As Spring Training games have begun, where do the teams stand heading into the regular season? Are the Dodgers the favorites to repeat? Are the Padres and Mets legitimate contenders?
As Spring Training games have started in the Cactus League in Arizona and the Grapefruit League in Florida, it is time to rank the MLB teams entering the 2021 season. Many win total predictions and power rankings have already come out, where the Dodgers, Padres, and Yankees are usually at the top of the list. The Dodgers will win over 100 games and there is no doubt about that, but many people are sleeping on the Braves. The Braves are coming off of an NLCS appearance and not only do they have one of the best lineups in baseball(with Acuña, Freeman, Albies, and Ozuna) but they also have arguably the best pitching staff in the MLB. Don’t get mad Dodger and Padre fans, I said arguably.
Max Fried had a fantastic season last year, Ian Anderson showed he has future Ace written all over him, Mike Soroka was hurt but finished in the top 3 of NL Cy Young voting in 2020, and not to mention they also brought in one of the best free-agent pitchers in Charlie Morton this offseason to solidify their dominant rotation. As sportsbooks have the Braves over-under win total only at 92 wins, I would advise people to put a lot of money on the over because the Braves could easily win over 100 games.
Don’t sleep on the White Sox either. They are easily the best team in the American League this year and the Yankees are supremely overrated. Sportsbooks also are doubting the White Sox with the over-under win total only at 90 wins. Give me that over any day of the week, because the White Sox are definitely winning over 90 games. The Mets are good but they aren’t gonna win the NL East. The hype for the Mets relies on the pitching staff’s health, and I just don’t see that happening this season. Anyways, I will discuss more of my thoughts in each ranking of the teams. Enjoy!
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
What can I say? How can you expect a team to win games that got rid of Gerrit Cole, Austin Meadows, and Tyler Glasnow for nothing in return? That’s right, you don’t. They will be a notoriously terrible team in MLB history this season. They have a couple of decent bats and some top prospects, but trading Josh Bell to the Nationals was throwing in the towel for the next couple of seasons. They may lose 90-100 games per season on average for the next couple of years. Let’s check up on the Pirates in five years to see if they have made any progress whatsoever.
29. Baltimore Orioles
I could have put the Rockies or Tigers here, but at least both of those teams have a respectable player or two. Is Adley Rustchman gonna come up? Let’s hope so because any team that has Trey Mancini as their best player isn’t gonna win more than 50 or 60 games, especially in a strong division like the AL East. Mancini has battled through a lot and is still a great player, but his talent is being wasted in Baltimore. Since they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, they should trade Mancini for prospects to further bolster their improved farm system. King Felix should be fun to watch if they let him pitch every five days, but this team desperately needs Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez to come up to be relevant any time soon. Might as well leave them in the minors until August or September since this team isn’t going anywhere this season or anytime soon.
28. Detroit Tigers
They do have some young promising players such as Tarik Skubal, Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Spencer Torkelson. However, none of those guys have had serious time in the majors yet so don’t expect the Tigers to win more than 60 games this season. Spencer Turnbull and Matthew Boyd are respectable MLB starting pitchers, but other than them and the young pitchers, they don’t really have anyone else that can make a difference on this team. Robbie Grossman was a fine addition, but the Tigers lineup is one of the worst in the league. Maybe they will prove me wrong, but they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so they should use this year to develop their promising prospects while also giving Miguel Cabrera one last season to suit up and play for the organization that he has brought so much success to.
27. Texas Rangers
Joey Gallo. Joey Gallo. Joey Gallo. But who else? I will make this short. This team gave up all of its pitching(Minor, Kluber, and Lynn) and does not have any high-end hitters besides Joey Gallo. They also have a weak bullpen and a horrendous lineup. It’s safe to say that this team is in full rebuild mode and needs to continue to improve its farm system. Josh Jung, Sam Huff, and Dane Dunning are not enough to save this organization. This team will get beat on by everyone in the AL West, even the Mariners.
26. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are one of the worst teams in the league after trading Nolan Arenado. No one can deny that. However, they are still better than the Tigers, Rangers, Orioles, and Pirates simply because they still have an All-MLB player(which the other four teams don’t have) in Trevor Story. They also have some players with big-time upside. Jon Gray still has great stuff and a lot of potential. Kyle Freeland has great stuff too but needs to get back to his 2019 form. Trevor Story is arguably the best SS in the league. Charlie Blackmon is still one of the best contact hitters in the game and Brendan Rodgers still has a ton of upside. Their bullpen isn’t as bad as people think either. If Story and Blackmon remain on the team, they will win some high-scoring games at Coors Field.
25. Miami Marlins
Sixto Sanchez is a serious Ace and the farm system continues to get better with prospects like J.J. Bleday, Max Meyer, and Jazz Chisholm. However, the shortened 2020 MLB season was a fluke and this team is still deep in its rebuild process despite winning a playoff series last season. They have a bright future but I just don’t see this lackluster lineup competing with teams during a 162 game season.
24. Kansas City Royals
The Royals do have a bright future with their farm system including Bobby Witt Jr., Daniel Lynch, and Asa Lacy. They even traded for Andrew Benintendi which is going to do wonders for the Royals. Benintendi is one of the best contact hitters in the league still, even after regressing in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. I think he will be back at hitting around .300 with 25-30 home runs in the 2021 season. Jorge Soler is still a fantastic power hitter, Adalberto Mondesi is still arguably the fastest guy in the league. Whit Merrifield, Hunter Doizer, and Salvador Perez are still fantastic pieces for this team. Their rotation and bullpen definitely need some work. Their Ace is going to be either Brady Singer or Mike Minor. Brady Singer has a bright future and Mike Minor is a veteran guy who can bring some quality starts to this team. After that, the back end of their rotation is one of the worst in the league. Besides dominant closer/reliever Josh Staumont, the pen is horrendous and will cost them numerous amounts of games. This team has the bones to be okay and a sleeper this season, but I don’t see them winning more than 75 games realistically.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks
Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, trading for Starling Marte and signing Madison Bumgarner did not turn out the way they wanted it to. Bumgarner posted an abysmal 6.48 ERA over 41.2 innings. 2020 was a shortened season but the team wasn’t doing well and decided to trade Marte at the deadline. At the end of the day, the Diamondbacks are always “okay”. Never good. Never great. But also never really bad. Maybe it’s time to stop trying to compete and trade all of their good pieces to speed up the rebuilding process. They had 0 top 100 MLB prospects in 2017 and have made an effort to improve their farm system. They now have 4 top 100 MLB prospects, including Corbin Carroll, Kristian Robinson, Geraldo Perdomo, and Alek Thomas. Now they should tank to get more because even with talent on the team such as Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver, and Ketel Marte, this team is not going to compete in the NL West and won’t even be close to a playoff appearance for the next couple of years unless they blow it up and go full-on rebuild. Can’t be indecisive in baseball. Either full-on rebuild or full-on compete, nothing in the middle helps an organization.
22. San Francisco Giants
For what it’s worth, the Giants had a fantastic shortened 2020 season. Donovan Solano came out of nowhere to hit.326, Mike Yastrzemski turned into an MVP candidate, and Wilmer Flores and Alex Dickerson had great years as well. Kevin Gausman dominated on the mound last season and is undoubtedly the Giants Ace this year. Realistically, the lineup is not going to have as much success as last season. Donovan Solano is not going to hit .330, Wilmer Flores is not going to hit an abundance of homers like last season, and Alex Dickerson is not going to hit .300 again. On the bright side though, Mike Yastrzemski’s production is here to stay. His unbelievable season was no fluke and he should continue to form into a perennial All-Star. Johnny Cueto will be back and perform well, while Buster Posey will be back behind the dish. Joey Bart is young and still has a ton of potential, so if he can put it together when he comes up, to go along with Yastremski, Belt, Posey, and Crawford, this could very well be dangerous team. Realistically I see this team winning anywhere from 70-80 games and finishing third in the NL West.
