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2016 MLB Power Rankings – Week 1

#1 Computer Hope The defending World Champions start the season off in the #1 spot. The Royals have established a new paradigm in baseball where you can punt starting pitching & power hitting yet still bring home a World Series trophy! Kansas City has an old-school flare and I think what separates them from the other teams is their ability to win games when things don’t go right. The bullpen might not be as strong as it has been the last couple of years, but Kansas City deserves the benefit of the doubt. The staring lineup returns intact.
#2 Computer Hope The Mets got to the World Series last year & didn’t get hardly anything from an injured David Wright, none of the starters went over 200IP and Zack Wheeler missed the entire season. It’s tough to say what we’ll see out of Wright with his spinal stenosis, but the Mets have hands down the best front-3 in the game in Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard & Jacob deGrom. Neil Walker & Asdrubal Cabrera add to the offense as well & the bullpen goes 4-5 deep. The Mets might be partying like it’s 1986 by the time the season ends.
#3 Computer Hope No team has more boom/bust potential than the Yankees do. If the offense can stave off age yet again the Yankees will bring more than enough hitting to the table to win the East. What’s more intriguing of course is the pitching. Guys like Tanaka, Pineda, Severino & Eovaldi could be dominant or they could go down with injury. I also think what New York has done with Miller, Betances & Chapman at the backend of the bullpen is interesting. Brian Cashman is definitely trying to shorten games to limit the damage if injuries hit.
#4 Computer Hope Absolutely love this team. The Giants went out and added two big time starters to the rotation in Johnny Cueto & Jeff Samardzija. Both had great first halves of 2015 but dramatically fell off in the 2nd half. Getting those guys to pitched 200 quality innings will be key, but if that happens then SF has a front-3 that will rival the Mets. Adding Denard Span is going to help the offense but a full season from Hunter Pence, Joe Panik & Brandon Belt would also do wonders. It’s worth noting that we are playing in an even year!
#5 Computer Hope The Cardinals won a 100 games last season with Adam Wainwright throwing 28 innings! Let that sink in for a minute. The team with the best record in baseball a season ago didn’t even have their ace! Jaime Garcia only made 20 starters himself! The Cards lose John Lackey who surprisingly pitched out of his mind but get a healthy Adam Wainwright & Jaime Garcia back to go with Michael Wacha & Carlos Martinez! St. Louis is going to struggle offensively this season, but they struggled last year too and it didn’t matter.
#6 Computer Hope Everyone has Chicago at #1, but I have them starting the season at #6. It’s hard to deny how good this team can be. Offensively the Cubs were going to be tough enough with Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant & Kyle Schwarber, but they added in Jason Heyward & Ben Zobrist which makes them almost a fantasy team. John Lackey was brought in to go with Jake Arrieta & Jon Lester atop the lineup. It’s a risky move. I’m not sure I completely believe in the backend of the rotation. This would be the #1 team to start if not for that.
#7 Computer Hope The Rangers played outstanding baseball in the 2nd half of the season going 46-28 after the All-Star break to catapult themselves to an AL West championship. Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus & Robinson Chirinos really came alive in the 2nd half to combine with Prince Fielder allowing Texas to average 5.1 runs per game as opposed to their 4.2 runs in the 1st half. The team almost return intact & at some point Yu Darvish is going to come back & join Cole Hamels. Also remember Joey Gallo gets unleashed.
#8 Computer Hope Don’t expect the Astros to suffer any dropoff in 2016. This team is for real and could get even better. The trade for Mike Fiers last July paid off well & if Doug Fister can stay healthy the Astros will have a tremendous rotation of Fiers, Fister, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh & Lance McCullers who should be back before April is over. The offense did lose Chris Carter but Carlos Correa is around for a full season & the Astros have some 20HR guys in Carlos Gomez, Luis Valbuena & Evan Gattis. They’ll be contenders.
#9 Computer Hope Having the best hitter in the majors can get you pretty far, but as Washington displayed last year, it doesn’t get you to the playoffs. Forget Bryce Harper for a second, the Nationals really need healthy years out of Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman & Jayson Werth to be considered World Series contenders. I don’t like the loss of Jordan Zimmerman but Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg & Gio Gonzalez is extremely formidable. This was the best team on paper a season ago. They could cash in on that if healthy.
#10 Computer Hope The Orioles did a good job bringing Chris Davis back into the fold. He’s too good to let go & with the additions of Mark Trumbo & Pedro Alvarez, the Orioles are going to launch balls into the stands. Whatever else this team is going to do in 2016, the one undeniable fact is that they are going to hit a lot of homers. They lost their best starter in Wei-Yin Chen but the Orioles brought in Yovani Gallardo & will pair him with Chris Tillman & Ubaldo Jimenez. The bullpen is tough so this could be a very dangerous team.
