rewards for years to come.
They are old, injury prone, and over-priced. They have burned through their minor league talent to retain a perennial powerhouse but now must tear it down. Anything that delays this is good for the Nats. Keeping Utley for example and not making the playoffs means the do not get anything in return for a solid player. Let's hope they stick around while the Nats creep ever so slowly closer to the Barves on a weekly basis.

Tcostant said...

Interesting the Nats and the Dodgers almost the same record and went into the AS break red out, while the Nats lost their last two series.

Yet the Nats are one spot ahead of them.

I guess will settle that this weekend, I hope you are right, but I have my doubts.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

"The worst thing contending teams can do is mortgage the future and then also fall short in the present."

You can frame that saying up JD!

Getting a Marco Scutaro type is all the Nats need meaning one fill-in for Tracy and that won't cost much.

Save the rest for the off-season as this team needs a 4th outfielder who the new Manager will figure a way to get to play 120 games which based on this teams injury history should be easy. Werth needs to get a 1st baseman's glove and get working there. I'm ready for RZim to also get work on 1st base as his time is near.

hiramhover said...

Agree, Tcostant.

The Dodgers won 7 of their last 10, including a 3 game sweep of the Dbacks in AZ. How that leaves them 1 game behind the Nats (5-5) and 3 behind AZ (6-4) is a mystery to me.

This is a very tough series coming up. If the Nats drop much further in the standings, I think it's very unlikely they become buyers of any significance at the trade deadline.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

So, hypothetically, if you're the Phillies, thinking you have a shot so you keep Utley and Young, and they do in fact pull off a big finish, contend for the division, and get a wild card. Game on.

But in the process, they get little or nothing long-term for either player.

Worth it?

JD said...


Ghost,

Here is how I think a conversation between Rizzo and Theo Epstein goes:

Rizzo : 'Theo, we would like to discuss Garza and Scheirholtz. Do you think we can do something?'

Epstein: 'What do you have in mind Mike?'

Rizzo :'How about Rosenblum,Marrero and Moore and you pick up 50% of Garza's remaining salary, nice package, right?'

Epstein :'Mike, I don't need your garbage. I got enough of that already.How about Goodwin and 2 of Jordan,Hill,Purke or Michael Taylor and you pick up all of Garza's salary? we'll also throw in Soriano'.

Rizzo : 'How about if we go back to my original package and I also throw in Espinosa?'

Epstein : hangs up.

JD said...


Sofa,

If you are guaranteed to make the playoffs then of course it's worth it. That's the prize. no?

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

No guarantees in baseball. I'm saying, after the fact, would you consider that to have been worth it? Sounds like you would.

JD said...


Absolutely. The future guarantees nothing. The issue is that standing pat will also get the Phills nowhere. They aren't good enough to do anything this year. If they were smart they'd sell high. I don't think Amaro has the cajones to do that. (I'm taking Lee,Rollins,Utley and if anyone is dumb enough to take him: Howard).

NatsLady said...

The Phils should sell but I don't think they will. That'll make it hard on us this season, but better in the long run.

hiramhover said...

I still wouldn't be surprised to see the Phils become sellers, their modest success of late and Amaro's public denials notwithstanding.

NatsLady said...

JD, not to mention Papelbon. They should have unloaded him long ago to the TIgers, but it's probably too late now.

JD said...


They'll get some buyers in on Papelbon. They'll have to eat lots of salary though. Come to think of it this is also true in regards to the others with the possible exception of Cliff Lee.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Agreed NatsLady. I listed the 4 players the Phillies should move. They will try to do it after their next losing streak as their fanbase will become unglued.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, good laugher on Espi!

Rabbit34 said...

Regarding Harper with his father pitching..no doubt, he would have done better with a professional pitcher but having his father pitch is priceless! I would also love to see the Pirates in the playoffs. This is going to be a great "2nd Half".

baseballswami said...

