Man, this is a tough week for Power Rankings. The teams at the top didn't do much, but they didn't do anything that should cause them to lose any spots. The lower teams were pretty impressive, but I'm not sure if they were impressive enough to overtake the teams ahead of them.
One thing is for sure as we continue on in this strange MLB season: you never know who's gonna get hot each week and make a run at a spot in the Power Rankings.
1. New York Yankees (10-6)
The Yankees went just 2-5 this past week, which isn't great. But they're still 10-6 on the season and in first place in the AL East. As a team, they're second in the league with a .789 OPS, and Aaron Judge looks like he's a lock for AL MVP this season.
2. Atlanta Braves (11-6)
The Braves have been improving bit by bit each week. This past week, they went 4-3, getting blowout wins over the Blue Jays and the Phillies. They have one of the best run differentials in baseball at +27, an although they lost Mike Soroka for the season with a torn achilles, the rest of the rotation has stepped up so far.
3. Oakland Athletics (12-4)
The A's are the hottest team in baseball right now, winning nine straight games. They lead the second-place Texas Rangers in the AL West by five games. The offense needs a little bit of work, but their pitching is third in the league with a 2.66 ERA.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (11-5)
The Dodgers stay put this week after going 4-2 in series against the Padres and the Giants. They do trail the Rockies in the NL West, but they have the best run differential in the league at +41. Their pitching and hitting both rank in the top 4 in MLB. They're not gonna drop much further than fourth this season, if at all.
5. Chicago Cubs (10-3)
The Cubs got an extra few days off after their series with the Cardinals was postponed, but they probably didn't need it. They've been playing really well, a lot better than I expected, and they get to keep their spot at No. 5 in this week's rankings.
6. Minnesota Twins (10-6)
The fearsome lineup that we all heard about going into the season seems to have taken a step back. As a team, the Twins rank 16th in the league with a .713 OPS. Still, they're 10-6 and in first place in the AL Central.
7. Colorado Rockies (11-4)
The Rockies move up a spot this week after staying in first place in the NL West. They went 5-2 this week against the Giants and Mariners and currently rank in the top 10 in both ERA and OPS.
8. San Diego Padres (9-7)
The NL West is well-represented again this week, with the Padres moving up a spot from last week's rankings. Although they lost their series against the Dodgers, they took two of three from the Diamondbacks to round out the week. Fernando Tatis, Jr. is on fire, tying Aaron Judge for the league lead in home runs, and hecould end up being the NL MVP if he keeps it up.
9. Cleveland Indians (10-7)
Cleveland is back this week after winning three of four against the Reds and two of three against the White Sox. With a rotation headlined by Shane Bieber, the Indians lead the league with a 2.04 team ERA. Yet somehow they're still in third place in the AL Central.
10. Chicago White Sox (8-8)
This might be a controversial pick, especially since the White Sox are in fourth place in the AL Central and I left out the second-place team (seriously, how are the Tigers in second place?), but I have to go with the Sox again. This team is so full of talent that it's just a matter of time before they move on up in both the rankings and the standings.
Trey's Power Rankings
1. Yankees (10-6)
A rocky week for the Yankees that saw them go 5-5 in their last ten games. Granted, the Yankees had to play a lot of games this week to make up a series with the Phillies which, had a doubleheader and a series with the Rays that had a doubleheader. So the large number of games had to be taking even on a great bullpen. Have to see what happens to the Stanton injury
2. Dodgers (11-5)
Dodgers are looking the like the team we all expected to be the favorites coming into the season. With a plus 41 run differential, the team is starting to flex its muscles over the rest of the league.
3. A's (12-4)
The hottest team in baseball is the Oakland Athletics, winners of nine straight, including a sweep of the Houston Astros. The A’s have looked great so far with a plus 23 run differential. The A’s are creating a significant lead in the division now up to five games in the AL West. The A’s have to be favorite now to win the division.
4. Braves (11-6)
Braves have looked great all year and continued that this week 7-3 in their last ten games. A big plus for the Braves is Ronald Acuna Jr. is starting to get going, including a 3-hr performance in Sunday’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
5. Cubs (10-3)
Cubs have continued their winning ways this week, despite losing their series with the Cardinals this weekend. Winning eight of their last ten, the Cubs now have a four-game lead in baseball’s hardest division.