21. Seattle Mariners
I know this sounds crazy, but I think the Mariners could very well break out and have a fantastic season to finish second or third in the AL West. They have Kyle Lewis as their cornerstone player right now(who is absolutely fantastic), and Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager who will be solid for their lineup as well. Evan White needs to hit better but is already arguably the best defensive first baseman in the MLB. J.P. Crawford looks like he is starting to come out of his shell, while Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez wait to join an improving lineup. Rodriguez may need one more year in the minors but if anything is certain its that Kelenic will join this Mariners lineup as soon as June or July. He is one of the most special prospects in recent memory and will immediately boost this lineup’s production when he comes up. The Mariners rotation isn’t bad either led by James Paxton, Marco Gonzales, and Justin Dunn. Yusei Kikuchi will need to pitch better this season for this team to have any shot, but I think that is definitely possible. The bullpen isn’t half bad either so don’t sleep on the Mariners to win 80 + games because they could definitely do it. I would say more realistically that this team wins 75 games.
20. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds really aren’t a bad team for the worst division in baseball, but Trevor Bauer and Freddy Galvis’ departures will be tough for them. Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray are great, but someone needs to pick up the slack of the backend of that rotation that projects Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley, and Jeff Hoffman right now. Those three guys are going to lose you a lot of games on the mound. I would at least slide in Tejay Antone and Michael Lorenzon into the rotation because they are so much more talented than Mahle, Miley, and Hoffman. Their lineup isn’t bad as it’s lead by Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez, Mike Moustakas, Joey Votto, and Nick Senzel, but I don’t know if this is enough firepower to withstand their atrocious backend of the rotation. Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle will be fine for the pen, but if Lorenzon and Antone have to pick up slack and become starters, the pen becomes awful as well. This team will win enough games to finish fourth in the division based on their lineup, but don’t expect them to win more than 75 or 80 games.
19. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have a real shot to compete this year, but they can go only so far as their rotation. Sale will be out for at least the first half of the season, but the addition of Garrett Richards to go along with Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nick Pivetta should provide a respectable rotation for the Red Sox. It won’t be great, but if the rotation can keep the Sox in games to let J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogartes, Alex Verdugo, and Bobby Dalbec rake and get them runs, then something can be made of this team. They added Adam Ottavino to the bullpen, and even if Ottavino had a lackluster 2020 season, he’s still Adam Ottavino! He’s got some of the nastiest stuff in baseball, and add Matt Barnes and Darwinzon Hernandez to the pen and the Red Sox also have a respectable pen. We will see what happens but I think the Red Sox will win 80 games, possibly 85 if their rotation and pen perform well.
18. Milwaukee Brewers
People are very high on the Brewers to win the division, but I’m not. Here’s why. Yes, they have Christian Yelich, Josh Hader, Devin Williams, Keston Hiura, and Lorenzo Cain. But even if their pen is elite, their rotation is god-awful and possibly the worst in the MLB. As it stands right now, the Brewers 5 man rotation is Bret Anderson, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and either Adrain Houser or Josh Lindbloom. I mean if you are an average baseball fan you have never heard of almost any of those dudes. And people expect them to win the NL central? No chance they beat out the Cardinals. Even the Cubs are more promising than this Brewers team. I see 82-83 wins at most this season for the Brewers
17. Chicago Cubs
Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, and Anthony Rizzo all were terrible last year. Again it was a shortened season so don’t expect them to be bad again. I think those 3 guys, along with Wilson Contreras, Joc Pederson, and Jayson Heyward, will prove to be a really good lineup actually. The Cubs’ weakness is in their rotation and pen. The rotation consists of Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies, Alec Mills, and Trevor Willaims. Although Hendricks is really good, Arrieta hasn’t been good in years Davies is fine but nothing special, and Alec Mills and Trevor Williams are just decent as well. Their bullpen is lead by Craig Kimbrel who has the stuff and experience to get back to being elite but has not shown it yet. The pen also includes Brandon Workman who is pretty good as well. There are too many question marks about the rotation and the pen to confidently say this team will win over 80 games. I think their outlook is in between 80-85 wins this season based on their lineup regaining form.