So we hover around .500, and we rank in the middle. Sounds about right. I have been in Philly country for a few days and the sports talk stations have one, and only one topic- buy or sell. Fans seem ready for a shakeup, willing to give up Young and Papelbon- their new guys, but not ever, until eternity, Utley. They worship him. Lee, mixed opinions.And if you think people get testy in here, you should hear the folks that call in to those shows! Yikes!

Tcostant said...

Read #7:

http://mlb.si.com/2013/07/18/second-half-bold-redictions/?sct=hp_t11_a6&eref=sihp

Tcostant said...

opps - #6!

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Natslady-Why should the Phillies sell??? They have the same record as the Nationals. They have no reason to sell quality players for dirt cheap. I wish the Nationals would sell LaRoche, Zimmerman and Storen...but they won't!!! At least LaRoche and Storen.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Also, re Phillies: consider POV; they do not view themselves the same way we in here do. Jimmy Rollins wasn't kidding--they really do think the Eastern Division belongs to them by rights, and last year was an unfortunate series of mishaps, to be corrected. They assume they will win, until proven otherwise. The Braves probably think the same thing, that the Phillies got lucky for six years in a row, and the Nats have talent, but not enough know-how on the field.

You play this game with fear and arrogance.

mick said...

I think Nats begin tomorrow with new life.However, I think these 10 consecutive home games verse Dodgers, Pirates and Mets is the best sample size for Rizzo in determining what direction, if any will be taken for the remainder of the season. If Nats have a winning home stand, clearly they are in it until the end of the season. If they do not have a winning home stand it s clear post season and staying in the race is over.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

They have 67 games left. They are not going to win them all. All the wins count the same, but the wins against the Braves are also Braves losses; other than that, until they are eliminated, one loss now = one loss a month from now. They play the games for a reason--because nobody knows who's going to win, ahead of time. That's the whole point.

mick said...

my hope is the worse case scenario is we are the wild card playing Pirates...wild card is not a bad thing

mick said...

I also think 88 wins get you in post season this year and I can see Nats winning 40 of 67

Don said...

I think that it is worth it for the Phils to not sell Utley (to whom they can make a qualifying offer in the winter and a guy the fans want to see in Philly) and Young (who is not likely to bring a great return anyway). The Phils have 3 high quality SP and a nice rotation, pen is good, they can score, they play good D, bench is pretty good. Brown has arrived and Ruf is a comer. They don't look to be world beaters to me but I'd think that they could have a decent WC shot and they can find a glove-first, or second tier kind of CF without giving up much.

hiramhover said...

Erik

The Phils would become sellers because they have a lot of bloated, expensive contracts for aging players--which the Nats don't have a lot of, thankfully--and have little chance to reach the playoffs this year--even less chance than the Nats (and our chances ain't great).

mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baseballswami said...

I feel terrible for Davis. He quit twitter today because of the constant accusations. Just a shame.

mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...

swami... I did not know that, so there are some people thinking he could be on something?

baseballswami said...

And all I have heard up here in Pa is that Rollins is a lazy player. Talent but no drive. They trash him by the hour.

baseballswami said...

Mick- during the last week there has been a groundswell of accusations towards Davis that he has to be juicing because of his home run totals. He has also made statements that he considers the record 61, not Bonds record. Quite outspoken and he was slammed for that also. Quite ironic that he has written off Bonds for juicing and now he is being suspected. Seems a shame he is being suspected considering the way he feels.

mick said...

thanks for the update on Davis... and I agree the record is at 61....to hell with Bonds, McGuire and Sosa...what Maris did back then is amazing and was authentic verse teams who had more than one ace pitcher in pithcer friendly ball parks!

David Proctor said...