6. Rockies (11-4)
The Rockies are for real folks, another great week for them that included two series wins for the team that is currently in first place in the NL West. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this up, but I think the Rockies now have a real shot of making the postseason.
7. Twins (10-6)
Twins fall on this week rankings after losing four straight games, including a getting swept by the Royals. Despite that, the Twins are still in first place and will be looking to bounce this week.
8. Rays (8-8)
After a bad start to the season, the Rays have seemed to find their rhythm this week, getting back to .500. The Rays will still have some work to do but still seem to be well on their way to the playoffs this season.
9. Marlins (7-3)
So Im ranking the team that almost ended the baseball season, but they are in first place right now and had a great week, which included a four-game sweep on Orioles. Do I think this will last? Probably not.
10. Padres (9-7)
Matt had the Padres in his top 10 last week and, I welcome them in my ranking this week. Mainly because they have the hottest player in baseball in Fernado Tatis Jr., who has hit over .400 and six homers over this past week, the Padres could surprise some people and sneak into a wild card sport in what appears to be a loaded NL West.
We're now over a week into the 2020 MLB season, and we're starting to see which teams are real contenders and which teams are going to struggle a bit. Of course, with all of the COVID-19 postponements going on around the league, some teams are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to this week's rankings, but that's just how things have shaken out so far.
1. New York Yankees (7-1)
The Yankees are the only one-loss team in Major League Baseball thus far, and they're looking really good. They battled some adversity when their schedule got switched around last week, but they handled it well and have won six straight. Aaron Judge is back to form, homering in his last five games, including two last night.
2. Minnesota Twins (7-2)
The Twins have arguably the best lineup in all of baseball, and it's led them to this hot start. They have a run differential of +22, second in the league to the Dodgers, and I don't see them slowing down any time soon.
3. Atlanta Braves (7-3)
The Braves currently have a five-game win streak and sit in first place in the NL East. Their week started with a rough couple of games against the Rays, but they won the next two games of that series before taking three straight against the Mets.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-3)
The Dodgers fall in this week's rankings, but not so much because of anything they've done wrong. There's just a lot of good teams out there. The Dodgers currently have the best team ERA at 1.84 and are sixth in team OPS. They should find themselves staying in the top four throughout the season.
5. Chicago Cubs (7-2)
The Cubs are a surprising team to me. I didn't expect them to be this good this year, let alone so early in the season. They've won three straight and are currently in first place in the NL Central, 2.5 games ahead of the Brewers.
6. Houston Astros (5-4)
The Astros stay put this week. They're still looking good, but nothing too impressive from them over the past seven days.
7. Oakland A's (5-4)
Like the Astros, the A's aren't making any moves this week. They've won a few games, but weren't impressive enough to move on up in the rankings.
8. Colorado Rockies (6-2)
Another surprising team in this week's rankings, the Rockies are in first place in the NL Central. Their pitching has been outstanding so far this season, but it will be interesting to watch how that changes once they play more games at home at Coors Field.
9. San Diego Padres (6-4)
The Padres gain a spot this week after splitting a couple of series with the Giants and Rockies. The NL West is well-represented in this week's rankings, and is making a case to be the best division in baseball.
10. Chicago White Sox (5-4)
The White Sox were my dark horse team to watch at the beginning of the season, and it's starting to pay off. They've won four straight on their way to overtaking the Indians for second place in the AL Central. Their young core of Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez will carry them far this season.
1. Yankees (7-1)
What a week for the Yankees, their four-game series with the Phillies get postponed, they make two of those games up with the Orioles and end their week with their biggest rival in the Red Sox. What do they do? They get two sweeps, now on a six-game win streak, the hottest team in baseball. The Yankees also have the hottest play in baseball with Aaron Judge, who has hit a home run in the last five games and 6 in total.
2. Dodgers (7-3)
Dodgers seem to have found their rhythm this week again. They currently have won 5 of their last six games, including a sweep of a two-game series with the Houston Astors in maybe the most exciting matchup of the week. The Dodgers got a big boost came on Sunday when Clayton Kershaw made his season debut and looked great pitching 5.2 scoreless innings.
3. Braves (7-3)
The Braves have quietly won five games in a row, including a sweep of the New York Mets. Ronald Acuna Jr. seems to find his rhythm hitting his first home run this past weekend. With all of the craziness going on in the NL East, the Braves looked primed to build a big early lead in the division.
