Opening Day is less than one week away. While fans will be on couches and not in stands, live baseball is set to return on July 23 with the commencement of a 60-game season.
It’s been a while since the last power rankings were released because the pandemic decided this series needed a three-month break. However, baseball teams have reconvened in the form of 60-man player squads and thus it is time to rank some squads.
These power rankings will come out on a weekly basis during the regular season and will take into consideration injuries, transactions, and recent success. While they should remain somewhat consistent, there will be occasions where teams rise or fall at an excessive clip.
Without further ado, here’s where things stand with one week until Opening Day:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (+0)
Mookie Betts joined an already-stacked roster to solidify the Dodgers’ stance at No. 1. Having Betts for just 60 games hurts, but the Dodgers will likely benefit from the shortened season when their various star players break out on hot streaks. Los Angeles is the team to beat and an early favorite for World Series champion.
2. New York Yankees (+0)
It seems like decades since Gerrit Cole signed with New York, but it has actually been just seven months. The Yankees have a stacked lineup with a great blend of power and contact, plus a reliable pitching staff that could carry the team in 2020. The biggest factor for the Yankees will be health because injuries translate to failure in a shortened season.
3. Minnesota Twins (+3)
The Twins had an incredible 2019 before an early exit from the postseason. Having solidified their pitching staff and adding Josh Donaldson on offense, it’s very reasonable to expect a better win percentage in a shortened 2020 season than 2019, when they won 62.3 percent of games.
4. Houston Astros (+1)
The Astros went through a lot of turmoil this offseason due to the implications of their cheating scandal. However, the core of the roster remains intact so while they might not make it to the World Series, it would be surprising to see them struggle. Expect another solid season from Houston.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (+5)
The Cardinals are one under-the-radar team who could be sneakily good in 2020. This is a team that has a history of winning and that should continue this year. They have several players who are day-to-day but should be ready for the season to begin, which is a sign of optimism for St. Louis baseball.
6. Tampa Bay Rays (+0)
The Rays are in a good place entering 2020 as their schedule is somewhat simple. The Yankees and Braves should be tough but they can be counted on to dominate season series the seven other teams they are set to oppose. Plus, the Rays boast one of baseball’s best pitching staffs ahead of a season where superior pitching will win the World Series.
7. Atlanta Braves (-3)
Depth is a concern for the Braves but the addition of Yasiel Puig to replace Nick Markakis should pay off. Pitching will be critical in 2020 so if the Braves’ starting rotation can stay healthy, they should see success despite playing in a challenging division with teams like the Yankees, Rays, and Nationals.
8. Oakland Athletics (+0)
The A’s are a unique case because it’s quite possible they underperform and limp across the finish line; they could take beatings from the Astros and Dodgers while struggling against the Angels, Diamondbacks, and Rangers. However, it’s also possible they dominate and finish the season as the second-best team in the American League. The jury is still out on the 2020 A’s, but there is reason to be optimistic.
9. Cincinnati Reds (+2)
The Reds are not getting enough hype right now but they are one of the most well-rounded teams in baseball. From their farm system to front office to on-field talent, everything is going right in Cincinnati. They had a great offseason and should see incredible success in a shortened season.
10. Chicago Cubs (+5)
The Cubs will be neck-and-neck with the Reds for quite some time. Injuries will be the biggest concern for Chicago as ailments have plagued them in the past. Second, while they have great production at the plate, pitching will be critical in 2020 and it is unclear if the Cubs can truly succeed in that department.
11. Milwaukee Brewers (-2)
The Brewers are really tough to figure out. They made it to the playoffs but lost their one and only game to the Nationals. However, Christian Yelich did not play so his return could spell success for Milwaukee. It’s too early to give a bold prediction for the Brewers so they’ll stay at No. 11 for the time being.
12. Washington Nationals (-9)
The reigning World Series champions lost Anthony Rendon but held on to Stephen Strasburg. They also made more key additions that could help them in the long run, much like we saw in their 2019 season. Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, and Welington Castillo will hurt but will it be enough to push them out of playoff contention?
13. Cleveland Indians (+5)
The AL Central is funky and the Indians are part of the reason why. On paper, they have a team that could be a legitimate World Series contender but they have not performed as such. They could sneak into the playoffs in what will be a make-or-break year for the team and impending free agent shortstop Francisco Lindor.
14. Los Angeles Angels (-1)
The Angels are an exciting team to watch and a prime example of a club that will truly benefit from a shortened season. Health will be the key for the Halos as Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, and Shohei Ohtani look to make their mark. All eyes are on the Angels ahead of a critical (albeit shortened) season.