Fangraphs has a piece on AJ Cole up. Here's what they had to say:

A.J. Cole, like Jackson, has had a fairly slow ascent through the minors but is still just 21–he’s actually over four months younger than Jackson. Over 25 starts in High-A the past two seasons, Cole’s had some exceedingly poor luck, with an unsightly 5.43 ERA (7.82 in eight starts last year, 4.43 in 17 this year) hiding a solid 3.90 FIP (4.99 last season, 3.45 this year). Like Jackson, he’s always been able to strike hitters out (341 in 315 career innings; 99 in 91 this year); unlike Jackson, he pairs those strikeouts with few walks (76 career; 22 this year; K/BB ratio of 4.5 for both 2013 and career).

I saw Cole breeze through an abbreviated three-inning start last week (he was pulled early in advance of the Futures Game, where he earned the save). He showed an electric fastball that came in at 94-97 mph; unlike Jackson, Cole also has a two-seamer with bigtime life.

Cole shows the ability to generate swings and misses with the fastball on occasion (three in 26 pitches in the above video), and also induce weak opposite-field contact on late offerings (even Grant Buckner‘s double there is really just a slap down the first-base line). He also has some truly phenomenal life on the ball at times. His ten-pitch Futures Game appearance was tracked by Pitch F/X, and according to Brooks Baseball, he threw two two-seam fastballs in the game which boasted about three inches of horizontal run and three inches of sink relative to the average heater…and came in upward of 96 mph. Cole’s four-seamer also has around three more inches of sink than an average fastball, though it doesn’t have much horizontal action.

It may then surprise you to learn that Cole has struggled to generate groundballs in his career. He’s at just 34.5% this year, and has been between 34% and 35% in three of his last four stops. It does seem like he has the capability to improve in this area given the sink his fastball boasts.

Cole’s secondary pitches are an upper-70s curveball and a low-80s changeup. The change, which features the same sort of big run and sink as his two-seamer, is probably ahead of the slurvy breaker right now, but both are already playable and have at least average potential.

Mechanically, there’s not too much to worry about, here: Cole’s motion has a bit of length in the back, but it’s generally quite smooth and easy, as the ball really jumps out of his hand with a lot of life. It’s easy to see how he’s been able to avoid walks so well, and he may end up with plus command by the time he reaches the majors.

Cole will need to improve his offspeed pitches if he’s going to retain big strikeout ability at the upper levels, and he needs to get groundballs a bit more frequently–he’s allowed 18 homers in 129 1/3 High-A innings in the last two seasons. Still, he’s just 21 with projection remaining, and he already has a legitimate mid-90s moving fastball that he can throw for quality strikes to all four quadrants of the zone; that’s not a bad place to be at this point in his development.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Whoa, thunder here made me check the radar--popup storm over DC, bigger one over Baltimore and the bay.

Section 222 said...

Detwiler is a little trickier because of the health concerns, but if he's healthy I definitely expect slightly better numbers then that, i.e. perfectly adequate #4 starter numbers. If we get that kind of stuff from the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation and the offense continues its upward trend ...

bowdenball -- I count three "ifs" in this prediction. (1) If Det is healthy; (2) if we get adequate 4&5 numbers from Det and Haren; and (3) if the bats continue to trend upward. Well sure, if all those things happen, I'd predict a wildcard spot too. But that's the very question we were discussing. I think we agree that if No. 3 doesn't happen we're toast no matter how well Haren and Det pitch. I'll be very happy if 1 and 2 happen and will gladly pay up on my virtual bet if the two of them combined make 16 or more starts in the second half.

But I'm skeptical.



Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

David, interesting report on Cole. Sounds like he hasn't figured out how to keep the ball down around the knees.

JD said...


David,

The last paragraph says it all. If Cole can improve his off speed pitches and increase his ground ball rate he can be a top of the rotation starter otherwise he'll likely become a late inning reliever.He's still aways away.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, yes, Cole could end up the same way as Alex Meyer as I theorized. Fastball velo isn't enough although plenty of people tried to convince themselves that Henry Rodriguez was a MLB quality pitcher and some wanted him to be a starter. I really wonder what some people actually see.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami said...
Mick- during the last week there has been a groundswell of accusations towards Davis that he has to be juicing because of his home run totals. He has also made statements that he considers the record 61, not Bonds record. Quite outspoken and he was slammed for that also. Quite ironic that he has written off Bonds for juicing and now he is being suspected. Seems a shame he is being suspected considering the way he feels.


