MLB power rankings March 29, 2014 Sports With the MLB season kicking off, many people wonder where their favorite team ranks among the 29 other clubs on opening day. There has been a lot of change in the league since the season ended last fall, with players switching teams via trade and free agency, coaches having come and gone and top prospects looking to carve in roles on their respective teams at the major league level. All of these situations are factors that determine whether your team will move up or down in the ranks from its previous position at the end of last season. Here are the top ten teams in the MLB. 1) Los Angeles Dodgers With the exception of 2B Dee Gordon, very few flaws can be found on this team, as the owners keep throwing what seems to be unlimited money into this franchise. Their starting rotation features a front line staff including Cy Young award winners Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke as well as Hyun-Jin Ryu, a strong pitcher coming off a 14-8 rookie season with a 3.00 ERA. The team’s starting lineup is also loaded up with SS Hanley Ramirez, 1b Adrian Gonzalez and OF Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp. This should be an exciting team in 2014 to say the least and have the talent to go all the way. 2) St. Louis Cardinals Coming off a World Series appearance, it is expected that the Cardinals will be strong contenders again. The loss of OF Carlos Beltran will hurt, but they possess arguably the best starting rotation in baseball. Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller turned in stellar seasons and Michael Wacha was called up, and pitched pretty much lights out the last month and a half of the season. They added OF Peter Bourjos in a trade and signed SS Jhonny Peralta to their already solid lineup. They have questions in their bullpen but still remain one of the top teams in baseball. 3) Boston Red Sox Coming off a World Series appearance, it is expected that the Cardinals will be strong contenders again. The loss of OF Carlos Beltran will hurt, but they possess arguably the best starting rotation in baseball. Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller turned in stellar seasons and Michael Wacha was called up, and pitched pretty much lights out the last month and a half of the season. They added OF Peter Bourjos in a trade and signed SS Jhonny Peralta to their already solid lineup. They have questions in their bullpen but still remain one of the top teams in baseball. 4) Detroit Tigers Immediately after the World Series, this team would have ranked as a number one; however they were unable to keep their team together due to financial restrictions. This led to the trades of 1b Prince Fielder and P Doug Fister. While they did acquire 2b Ian Kinsler in the Prince Fielder trade, Fielder’s production and protection of Miguel Cabrera will be hard to replace. Detroit also recently lost SS Jose Iglesias for the majority of the season due to an injury, which leaves a hole at shortstop. On a more positive note, they signed all-star closer Joe Nathan, who provides much needed help to a club that struggled in that role last year. Detroit still remains an elite club; it just remains to be seen how they will react to all the change that happened during the offseason. 5) Washington Nationals Although this team struggled last year, the team is in one of the easier divisions in baseball in the NL East. The team also added P Doug Fister, who will bolster the team’s starting rotation. Their lineup featuring OF Bryce Harper, OF Jayson Werth, SS Ian Desmound and 3B Ryan Zimmerman looks good on paper and if everyone produces as expected, Washington will be in the run for the NL pennant. 6) New York Yankees The Yankees went shopping this winter, as they typically do after the underachieve in the previous season, bringing home OF Jacoby Ellsbury, C Brian Mccann, OF Carlos Beltran and P Masahiro Tanaka. Looking at the Yankees lineup, it would have been a guarantee for them to win the World Series with all these players three years ago, but 2014 isn’t 2011. Age is obviously a concern, with no players in their regular lineup under 30. Another concern is how they will fill the voids left by departed 2b Robinson Cano and suspended 3b Alex Rodriguez. This team could be very dangerous if all the cards fall in their favor, but they will be competing in a very competitive AL East this year. 7) Texas Rangers This team arguably became the best hitting lineup in baseball this offseason when it acquired 1b Prince Fielder via trade and signed OF Shin-Soo Choo in free agency. Slipping these guys into an already dangerous lineup containing 3b Adrian Beltre, SS Elvis Andrus and top prospect Jurickson Profar, this team will easily lead the league in runs scored if everyone plays to their potential. Pitching is another story. The club has only two established pitchers in Yu Darvish and Martin Perez with expected No. 2 starter Derrick Holland out until mid-season. The rest of their rotation contains pitchers who are either injury prone or are veterans on the decline. This team should be able to win the AL West with the other teams in the division experiencing their share of problems as well. 8) Tampa Bay Rays Going into this offseason, it was all said but done that P David Price would be traded. However, he is still in a Rays uniform going into the 2014 season. The Rays were a dangerous team in the AL East and should only improve this year with no significant player departures this offseason. Their lineup will feature 3b Evan Longoria, rookie Wil Myers, and 2b Ben Zobrist. They certainly have a solid lineup with no flaws. The Rays’ pitching staff remains strong with David Price, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore. Look for the Rays in the race in the AL East. However, if they opt to trade David Price mid-season, this team would drop out of playoff contention. 9) Cincinnati Reds The Cincinnati Reds lost OF Shin-Soo Choo and P Bronson Arroyo in free agency and have replaced them through in-house options of OF Billy Hamilton and P Tony Cingrani. The Reds lineup is once again solid with all-star 1b Joey Votto, OF Jay Bruce and 2b Brandon Phillips. Their starting rotation remains in tact with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey leading the charge. Expect them to make the playoffs as a wild card, but tamper your expectations after that because the National League has other teams that are much stronger than the Reds. 10) Pittsburgh Pirates This team has slowly built up and finally was able to contend last year. However, they were knocked out early in the playoffs when they lost in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. While the departures of OF Marlon Byrd and P A.J Burnett hurt, this is a young team full of talent that should be able to recover from those losses with in house options. Their lineup features all-star OF Andrew McCutchen, Of Neil Walker and 3b Pedro Alvarez. Francisco Liriano, rookie Gerrit Cole and Wandy Rodriguez fill out the Pirates rotation. While they don’t look to flashy on paper, it seemed like last year this team always was finding a way to win by grinding out games. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.