16. Cleveland Indians
The Indians only stand at #16 because of their rotation. In fact, after trading Lindor their lineup has no one remotely close to being good besides José Ramirez. Oscar Mercado has yet to prove anything, and Eddie Rosario, Ahmed Rosario, Franmil Reyes, and Ceaser Hernandez are all super inconsistent hitters. Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Triston McKenzie, Zach Plesac, and Logan Allen will be one of the best rotations in the big leagues. Their bullpen will also be really good led by James Karinchak, Adam Plutko, Oliver Perez, and Emmanuel Clase. Even with their great rotation and bullpen, the Indians’ lineup is so bad that it will cost them plenty of games. I see their win total being anywhere between 78-86 wins, but nothing more.
15. Philidelphia Phillies
The Phillies have the makings of a really good team. Their lineup is great consisting of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, Andrew McCutchen, and Didi Gregorious. Their rotation has become more solid as well with two Aces in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Spencer Howard should get better this season and come into his own. Zach Elfin and Vince Velasquez aren’t that good, but they could have better seasons. Since the rotation and lineup are both pretty solid what’s the problem with this team? It’s the bullpen. Archie Bradley is their closer and the pickup of José Alvarado was a fantastic offseason addition. The rest of the guys in their pen aren’t good at all. They will be a team to watch since they will be very competitive, but since the Phillies always underachieve I am going to predict that they are on the cusp, but miss the playoffs once again.
14. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have a fantastic lineup led by David Fletcher, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh. Dexter Fowler, Justin Upton, and José Iglesias are all good hitters as well. The problem with the Angels like every year is pitching. Sure, Dylan Bundy had an All-Star type season last year, but is that sustainable? His second-half statistics were way worse than his first-half ones so his elite production is in question. Andrew Heany has great stuff but is either always injured or underperforming due to him giving up a lot of long balls. Griffin Canning has talent but hasn’t shown much of it to be confident about. José Quintana is solid and was a great offseason addition, but it’s not like he’s Cy Young out there on the field. Shohei Ohtani looks good on the mound and should slide back into the rotation as the season goes on. But their rotation isn’t good. Plain and simple. Their pen got better as Perry Minshian signed Raisel Iglesias and Alex Claudio this offseason, but it still isn’t great. Ty Buttrey is also really good but after that, they have holes in the pen. If Ohtani can come back and pitch really well to go along with his great hitting, this team will be in a much better position to make its first postseason appearance since 2014. Their lineup will perform. It all depends on how the pitching staff does.
13. Washington Nationals
They had a really bad 2020 season after winning the World Series in 2019. However, if the 2019 season was only 60 games the Nationals would have had a similar record to last year and would have been in last place in the NL East. This team is still very good, and you can never count a team that has a core of Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. Sure, Strasburg needs to stay healthy for them to compete, but I think that is definitely possible. Victor Robles should be better, and signing Kyle Schwarber should help too. The pen isn’t that bad either. This team should win around 85 games because of their star-studded core of Soto, Strasburg, Scherzer, Turner, and Corbin. But 85 wins will only result in third place in the best conference in baseball NL East.
12. Houston Astros
I know putting the Astros 12th may seem crazy to a lot of people, but after losing Gerrit Cole and George Springer to free agency in 2019 and 2020/21 this once perennial World Series contender isn’t that team anymore. Justin Verlander will be out for this season as well after getting Tommy John surgery last season. Zack Greinke is their only solid pitcher who can stay healthy. Lance McCullers Jr. is really good but is always injured. Jose Urquidy is alright but only has one season of proven production(in a shortened season nonetheless). Their bullpen is okay but nothing special. Their lineup is really good but is substantially worse from last season’s lineup due to George Springer’s departure. I think Dusty Baker is a good manager and will manage this team to 85-88 wins, but I just don’t think this team is going anywhere this season. They have too many flaws in their pitching staff, even if their lineup is still great with Correa, Altuve, Alvarez, Bregman, Brantley, and Tucker.
11. Minnesota Twins
They are always good in the regular season, but let’s be real here. Regardless of how many games they end up winning this season, they are going to choke in the playoffs as always. Even if their pen is good, their pitching rotation besides José Berrios and Kenta Maeda isn’t that good. Their lineup is pretty good with Max Kepler, Miguel Sanó, Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Byron Buxton. However, I don’t think their rotation, bullpen, or lineup can match up with the Chicago White Sox who will undoubtedly win the AL Central. The White Sox are better at everything than the Twins, yet analysts still think the Twins will win the AL Central? Not happening, sorry Twins fans. At best they win 90 games, get a wild card appearance, and lose immideatley in the playoffs.
10. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays had arguably the best offseason of any team landing George Springer,
Marcus Semien, and Kirby Yates. They have a fantastic lineup steered by George Springer, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Marcus Semien, and Teoscar Hernández. Their rotation isn’t great other than Ace Hyun Jin Ryu, who has been fantastic over the past couple of seasons. Nate Pearson will get his first full season in the bigs and with a lot of hype comes a lot of expectations for him. He has the potential to be a front-end starter but for the Blue Jays to compete for a division title this season, even with their great lineup, they need Pearson to start coming into his own. Steven Matz, Robbie Ray, and Ross Stripling will have to step up as well. If they do, they have a good shot at finishing 1st or 2nd in the division. My prediction is that they are left out of the playoffs due to the Yankees winning the division and the Twins and Rays getting the two wild-card spots.
9. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays will obviously be worse this season without Ace Blake Snell. Tyler Glasnow is still great, but he will have to step up and pitch longer into games to become their Ace, which is definitely possible. The rest of the rotation isn’t great, but maybe Brenden McKay will have a full season in the big leagues as a pitcher and use some of that Rays’ magic to become the second guy behind Glasnow. Ryan Yarbrough and Michael Wacha are solid pitchers. Chris Archer was an interesting signing, and even though he has had a string of abysmal seasons as of late, maybe the Rays magic will work for him as well. Don’t count out Luis Patino on slotting into the rotation and having a great year in his first full big-league season either. The Rays pen is still the best in the league and it really isn’t close at all. That will help them win close games. Their lineup has a solid base with Austin Meadows, Randy Arozarena, and Brandon Lowe. Other guys in the lineup will step up this season as well. The Rays will make the playoffs as a wild card, but don’t be surprised if they win the division since the Blue Jays don’t have playoff experience(and they’re a newly constructed team) and the Yankees are supremely overrated.
8. St. Louis Cardinals
The best team in the worst division in baseball is the Cardinals. The acquisition of Nolan Arenado solidified that. They have a great offense now with the dynamic duo of Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, not to mention Dylan Carlson, Yadier Molina, and Co. as well. Their staff is led by Ace Jack Flaherty, who will undoubtedly have a comeback year and compete for the NL Cy Young award. They also have Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Kwang Hyun Kim, and Carlos Martínez or Alex Reyes to round out a dominant rotation. Expect the Cardinals to just beat up on the Cubs, Brewers, Reds, and Pirates because they can’t compete with the Redbirds this season. Cardinals will win 90-93 games and lose to the Braves in the NL Division series.
7. Oakland Athletics
I will keep this very simple. Oakland does not project to have a good team. They have very few talented players. Yet, it doesn’t matter. The Athletics could put a AA roster on the field all year and compete for a division title. They never project to be any good, yet their “Moneyball” system always works in the regular season. In a year where the AL West is weaker than normal, I don’t think Oakland’s dominance of the AL West will be any different. They will find a way to win 90 + games just because Billy Beane and Co. are geniuses. I don’t know how they keep doing it, but they’ll do it again.
6. New York Mets
The Mets are a very improved team after trading for both Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. Lindor will immediately bring a spark to this offense that already has Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, and Jeff McNeil. Their bullpen is going to have a better year since Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances, and Jeurys Familia all have some of the nastiest stuff in baseball and are bound to be better than last season. Seth Lugo and Trevor May are also great due to their durability and consistency. Their rotation is also one of the best in baseball with Jacob Degrom, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Tajuan Walker, and Noah Syndergaard(when he is able to fully return from injury). This team will have no problem winning over 90 games, but that won’t be enough to win the division over the mighty Braves. The Mets will be a wild card team, but unfortunately for them, they would play the other wild card team which is going to be the Padres or Dodgers. Poor Mets. Mets fans’ greatest hope is that they can win the division so they can play the Cardinals in the divisional round instead of the mighty Padres in the wild card game.