4. Twins (7-2)
The Twins have continued to look like the Class of the NL central, only losing one game this week and sweeping the Cardinals. A definite favorite in the AL Central the Twins, focus will still be on the postseason and trying to make a deeper run into the postseason.
5. Cubs (7-2)
Cubs are winners of three straight, sweeping the Pirates this past weekend. Quickly becoming the Class of the NL with a 2.5 game lead in the Central over the Brewers, the Cubs looking like they are ready to make it back to the postseason.
6. Astros (5-4)
The Astros had an ok week, they did get swept by the Dodgers, but then took two of three from the Angels. The Astros have looked inconsistent this season as some points and just seems they have not found their rhythm yet.
7. A's (5-4)
Another team that we expected look better out of the gate, the A’s got swept by the Rockies then took two of three from Seattle this past week. The A’s offense has not been that good to start posting a negative two-run differential so far this year, so that will need to improve, or this team could quickly fall out of the top 10.
8. Rockies (6-2)
With a 60 game season and an expansion of the postseason, it created an expectation that a new no one was expecting to compete was going to come on the scene and contend. Hello, the Colorado Rockies. I know it is early, but Rockies have looked great so far with their sweep of the A’s this week and taking two of three from the Padres. The Rockies might keep on surprising people as this season goes on.
9. White Sox (5-4)
A team that had big expectations coming in as a team that could win the AL central. The White Sox didn’t get the start they wanted, and it put them in the hole. The team has bounced back to win four straight games and looks to find their place in a comparative AL Central.
10. Nationals (3-4)
The Nats did not play many games this week, since their series with the Marlins got canceled due to COVID-19. I kept them on here because they are defending champs and look to start to find their rhythm before their games got postponed due to the Miami Marlins situation.
The 2020 MLB season is just a few days old, but it's time to update our Power Rankings. The first weekend of games doesn't give us a whole lot to go off of, but it is enough to get a look at how each team is really looking this season.
Each week we'll have a special guest picker give us their top 10 teams as well. This week's guest is Nathan Brennan, producer of ESPN Blacksburg's The Drive.
1. Yankees (2-1)
While a 2-1 record with a -3 run differential may not strike you as worthy of the number one spot in a power ranking, it is still difficult to put any other team in this spot. After a dominant performance by newly acquired Gerrit Cole in a rain delayed opening night, and a couple of moon shots by now healthy Giancarlo Stanton, it seems this team could back up the hype. Winning a series in baseball is never a simple feat, especially one against the reigning World Series champions, and the undisputed best starting rotation in baseball. If the likes of Judge, Stanton and Torres can all continue their hot start from the plate, I see no reason this team will ever leave the top spot.
2. Dodgers (2-2)
I will admit I am SLIGHTLY concerned about dropping the back half of a home series against the lowly Giants. But ultimately this team is still one of the most well rounded teams in baseball, and boasts a run differential of +12 in their first 4 games. The two former MVPs in Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts seem they haven’t quite found their stride yet, and this could possibly play into the second half of the series collapse. A solid outing from Ross Stripling gives me confidence that the starting rotation should hold down the fort until the return of former Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The upcoming series against the Astros will give us a good indication of where this team is truly headed.
3. Astros (2-1)
If it wasn’t for an 8th inning collapse Sunday night against the Mariners, this would be the lone undefeated team in baseball. The potential loss of Justin Verlander for the rest of the season, on top of the departure of Gerrit Cole to AL East foe New York Yankees, could pose problems for the once dominant rotation moving forward. Regardless, the lineup hit for a combined .290 with three homeruns, and 21 RBIs… in THREE games. The lineup has not skipped a beat, and if the starting rotation can continue to be adequate while they wait for Verlander’s return, we could very well see the Astros in the World Series again.
4. Braves (2-1)
I will admit, this simply could just be a knee jerk reaction after the BEATING to the Mets Sunday night, but a 14-1 win against any team in the majors is eye opening. After being shut out in game one to the New York Mets, the Braves responded with a 5-3 win, followed by a 14-1 beating, including 17 hits. While the normal punishers in Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman are all hitting sub .200, it is the likes of Marcell Ozuna and former number one pick Dansby Swanson lighting up the stat sheet. If this lineup continues to run this deep, it could become a serious issue for the already loaded NL East.
