MLB Power Rankings: Preseason

Spring is in the air. Birds are singing, mowers are buzzing, windows are open, babies are being born, and Opening Day is right around the corner. With Spring comes hope; there’s no room for pessimism as the temperature hits 70 degrees for the first time since September. I present to you my preseason power rankings and my reason for optimism for each and every team; yes, even the Rockies.

1. Houston Astros

Here they are, at the top again, and here they will be, again, in November. Yordan Alvarez is going to, worst case, be top 3 in the MVP voting again. Christian Javier and Framber Valdez are, for the lack of a better term, ridiculous. Jose Altuve had a .242 OPS in the playoffs and they still went 11-1 on their way to another title. I haven’t even mentioned they added Jose Abreu. The only hole this team has is offensive production out of their catcher and Houston has proven year after year that they don’t care because that does not matter. 

Houston Astros Baseball GIF by MLB

2. New York Mets

The bullpen is bolstered with David Robertson to support Ottovino and Diaz. Losing deGrom isn’t something that should be easily dismissed, my point is that this team won 101 games last season where he only appeared in 11 games. 40-year old Justin Verlander will be able to contribute much more to this team than deGrom was able to last year. Was it the right move to move on from deGrom and go all-in with 40 and 38 year old rotation anchors? Only time will tell, but it’s clear that the Mets have win-now mode engaged.

3.  Atlanta Braves

It’s spring and Soroka, Albies, and Acuña Jr. are all healthy. These three are enough to get you excited for this Braves season. Max Fried and Spencer Strider are arguably the best 1-2 in the league, Matt Olson is a sicko, Michael Harris II should only get better, thick Austin Riley has improved every season, and Sean Murphy was one of my favorite signings of the offseason. The division race should be extremely close and fun to follow in August and September. NL East champs or not, it should be all berries (and what else?) and cream this season as they breeze into another playoff run. 

4. New York Yankees

You can, rightfully so, be worried about Gerrit Cole and whether he can get back to the dominant ace he was in Houston. With that said, worst case, Carlos Rodon becomes the ace and your game 1 starter. Woe is the Yankees. Call me a homer, but Cortes and Severino make this the best rotation in baseball. Jonathan Loaisiga and Clay Holmes are two of the most fun pitchers to watch and don’t get me started on Tommy Kahnle’s changeup. Top prospect Anthony Volpe is anticipated to debut this season and that should excite all baseball fans. Only two things will keep this team from winning that piece of metal: the Houston Astros or Aaron Boone and whoever his puppeteer is. They said they’re going to let the kids play and, as much as I don’t believe them, this article is supposed to be optimistic.  

5. San Diego Padres

Just reviewed their depth chart and Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter is on the squad? What more could you possibly need for optimism? Machado, Bogaerts, and Soto is what you get when you turn fair trades off in your video game, and let’s not forget Tatis Jr. will return at some point too. Musgrove is the personification of the Randy Marsh wheelbarrow meme and this team is poised to unseat the big brothers up north and make another playoff run. 

Joe Musgrove had savage response to Mets dugout for ear check (Video)

6. Toronto Blue Jays

According to Vladdy Jr, 2021 was the trailer and 2022 was the movie. So, uh, what movie would last season be compared to? Maybe like the Da Vinci Code? Was pretty meh and you expected it to finish strong with a good ending that never came. Reason for optimism? Well, even the Da Vinci Code got a sequel. This time they get to run it back with a full season of Whit Merrifield and Springer should be 100% to start the season. There’s no reason to think this offense will be scary, but will someone step up to take some weight off Manoah’s back? Maybe let’s play some defense this year too. 

7. Los Angeles Dodgers

We have the Dodgers ranked at 7 to begin the season. Is this deserved or just some Dodgers fatigue? Losing Trea Turner will certainly sting but I’m excited to see Miggy Rojas play in a larger market. Hard to not feel great about the chances of a team with Betts, Freeman, Urias, and Kershaw. They also shed a significant contract this offseason and will keep a very close eye on what the team about 30 miles southeast is doing. 