And De-Nile is a river in Egypt. Chris Davis hasn't tested positive for a thing other than Tylenol and his protein supplements. Innocent until proven guilty although its curious.

Do you realize he swings a 36 inch bat? That's a bat of lengendary size. It gives him a sweetspot on the barrel 2 inches more than mere mortals.

JD said...


Ghost,

Meyer is still a very good prospect.Clearly velo is not enough. Gerit Cole and J. Taillon of the Pirates throw high 90's and they get hit. You need 2 out of 3 (Speed, movement, command). You also need at least 2 other above average pitches to be successful in the majors as a starter.

A reliever can get by with a fast ball and one other off speed pitch provided he can throw both of these for strikes, that was Henry's downfall he couldn't throw anything for strikes.

sjm308 said...

I would be ecstatic to even be battling for a wild card spot with two weeks to go. I see people talking about going 40 - 27 in our last 67 games when we have not come close to those kind of numbers in the 90+ games so far. I am not giving up, not going to stop rooting and do understand it can happen. I just don't see it. Like I said in the last post, I just want us to start catching the damn ball, throw it to the person you need to throw it to, run the bases with intelligence and let everything else just play out. We probably can hit a little better and I think we will pitch well. Just play smart baseball and catch and throw and I will be happy.

Go Nats!!

JD said...


Keith Law just published his top 50 prospect list and as expected there is only one Nat on that list: Luc Giolito who came in at no. 43 which is very impressive considering he has just returned from TJ. It seems that his fast ball is all the way back including movement, velo and command.

Law views Giolito as a future no. 1 starter.

sjm308 said...

I will also say that of all the teams that would end up in that one game wild-card, I think the Washington Nationals would be one of the most feared. And, we would still have two studs set up for the next two games as well. At least that is my hope.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Do you realize he swings a 36 inch bat?

Frank Howard called, he says he has a piece of spinach in his teeth, can he borrow that?

; )

sjm308 said...

Nice to read about our future pitchers. I like what Jordan has done up here already, Karns was not a disappointment. I think next years spring training will be very interesting in seeing who will end up in the #4 & 5 spots. Not sure Detwiler has a lock on a spot with what he has shown this year. I will happily eat crow on this if he leads us to a playoff spot this year.

David Proctor said...

Lucas Giolito is a guy who needs to be off limits no matter what. His ceiling is just too high to trade.

David Proctor said...

Karns was a disappointment to me. I think some are overrating him.

Jordan has been very good though, imo.

Section 222 said...

sjm, that's a very good point. If any team can make it through the WC game and not be screwed for the NLDS, it's the Nats. But if we're in a dog fight for that last WC spot, we won't necessarily be able to line up our rotation because we'll be using the big three right up until the end of the season. In fact, I haven't looked at the calendar but I wonder if we might have to use all five starters in the playoffs if we get in via the WC and have been in a real race at the end.

JD said...


David,

Agree on Giolito. I think he and Cole still have potential to be top of the rotation guys. I think Karns, Jordan, Hill are all a cut below talent wise and I am really interested to see how the lefties turn out: Purke,Solis and Ray.

It's really a nice collection of arms and I think there's a couple more good once in the lower levels (NatsJack will know).

David Proctor said...

Will Jordan still be on an innings limit next year? Isn't his limit this year like 130? That'd make 160-170 his limit next year if they go by the whole "30% increase per year" thing.

NatsLady said...

Analysis of Ruiz' season to date, which hasn't been good.

Ruiz

http://crashburnalley.com/2013/07/18/carlos-ruiz-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-season/

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, if you don't have good command, then velo and movement don't matter. See HenRod.

baseballswami said...

