Monday, February 27, 2012

MLB preseason power rankings: 10-1

Continuing on with our power rankings of all 30 MLB teams, here are the clubs who occupy the top one-third of the league (view teams 30-21 here, and 20-11 here).

10 Cincinnati Reds
- The Queen City is buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming season. The Redlegs executed a series of impact acquisitions this offseason in an effort to reclaim the NL Central title. And while Dusty Baker’s crew clearly got better, the rest of the division seems to have weakened. But how far can the Reds advance in the playoffs if they indeed make it in?

9 San Francisco Giants
- One year removed from a world championship, the Giants failed to make it back to the postseason in 2011. However, a healthy Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, in addition to a revitalized Tim Lincecum should turn their fortunes around in 2012.

8 Tampa Bay Rays
-The Rays continue to defy logic. Despite owning one of the lowest payrolls in MLB they continue to give the big spenders in Beantown and the Bronx fits. There’s no reason not to anticipate Joe Maddon’s bunch from doing more of the same this year.
Bobby Valentine

7 Boston Red Sox
- After ending the ’11 season on a terrible and alleged drunken note, new manager Bobby Valentine hopes to guide the BoSox back to the promise land. It’ll be a dogfight at the top of baseball’s toughest division, but something tells me their eager to redeem themselves after last year’s transgressions.

6 Atlanta Braves
- Like Boston, the Braves also have some unfinished business to take care of. Fredi Gonzalez’s club slumped to the end of the regular season and consequently missed out on the NL Wild Card. With an improved Marlins and Nationals team to contend with this season, it won’t be easy, but I have faith they’ll sneak back into postseason play either through the Wild Card or by dethroning the Phils in the NL East.

5 Detroit Tigers
- The Motor City is humming after the franchise went out and brought in baseball’s best left-handed slugger…not that that they really needed him though. The Tigers ought to make a mockery of the inept AL Central and have the title wrapped up by the first week of September. It's what they can do in October that matters.

LA's Albert Pujols
4 Los Angeles Angels
- While their cash-strapped counterparts in Hollywood were pinching their dollars this winter, the Halos were going thru theirs like water. They may have overpaid, but you can’t deny they’re legitimacy as World Series contenders now. Only one problem though. They may not even be the best team in their division (see below).

3 Texas Rangers
- If it wasn’t for David Freese the Rangers would be the defending champions right about now. They return just about everyone back from that squad in addition to Japanese phenom SP Yu Darvis – who they inked during the offseason. All signs point to them putting themselves in a position to win it all once again.

2 New York Yankees
- The Bronx Bombers upgraded their pitching this winter and look poised to win their 28th world championship in franchise history. While they’re not going to run out of money anytime soon, the window is closing on the team to win with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in Pinstripes. That sense of urgency may be exactly what the Yanks need to claim baseball’s most coveted prize.

1 Philadelphia Phillies
- Charlie Manuel’s team was the only club to win 100 or more games in 2011 and may be the only team capable of achieving that feat again in 2012. However, it doesn’t add up to much when you get bounced in the first round of the postseason. Still, their potent starting rotation and offensive firepower are enough to give them the top spot on this preseason power rankings list.

What are your overall thoughts on the rankings? Which team(s) did I rank too high? And which team(s) did I rank too low?

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