15. Philadelphia Phillies (+2)
It’s hard to describe a team with Bryce Harper as mediocre but the Phillies just haven’t shown the amount of success required to consider them a playoff contender. The addition of Zack Wheeler will pay off while bringing in Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Joe Girardi as manager will certainly add a few wins. But will it be enough?
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (-2)
The Diamondbacks are just like the Indians because they look really good but lack a recent track record. Adding Starling Marte and Madison Bumgarner were huge moves but those only make up for the recent trades of Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke. Expect the Diamondbacks to finish in the middle of the pack unless they pull off a blockbuster trade ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.
17. Boston Red Sox (+3)
The Red Sox are set to have an explosive offense but the pitching staff is lacking. Chris Sale is out for the season, David Price is in Los Angeles, and Eduardo Rodriguez will miss Opening Day due to COVID-19. That leaves Nathan Eovaldi as the No. 1 starter with Martin Perez, Collin McHugh, and Zack Godley behind him. Yikes.
18. New York Mets (+1)
Oh, the Mets. Noah Syndergaard is out for the season but the pitching staff still looks electric with Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman as Nos. 1 and 2. The bullpen is historically shaky, though, and the team will likely struggle in a challenging Eastern division this year.
19. Chicago White Sox (-7)
There’s a lot of hype for the White Sox right now but let’s face it: they are not a playoff team. It will be fun to watch Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez but Michael Kopech opted out of the season and Yoan Moncada is on the injured list. The White Sox will have some fun games and blowouts but they will also have their fair share of crushing defeats.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (+1)
The Blue Jays are a sleeper team to watch in 2020 but don’t deserve a boost into the top 15 quite yet. The infield looks incredible while the pitching staff was aided with the additions of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Tanner Roark. Keep and eye on the Jays but don’t bet the house on them yet.
21. San Diego Padres (+1)
The Padres are a young and exciting team with a similar mantra as the White Sox. They have flashy talent but don’t call them playoff contenders. Still, this season will be important for the development of their young pitchers who will gain valuable experience on the mound.
22. Kansas City Royals (+2)
The Royals are a fun team to look at and dream about, but the reality is that their 2020 season won’t amount to much of a playoff run. Jorge Soler will continue to crush baseballs and Whit Merrifield will remain vastly underrated, but there’s not much else to be completely sold on this year in Kansas City.
23. Texas Rangers (-7)
Brett Martin tested positive for COVID-19 and Willie Calhoun won’t be ready for Opening Day, so the Rangers get hit with two painful ailments right off the bat. Beyond their current roster, they failed to orchestrate any big moves this offseason despite being tied to names like Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, and J.D. Martinez.
24. Colorado Rockies (-1)
The Rockies did not make a single major league signing this offseason. They are in an incredibly tough position inside of an incredibly tough position and should not be expected to produce a season above .500 — and even that is a huge ask.
25. San Francisco Giants (+1)
Take one look at the Giants’ depth chart and you’ll be concerned, to say the least. This is a team that appears to have been constructed around the idea that maybe a few cheap players will stun the world and have breakout seasons. If there’s a year for that to happen, it’s 2020, but that is a huge risk that doesn’t pay off often.
26. Miami Marlins (+1)
The Marlins have gotten a lot of hype in the last few weeks and have been listed as one team that could exceed expectations this year. While that’s a fair claim, it doesn’t mean they’ll finish above .500. 2020 will be another year of development for Miami’s baseball club.
27. Seattle Mariners (+2)
The infield in Seattle is exciting but that’s it. They will continue to struggle and focus on developing prospects. Expect Jerry Dipoto to sell major league talent at the trade deadline ... if he still has a job.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (-3)
A few nice things can be said about the Pirates despite their poor ranking. First, their pitching staff has some talent and potential and thus could be interesting trade bait at the deadline. Second, a hot streak of Josh Bell could be huge for his personal statistics in 2020. However, from a team standpoint, the Pirates will struggle as they continue to rebuild.
29. Detroit Tigers (-1)
Putting Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene on the active roster would be awesome but the Tigers are going to struggle no matter what. Look for them to secure yet another top-three selection in the MLB Draft.
30. Baltimore Orioles (+0)
This roster leaves a lot to be desired. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Trey Mancini missing the season will hurt Baltimore, leaving the club in position to finish with a horrendous record yet again.
Biggest risers: Indians, Cubs, Cardinals (+5)
Biggest faller: Nationals (-9)