5. Rays (2-1)
Now I mean no disrespect to the Blue Jays here, I was actually fairly impressed with them (I will get to that later.) However, when your starting pitchers throw a max of five innings, it really shows you how exceptional this Rays pitching staff is. Cy Young hopefuls Charlie Morton and Blake Snell threw four and three innings respectively, before being pulled to let the Rays bullpen do what they do. This is a very similar strategy from last season, and in just 60 games I feel the Rays will begin to reap the benefits come midseason. A walk off from outfielder Kevin Kiermaier in the rubber match should give this lineup some confidence heading into a crucially important series with the team directly above, the Atlanta Braves.
6. Cubs (2-1)
Similar to the Braves, this very well could be just another knee jerk reaction. After a complete game shutout by Kyle Hendricks in game one, the bullpen completely collapsed in the second game of the series. The bullpen is going to be a major issue for the Cubs moving forward, but the hope is the starters can provide enough quality innings to reach closer Craig Kimbrel. Going into the rubber match against the Brewers, the Cubs put on a manufacturing clinic, winning 9-1. A hot start from Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber should help lead the lineup along until former NL MVP Kris Bryant gets his bat warmed up. This team still has the pieces from that magical 2016 World Series run, and winning a series against teams in the NL Central will be crucial in arguably the most difficult division in baseball.
7. Twins (2-1)
I will say, I was buying the White Sox going into this season. But the way the Twins took care of them this weekend could either be an indication that the White Sox aren’t as good, or the Twins are just that good. I am leaning toward the latter conclusion. Following a 10-3 loss in the second game of the series, it appeared the rubber match would ultimately decide my opinion on the Twins. They won 14-2. Nelson Cruz is absolutely smoking at the plate, with three home runs, and 10 RBIs on this young season. I am a bit concerned with the longevity of the pitching rotation, but if the already convincing lineup from a season ago can continue this type of production, I see no reason to count this small market team out of World Series contention.
8. Athletics (2-1)
Not the flashiest names or the flashiest plays, but the Athletics are for real. After winning 97 games last season, it would appear the A’s have picked up right where they left off. Former MVP frontrunner Matt Chapman may have started off cold, but the rest of the lineup of unfamiliar names manufactured runs the normal way that they do. Starting pitchers Mike Fiers and Sean Manaea struggled in their first outings, but I wouldn’t expect that to continue. Like I said, they aren’t the flashiest, but the A’s just always find ways to win.
9. Nationals (1-2)
In a normal MLB season, these two losses would mean nothing, and the Nationals would still be in my top five. Unfortunately for the Nationals, losing a series in a 60 game season, while playing in the NL East, is brutal. The starting pitching looked iffy, and I am assuming the reasoning would be playing the best lineup in baseball in the Yankees. I won’t sound the alarms yet, but the Nationals seemed to be a bit too home run happy, and didn’t manufacture runs as they did a year ago. Hopefully Juan Soto will return from his COVID break soon, and the starting pitching can get into a groove.
10. Blue Jays (1-2)
There are quite a few other teams that I could pick here, but I decided to go with a bit of a wild card. With the expansion of the playoffs, I legitimately do believe this is a playoff team. While losing on a walk off is rough, it was against one of the better teams in baseball in the Rays. This team is insanely young, but the production from Bo Bichette, Vlad Jr. and Cavan Biggio was impressive against arguably the best overall pitching staffs in baseball. Hyun-Jin Ryu looked just okay in his first start with his new team, but I still expect him to be productive. While young, I was very impressed with this Blue Jays team, and don’t be surprised when you see this team in the playoff hunt in just two short months.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (2-2)
You can't not keep the Dodgers at number one in this week's rankings. They came into the season at number one, and yeah they split the series over the weekend with the Giants, but they looked pretty dang good in the two games they won. Very early on, the Dodgers are sixth in MLB with an .835 team OPS.
2. New York Yankees (2-1)
Gerrit Cole was dominant in his Yankees' debut, Giancarlo Stanton looks as good as ever and the Yankees are not messing around this season. They dropped the second game to the Nationals, but finished weekend out with a 3-2 win to advance to 2-1 on the year.
3. Minnesota Twins (2-1)
Oh my goodness this offense is amazing. Nelson Cruz alone drove in seven runs yesterday while hitting two home runs. We all knew the Twins' bats were going to be there, but if they can get the pitching turned around, they'll find their way into one of those top two spots.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)
The Rays lost their first game of the season to the young and talented Toronto Blue Jays, but they were able to bounce back and win the next two to go 2-1 on the weekend, good enough to stay in the top five.