8. Seattle Mariners

Was secretly hoping the Mariners would be more aggressive this offseason to try and surround their talented young core with some veterans. They weren’t, and that’s OK. Give me Ray, Castillo, Kirby, Gilbert over almost any rotation. Yankees fans are happy Teoscar Hernandez isn’t in Toronto anymore, Julio Rodriguez is going to run it back, and this might be the year it clicks for Kelenic. Can this team match the energy they brought last season? All signs point to yes. 

9. Philadelphia Phillies

Take a minute and watch the gif below 100 times. I fell in love this this team last year. They play with swag, energy, and do so many things that would piss Brian McCann off. This is what will save baseball, and I wish my favorite team had more of it. There are essentially no holes in their lineup, and all they did was add Trea Bleeping Turner. As long as Schwarber can perform 75% as well as he did last year, Philadelphia should be in for another fun year. I’m looking forward to more spiked bats, Harper bat and hair flips, and deep drives to left by Castellanos.

Rhys Hoskins Bat Slam Rhys Hoskins Bat Spike GIF - Rhys Hoskins Bat Slam Rhys Hoskins Rhys Hoskins Bat Spike GIFs

10. Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland’s roster is constructed to make your uncle so happy. The lineup is built with an emphasis on speed and contact and the rotation and bullpen is as good as they come. I won’t lie, I’m a Yankees fan, and I still love Josh Naylor. I wish the Yankees had a player that could match the energy and chutzpah that he brings every single day. Let’s not forget about everyone’s favorite must-watch sicko James Karinchak. The Guards are fun and reminiscent of another era of baseball. Contact translates great from year to year which is why I’m confident this team will be able to repeat what they did last year.

11. St. Louis Cardinals

Optimism for the Cardinals is easy to see on paper. Arenado and Goldschmidt are the best in on the planet at their respective positions. Helsley, Gallegos, Hicks, and Hudson round up the top bullpen in baseball. Carlson, Edman, and Walker give Cardinals fans confidence for the future or excellent trade pieces at the very least. Hell, maybe with the addition of Willson Contreras, they’ll finally get some consistent offensive production from their catcher position. They’re obvious favorites in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. Be loud Cardinals fans; hopefully, they don’t run into another 87 win team in the playoffs this year. 

12.Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers are the LootSports sleeper pick to make the playoffs this year, and I love it. Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in the league, so let’s be optimistic that he’ll stay on the field all season. Don’t sleep on Big Game Nate Eovaldi and Dane Dunning either. Semien can not and will not repeat last season’s offensive production and don’t forget they have Corey Seager. I don’t think the Rangers have a shot to compete for the division with Houston, large gap, and Seattle but I hope this summer reveals vintage deGrom as the Rangers make a run at the last wild-card spot.

13. Minnesota Twins

Lost in the Carlos Correa signing with the Giants and Mets debacle is that the Twins signed one of, if not, the best shortstops in baseball. The addition of Pablo Lopez will help more than the loss of Arraez will hurt. Big “if” here, but, IF Buxton can stay on the field, and Kepler can cut down on the strikeouts, this team can compete for the AL Central crown. Hey, maybe the combination of Minnesota’s famously welcoming fanbase and the banning of the shift will revive Joey Gallo’s career. 

14. Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are the one team who made the playoffs last season that LootSports contributors do not believe will be able to repeat this season. Reason for optimism, you ask? The Rays are the ultimate “don’t count them out, man, I care about you” team. If Glasnow can return to his pre-Tommy John form, I would make the argument that their rotation armed with McClanahan, Glasnow, Eflin, and Rasmussen is one of the best in baseball. You may not be a Yankees fan like me and watch as many Rays games as I do, but if you like pitching, this team is can’t-miss. Fairbanks, Poche, Thompson, and Beeks are all names that would be household if they played on essentially any other East team. Can their offense pick up the slack? Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco’s backs are pretty massive.

15. Chicago White Sox

I feel like Pedro Martinez because I’m about to drag a 78 year old man. The biggest reason why this season will be different for the White Sox is because they won’t be anchored down by an old-school, anti-fun manager who let the game pass him by a couple decades ago. Though the division has good teams, there isn’t a clear favorite and the White Sox roster is loaded with talent, maybe they can sneak in and take the division crown from Cleveland. 

