Baseball is back, and just like any season, there are good teams, there are bad teams… then there’s the Baltimore Orioles.
30) Baltimore Orioles
The best thing going for the Orioles in 2019 is that they’re not expected to contend at all, and can shake up their roster without question at will. Besides that, there’s not much to look for in Baltimore.
29) Miami Marlins
Well, they changed their logo and uniforms! The Marlins have a lot of interesting prospects coming up, but none worth building around. Baby steps, Miami. Baby steps.
28) Detroit Tigers
The rebuild in Detroit is (kind of) in full swing. Note: it’s really hard to rebuild without a good farm system. The Tigers are stuck somewhere between the dwindling career of Miguel Cabrera and the up-and-coming Christin Stewart.
27) Texas Rangers
The roster has a variety of players that range from being past their prime (Hunter Pence, Elvis Andrus), to ones that never reached their potential (Delino DeShields, Ronald Guzman). The pitching staff is a list of question marks, but then there’s the ever-exciting Joey Gallo. 75 wins at best.
26) Kansas City Royals
It’s sometimes hard to remember this franchise still exists. Four short years after a World Series win, Kansas City has faded into obscurity. With only two players left from that championship squad (Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez), the Royals are officially entering complete rebuild mode.
25) Toronto Blue Jays
Has Vlad Jr. been called up yet? Until that happens, the Jays are only worth watching once or twice a week – whenever Marcus Stroman is on the mound.
24) Chicago White Sox
While the offseason didn’t go as planned in Chicago, the rebuild is still looking like one of the better ones in the league. 2019 won’t be the year of the White Sox, but it’s a key point in development so that the 2020’s can be a success.
23) Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are a rag-tag team that isn’t young enough to rebuild and not good enough to contend. Yasiel Puig in right field will go a long way this year in keeping the team entertaining.
22) San Diego Padres
Just because they landed Machado doesn’t mean they’re contenders. Just because they landed Machado doesn’t mean they’re contenders. Just because they landed Machado doesn’t mean they’re contenders. Just because they landed Machado doesn’t mean they’re contenders. Just because they landed Machado doesn’t mean they’re contenders.
21) Seattle Mariners
For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001, the Mariners have came awfully close multiple times. Instead of sticking to the formula that keeps them somewhere between 80 and 86 wins, the front office decided to shake things up in hopes of a better future. With players like Dee Gordon, Felix Hernandez, and Kyle Seager still present, the Mariners will still be interesting.
20) San Francisco Giants
Pretty much the same exact team as the Mariners. Some good veterans still sticking around the clubhouse, but the team will probably use them as trade bait to start their rebuild this year.
19) Pittsburgh Pirates
Isn’t the NL Central just fun? Pittsburgh is the definition of a mediocre baseball team with some exciting players. While they’re far from playoff contention, they’ll probably be the reason someone else misses the playoffs. Watch for them to give the Cubs, Cards, and Brewers tough series in September.
18) Arizona Diamondbacks
The ultimate offseason losers. Arizona went from being a dangerous team in their division to one that is on the brink of a rebuild. Look for Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray to get traded if the D-Backs start losing.
17) Minnesota Twins
After an injury-plagued 2018 (coming off of a great 2017), the Twins come into Opening Day as a healthy, young, exciting team with a lot of room to grow. Don’t be surprised if Minnesota sneaks into a wild card spot in the AL.
16) Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are annually underwhelming, but still have Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and enough veterans to rip off a 90-win season if everything pans out. Knowing the what the Angels are at this point, they’ll most likely stick in contention until early September.
15) New York Mets
The Mets can be placed anywhere from eight to seventeen on this list, because they’re still such a mystery. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are the best one-two punch in the game when they’re healthy, but that’s when they’re healthy. The lineup is a mixed bag of players that can slash anywhere from .290/30/90 to .250/20/70, so it’s a case of seeing what actually happens.
14) Oakland Athletics
Every now and again, the Athletics enter the season in the bottom half of the power rankings and finish as a playoff team. It happened last year, and it will probably happen again this year. There’s not a lot of special on the A’s roster, but the the team just wins games they’re supposed to win.
Brad Pitt Billy Beane, man.