I don't see Karns as a disappointment, just not ready yet. We should not have even needed to see him up here yet. Now Jordan? To go from single A at the beginning of the season to holding his own at all in the bigs is amazing. He has so much going for him already! Nice thinking about Karns, Jordan, Giolito, Robbie Ray standing in the wings. I don't see how we can possibly keep our top three pitchers, Desi, Harper, Rendon. Buckets of money there. Dodger type money.

David Proctor said...

Rendon and Harper are both under contract until 2019. Werth will be off the books by then which frees up money. Gio is also under contract until 2019 (team options in 2017 and 2018). So those contracts don't really matter right now. By the time they come up, plenty of people will be gone,we may finally have a TV deal (wishful thinking right?), etc.

The pressing concerns right now are JZimm and Desi. And then in a few years, we have a decision to make on Stras as well. We've got 2 years (after this one) of Desi and JZimm. 3 of Stras.

baseballswami said...

I think Desi and JZ are at the top of the list. Can you even imagine the epic rock and a hard spot negotiation between JZ and Rizzo? Who is the agent? CAA? Talk about two strong willed people!

David Proctor said...

Yeah, I'm not confident on getting anything done with JZimm before he reaches free agency. However, Desi and Rizzo have both said that they want to get something done. I would be shocked if Desmond doesn't have a new deal by this time next year.

baseballswami said...

Desi was an Expo and seems like the kind of guy who could stay with one team. I can see JZ testing the market and going somewhere where he is the ace or somewhere away from a large city- if he got the chance to go to the Brewers and get paid he would probably go, given that he loves home so much.

David Proctor said...

I doubt the Brewers would pay him

NatsJack in Florida said...

The heck with the Nats. SHARKNADO ROCKS!

NatsLady said...

Karns is pitching tonight if you miss him. Carlos Rivero just hit a double.

NatsLady said...

What is Sharknado? I see it on Twitter.

NatsJack in Florida said...

SyFy channel. Unbelievevably camp and hilarious!

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK ...Sharks are under their car! Can't explain totally.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And they are on the 405 when a wave puts sharks among the stalled cars. I LOVE THIS!

Faraz Shaikh said...

NatsJack, I have been meaning to watch that one. Tuned in now. Thanks.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am surprised there isn't a shark waiting for them in the car.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Back to the 'power rankings' for a moment, a few thoughts on the NL teams ranked ahead of or just below the Nats.

The Cardinals clearly deserve their #1 ranking, as they're leading the NL in scoring and are much better than league average in both ERA and runs-allowed per game. And, as much as we like to disparage the Braves as a 'flawed' team, they have the second best ERA and runs-allowed averages in the NL, as well as the third best runs-scored average (second best if you factor out the Rockies, given their park advantage). The Reds are also better than league average in runs-allowed, ERA, and runs-scored.

What I find interesting, however, is that none of the other NL teams are doing better than league average on both sides of the equation. The Pirates and Dodgers are similar to the Nats, in that they're both doing better than league average in ERA and runs-allowed (the Pirates at #1), but in the bottom four in scoring. The Diamondbacks are the opposite, scoring above league average, but doing worse than league average (albeit not by much) in both runs-allowed and ERA. The Phillies are actually worse than league average in both scoring and run prevention.

Being better than league average in both scoring and preventing runs is a good -- but not perfect -- predictor of getting into the playoffs. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pirates' W-L record start to slip. As for the Nats -- as everyone on this site knows -- they can't expect to win if they don't score more runs. A lot more.

David Proctor said...

This is what we've come to without baseball. Watching Sharks fly. LOL.

baseballswami said...

Sounds a bit like Snakes on a Plane.

NatsJack in Florida said...

This is soooo much funnier!

Faraz Shaikh said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130717&content_id=53977286&c_id=was

really, colon trade as no 4?

swami, this is better.

NatsJack in Florida said...