5. Atlanta Braves (2-1)
The first game of the year was rough for the Braves, but that's to be expected when you face Jacob deGrom. Their offense seemed to find its groove in games 2 and 3, though, with an extra innings comeback on Saturday and a blowout win last night.
6. Houston Astros (2-1)
The Astros got out to a good start to the season, and their offense is looking great as usual, but the uncertainty surrounding Justin Verlander's elbow is what hurts them. If he misses significant time, I don't know that the remainder of their rotation will be enough to carry them.
7. Oakland A's (2-1)
The A's certainly got started in dramatic fashion, with a walk-off grand slam on Opening Day. They wrapped up the weekend with a 6-4 victory over the Angels, getting five runs in on Shohei Ohtani in the first inning.
8. Cleveland Indians (2-1)
Shane Bieber set a club Opening Day strikeout record in his first outing of the season. Carlos Carrasco had a solid outing yesterday for the Tribe as he tossed six innings and struck out 10. Their offense hasn't been bad, but the pitching has shined so far.
9. Chicago Cubs (2-1)
The Cubs are the first new team in my Power Rankings this week, and they've earned it. Taking two out of three from the Brewers, including a 9-1 victory yesterday, and a team .804 OPS puts them at number nine this week.
10. San Diego Padres (2-1)
I didn't think I'd put the Padres in my top 10 this early in the season, but here they are. San Diego won two games against Arizona this weekend, and the Friars are up to a .774 team OPS at this point. They rank fourth with a 2.33 ERA and ninth with 29 strikeouts. The young talent is starting to shine through, and this could be a good year for the Padres.
The Yankees move up to number one after taking 2 of 3 from the defending champs in the Nationals. The biggest thing for the Yankees was Giancarlo Stanton, who appears to be returning to his MVP form with two monster home runs this past weekend. If the Yankees get the Stanton they expected when they traded for him, it makes the Yankees the clear cut favorite. Also, Stanton will win Comeback Player of the year, book it now.
A four-game split with the rival Giants showed their ability to hit with their vast lineup. Pitching could be an issue depending on how many more starts Kershaw will miss. However, with that great lineup, I expect the Dodgers to be one or two all season.
A solid start for the Braves, taking 2 of 3 from the Mets to start the season. This included an offensive explosion in their game on Sunday, winning 14-1.
Yes, I forgot about the Rays last week, but a team took 2 of 3 from the Blue Jays last weekend. With a great pitching staff and bullpen with a great lineup, the Rays could surprise many people this year.
Man, the Twins looked good this weekend against the White Sox. Like most teams on this list, they took 2 of 3 from the White Sox. A dynamic and powerful lineup is looking to make a deeper playoff run.
Cubs seemed to have a pretty solid team in the opening weekend against a great Brewers team, taking 2 of 3 (a theme of the weekend). Kyle Hendricks threw his name into the NL Cy Young award with his complete-game shut-out in game one and looked dominant in that game.
Cardinals looked good once again, taking 2 of 3 from the Pirates, the lineup looked solid, and as always, the pitching staff looked good. The Cards are looking to go back-to-back in the NL Central.
A’s looked real good this weekend, taking 2 of 3 from Angels. With the injury of Justin Verlander, the AL West is wide open at this point, and I believe the A’s move in as the favorites for the division crown in 2020.
Solid start for the Astros, winning 2 of 3 from the Mariners but the team falls on this list due to the significant injury for Justin Verlander that will take him out at least a couple of weeks and maybe the season, and with this few games this year, you miss weeks its like months. So, that knocks the Astros a few spots down on this list.
Nats fall to 10th on this list after losing 2 of 3 to the Yankees. The team did miss Juan Soto due to COVID. The team also has Stephen Strasburg on the sidelines with a nerve issue, so most importantly, the team needs to get healthy, but I still expect a great season out of the Nats.
The 2020 MLB season is right around the corner. We'll get two games on Thursday evening, including a Max Scherzer vs. Gerrit Cole matchup, before we get a full slate of games on Friday. With us being so close to the first pitch of the season, we thought it was time to release our first Power Rankings of the year.
Each week we'll have a special guest picker give us their top 10 teams as wel.. This week's guest is Andrew Alix, co-host of ESPN Blacksburg's The Drive.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Could it finally be the Dodgers time? They lost the World Series to a team that cheated and then lost it again to another team that the evidence suggests may have cheated too. It has to happen eventually, right? With Mookie Betts added to the mix, it very well might be their time.
