As the beginning of Spring Training in MLB draws near, predictions are beginning to emerge about who will lead the league. The MLB Power Rankings are providing a good indication of what lies ahead as the season gets started – most likely in April – and a number of teams have a lot of work to do. Based on last year’s performances, several have hopefully taken full advantage of the offseason.
Pirates Need Serious Help
The Pittsburgh Pirates finished last season with a 19-41 record, putting them in last place in the league and 30th in the rankings. They no longer have Josh Bell or Joe Musgrove, and will have to find ways to boost any talent that can be provided by Ke’Bryan Hayes and Mitch Keller.
The Colorado Rockies decided to get rid of Nolan Arenado, who made his way to the St. Louis Cardinals. Whether or not that was a mistake remains to be seen, but the Rockies can expect to get the season started as the worst team in the National League West, as well as the 29th in the Power Rankings.
In the American League East, the Baltimore Orioles have fallen into a slump. They sit at 28th in the rankings and, while they shifted around players in the offseason, still have a lot of work to do.
Tigers Still Not Impressing
At 27 in the Power Rankings, the Detroit Tigers continue to disappoint their fans. However, with pitching prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal on board, they might have a chance at moving up a couple of spots after the season gets going.
Elvis Andrus was handed his walking papers and will no longer represent the Texas Rangers. Instead, he’ll be suiting up for the Oakland Athletics, and the move puts the Rangers in a bad spot, despite still having Joey Gallo for now. The Rangers are 26th in the Power Rankings.
At 25, the Seattle Mariners have a chance at regaining ground in the rankings, but not for a couple of years. James Paxton will have to tighten things up on the mound for that to happen, but the Mariners also need to get outfield prospects Jarred Kelanic and Taylor Trammell into the swing of things.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are still trying to figure out who will be available when the season gets underway, and is hoping catcher and outfielder Daulton Varsho and right-hander Zac Gallen will quickly develop. Until that happens, the team is stagnant and ranks 24.
Marlins Fine-Tune Their Playbook
The Miami Marlins ranked toward the bottom of the list ahead of last year’s season, but they showed that the initial rankings didn’t matter much. They made it all the way to the playoffs and have spent the break figuring out what to change. Baseball fans can expect to see great things from Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez on the mound.
Jumping ahead to the top of the rankings, the Chicago White Sox are in fifth currently. The team has quickly been gaining ground in the list and is developing a new class of players. Former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez are set to work with Jose Abreu, last year’s American League MVP, to give the team a boost.
The New York Yankees, for now, have captured fourth place in the Power Rankings. Provided the team can stay healthier than it was last year, it won’t take long for the Yankees to set the pace in the American League and move up from where they finished last year. With DJ LeMahieu sticking around and Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon coming in, the Yankees have some serious talent for the season.
Braves Could Control The NL
Ronald Acuña, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies. These are the names that make the Atlanta Braves the third-place team in the Power Rankings. With new talent coming in ahead of the upcoming season, Atlanta is poised to control the National League.
The San Diego Padres were a team to watch last year and are set to do it again this year. They surprised everyone last season as they made it into the playoffs, but can now count on Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove to give them some extra juice. Combine that talent with the force of Fernando Tatis Jr and Manny Machado, and a new era of baseball has arrived.
It’s a given that the LA Dodgers would occupy the top spot since they won the pennant last year. The team already had an impressive roster, but has now added Trevor Bauer, the National League Cy Young Award winner, and this could be the year the Dodgers score their second consecutive World Series Title.