If you're not watching SHARKNADO, I feel sorry for you. This is HILARIOUS!!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Uh Oh....they just got a tornado warning.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm setting thre ATS on my generator to manual because NOTHING is stopping me from watching SHARKNADO!

NatsLady said...

I am at work. Can't imagine what my students would think! Anyway, I wish the Nats played as well as the Senators.... I mean, the Harrisburg Senators...

Hopefully Karns will get out of this jam. Goodwin made a nice catch.

NatsLady said...

FS, that is a terrible article. What a mish-mash! Good trades? Bad trades? Expos mixed in with the Nats????

NatsJack in Florida said...

A SHARK IS ON TOP OF THE CAR!!!!

nats guy said...

Giolito cannot be traded until he finishes this season.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Really? These people were smart enough to put a potential classic summer movie on the only night no baseball is televised (a tribute to baseball) and I'm the only Nats fan watching SHARKNADO?

Call me disappointed.

jeffwx said...

Please contact your doctor if you experience a sharknado lasting more than 4 hours.

Without baseball, I watch life below zero. This is our future when the next ice age arrives.

NatsJack in Florida said...

"WE'RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER CHOPPER"!

How oeiginal.

NatsJack in Florida said...

The man has a chainsaw and a shotgun. Must be the neighborhood watch guy.

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK......the bad part about this is when we have a REAL Sharknado, everyone is going to treat it like a joke.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Now I know what the chainsaw was for.

God bless you if you haven't seen Sharknado.

You will.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Let the Nats second half begin. One game at a time.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

And I thought we had it bad when the piranhas were genetically modified to be flying fish ...

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Then there was the time up in Canada when ...

"The big ones ET the li'l ones!!"
Ida Lupino

SCNatsFan said...

I just started sharknado no spoilers please

NatsJack in Florida said...

C'mon...that was Bert Gordan doing H.G. Wells.

Nobody has their name on "Sharknado".

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

A fair point, Jack!

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

OK, what about this? ...

You remember "Alien vs. Predator"? What about "Sharknado vs. Kingdom of the Spiders"?

NatsLady said...

Final on Karns: 8.0IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 7K.

baseballswami said...

What, someone is talking baseball? It feels like ages since we had a game.

Section 222 said...

MASN is playing Game 4 on Nationals Classics. It's the top of the 8th, Clip pitching. Boy was Jim Joyce giving him the outside corner...make that the outside pitch. Nice frames by Zuki.

baseballswami said...

Out of town and sad to be missing it...

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Watching game 4 for the first time since. Boy, was Joyce having a craptastic night behind the plate.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Even upstairs, standing room underneath the press box, we were laughing at the strike calls on Matt Holliday.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Still, I'm impressed with how much the full house stays in this game all the way through. Fans did a good job that night.

Faraz Shaikh said...

yeah everyone seems to be on their feet.

Faraz Shaikh said...

but I think I would rather watch Seattle Superstorm on SyFy.

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

HBO2 has "The Curious Case of Curt Flood"

Faraz Shaikh said...

time to switch to The At Bat!

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

I don't think ordinary mortals understand the level of concentration Lynn and Werth exhibited in this AB.

Faraz Shaikh said...

and there you have it! what an at bat! time to go to bed!

Section 222 said...

Very fun to see Jason's postgame interview. Wow. What a scene at the Park. Most exciting moment of a sporting event that I've ever experienced. Thank you Nats!

Let's do it again.

Rabbit34 said...

Swami said.....
"Quite ironic that he has written off Bonds for juicing and now he is being suspected. Seems a shame he is being suspected considering the way he feels."

Swami, the way baseball players lie, Davis's statements could be to divert attention from him using. I hope not. But I don't trust anything said by players, coaches, or owners.

natsfan1a said...

Sharknado? Umm, Bull Durham was on MLB Network. Sigh. Sometimes I don't even know why I bother... Game 4, though, I can totally understand. :-)

Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa said...

Given some long-term trends in Hollywood, I'm expecting a re-make of Bull Durham any day now.

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