13) Tampa Bay Rays
[Read 14, Oakland Athletics]
The Rays win games they’re supposed to, have a great rotation lead by Blake Snell, and have their first stud in the field in a few years in Tommy Pham – a true wild card sleeper.
12) Colorado Rockies
One of the best lineups in the NL playing in the hitters’ ballpark. The Rockies’ success always comes down to how good their pitching staff is – as of now, it looks like they’ll be in the playoff race come September.
11) Washington Nationals
If the Angels are underachievers, the Nationals are… even bigger underachievers (there’s no worse phrase for that, we checked). Talent is not hard to come by in Washington, but consistency is. They’re the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin era Clippers of the MLB.
10) St. Louis Cardinals
The overachievers. St. Louis wasted no time this offseason, taking every chance they could to upgrade. With Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller on board, the Cards finally have that ‘extra push’ they need to get back to October.
9) Cleveland Indians
Everyone seems to forget that the Indians went to the World Series two short years ago. What they don’t have with talent, they make up for with grit. Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber head up a rotation that runs five deep, and manager Terry Francona has a lineup that is dangerous through and through. Don’t sleep on Cleveland.
8) Philadelphia Phillies
Another Philadelphia process that is finally coming into fruition. The Phillies fast-forwarded their rebuilding process this offseason with the acquisitions of Andrew McCutchen, J.T. Realmuto, and Jean Segura… Oh yeah, and Bryce Harper. One look at the lineup shows a dangerous group one-to-nine. The pitching staff all the way to the back of the bullpen is solid, and if Jake Arrieta returns to form, this is the most scary team in the NL.
7) Atlanta Braves
While the Phillies made all the headlines this offseason with their moves, the Braves kept a team that surprised many in 2018 in tact. Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies are two of the most exciting young players in baseball, but the lineup also features Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson among other reliable players. If the lineup stays healthy, and Julio Teheran continues his trajectory into ace status, the Braves will put the NL on notice.
6) Milwaukee Brewers
There is no question that the Brew-crew has a lineup with young, powerful hitters that are all getting better. Christian Yelich was the best player in baseball last year, and the lineup around him can just hit. The real question with Milwaukee is whether their pitching staff can replicate a breakout 2018 season, or if they’ll slip to Rockies territory (a team that can hit but will get outscored).
5) Chicago Cubs
[See, Washington Nationals]
So much talent with so many question marks. Despite injuries and inconsistencies, the Cubs are still loaded with enough talent to make them a top five team. Javier Baez leads one of the (if not the) best infields in baseball, and the pitching staff is no different with Lester, Darvish, and Hamels. The bullpen is the biggest concern on the team, as they proved to be masters at blowing leads in 2018. So… we’ll see.
4) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are the contender in the National League, year in, year out – no exception. The problem L.A. often faces is having too many versatile players. The five outfielders, three spots problem has quickly become a constant in Dodger Stadium for the past couple years. The infield is getting Corey Seager back, the loaded pitching rotation will see the return of top prospect Julio Urias, and the bullpen got attended to in the offseason. It’s up to Dave Roberts to manage the wealth of talent that has sometimes hindered consistency in L.A. recently, but come October, there’s no better team in the NL.
3) Houston Astros
Overshadowed by the rivalry in the northeast of the AL, the Astros are still a premier team in the MLB. José Altuve and Carlos Correa make for the best middle infield in all of baseball, and Alex Bregman is an MVP frontrunner at third base. The outfield added Michael Brantley, who quietly slashed .309/17/76 in Cleveland last year; and the pitching staff has the same faces as years prior.
2) New York Yankees
Home runs galore. The Yankees’ lineup is made up of pure power hitters. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Brett Gardner are the best outfield in baseball, and when combined with Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, they live up to the Bronx Bombers monicker. The starting staff is good, but bounces between injured and inconsistent. All Luis Severino and co. needs to do is take a lead into the seventh inning, where they will turn it over to a bullpen that somehow got even better after a great 2018.
1) Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are a legitimate threat to repeat. You know it, I know it – the 2019 title race runs through Boston. Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and the rest of the lineup is lethal. The pitching staff still has Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello, and Alex Cora is already one of the best coaches in baseball after one season. The big question mark is the bullpen, without Craig Kimbrel being signed yet. Finding a reliever near the trade deadline should be Boston’s top priority, but other than that, they’re set.