30. Baltimore Orioles
Honestly, there is not too much to say here about the Orioles. They finished the 2019 campaign with a dreadful .333 win percentage and I wouldn’t expect things to change heading into 2020. Outside of Trey Mancini this team doesn’t have much going for them and it will be a few years before Baltimore will even be able to attempt to legitimately compete for the AL East again.
29. Detroit Tigers
Without a doubt the Detroit Tigers were the worst team in baseball in 2019, finishing the season with a .292 win percentage. Things are not looking any better either in 2020 as the Tigers are going to struggle mightily this season. This is in large part due to the lack of pitching they possess. It will be another tough year for Detroit sports’ fans, but hey, at least they have some exciting players to watch still. Niko Goodrum and Jonathan Schoop are due for big years, and in case you forgot (I am sure many people have), Miguel Cabrerra still plays in Detroit. He might be well past his prime, but we need to enjoy what little time left Cabrerra has on the diamond.
28. Kansas City Royals
Coming in at number 28 is another AL Central team in the Kansas City Royals. Personally, I think the Royals are going to fly past expectations this season, but for now I just cannot justify putting them any higher than 28. Adalberto Mondesi, Whit Merrifield, and Jorge Soler will bring plenty of excitement to Kauffman Stadium, but a lack of pitching will remain the crux of this club in 2020.
27. Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins are coming off another disappointing season in 2019. The Marlins are hoping to avoid finishing last in the NL East for the third straight season, but unfortunately another last place finish seems inevitable. Miami has some promising young talent in Brian Anderson, Jordan Yamamoto, and Jorge Alfaro, but the talent discrepancy between Miami and the rest of the NL East will be just too big of a bridge to gap. Not too mention, team owner Derek Jeter will sell off his best players for next to nothing as soon as given the chance.
26. Seattle Mariners
Probably the most least interesting team in the MLB is the Seattle Mariners. They don’t have any true stars and to make matters worse they play out west. In what is a now stacked AL West division, it will be shocking if Seattle finishes any better than fourth.
25. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers will begin the 2020 season in a brand new stadium, Sadly, the first team to grace the new Globe Life Field will not be very special. There is still a decent amount of talent on the roster, but it likely won't be enough to get them over the .500 mark at season’s end.
24. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants team we all once knew that would win every other World Series is nothing more than a distant memory now. Madison Bumgarner signed with the Diamondbacks during free agency, and franchise catcher Buster Posey is a shell of his former MVP self. That being said, there are still some solid pieces on this team, just not enough to compete for a playoff spot.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are coming off a last place finish in the NL Central in 2019. The one bright spot the Pirates had in 2019 was the emergence of first baseman Josh Bell, who is looking to carry over his All-Star caliber play into 2020. With a rotation that is led by Chris Archer there is not much else on this club to write home about. Unless things change dramatically, the Pirates are looking towards another last place finish in the central.
22. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are probably a little too low at 22 and you could make a case for having them much higher in the initial power rankings. There is still a ton of talent there, Willson Contreras is one of the best catchers in the league and Kris Bryant is still a generational third baseman. Where my biggest concern is, is with the manager. The Cubs fired Joe Maddon after a mediocre 2019 season, and replaced him with David Ross, someone who has never managed a game before. Keep in mind that Ross won a world series as a player with a lot of these guys he’s about to manage. My worry is that he will be too worried being everyone’s buddy, rather than their manager.
21. San Diego Padres
The Padres might have finished last in the NL West in 2019, but I seriously doubt they will continue that trend into this season. In fact, the Padres are a team I think will be competing for a wildcard spot at season’s end. They have one of the most compelling, exciting youngsters in the game in Fernando Tatis Jr, along with players like Machado and Hosmer. If they can get consistency from their pitching the Padres will be a team to look out for.
20. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are a very intriguing team heading into this season. They have a solid top three in the rotation after signing Dallas Keuchel during free agency. In addition, they also got slugger Edwin Encarnacion to DH for them. No matter what, the improvement of this squad will certainly tighten up the race for the AL Central. Chicago is a much more well-rounded team than they were a year ago and I expect big things to come from the south side of Chi-Town.
19. Colorado Rockies
After a rocky off-season (pun intended) with a ton of uncertainty surrounding arguably the best third baseman in the MLB, it is looking like Nolan Arenado will remain with the Rockies. In addition to Arenado, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon help round out the offense. This team has way too much talent to finish 20 games under .500 again. If they can get their pitching figured out, the Rockies should be in Wild Card contention in September.
18. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies were deemed the off-season champions last year, only to finish fourth in the NL East in 2019. The addition of Zack Wheeler helps round out the rotation and they added Didi Gregorious to help on the offensive side. New manager Joe Girardi will have a ton to work with, but playing in a loaded division will likely keep the Phillies from the playoffs….again.
17. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds quietly had one of the best off-seasons of any team this go around. Additions from Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos will prove huge for this team as they look to get over the hurdle and make the playoffs. Combined with a very solid starting rotation and the Reds will be a team to avoid down the stretch. Considering the way 2019 ended, I had to start the Reds at 17, but I would expect them to quickly climb that ladder towards the top.
16. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are just a couple years removed from winning the World Series in 2018. However, the team that graces Fenway Park now is going to struggle to even make the playoffs in 2020. They still have some nice pieces to build around, and they should still win more games than they lose, but I will be shocked if Boston makes a run at the Wild Card.
15. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are officially out of excuses. They have a genuine team now and after an impressive off-season where they added Anthony Rendon and Julio Teheran it’s time to start winning consistently. Looking at this team on paper, they are the best team so far on this list. Led by the best player in the MLB, Mike Trout, I see the Angels competing with the Astros and the A’s for the AL West crown.
14. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are another team I am expecting to make that jump to the next level this season. With a full year of Vladdy, Biggio and Bichette the Jays should be able to make tremendous strides towards a playoff spot. The Blue Jays also added Hyun-Jin Ryu to be that anchor in the rotation which helped fill another position of need. This team is still young and will suffer their fair share of bumps along the way. They might be a year away from truly being able to win in the playoffs but crazier things have happened.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona is coming off a 2019 season in which they narrowly missed out on the playoffs. They were in it down the stretch but ultimately fell four games short. Now, they have made some additions that should help make up the difference in being a contender and an actual playoff team. The biggest signing was free agent Madison Bumgarner who will now be leader of the rotation. In addition they also signed Starling Marte who will patrol center field, which will allow Ketel Marte to play second base full time.
12. New York Mets
I am just going to come out and say it. The Mets are a good team and I think they will be a serious threat to win the NL East this year. They received a blessing in disguise when Carlos Beltran was outed as manager and now with Luis Rojas the Mets are poised to do damage. Unfortunately, their rotation was weakened with the announcement that Syndergaard needed Tommy John surgery, but they still have the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom. You heard it here first, the Mets make the playoffs in 2020.
11. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers made the playoffs in 2019, but I am sure their fans are still sick about the way their season ended. Unfortunately for the BrewCrew, I don’t see things getting much better for them. They still have one of the best players in the outfield with Yelich, but the team as a whole did not do much to better themselves this off-season. With other teams in the division ready to break out, the Brewers look like they are trending in the wrong direction.
10. Cleveland Indians
The Indians missed out on the playoffs in 2019 loosing their Wild Card spot by three games. This team is still really good, but I don’t think the front office knows exactly what they want to do with them. There were rumors about them trying to trade Francisco Lindor that never came to fruition, and with everyone around them seeming to get better and the Indians staying stagnant, it is a possibility a rebuild is in the future.
9. St. Louis Cardinals
Entering the power rankings at nine are the St. Louis Cardinals. They are a solid all around team with a very strong starting rotation led by Jack Flaherty. If I had to choose a favorite to win the NL Central this year I would definitely go with St. Louis again, but there is just something in my gut saying this team will regress in some fashion.
8. Oakland A’s
The Oakland Athletics finished the 2019 regular season just three wins shy of 100. Somehow this was still only good enough for a Wild Card spot. The Moneyball team from out west will need to improve on last season if they want to win the AL West and they have all the tools to do so. Olson, Chapman, and Laureano will take the reigns and battle in what is a much improved division.
7. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays might have trouble bringing a crowd to Tropicana Field, but they have no problem winning ball games. The Rays are one of those teams that you probably don’t know too much about, just know they are really good. They have a stellar rotation led by former Cy Young winner Blake Snell. In addition they have a reliable core and the youngster Austin Meadows to help out the offense. The Rays are an actual threat to take the NL East.
6. Washington Nationals
The defending World Series champs find themselves at six on the initial power rankings. Why it might seem unfair to not include the defending champs in the top five, the loss of Rendon will be an even tougher loss to the Nats than losing Harper was. They were able to add Eric Thames and Starlin Castro but that still won’t be enough to fill the void of the Rendon. The rotation is what helped win the World Series last year, but Max Scherzer will need to stay healthy for the Nats to have a shot at repeating.
5. Houston Astros
What can be said about the Astros that everybody doesn’t already know? Sure they have talent across the board, but in the eyes of all baseball fans the Astros are nothing but cheaters. We can let things play themselves out, but for now I don’t have anything else to say about them.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Braves are coming off back-to-back NL East titles, but very little to show for it when it comes to the playoffs. They replaced the void left from Josh Donaldson by signing Marcell Ozuna. Despite this, Atlanta might be one more bat away from reaching their full potential. They have a good, but not great rotation that was improved with the signing of Cole Hamels. Ironically, the real strength of this team will be their bullpen. Atlanta signed the best free agent reliever on the market during the off-season in Will Smith and got back all of the key pieces they traded for during the deadline in 2019. It will be a tough task but the Braves will be the favorite to win the NL East again.
3. Minnesota Twins
The Twins ran away with the AL Central last year and they will be looking to do the same again in 2020. They have one of the better teams in all of baseball and they improved that roster during free agency by adding third baseman Josh Donaldson. The team known for hitting more home runs than anyone else, added another power bat to help bolster that lineup. Minnesota should have no problem taking the division again.
2. New York Yankees
Since 2015 the Yankees have lost three playoff series to the Astors, including last year’s ALCS. Now the Yankees are hoping they can turn this trend around after they signed the biggest prize in free agency, former Astro, Gerrit Cole. As long as the Yankees can avoid the injury bug, something that not only plagued them in the past, but something they have already gotten a taste of in 2020 by losing Severino to Tommy John surgery, there is no reason why the Yankees won’t repeat as AL East champs and be favorites to win it all.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Lastly, we have the Los Angeles Dodgers. I don’t think many people would disagree with this right now, especially after the acquisition to acquire Mookie Betts. This is the most all around complete team I have seen in some time. They have an elite offense combined with an excellent rotation. The bullpen might not be the greatest, but that offense should make up for it. Not only are the Dodgers the favorite to win the NL West, but they should also be favorites to win the World Series.