16. Milwaukee Brewers

Tune in for one of the best pitching rotations in baseball. Burns and Woodruff will help this team stay in contention all season. I’m also very excited to see Devin Williams in the closer role for a full season, he may be my favorite pitcher in MLB.

17. Baltimore Orioles

Everyone loves a Cinderella. Is this the year? I’m one of the biggest Cedric Mullins fans you’ll find who is not also an Orioles fan; this guy is electric and deserves so much more attention. Did you know he had a 30/30 season in 2021? It also seems like the top prospects have been becoming instant stars lately, and Gunnar Henderson has that potential. Plus, Adley Rutschman is already in the conversation for the best catcher in all of baseball.

18. Chicago Cubs

Swanson and Hoerner up the middle is going to be smooth. Trey Mancini and Jamison Taillon are also so easy to root for and can make big contributions. If Cody Bellinger can get back to his MVP ways, the Cubs could actually make a run at that 6th playoff spot in the National League. 

19. Los Angeles Angels

They have the single best player in the entire world (Shohei Ohtani) and the second best player in the entire world (Gio Urshella) and the third best player in the world (Mike Trout). There’s your reason for optimism. Maybe this is the year their stars stay healthy and don’t force the squad to be sellers at the deadline. Angels fans are praying they’re in contention at the trade-deadline; meanwhile 29 other teams are eagerly hoping for the most interesting and exciting deadline, perhaps, of all time.

20. Boston Red Sox

With the high expectations the Boston fans place on this team, I can’t come up with a reason for optimism that can hold much weight. Cora raises the floor of any team, but is that enough? Chaim Bloom’s chair is quite hot, so there’s a reason for optimism in the coming years, right? They locked up Devers too, that guy is so fun, and now Sox fans don’t have to spend another season worrying about losing another star. Maybe the summer of 2023 will become Yoshi-mania or something. I’m just hoping this season doesn’t turn into one where you’re only turning on NESN to watch Marcelo Mayer.

21. Miami Marlins

Sandy Alcantara. Next.

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22. San Francisco Giants

Allow me to be the 1000th person to make the Arson Judge and Carlos Correa joke here; there really isn’t that much else to talk about here. The reason for optimism? They won 107 essentially out of nowhere just two years ago. Ya never know…

23.Arizona Diamondbacks

I’m excited to see if Kyle Lewis can have a bounce back season and replicate that special rookie season. WIth the the D-Backs essentially out of the division hunt on April 1st, let’s turn our focus on Corbin Carroll’s sweet, sweet stroke. 

24. Kansas City Royals

You’ll notice a pattern for these teams down toward the bottom, there isn’t any optimism for a successful season, just hope that their young prospects develop into stars. Does Bobby Witt Jr have what it takes? I’m hopeful that he can do it. 

25. Pittsburgh Pirates

“McCutchen paired with the addition of Carlos Santana in the middle of the lineup? This could get scary” – me in 2013. Andrew McCutchen coming back to Pittsburgh is awesome, so that will be fun for the fans this summer. I’ll also keep an eye on how Oneil Cruz develops this year.

Mccutchen GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

26. Oakland Athletics

Excited for another opportunity to go to a Raiders and the Athletics game in the same weekend in a couple years… Tune into late innings to watch my guy Trevor May. 

27. Detroit Tigers

I really hate to put this much pressure on a young kid, but if Tigers fans want any hope for this team not hitting reset again, Spencer Torkelson is going to need to be who everyone thought he was; I think he can do it.

28. Washington Nationals

Maybe Cade Cavalli will give us a reason to watch the Nats once every 5 days. 

29. Cincinnati Reds

With the new schedule, they’ll get to host the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs all in the same season, that’s exciting, right? Also, Hunter Green is bleepin awesome. 

30. Colorado Rockies

CJ Crohn should be exciting to watch again this season, and apparently their roster is potentially good enough to win half of their games. The Rockies may be better than some teams on this list but the owner said they’re only trying to maybe be .500 so why should I care to rank them properly. 

Note: the top 14 teams were voted on by LootSports contributors. All commentary and teams ranked 15-30 were placed by Thrillhouse.


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