#11 Computer Hope Pittsburgh loses quite a bit of production when they saw Neil Walker & Pedro Alvarez leave but Andrew McCutchen is still around while Gregory Polanco & Starling Marte had great 2nd halves that could certainly mitigate those losses. Pittsburgh will be without AJ Burnett who was solid last year but I think the signing of Jon Niese is a good one. Niese was decent with the Mets last year & Pittsburgh is already dominant up top with Gerritt Cole & Francisco Liriano. The key players remain so Pittsburgh contends.
#12 Computer Hope I think the loss of Zack Greinke is going to be much worse than Dodgers fans fear. Sure LA still has Clayton Kershaw who is the best pitcher on the planet but replacing Greinke with Scott Kazmir is a recipe for disaster as Kazmir fell off in the 2nd half & has a significant injury history. I think the team is also aging. Corey Seager & Joc Pederson represent a youth movement & Adrian Gonzalez hit well last year but a lot of guys are aging. This is a solid baseball team, but something feels just a bit off for ’16.
#13 Computer Hope I liked Toronto a lot more when David Price was the ace, Marco Estrada was healthy & Mark Buehrle was defying Father Time for yet another season. Toronto is going to mash. They are like Baltimore in this respect, but what puts them a tick behind the Orioles is the starting pitching & bullpen. I like the Orioles pen better & despite the signing of JA Happ which was solid, the rotation is thin. Marcus Stroman looks like he’s ready to become the #1 starter but he has to prove it over a full season for me to believe.
#14 Computer Hope I’ve seen a few websites pick the White Sox to finish in last place. While the Adam LaRoche fiasco isn’t a great sign, I don’t see it. Jose Abreu & Melky Cabrera can hit. Throw in Todd Frazier & that is a tremendous 3-4-5. Veterans like Austin Jackson, Alex Avila & Jimmy Rollins make the team better. Adam Eaton WENT OFF in the 2nd half & Avisail Garcia is going to get better. Chris Sale is arguably the best starter in the majors & combine him with Jose Quintana, Carlos Rondon & Mat Latos? I’m buying!
#15 Computer Hope The Tigers are holding on but you almost feel as if their window has closed. They added Justin Upton to the mix so there is no denying Detroit is going to hit with Miguel Cabrera, JD Martinez & Victor Martinez in the lineup. I also love the signing of Jordan Zimmerman to go with Justin Verlander & Anibal Sanchez. The Tigers also made over their bullpen. This looks like a team that could go out & win 90 games, but Detroit finished dead last in the Central last year. That is a lot of room to make up despite the moves.
#16 Computer Hope The Marlins have made a lot of moves this offseason but I like them a lot. The team is going to hit without question. Adding Adam Lind & Nori Aoki to the mix with Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz & Kyle Seager gives Seattle a solid core. I think the trades bringing in Wade Miley & Nate Karns are underrated. Taijuan Walker gets another year of experience & having Felix Hernandez & Hisashi Iwakuma makes for a very intriguing rotation. The bullpen could go 4-5 deep. Seattle is a legit contender for the A.L. crown.
#17 Computer Hope I might be selling the Marlins short here & I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them climb fairly high. Getting full years out of Jose Fernandez & Giancarlo Stanton will make them immediately better as both give the Marlins a Cy Young & MVP candidate. Continued improvements from Christian Yelich & Marcell Ozuna will help as well as the continued play of Dee Gordon. Wei-Yin Chen is a solid acquisition & Adam Conley pitched well in the 2nd half. The bullpen is a question but Miami is for real.
#18 Computer Hope This seems a little low for LA especially given that this team always seems to be around 85-90 wins even in a bad year, but the Halos seem off to me. I love Mike Trout & Albert Pujols rejuvenated his career last season but can you really rely upon Kole Calhoun & CJ Cron to be big time mashers? The rotation seems off to me as well. CJ Wilson starts the year off on the DL and there isn’t much behind Garrett Richards. The bullpen should be more than solid and the track record is there, but I’m not sure I believe.
#19 Computer Hope The AJ Pollock injury was BRUTAL as I’m not sure I wouldn’t have had the Snakes behind the Giants & threatening for a Wild Card spot. The trade for Shelby Miller & the signing of Zack Greinke are HUGE upgrades for Arizona. Patrick Corbin is also healthy so the starting rotation is completely new & extremely improved. Paul Goldschmidt can obviously rake & I like what David Peralta did last season, but Arizona needed Pollock’s bat in the lineup. He would have made a huge difference this year in CF.
#20 Computer Hope I thought San Diego would show better last season, but this year the Padres have a chance to turn some heads. Justin Upton is gone, but I think the offense will be OK as they get Wil Myers for a full season & Alexei Ramirez should help at SS. The rotation still has Tyson Ross, James Shields & Andrew Cashner. That’s a solid front 3. Not as good as the Giants & nobody is as good as Kershaw but the Padres could have the 2nd best 3-man rotation in the NL West by season’s end. The bullpen is a big question mark.