5. New York Yankees
I can’t emphasize this enough. The Yankees are supremely overrated. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can’t stay healthy at the same time, which limits this team’s ceiling. D.J. LeMahieu is a beast and will have a great season, but Gleyber Torres and Gary Sánchez will need to pick up the slack and play like their 2019 season selves. Luke Voit and Clint Fraizer should be great too. Their rotation is solid behind Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Deivi García, Corey Kluber, and Luis Severino when he comes back from injury. Their bullpen is also solid with Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Chad Green, and Darren O’Day, but something tells me this team isn’t as good as people think. I think that losing James Paxton is going to be a big loss for this team trying to make the World Series. They are counting on two injury-prone pitchers(Kluber and Severino) to pick up the slack? Like every year goes for that Yanks, they will only go so far as they are healthy. I see them still winning the AL East and being able to make it to the AL Championship Series, but that is it.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Braves have all the makings of a typical World Series contender. An elite rotation with Max Fried, Mike Soroka(once he’s fully healthy), Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson, and an elite lineup steered by Ronald Acuña Jr, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Marcell Ozuna. Their bullpen isn’t great and is definitely their biggest weakness. If guys in their pen other than Will Smith can step up then this team’s ceiling becomes way higher than just an NL Championship Series appearance. If their pen outperforms its expectations, the Braves will have a serious shot to beat the Dodgers and either the White Sox or Yankees in the World Series.
3. Chicago White Sox
MLB analysts and sportswriters are seriously underrating this White Sox team. A lot of these analysts and writers think the White Sox will be good, but only good enough to be a wild card team with 88-92 wins. In my opinion, they are easily the best team in the American League, and it’s not close. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the White Sox get to 100 wins. Media members are overlooking the talent of this team. They have one of the best lineups in the MLB with Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert, José Abreu, Nick Madrigal, Yasmani Grandal, Yoán Moncada, Andrew Vaughn, and Adam Eaton. They have a good rotation led by Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease. Carlos Rodon still has promise as well with his elite slider. Their pen is fantastic and if they are ahead going into the 6th or 7th inning it’s basically over for the other team. The White Sox could pitch Micahel Kopech one or two innings, then go with Garrett Crochet for the 8th, then the most dominant closer in the league, Liam Hendricks, in the 9th inning. With their balanced attack of a great lineup, rotation, and bullpen, they will undoubtedly win over 90 games. I think they will win around 95-100 games and will finish as the best team in the American League. In fact, I would bet on them to make it to the World Series, only because I don’t think the Yankees can stay healthy.
2. San Diego Padres
I am going to reiterate what everyone is saying when talking about baseball this year. It is very unfortunate that the two best teams in baseball play in the same division. I think that both the Padres and Dodgers will win over 100 games and its really a toss up on who will win the division. Either way, the Padres will win the wild card game and play the Dodgers in the NL Divisional series again, which is again unfortunate. We would basically see the World Series in the Divisional round. The Padres have one of the best pitching staffs in the league with Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Joe Musgrove. If Clevinger was back this season, they would easily have the best rotation in the league. They still might, but its arguable as the Dodgers, Braves, and Mets have elite rotations as well. Their lineup is led by superstars Fernado Tatis Jr and Manny Machado. The rest of their lineup consists of very solid everyday players like Trent Grisham, Wil Myers, Jake Cronenworth, and Tommy Pham. Their bullpen is great too with Drew Pomerantz, Emilio Págan, Mark Melancon, and a bunch of other solid relievers as well. Mackensie Gore will come up later in the season and be valuable to the pitching staff as well. Both the Padres and Dodgers will beat up on the D-Backs, Rockies, and Giants this season and their matchups between each other will be very fun to watch.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
After the Dodgers picked up Bauer, they solidified their spot as the best team in all of baseball. They have everything a World Series team needs. They won it last year and they got better so it only seems right to predict them to win it again. They have an elite lineup led by Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger. They have an elite rotation steered by Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buhler, and David Price. Dustin May, Julio Urías, and Tony Gonsolin will all compete for that fifth spot in the rotation and provide valuable quality starts as well. Their pen is great and includes Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, Victor González, Joe Kelly, and Corey Knebel. They will be able to win games based on their tremendous amount of talent and depth up and down the roster. I expect them to win over 100 games and repeat at World Champions.