MLB Power Rankings: 2014 preseason

MLB Power Rankings: 2014 preseason
March 30, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

It's time.

The 2014 MLB season is finally upon us. After two games in Australia to whet your appetite, the Dodgers and Padres play Sunday night before the rest of the league opens up Monday on the best day of the year for a baseball fan. Seriously, how have they not made Opening Day a national holiday yet?

And with the start of the regular season comes another year of MLB Power Rankings from CSNChicago.com's Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz. Stay tuned for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2014 campaign.

 

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 Dodgers Cardinals

JJ: A stacked team with money to burn -- look for LA to cruise to the playoffs this year.

Tony: Still the class of the league. Let's see how all those young power arms fare in a full season.

2  Nationals Red Sox

JJ: Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez, Fister. That's an elite rotation.

Tony: Defending champs could strike gold with Grady Sizemore.
3  Rays Nationals

JJ: Solid pitching staff plus emerging talents in Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings. Buying them.

Tony: OK, let's forget last year. This year, they'll contend for a title.
4 Cardinals Dodgers

JJ: Not much separating them from the three teams ahead.

Tony: Roster on paper is amazing, but can they put it all together?
5 Tigers Tigers

JJ: Despite shortstop issues, they're stacked and should be just fine.

Tony: They won't win anything if Verlander's health issues linger.
6  Red Sox Rays

JJ: Not sold on the rotation, but they're certainly going to contend for the division/playoffs.

Tony: Cobb, Myers ready to take the next step into stardom.
7 Braves Rangers

JJ: Getting Gavin Floyd back in late April/early May could be a nice little boost to a banged-up rotation.

Tony: Choo, Fielder could be the final pieces Rangers need.
8 A's Braves

JJ: Elite bullpen could help mitigate some questions about the starting rotation. 

Tony: Even with all the arm injuries, they are still a very good team.
9 Giants Indians

JJ: Like the addition of Tim Hudson, think the offense will be solid enough for Wild Card berth.

Tony: They have the pieces, can Terry Francona make all the right moves?
10  Pirates A's

JJ: Tons of high-ceiling young talent could offset a bland offseason.

Tony: Been hammered by arm injuries. Will they have enough P to compete?
11  Rangers Reds

JJ: With all the preseason injuries, they're the real-life version of Mr. Burns' softball team.

Tony: Season is riding on Billy Hamilton's ability to get on base.
12  Reds Pirates

JJ: Not sure there's enough here to win the Central/wild card, but certainly still a solid club.

Tony: After finally posting winning season, why such a quiet winter?

13 Yankees Royals

JJ: If Sabathia returns to form, don't count them out.

Tony: My sleeper pick for contender. Just wait and see...
14 Indians Diamondbacks

JJ: Don't see enough pitching, but then again, didn't last year and they made a nice playoff push.

Tony: Desperately need another MVP-type performance from Goldschmidt.
15 Angels Angels

JJ: Trout, Weaver, Wilson and who else? Not enough pieces here, despite all the money spent.

Tony: I'm calling it right now: Pujols has a bounce-back season.
16 Blue Jays Orioles

JJ: Not buying the rotation, and an awful lot of injury risks here.

Tony: I don't trust their rotation enough.
17 Diamondbacks White Sox

JJ: Scrappiness and toughness only go so far when pitchers get hurt. 

Tony: Infusion of good, young players could spark this team to the postseason.
18 Mariners Blue Jays

JJ: Cano not enough for them to compete in brutal AL West (well, brutal minus Houston).

Tony: Samardzija's ultimate landing spot? He could be the final piece to put this team over the top.
19 Royals Yankees

JJ: A lot to like here...except Guthrie, Vargas and Chen comprising 2-3-4 in rotation.

Tony: Man, they're old. Like, really, really old.
20  Padres Giants

JJ: If Josh Johnson has a rebound season, could sneak up on some people.

Tony: Belt emerging as a legitimate threat alongside Posey, Pence.
21 Brewers Padres

JJ: You know, if they can figure out the back end of their rotation, could be a pretty solid team.

Tony: My NL sleeper pick for a contender. They could be sneaky good.
22 Orioles Brewers

JJ: Even with Ubaldo, don't think there's enough pitching here to contend.

Tony: Their lineup is good, but lack pitching depth.
23  Rockies Mets

JJ: Props to LaTroy Hawkins, who enters his 20th year in the majors and has still been pretty effective the last few years.

Tony: Need to keep Wright, Granderson on the field if they want to make things interesting.
24 White Sox Mariners

JJ: With Garcia, Abreu, Eaton, etc., will certainly be a lot more fun to watch than last year's 99-loss outfit.

Tony: Not buying it even after their spending spree this winter.
25 Phillies Rockies

JJ: FanGraphs projects Ryan Howard to be worth 0.1 WAR over 490 plate appearances. Woof.

Tony: Their pitching could be scary bad.
26 Mets Cubs

JJ: Stupid arm injuries are robbing us of seeing Matt Harvey for another year. 

Tony: Can they surprise people and begin the ascent toward contention?
27 Marlins Phillies

JJ: Digging a few of the young guys, but have a long ways to go. 

Tony: Ryno has inherited an aging roster in rough shape.
28 Cubs Twins

JJ: #BaezWatch #BaezWatch #BaezWatch #BaezWatch

Tony: I'd be surprised if they're not the worst pitching staff in the majors.
29 Twins Astros

JJ: Going through a big ol' rebuild, but Mauer's still there to terrorize the AL Central.

Tony: Still a long way off, but some rays of hope starting to shine through.
30  Astros Marlins

JJ: Another year, another No. 1 overall pick. Hey, there are worse fates for a rebuilding team.

Tony: Ex-Cubs watch: Casey McGehee, Jeff Baker, Reed Johnson, Marmol, Bogusevic. Wow.