#21 Computer Hope The Twins could get really interesting if Byron Buxton & Miguel Sano play up to their prospect hype. If that happens, then those two combined with guys like Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer & Trevor Plouffe could give Minnesota a pretty nice offense to work with. The problem I have is the starting rotation. It’s fairly thin with no dominant starter anywhere in the five. The bullpen has a chance to be pretty good but there is going to be an odd type of synergy going on where the bullpen makes life easy for the rotation.
#22 Computer Hope Color me unimpressed. The Red Sox finished in last place last year & barely did anything to improve the team. Sure signing David Price & Craig Kimbrel certainly add 3-4 wins but I’m not sure that’s enough to go up against New York, Baltimore & Toronto. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts & Blake Swihart need to own the club as they are the youth coming up. The Red Sox can’t count on David Ortiz turning into Willie Mays again in the 2nd half as he’s 40 years old. Maybe this is too low, but I’m not seeing it.
#23 Computer Hope I’m sandbagging the A’s hard. Given their runs scored & allowed they are due for some regression which means more wins & given Billy Beane some credit for seriously upgrading the roster. Khris Davis & Yonder Alonso combine with Stephen Vogt, Josh Reddick & Billy Butler for a pretty decent offense. The bullpen might go 7 deep which leaves the starters. Sonny Gray is outstanding without question, but there isn’t much behind him. I’m rooting for Rich Hill. What a comeback player story if he succeeds.
#24 Computer Hope I hate putting Chief Wahoo down this low. Cleveland features 3 starters in Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco & Danny Salazar that have the stuff to go out and throw a no-hitter on any given night. Even the backend starters (Josh Tomlin & Cody Anderson) pitched well at times last season which means from top to bottom, there is no easy starter you’ll get when facing the Tribe. The problem is offense. It’s terrible. Cleveland brought in some new starters for 2016, but they might not be upgrades. If they could hit?
#25 Computer Hope I feel terrible ranking Tampa Bay this low, but I’m not sure how they fit in if only because you never know what you are going to get. I’d love to see a year where the Rays use Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore, and Alex Cobb all throw 200 innings. It’s probably not going to happen & the only guy Tampa can really count on at this point is Archer. He’s a Cy Young candidate to be sure & the Rays might have more offensive pop than I’m giving them credit for, but this team is more I’ll believe it when I see it.
#26 Computer Hope It’s extremely hard to argue with an offense that features Nolan Arrenado, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra & DJ LeMahieu in the middle but this has been the story of the Rockies since they came into major league baseball. The hitting is going to be there, but the rest of the team is sort of a mess. Colorado lost 94 games last year & didn’t have a starter reach 150IP! Unless Jon Gary & Tyler Matzek figure it out real fast, Colorado is going to hit a lot of baseballs & the pitching staff will ensure losses.
#27 Computer Hope The Brewers have essentially made the team over. They suffer some big losses from 2015 such as Adam Lind, Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez & Gerardo Parra, but they did sign Chris Carter to pair with Ryan Braun. Milwaukee is hoping for a big bounce back season for Jonathan LuCroy & hoping that Keon Broxton gives them something. I actually think the rotation is intriguing with Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Taylor Jungmann, Matt Garza & Chase Anderson. I’d love to see what happens if they stay healthy.
#28 Computer Hope Jeff Francoeur & Kelly Johnson come home! Atlanta has completely overhauled a roster that saw the big club finish 67-95 last season. The Braves need players who can play everyday. Getting full seasons out of Freddie Freeman & Adnois Garcia will go a long way in ensuring Atlanta puts their best foot forward. Not a huge fan of the rotation although I do think there is some tremendous upside if Bud Norris & Matt Wisler can stay healthy & effective. Julio Teheran tore it up last year & the pen could be pretty good.
#29 Computer Hope If there is one team where I look at the roster & would like to completely blow it up & start over, it’s the Reds. Losing Todd Frazier is a big negative for Cincinnati especially as Frazier was a homegrown talent. The starting rotation is an injury filled mess and if Billy Hamilton is part of the solution to Cincinnati’s offensive production, then I’m not sure the right questions are being asked. I will say that the rotation with young guys like DeSclafini, Iglesias, Finnegan & Stephenson could be intriguing even if inexperienced.
#30 Computer Hope Almost bizarre to think that from 2003 to 2011 this organization averaged 91 wins per season, won 5 division titles, won 2 NL championship & a World Series in 2008. It has to be incredible for Ryan Howard to go from those teams to the recent version of the Phillies. This is by far the worst team in the majors going into 2016. Maikel Franco & Odubel Herrera have some promise & Aaron Nola is a young gun in the rotation, but it’s far too little to have a big impact in 2016. The Phillies are in a massive rebuild this season.

April 5, 2016 - Posted by | Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Week 1

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