2. New York Yankees
Murderer’s row has returned to New York. If the heart of their lineup can remain hot and healthy over the course of the shortened season, the Bronx Bombers have their best shot in a decade to secure title number twenty eight. Stealing the reigning Cy Young winner from the team that bounced them in the postseason can’t hurt either.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
Moneyball is back! Led by the front office vision of Virginia Tech alumni Eric Neander (shameless plug for my alma mater), the Rays have one of the most versatile rosters in baseball. The lineup is young and intriguing. The bullpen is strong and deep. Perhaps most importantly for when the postseason rolls around, the rotation, if healthy, has elite potential. They may be off of the casual fans radar because of the market they play in, but I view the Rays as a serious dark-horse contender to make a run for the championship.
4. Washington Nationals
Unfortunately for the DC faithful, the Nationals aren’t able to truly experience their World Series victory tour. The good news: Their rotation still features perhaps one of the greatest 1-2-3 punches in baseball history. The question: Can Soto, Turner and the rest of the returning crew maintain the offensive production even with the loss of MVP candidate Anthony Rendon in free agency? If the young bats can sustain that production, Washington is primed to “stay in the fight” during their title defense.
5. Houston Astros
I wish they got to tour the country all summer to a chorus of boos. Alas, the Astros will get to attempt to return to the World Series in silence. They may have lost Gerrit Cole to a rival contender, but George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, Zack Grienke and Alex Bregman remain from a team that was one game away from their second championship. The proven talent on this team is simply impossible to ignore, scandal be damned. You might not like to admit it, but the Houston Asterisks are still very much contenders.
6. New York Mets
Full disclosure: I am slightly biased here because I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of being a lifelong Mets fan. But the Mets return the two-time reigning NL Cy Young winner and best pitcher in New York (Jacob DeGrom), the NL Rookie of the Year and Home Run leader (Pete Alonso) and a guy that almost won the NL batting title (Jeff McNeil). All from a team that won 15 out of 16 games during a magical run in the second half of the season. Will they disappoint me again? Perhaps. Losing Noah Syndergaard hurts. The success of new additions like Rick Porcello, as well as potential career resurgence of old friend Yoenis Cespedes, will determine if the Mets are well-rounded enough to make a deep run.
7. Atlanta Braves
In a 60 game season, I see the NL East as a wide-open four team race. The Braves are smack dab in the middle of it. I do believe they still have ample offensive firepower to overcome the loss of Josh Donaldson in free agency, but the pitching rotation is going to have to overachieve to hang with the likes of New York and Washington in a shortened season. One interesting storyline to follow is the early season availability of franchise cornerstone Freddie Freeman, who recently experienced a wicked bout with COVID-19 that left him praying for his life with a 104.5 degree fever. In this abbreviated season, every game that he misses is magnified.
8. Oakland A’s
Moneyball is back, again! The A’s lineup features three players that received MVP votes last season. Their rotation, on the other hand, is competent but not outstanding. I think they have an interesting group that will make some noise in the postseason, but I don’t really think that have the quality of pitching that it takes to be considered a true championship contender. Unlike the team assembled in Tampa Bay, I think that budget restrictions may be too much for Oakland to overcome.
9. Los Angeles Angels
The halos feature the best player in baseball (history?), a Swiss Army knife type player the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades and added a guy that many considered to be worthy of last season’s National League MVP honors. This is, on paper, the best supporting group that the Angels have surrounded Mike Trout with since he arrived in Anaheim. It is on Joe Madden and his staff to maximize a mediocre pitching rotation and finally give Trouty the chance to shine in the postseason.
10. Chicago Cubs
The young core of the 2016 World Champions remains in tact in Chicago. This club certainly still has the talent to be a division winner — potentially even a World Series contender. But the late 2020 collapse that saw the Cubs finish with just 84 wins begs the question; Does the young group that broke the curse of the billy goat have one last run in them before being dismantled by free agency when their rookie contacts expire? They turn to World Series hero David Ross as manager to see if this Chicago team can have their own “Last Dance” of a sort.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers won 106 games last year, and added Mookie Betts in the offseason. They lost Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda to free agency and trades, but their rotation is still solid with Walker Buehler developing into a great pitcher and Clayton Kershaw still one of the best in the league. With their young prospects now ready to play a full season, this team should be ready to win their eighth-straight division title.
