30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay, not much has changed in the last month.

They are about 20 unsigned Free Agents left in the open market pool, Baltimore inked Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez – and Chris Capuano is with the Red Sox, Paul Maholm replaces him LA for the 2014 campaign.

Of note of the things I am watching in Spring Training.  The Dodger Blue is also experiencing many injuries – and Yasiel Puig showed up to camp overweight.

LA is talking about not sending Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to Australia in a few weeks.

I can understand with the RHP because he was yanked after four pitches last week, but withholding your star ace from the season opener, and possibly the North America starter the following week.

The Dodgers should realize more than any other team that slow starts can pounce you early.  They should be playing the year with a sense of urgency.

I have written in prior posts, that I thought the Dodgers could lead the NL West wire to wire.

The reason I was so vehement about the early prediction was starting their 1st 3 games with Kershaw 2 times and Greinke once.

While I think the Mattingly’s squad will still win the Division, it may be a slow beginning to the year.

I can’t fathom why the Blue Jays are so content to stand pat either.  The Yankees and Orioles have upgraded their clubs, while Boston and Tampa Bay should maintain much like the 2013 teams fared.

You have to feel bad for Toronto at least a little bit.  The AL East bashed around all other Divisions in baseball for over a .600 Record in 2013.

The Canadian franchise plays the toughest strength of schedule in baseball in 2014, just like they did in 2013.  If they were in the AL West or Al Central, I might even predict them for a postseason birth.

Where they sit right now, they are slated for 5th in the AL East, and would be extremely lucky to finish the year off at .500.

So with that quick refresher on the month that was, here are my March Power Rankings, Feb rankings in parenthesis.

30 MLB Team Rankings

1.   Washington Nationals (1) – The strength of schedule versus their Division is the decisive factor for the rankings.

2.  Detroit Tigers (3) – With a healthy prognosis for Justin Verlander yesterday, the pitching should be dynamic again.  Also might save more runs with team defense and speed.

3.   LA Dodgers (2) – Too many uncertainties in Spring Training, and not enough urgency in March.

4.  St. Louis Cardinals (4) – NL Central may not be as strong as last year.  St. Louis always finds a way to get it done.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (6) – They move up one spot because of the Rangers Starting Pitching missing 2 guys in the rotation.

6. Texas Rangers (5) – J.P. Arencibia may blast 30 HRs in Texas, and may have a couple of other guys join him.  Team defense could have three Gold Glovers in the Infield.

7.  Oakland A’s (9) – Early reports about Yoenis Cespedes are good.  This should bode well.  It is too bad they couldn’t already be sharing AT & T Park.  The reason for jump in the rankings in Seattle and LA Angels fighting early injury trouble.

8.  New York Yankees (7) – I have them a hair ahead of Boston only, and if they suffer any health issues in Spring Training, I will bounce them lower.

9.  Boston Red Sox (8) –  3 new position players in their lineup this year, all relievers in their 30’s.  Good for them that they aren’t starting the campaign overseas.

10. Cincinnati Reds (10) – Joey Votto and Jay Bruce may be the best 3/4 combination in the NL.

11. Atlanta Braves (12) – I think they will beat up the Marlins and Mets in 38 games this year, and play nicely versus the Phillies as well.

12. Kansas City Royals (11) – Solid defense, young pitching emerging and a filthy dominant Bullpen.

13. SF Giants (13) – Is Matt Cain still an ace?  Is Tim Lincecum a #3?

14. Arizona D’Backs (14) –  The Desert Snakes are a scary team for the National League teams to contend with.  Many people project them not much better than .500, however the ceiling of their talent has not been capped.

15. LA Angels (15) – Albert Pujols should crank 30 HRs and 40 Doubles, plate 120 RBI, and hit close to .300 for 2014.  Should equate to about what their record was in 2012 (89 – 73).

16. Baltimore Orioles (19) – Huge bargain basement deal for Nelson Cruz.  If you receive the right half of year from Ubaldo Jimenez, like his last half with the Indians in 2013, look out.

17. Pittsburgh Pirates (17) – Having one of the top 5 players in baseball (Andrew McCutchen) may not be enough to save this franchise this year.

18. Seattle Mariners (15) – The M’s 2B Cano trying to reign down the thunder on Seattle management to spend more dough.  This can’t be what they promised the guy when the signed him in December.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (18) – Hard Division and will need several career years to thrive.

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion may blast 80 HRs between them in 2014, can Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus and Lawrie blast out 20 apiece each too?

20. Philadelphia Phillies (20) – Darin Ruf and Cody Asche could breakout in 2014.  Cliff Lee with a 2.89 ERA over the last 6 years (including some time in the AL).

21. Colorado Rockies (22) – Placing Carlos Gonzalez in LF permanently is the right move.  Justin Morneau could crack 25 HRs in Denver this season.  Better Relief core in 2014.

22. Cleveland Indians (21) – Signing Justin Masterson would be great stability maneuver for team that hasn’t retained many of their own guys for years.

23. Milwaukee Brewers (23) – Ryan Braun clubbing the ball in Spring.  Khris Davis, Scooter Gennett and Jean Segura have to avoid sophomore slumps.

24. Chicago White Sox (24) – What percentage of wins for the club will Chris Sale provide?

25. Minnesota Twins (25) – Miguel Sano out for the season with Tommy John Surgery, and speaking about that procedure, Mike Pelfrey still trying to bounce back from it.

26. Miami Marlins (26) – Giancarlo Stanton to lead the NL in HRs if healthy.

27. San Diego Padres (27) – Will the real Chase Headley please stand up?  How will Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal come back from a year marred with suspension and injury?

28. New York Mets (28) – Daniel Murphy should be dealt some time this year, and all of a sudden Ike Davis had an oblique problem in 2013?

29. Chicago Cubs (29) – All youth hitters and not much pitching, time for some trades to happen.

30. Houston Astros (30) – Dexter Fowler must cast off the “Coors Field Effect”, so we will see where his talent really lies.

MLB Power Rankings in February

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box!

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

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Posted on March 3, 2014, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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