Thursday, March 27, 2014

MLB Power Rankings- 1-10

The start of baseball season is finally upon us. There is certainly no lack of storylines to follow this season; Yasiel Puig's development as a player (and person), Derek Jeter's impending retirement, the expansion of replay among other things. Here are our 2014 pre-season power rankings!

1. Boston Red Sox

The defending champs will surely miss Jacoby Ellsbury's speed but besides that, they are returning nearly their entire championship roster from last season. A healthy season from Clay Buchholz should help bolster the rotation and John Farrell will be faced with an interesting decision as to who will start in center field for the Sox, Grady Sizemore or Jackie Bradley Jr.

2- Dodgers

The Dodgers have as much potential as any team in the MLB but also the most risk. If Matt Kemp remains healthy for even 120 games and Yasiel Puig can produce similar numbers to last season, the Dodgers will be the team to beat in the NL. An injured Kemp, regression from Puig, concerns over Carl Crawford's and Adrian Gonzalez's age and a lack of rotational depth, however, could derail the Dodgers on their quest for a World Series title.

3- Cardinals

The Cardinals have been one of the most successful franchises in the MLB over the past decade and that looks to be the case in 2014. There are no holes in their roster and their experience should carry them far into the playoffs.

4- Tigers

People quickly forget how well the Tigers performed in the ALCS against the Red Sox. With the exception of David Ortiz, the Red Sox lineup was totally dominated by the Tigers rotation and a rebound year from Verlander should help propel Detroit into the playoffs yet again.

5- Nationals

Though there are some concerns in their lineup, the Nationals rotation should be one of the best in the MLB this season. Anchored by young aces Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman, the Nationals will go as far as their rotation takes them.

6- Tampa Bay Rays

Despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the league, the Rays have amassed an impressive amount of young talent, specifically in their rotation. Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Chris Archer are all very talented pitchers who should have success in the stacked AL East and the Rays will make a serious run at the Wild Card spot in the AL.

7- Atlanta Braves

The Braves are a great bounce-back candidate for 2014. BJ Upton can't do any worse than he did last season and Justin Upton and Jason Heyward could finally break out this season. One player to watch is Julio Teheran, who could have a real shot at contending for a Cy Young this season.

8- Texas Rangers

The Rangers added slugger Prince Fielder to their already powerful lineup this offseason, though there are concerns about their rotation. The Rangers success hinges upon Yu Darvish's health, which, at the moment, is looking questionable at best.

9- LA Angels

After a very disappointing 2013 season, the Angels are poised to have a nice season in 2014. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton should both rebound and when they do, the Angels will have a lineup capable of carrying them into the playoffs. Their rotation has some question marks but there is plenty of time to address those issues.

10- Oakland A's

Much like the Rays, the A's are a low budget team that consistently puts a talented team on the field due to a brilliant front office. The top of the A's rotation is especially promising this year with Sonny Gray taking the mound on opening day for Oakland and the teams positional depth should help them be contenders in the AL West.

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