2. New York Yankees
Yeah, it's boring, but you have to go with Dodgers-Yankees at 1 and 2. The Yankees brought in the best pitcher in the league in Gerrit Cole. Their lineup is as scary as ever, and if Stanton and Judge can stay healthy all season long, they're sure to repeat as division champs, and maybe win a whole lot more.
3. Houston Astros
Yes the Astros lost Gerrit Cole in free agency, but they still have Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. Fans are never going to let them forget about the sign-stealing scandal, but there was no evidence of sign-stealing during 2019, when the Astros won a league-best 107 games. Look for them to have a similar season this year.
4. Minnesota Twins
The Twins set the MLB record for most home runs by a team in a single season last year, and then they went out and got Josh Donaldson in free agency. They also bolstered their rotation this season with the addition of Kenta Maeda, so Minnesota is a dangerous team.
5. Tampa Bay Rays
If you don't pick the Yankees to win the AL East, you've gotta go with the Rays. They've put together quite the team over the past two seasons, and with their pitching trio of Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow, they're among the league's best rotations.
6. Atlanta Braves
Ronald Acuña, Jr. won't get the chance to go 50-50 this year, but there's a good possibility he could go 20-20. With all the young talent the Braves have, plus Freddie Freeman still anchoring down first base and Marcell Ozuna now in the lineup, Atlanta should get their third-straight division title.
7. Oakland A's
The A's have suffered from being in the same division as the Astros, but they've been one of the best teams in the league recently. Not much has changed over the offseason for them, so they should be able to contend again.
8. Washington Nationals
They might've lost Anthony Rendon over the offseason, but with Scherzer and Strasburg still at the top of the rotation and Juan Soto holding down the lineup, the Nats have a good shot at making a run again this season.
9. Cleveland Indians
This could be Cleveland's last season with Francisco Lindor at shortstop, so the Indians better make it a good one. They've still got the core players needed to do some damage, and they should be able to contend with the Twins in the Central.
10. Cincinnati Reds
Perhaps no team is better suited to make a run in a short season than the Reds. They have added so much talent in the offseason and are loaded with bats. They could surprise a lot of people in the NL Central this season.
The best team in the NL over the last four seasons, the Dodgers added a top 5 player in baseball in Mookie Betts. A top-five rotation and lineup make the Dodgers the favorite to win it all this season.
The Yankees are the clear cut AL favorites with the dynamic lineup and depth they have in their lineup and bullpen, which is the best in baseball. The only thing the team was missing over the last couple of seasons was a front end starting pitcher, filling that hole they put in the best pitcher in baseball in Gerrit Cole. The expectations are high for the Bronx Bombers this season.
The World Series Champs deserve as much credit as possible, however, after losing Anthony Rendon to the Angels, this past offseason knocks them a few notches off the list. Yet, the team still has a great young core and maybe the best pitching staff in baseball.
The defending AL Champs had the most interesting offseason in recent memory with the sign-stealing scandal coming out. However, despite losing their Manager in AJ Hinch, the team fields a top tier line-up and rotation. So much talent that they are bound to make the playoffs. However, figure there will be a struggle out of the gate for a team still adjusting to a new culture.
One of the most talented baseball teams with two young studs in Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Ozzie Albies. The team did lose Josh Donaldson, who performed well for the team last season. But they did get Marcell Ozuna in the offseason. Braves have the ability to make the World Series.
A team with a great line-up that added Josh Donaldson, a team that is flying under the radar a little but wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the Fall Classic this season. A team built on the long ball looking to repeat in a very deep Central division.
A team that is replacing a manager, has a great lineup and a pitching staff that can be able to put together a great season in 60 games. A team that won the World Series in 2016 is primed to try to make it back to the postseason in a loaded NL Central.
Defending NL Central champs, looking to repeat, a consistent lineup and rotation are going to allow them to contend in the best division in baseball.
A team that breeds consistency and will always be in contention, the A’s have a great lineup with some great players. This will always be a team that might not have the most talent, but is so consistent and will always be a tough team to beat.
The team adds one of the best managers of all time in Joe Maddon and Anthony Rendon, an MVP caliber player. The team gets a fully healthy Shohei Ohtani back as well. Oh, they also have the best player in the world in Mike Trout. A talented team primed for a run back into the postseason.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.