MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Opening Day Edition

Opening Day is finally here and with it MLB Power Rankings that actually have some meaning to them.

  1. Houston Astros: They are the reigning World Series Champions and they added Gerrit Cole to the mix. They remain at the top of the power rankings.
  2. Washington Nationals: Washington is one the best teams in all of baseball. The batting order is centered around Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer is the ace of the pitching staff.
  3. Chicago Cubs: Offensive firepower is exactly what the Cubs have. The only area of concern is starting pitching. Losing Jake Arrieta and replacing him with Yu Darvish may work or be a catastrophe.
  4. New York Yankees: Speaking of elite offenses, the Yankees appear to have one of the best in all of baseball. Starting pitching is a giant question mark with New York. An early injury to Greg Bird also appears to now be a yearly tradition. Others will pick up Bird’s production but his presence will be surely missed.
  5. Boston Red Sox: Like their American League East rivals, Boston is dealing with some injury concerns of their own. Chris Sale avoided a major injury but others have not been so lucky. Steven Wright, Eduaro Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Dustin Pedroia are all starting the season on the disabled list.
  6. Cleveland Indians: Michael Brantley is starting the season on the DL as is Danny Salazar. The outfield appears to be a concern early in the season. The starting rotation appears to be solid and should carry the team all season long.
  7. Los Angeles Dodgers: A late injury in Spring Training to Justin Turner is a major concern. Turner is a key player for Los Angeles and it will be hard to replace his production. Starting pitching will continue to be excellent as the group is anchored by Clayton Kershaw.
  8. Colorado Rockies: Offensive production is Colorado’s calling card. Coors Field is always one of the most hitter friendly parks in MLB and will continue to be so in 2018. As a result the Rockies bolstered their bullpen in an attempt to win more games this season.
  9. St. Louis Cardinals: St. Louis always puts together a solid team but they never seem to get talked about as much as some of their division rivals. Marcell Ozuna may finally put an end to that as the Cardinals are a legitimate threat for the postseason.
  10. Milwaukee Brewers: Offensively the Brewers have a lineup that can contend in the National League Central. Their pitching however is a different story. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies are currently the top two arms in the starting rotation that may need help as the season progresses.
  11. Minnesota Twins: Minnesota is going for it. Signing Lance Lynn and trading for Jake Odorizzi shows that the Twins believe they can contend this season. Their batting order has some power but some may wonder if the veterans on the roster drop off a bit production wise.
  12. Arizona Diamondbacks: Yes Arizona was good before acquiring J.D. Martinez last season. Sending Brandon Drury packing was curious decision. The lineup still features Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb and pitching rotation of Zack Greinke and Taijuan Walker.
  13. New York Mets: The key to the Mets season is pitching. New manager Mickey Callaway helped the Indians be one of the best groups in MLB over the past few seasons and he could do that in New York. The batting order does not move the needle all that much outside of Yoenis Cespedes.
  14. Philadelphia Phillies: Philadelphia certainly feels they are ready to contend for a Wild Card spot or at least win more games this season. Signing Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana provides the Phillies with two experienced veterans to help mentor the youth on the roster.
  15. Los Angeles Angels: This may be a bit low for the Angels but there is a reason why. Shohei Otani has absolutely struggled in Spring Training. Otani is currently slotted to start this weekend and it may get ugly. Mike Trout is the heart of the lineup but some of the veterans they have acquired may not be enough to contend with the Astros
  16. Seattle Mariners: The Mariners batting order is more than capable of putting up a ton of runs on any given day. The starting pitching is more than capable of allowing a ton of runs on any given day. See the problem?
  17. Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado is still in Baltimore and is partnered with Jonathan Schoop who is an All-Star caliber second basemen. Bringing in Alex Cobb late in Spring Training will certainly help the Orioles pitching staff. Unfortunately Camden Yards is one of MLB’s most hitter friendly parks so his impact at home may be minimal.
  18. San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner suffered a broken pinkie finger in Spring Training and just like that the Giants pitching rotation does not appear strong. Add in the fact that Jeff Samardzija is also hurt and it may be a rough early start to the season in San Francisco.
  19. Oakland Athletics: Oakland is a potential dark horse candidate to contend for a Wild Card spot. An overall young roster could provide excitement early on in the season.
  20. Texas Rangers: There are a few key players on the roster, (Adrian Beltre, Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara), but the Rangers lineup does not appear all that intimidating. The fact Texas signed Tim Lincecum who has been out of baseball should tell you all you need to know in regards to how they feel about their pitching.
  21. Kansas City Royals: Bringing back Mike Moustakas and avoiding losing two out of three key free agents keeps the Royals interesting this season. Unfortunately Kansas City is a shell of the team the won the World Series just three years ago.
  22. Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto has Aaron Sanchez and Josh Donaldson as their best players. Troy Tulowitzki looks like a player who was made by Coors Field in Colorado. The Blue Jays may make some noise at some point this season but it does not appear all that likely.
  23. San Diego Padres: Eric Hosmer is now in San Diego and is the veteran to guide the Padres youngsters. San Diego may make some noise in the NL West this season but contending appears to be out of the question.
  24. Atlanta Braves: Youth dominates the Braves lineup. Names such as Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson are the future for Atlanta. A few veterans mixed in (Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers) should provide some leadership to a young team that is on the rise but not quite ready to contend.
  25. Chicago White Sox: Outside of a few veterans, the White Sox are a very young team. Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia have been around for a while and can help players like Yoan Moncada and Matt Davidson grow into productive MLB players.
  26. Tampa Bay Rays: Chris Archer is still in Tampa. The only question is will he remain there all season? The Rays have essentially bottomed out and have decided to go with a four-man pitching rotation. The pitching should be decent outisde of Archer but the field (excluding Kevin Kiermaier) is full of guys past their prime.
  27. Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Bell is a young promising player. So are Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. The Pirates rotation is not all that impressive. Ivan Nova is the number one starter and while he performed admirably last season he is not exactly number one starter material.
  28. Cincinnati Reds: Cincinnati may end up higher up on this list on April 9. The lineup is not as bad as many assume it is. Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, Jose Peraza and Eugenio Suarez are all more than capable when up to bat. The question here is pitching. Outside of Homer Bailey the group is young and rather inexperienced. The Reds success or failure depends on the performances of the young arms in the rotation.
  29. Miami Marlins: It is a fact that the Marlins are not a good baseball team. The offense will be depend on the production of Starlin Castro, Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto. It is worth noting that Lewis Brinson could be breakout candidate in center field for Miami this season. Like many near the bottom of the MLB Power Rankings pitching is an issue for Miami. A group that consists of Jose Urena, Odrisamer Despaigne and Jacob Turner to start the season.
  30. Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera is still wearing the Old English “D”. Cabrera, while aging, may be the best bat still in their lineup. Nicholas Castellanos showed some signs of finally living up to his potential last season but a continuation of that is necessary to declare him an effective player. Jeimer Candelario, James McCann and Dixon Machado are some of the younger players to watch in the Tigers lineup. Outside of Michael Fulmer the pitching staff is nothing to write home about. Jordan Zimmermann has been a disaster since putting on a Tigers uniform and Francisco Liriano “rounds out” the rotation. It could be a long season in Detroit. Some may wonder if they can finally move on from the contract that Cabrera signed back in 2016 which looks worse and worse by the day. If they can do that and move Victor Martinez they may put their rebuild on the fast track.
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