2020 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

The wait is finally over. The MLB season will finally begin today, July 23, almost four months after opening day was initially scheduled for.

This unprecedented 60 game season makes it very hard to predict how this season will play out. Under normal circumstances, the baseball season is a marathon, however the delayed start due to the pandemic has turned the marathon into more of a sprint. Seeing how teams adjust and adapt to this should be very interesting.

We recognize the fact that a shortened season might result in many teams surprising people, for better or worse. With that said, we are not here to predict Cinderella stories. The power rankings below are how we predict each team SHOULD perform in the 2020 season, but we understand that with the shortened season, surprises are essentially inevitable.

1) Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are the heavy favorites to win the NL pennant. They’ve been perennial World Series contenders over the past few years and after trading for 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, this season seems like a great time for them to finally put it all together. Although they lost Hyun Jin Ryu to free agency (signed with Blue Jays) and David Price who opted out of the season, their rotation that features Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler should be good enough, which is fine considering their bullpen is solid and they have a stacked lineup that’s capable of putting up big numbers on a nightly basis.

2) New York Yankees

Similar to the Dodgers, the Yankees added a player that makes their elite roster even better. They signed star pitcher Gerrit Cole who might just be the final piece the Yankees need to win a World Series. If the Yankees had any flaws at all, aside from being injury prone, it’s their starting pitching. By signing Cole, they have a legit ace to go along with other capable starters. As long as they can stay relatively healthy, there’s no reason why the Yankees shouldn’t be the AL favorites.

3) Houston Astros

Despite losing Gerrit Cole, the Astros are still a great team. However, it’s definitely not ideal that the team they lost Cole to is their main competition in the AL (Yankees). With that said, they still have a great core of players in their prime featuring Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa. Houston has a capable bullpen led by closer Robert Osuna, and even though they no longer have Cole, Verlander-Greinke is still a great 1-2 punch. Don’t let their cheating scandal distract you from the fact that the Astros are still one of the best teams in the MLB.

4) Tampa Bay Rays

When people discuss the top tier teams in the MLB, the Rays seem to always be overlooked. This team should be talked about as a team that’s capable of winning a World Series. They probably have the deepest pitching staff in the league highlighted by Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, and Tyler Glasnow. On top of that, their lineup can beat teams in a multitude of ways. They might not have the star power that the Yankees and Astros have, but they have the depth that will enable them to keep players fresh while still being competitive night in and night out. Let’s not forget that this team almost beat the Astros in the ALDS last season. The Rays are in the elite tier of the MLB, and you should start taking notice.

5) Minnesota Twins

After winning the division last year, the Twins are even more talented going into this season. Their lineup was already very good last year and signing Josh Donaldson should make it borderline elite. The rotation has plenty of depth and Jose Berrios is becoming a real Cy Young candidate as he enters the prime of his career. As long as they stay healthy and the bullpen can be dependable, there’s no reason why Minnesota shouldn’t win the AL Central and have an opportunity to make a deep postseason run.

6) Washington Nationals

Coming off a season where they shocked the world and won the World Series, the Nationals have a lot of doubters going into the 2020 season. Many people believe that last year was a fluke and that they won’t even come to close to that success for a long time. I, however, think the Nationals are going to have a great season. Although losing Anthony Rendon is tough, every other important player from 2019’s championship team will be returning. Their rotation is probably the best in baseball and their lineup is looking to build off the great postseason they had last year. The bad news for the Nationals is that they’ll be without their best player, Juan Soto, in the beginning of the season due to testing positive for COVID-19. If they can stay competitive while Soto is unavailable, the Nationals will be in great position to make the playoffs and have a chance at another ring.

7) Atlanta Braves

The Braves have high hopes going into the 2020 season. They have an absolutely loaded starting lineup that features two MVP candidates in first baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. The X-factor for Atlanta is definitely their rotation. Led by Mike Soroka (22 years old) and Max Fried (26 years old), this is a rotation that can really go either way this season. If they pitch well, the Braves are a team that can easily jump over the Nationals in the NL East and potentially make a run at the World Series. However, if they pitch poorly, it can get really ugly. The sky is the limit for the Atlanta Braves this year, but everyone has to play, and more importantly pitch to their capabilities.

8) Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are the first NL Central team on this list, and it seems like 2020 might finally be a good year for a franchise that has had such a miserable past few years. While they haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, I think they will finally be back in the postseason this year. Their roster is very impressive and it looks good enough to win a weak NL Central as well as compete with top tier teams in the National League. Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo both have ace level stuff and the rest of the rotation is talented as well with Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley, and Anthony DeSclafani rounding it out. Raisel Iglesias and Amir Garrett lead a young bullpen with a lot of potential, and the lineup is going to put up runs. It’s been a long time since Cincinnati has had this much talent, and if they can stay healthy, look out for the Reds!

9) Cleveland Indians

They might not be the team they were four years ago, but the Indians are still a very dangerous team going into this season. They arguably have the best left side of the infield in the MLB with Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, and their rotation led by Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco isn’t bad at all. Aside from Brad Hand, Cleveland’s bullpen doesn’t look very good, but that’s not to say people can’t step up. Terry Francona is one of the best managers in the game and I believe he will maximize the potential of the 2020 Cleveland Indians.

10) Oakland A’s

The A’s are looking build off of a successful 2019 season where they made the playoffs before losing to the Rays in the wildcard game. Similar to Tampa Bay, you’re not going to see a ton of star power on the A’s, but they have talented group of guys that get the job done. Oakland’s rotation is solid, led by Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, and Mike Fiers. Liam Hendriks is looking to build on an amazing 2019 season at closer, and as for the lineup, there are some legit power threats in the middle of that order including Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, and Mark Canha. Oakland is not quite at Houston’s level, but they should be in great position to have a chance at a wildcard spot for the second year in a row.

The remaining 20 teams

11) Chicago Cubs

12) New York Mets

13) St. Louis Cardinals

14) Philadelphia Phillies

15) Los Angeles Angels

16) Boston Red Sox

17) Milwaukee Brewers

18) San Diego Padres

19) Chicago White Sox

20) Arizona Diamondbacks

21) Toronto Blue Jays

22) Texas Rangers

23) Colorado Rockies

24) San Francisco Giants

25) Pittsburgh Pirates

26) Seattle Mariners

27) Kansas City Royaks

28) Detroit Tigers

29) Miami Marlins

30) Baltimore Orioles

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