1. Washington Nationals
-Maybe the acquisition of Stephen Strasburg motivated the Nationals to lose for Bryce? Since the Nationals signed Strasburg on Monday, the Nationals are 1-5, which has helped them maintain the top spot in the Bryce Harper standings. Nationals fans should be salivating at the thought of Strasburg and Harper in Washington for years to come.
Memo to 2009 Nationals: lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose!
2. Kansas City Royals
-The Royals stink. But right now, amazingly, they don't stink ENOUGH. The Royals went 1-5 last week, but did not gain ANY GROUND on the Nationals in the race for Bryce. The Royals have been horrible this season, but if they are going to land Harper, then they have to continue losing and hope that the far more talented Nationals pull together another winning streak or two. If there is a team that needs Harper right now, it's the Royals.
3. Baltimore Orioles, 7 GB
-The dream of Bryce Harper joining forces with Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Adam Jones, and all the Orioles young talent became far less realistic this week. The Orioles went 3-4 last week, which means that they actually lost 1.5 in the standings for Bryce Harper.
However, the Orioles still have 6 games left with the Yankees, 5 games left with the Red Sox, and 8 games left with the Rays so maybe, just maybe, the Orioles aren't out of the Harper sweepstakes just yet.
4. San Diego Padres, 7 GB
-Like the Orioles, the Padres lost 1.5 games in the Harper standings this week. If the Padres want any chance at landing Harper, it's imperative that their pitching come down to the level of their hitting, which is by far the worst in the league. Even though the Padres offense has been anemic, they can still grind out some games if their pitching continues to perform adequately. This team needs a total meltdown if they are going to land Harper.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates, 8 GB
-Last week, the Pirates seemed to be the dark horse in the Bryce Harper derby. The Buccos were only 4 GB of the Nationals and after GM Neal Huntington purged the roster, they seemed to have a decent chance of playing horrific baseball down the stretch and putting themselves into position for the #1 overall pick.
But during this past week, a funny thing happened: the Pirates started winning games! The team went 5-1 this past week, which is great for Pirates fans hoping that their team avoids losing 100 games this season, but terrible for the franchise as a whole. The Pirates are now slipping out of the Harper derby and will need to lose at a torrid pace down the stretch if they are to make a serious run at Harper.
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