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MLB Power Rankings: Spring Training 2021

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

March 11, 2021

Before the MLB season starts, we want to take a chance to rank each team and look at their likelihood to be competitive:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers would undoubtedly hold this top spot before they signed reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. Now, they have so many quality starting pitchers, that at least one will be forced to pitch out of the pen. That’s a great problem to have. The Dodgers are real contenders to repeat as champions.

2. New York Yankees.

The Yankees addressed their starting rotation this offseason by bringing in J. Tallion and C. Kluber. While each come with their own injury concerns, if the Yankees can stay healthy, they can finish the season at the top.

3. San Diego Padres.

Southern California has a pair of contenders this season in the Dodgers and the Padres. Having just signed Fernando Tatis, Jr. to a $340 million deal, it is evident that the Padres are serious about competing now. We also like San Diego’s improved pitching rotation with newcomers Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove.

4. New York Mets.

New owner, new money, new shortstop. The Mets are deservedly contenders this season. What does not get spoken about are the upgrades the Mets made to their starting rotation in the offseason with C. Carrasco and T. Walker. If the Mets can get Syndergaard back healthy, this team should compete at the top.

5. Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta was one win away from the World Series last season. The Braves should be neck and neck with the Mets competing for the division crown. It will be interesting to see how they handle slugger Marcell Ozuna, with the universal DH rule finally behind us.

6. Minnesota Twins.

The Twins have re-signed Nelson Cruz and will be bringing back their dominant lineup. They’ve also made a few good pitching signings in J.A. Happ and Alex Colome. This Minnesota team should be considered among the best.

7. Tampa Bay Rays.

The 2020 AL Champions made some big changes to their rotation in the offseason, trading away Blake Snell, losing Charlie Morton in free agency, and bringing in some cheaper veteran pieces. Some believe that the Rays are taking a step back, but finding value in pitching seems to be their norm.

8. Chicago White Sox.

Last season, the White Sox reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The addition of Lance Lynn really solidifies their pitching staff. The lineup looks solid, but lacks any real depth. Nonetheless, the White Sox are real contenders this season.

9. St. Louis Cardinals.

Nelson Arenado comes to town with a bag of cash along with him. St. Louis seemingly won the trade of the offseason. With Arenado and Goldschmidt, the Cardinals have the offensive firepower and a good enough pitching staff to make a run.

10. Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays made big moves in free agency, signing in CF George Springer and Marcus Semien. Young star, Vlad Guerrero, Jr. lost 42 pounds and will move over to first base. This offense seems fun to watch, but Toronto’s post-season hopes will be limited with their current pitching staff.

11. Washington Nationals.

The Nationals signed some big bats this offseason, signing Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber. They still have quality pitching in Sherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin. This Washington team is positioned to win now in what looks to be a loaded NL East.

12. Houston Astros.

Springer is off to Toronto, but this Astros offense is still formidable. However, Verlander seems likely to miss the season with Tommy John. After falling one win short of the World Series in 2020, this Houston team is going to need more pitching if it wants to get back.

13. Milwaukee Brewers.

In 2020, Christian Yellich had a down year and Lorenzo Cain opted out for the season. We expect both to be back and performing well this season. If so, the Brewers are capable of making another run at the post-season.

14. Oakland Athletics.

This was a tough offseason in Oakland having lost Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Khris Davis, Liam Hendriks, Robbie Grossman, and Joakim Soria. Even if the bankroll isn’t there, this A’s team still has enough talent to remain competitive.

15. Chicago Cubs.

Kyle Schwarber is gone. Anthony Rizzo, Khris Bryant, and Javier Baez are all entering the final year of their deals. Even Theo Epstein is on the final year of his deal with the club. We could be seeing major changes in Chicago. If the Cubs want to make another run with this core, they will need to improve their pitching.

16. Cleveland Indians.

The Indians lost some big names in the offseason in Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, and Corey Kluber. Cleveland did acquire Eddie Rosario and Ahmed Rosario. They also still have Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez. It’s hard to see the Indians being better than last season, but they should be relevant.

17. Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox added Kike Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez to what is still a potent lineup. Boston’s issue is their pitching staff, which will be without Chris Sale. Signing Garrett Richards does not seem like enough in this division.

18. Philadelphia Phillies.

Philadelphia starts the season with mostly the same team and an improved bullpen, with signings Archie Bradley and Brandon Kintzler. The Phillies missed the playoffs last season, but should be competitive in the division.

19. Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels improved their pitching staff with signings Jose Quintana and Alex Cobb. Shohei Ohtani is healthy, which improves the lineup too. The most interesting story with this club is whether this will be Pujos’ final year in town.

20. Miami Marlins.

In 2020, young pitching led the Marlins into the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history. The Miami lineup lacks any threatening bats, but with their young talent they should be an interesting team to follow in 2021.

21. San Francisco Giants.

The Giants made an underrated signing by bringing in Tommy La Stella to improve their lineup. Buster Posey will be back after opting out last season. The San Francisco offense should be better and their pitching staff is filled with veterans.

22. Kansas City Royals.

This offseason, the Royals signed Carlos Santana, Michael A. Taylor, Andrew Benintendi, Mike Minor, and Wade Davis. Kansas City should at least be better this season. They still need more pitching before they can be true contenders again.

23. Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds lost their Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, and traded away their closer, Raisel Iglesias, without making any notable additions to replace them. Cincinnati didn’t do anything to improve their offense either. Not much to see here.

24. Seattle Mariners.

There is little optimism surrounding the Mariners 2021 season, but this Seattle farm system is loaded with talent. This seems like a team that will be very fun to watch in 2022.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks have not been the same team since trading away Paul Goldschmidt. Arizona is another team that has loads of talent in the farm system. Time will tell how and when they are ready to succeed.

26. Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers signed Robbie Grossman and hired A.J. Hinch, former Astros Manager. Detroit also has a wealth of young talent at their disposal. The Tigers may be on the rise soon, but not yet.

27. Texas Rangers.

The Rangers are committed to cutting costs and improving their farm system. Pure rebuild time. Texas had the AL’s worst offense last season and are not likely to be moving up that list anytime soon.

28. Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles made a decent run in 2020, before they fell apart at the end of the shortened season. Jose Iglesias was a good signing, but without more pitching it’s hard to see the O’s as a competitive team this year.

29. Colorado Rockies.

In the offseason, the Rockies traded away third baseman Nolan Arenado for a subpar package of prospects and even added cash to sweeten the deal. It’s unclear what they were thinking in Colorado when they made this trade, unless they were signaling the beginning of a rebuild.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates won the fewest games in baseball last season and somehow got worse. After trading away some of their better players for prospects, it will be a long 2021 in Pittsburgh.

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