MLB Power Rankings: Hope springs eternal as camps open

MLB columnist
Yahoo Sports

Spring training is a time when we learn, among other things, who can hit a 60-mph fastball, who can catch a two-hopper while standing on the mound and who best wears a farmer’s tan. Also, in some cases, who decided the best way to look leaner was to request a bigger uniform. Anyway, here we go again, starting with a rundown of each team’s leading cause for optimism.

The rankings (records and previous rankings from last season):

Chicago
Chicago

1. Chicago Cubs (97-65; Previous: 4) – It’s an odd century.


St. Louis
St. Louis

2. St. Louis Cardinals (100-62; Previous: 1) – C’mon, man, it’s the Cubs.


New York
New York

3. New York Mets (90-72; Previous: 6) – Got Yo back. Also, a little Asdrubal down their fronts.


Washington
Washington

4. Washington Nationals (83-79; Previous: 15) – Still pulling 19 percent in preseason primaries.


Boston
Boston

5. Boston Red Sox (78-84; Previous: 16) – Golf cart at bottom of pond being held down by last year’s team ERA.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

6. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70; Previous: 7) – For the first offseason in a while, they do not appear to have traded away an immediate All Star and batting champion. So, that.


Houston
Houston

7. Houston Astros (86-76; Previous: 10) – Now everybody will see them coming. Could be all the orange.


San Francisco
San Francisco

8. San Francisco Giants (84-78; Previous: 12) – Even years almost always follow odd ones.


Kansas City
Kansas City

9. Kansas City Royals (95-67; Previous: 5) – PECOTA hates them again.


Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

10. Pittsburgh Pirates (98-64; Previous: 2) – They haven’t carried a middle infielder off the field in, like, months.


Toronto
Toronto

11. Toronto Blue Jays (93-69; Previous: 3) – Won’t have David Price around hogging up all those innings.


Arizona
Arizona

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (79-83; Previous: 18) – D-backs are so all-in they even named their manager Chip.


Texas
Texas

13. Texas Rangers (88-74; Previous: 8) – Got Yu back.


New York
New York

14. New York Yankees (87-75; Previous: 9) – Have plenty of time to clean up for Bryce Harper’s arrival.


Chicago
Chicago

15. Chicago White Sox (76-86; Previous: 22) – Addition of Todd Frazier means everyone gets a rapper nickname.


Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay

16. Tampa Bay Rays (80-82; Previous: 19) – Well, The Trop is still standing, so the Rays will be fine.


Cleveland
Cleveland

17. Cleveland Indians (81-80; Previous: 14) – Carlos Santana insists it’s gonna be a hot one.


Detroit
Detroit

18. Detroit Tigers (74-87; Previous: 23) – Daniel Norris tuned up, tires rotated, brakes checked, new deodorizer, ready for trip to spring training. Also, van ready.



Baltimore
Baltimore

19. Baltimore Orioles (81-81; Previous: 17) – Chris Davis also agreed to defer middle age.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

20. Los Angeles Angels (85-77; Previous: 11) – It’s all about the luxury tax. And, yes, a No. 5 hitter is a luxury.


Seattle
Seattle

21. Seattle Mariners (76-86; Previous: 21) – They need bounce-back years from only a guy or two. Maybe three. OK, four. Five. Let’s go with six. Can happen.


Minnesota
Minnesota

22. Minnesota Twins (83-79; Previous: 13) – Well, Donald Trump keeps bringing up “Huuuuughes.”


Miami
Miami

23. Miami Marlins (71-91; Previous: 24) – One more trade with the Dodgers and they’re set.


Oakland
Oakland

24. Oakland Athletics (68-94; Previous: 27) – Banking on Brett Lawrie not becoming best player in American League.


San Diego
San Diego

25. San Diego Padres (74-88; Previous: 20) – More brown. Everything’s better with more brown.


Cincinnati
Cincinnati

26. Cincinnati Reds (64-98; Previous: 28) – One day all of these young men will grow up and reach their potentials. Or not.


Milwaukee
Milwaukee

27. Milwaukee Brewers (68-94; Previous: 25) – Looking like a tough year in Milwaukee, but the Cubs’ window is probably open for only another decade or so.


Colorado
Colorado

28. Colorado Rockies (68-94; Previous: 26) – Well, they’re probably gonna score some runs. But you already knew that.


Atlanta
Atlanta

29. Atlanta Braves (67-95; Previous: 29) – Coppy gonna Coppy.


Philadelphia
Philadelphia

30. Philadelphia Phillies (63-99; Previous: 30) – One year closer to 2020.



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