We’re two games into the 2019 MLB regular season, but the real daily grind begins Thursday. Before we start breaking down games everyday for the next seven months, let’s power rank these teams entering the real regular season.
1. New York Yankees - The New York Yankees are overhyped every year and they seem to come up short more times than not. However, on paper, the Yankees are the best team in baseball and should be the favorites to win the World Series. If that actually happens is a completely different conversation.
2. Houston Astros - Jose Altuve and others appear to be healthy and the addition of Michael Brantley to an already deadly lineup was one of the best unnoticed moves of the offseason. One of the more fun teams to watch in baseball is back. Uh-oh.
3. Boston Red Sox - The Boston Red Sox return pretty much the exact team that won 108 games and a World Series without making any splashy moves. While not sexy, it’s hard to argue with the Red Sox double dipping with what was a dominant force a few months ago.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers - The Los Angeles Dodgers are a little banged up entering the regular season, but this club is super talented from top to bottom and should be the favorites to win the National League. Unfortunately, Dodgers’ fans want a ring and are tired of failed expectations.
5. Washington Nationals - Want to hear something funny? The Washington Nationals making the playoffs without Bryce Harper after coming up short with him a season ago.
6. Philadelphia Phillies - The Philadelphia Phillies had an impressive, flashy offseason and are clearly going for it. I am still a tad bit concerned, as we’ve seen teams that win the offseason crash and burn. It’s more to winning than just adding as many big names as possible and expecting it to click.
7. Atlanta Braves - I have a future bet already locked and loaded on the Atlanta Braves to win the World Series. These young Braves did a lot of growing up last year and an explosive lineup got even better by adding Josh Donaldson. The pitching staff obviously needs improvement, but the batting order can go toe-to-toe with any in baseball.
8. Cleveland Indians - The Cleveland Indians are the only team already penciled in for the playoffs, as the AL Central is a complete joke. In fact, make that permanent marker.
9. St. Louis Cardinals - The St. Louis Cardinals just missed the playoffs last year, and they added Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller to the squad during the offseason, two of the best players at their positions. The playoff drought may finally be coming to an end.
10. Chicago Cubs - The Chicago Cubs return a very talented team with majority of the key players in the prime of their career. It’s also a contract year for manager Joe Maddon. Things will be very interesting in Chicago.
11. Milwaukee Brewers - I question if the Milwaukee Brewers can duplicate last years success, as you can’t rely so heavily on a bullpen to save the day time and time again. Of course, nobody expected last year to take place, so who knows…
12. Colorado Rockies - The Rockies got the Nolan Arenado contract out of the way and added Daniel Murphy to an already solid lineup. The Rockies are a potential early riser if they start clicking.
13. Tampa Bay Rays - The Tampa Bay Rays are a potential sleeping giant who could throw a monkey wrench into the AL East. The Rays are really good, but I feel like nobody wants to admit it.
14. Oakland Athletics - The Oakland Athletics showed in Japan that the pitching staff is still a major issue. Two games or not, the A’s need to find somebody who can save this staff if they’re going to build on last years success.
15. Cincinnati Reds - The Cincinnati Reds will be fun this season and are my pick to be this years A’s; a team nobody is paying attention to and sneaks into the playoffs. I gave out the A’s at +700 last year to make the playoffs. The Reds quietly improved across the board and will be in the thick of the playoff race all season.
16. Minnesota Twins - The Minnesota Twins have a chance to be the most improved team in baseball, as they drastically improved their batting order and have a reliable closer now. The Twins are a team to keep an eye on early, as this is a playoff sleeper.
17. New York Mets - The New York Mets have one of the best rotations in baseball, arguably the best closer and have a respectable lineup. Can the Mets stay healthy is the question we’ve been asking the last five years.
18. Los Angeles Angels - The Los Angeles Angels have the best player in the world locked up for the next decade and a better starting rotation with the additions of Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. It’s now time for others to step up and making it more difficult to pitch around Mike Trout.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pittsburgh Pirates showed flashes of being a good team last year and Starling Marte is tapping into a new level as he gets older. Getting Chris Archer to return to Chris Archer would go a long way toward this teams success.
20. San Diego Padres - The San Diego Padres are clearly tired of being the punching bag in the NL West, so they added Manny Machado and hope a talented farm system can help put them in contention. Unfortunately, the Padres are still built for the future and likely won’t scare anybody this season.
21. San Francisco Giants - The San Francisco Giants are old and lack depth. Still, this is Bruce Bochy’s last season, so you can expect guys to bring it every night and hope that’s enough to make this season a special one.
22. Seattle Mariners - Don’t let two wins in Japan fool you. The Seattle Mariners are still a subpar team at best and are going to lick a lot of wounds in the loaded AL West. Just wait until they get back in the States.
23. Toronto Blue Jays - Nobody will even know the Toronto Blue Jays exist with the Raptors chasing a possible NBA Finals appearance. Well, that is until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on the field.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks - The Arizona Diamondbacks are clearly in rebuild mode and it won’t be surprising to see Zack Greinke in trade talks eventually. Despite back-to-back winning seasons, the Diamondbacks have decided to take a step back.
25. Chicago White Sox - The Chicago White Sox have a lot of exciting young pieces and are doing things the right way, but not landing a marquee free agent hurt the excitement for this year. Give the White Sox a year or two.
26. Detroit Tigers - The Detroit Tigers added an exciting player in Josh Harrison who gives it his all every night, and a rapidly declining Miguel Cabrera is chasing 500 homers. Other than that, there’s not a lot here for the Tigers.
27. Texas Rangers - Remember when the Texas Rangers had that season where they won like 187 one-run games and were the luckiest team in sports? That feels like forever ago, as nothing has gone right for the Rangers sense.
28. Miami Marlins - The Miami Marlins had an impressive winning streak in spring training and Lewis Brinson seems to be putting it together. The Marlins still have a long ways to go, but the rebuilding process isn’t looking as bad as it did 12 months ago.
29. Kansas City Royals - The Kansas City Royals have one of the fastest teams in baseball and will be fun to watch on the base paths. Unfortunately, the Royals don’t have consistent hitting or pitching for that to make much of a difference in the win column.
30. Baltimore Orioles - The Baltimore Orioles had their worst season in franchise history last year with 115 losses. This season may be even worse. The good news is there’s going to be games where the O’s are +300 and you can make a nice profit if you pick your spots correctly.