- Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are the best team in the best division in baseball, so of course they take the top ranking. They have four 30 HR hitters packed into one lineup, an amazing defense in the outfield, the only true question: can the pitching hold up?
- Washington Nationals
They are young, fast, powerful, and might have the best pitching staff in baseball. The Nats are poised to be the NL’s first dynasty since the Braves of the 90’s.
- Detroit Tigers
The Tigers are getting Victor Martinez back, have two MVP’s and are competing in a division that isn’t even close to them in talent. Questions surround the back of the bullpen, but they are poised for another World Series run if they can find someone to finish off games.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
They spent and it shows. The additions the Dodgers made in 2012 and the offseason come together in a full season. Not having Hanley for a few months hurts, but their staff is great. Not many rotations would carry Harang, Lilly and Capuano as extra starters.
- San Francisco Giants
I find it difficult to bury the defending World Champions out of the top five. San Francisco has almost every piece returning from last year’s fantastic run. If Brandon Belt can add power to the lineup and Cain and Bumgarner can hold up to expectations, they should move up rather quickly.
- Atlanta Braves
The Braves have the Upton brothers in the outfield, Andrelton Simmons back in the lineup and top prospect Julio Tehran in the rotation. They might end the year with the second best record in the NL, but it would only earn them a Wild Card berth.
- Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are almost locks to win the NL Central. With Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, they have the best pitching in the Central and a potential MVP in Joey Votto. The big scare for the Reds, almost any injury causes a big problem for the team.
- Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays continue to excel at putting together a pitching staff, and with Boston and New York in the dumps for the year, they can grab the AL East. Unfortunately the offense might not be able to hold up. The sooner the Rays get Wil Meyers into the majors, the better.
- Texas Rangers
Even without Josh Hamilton, this offense can still shine in Arlington. Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison will need to continue getting better for them to compete with the Angels.
- Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays have the best parts of the 2012 Marlins and 2012 Blue Jays, beside Giancarlo Stanton. They need Josh Johnson to stay healthy and they could be in a fight with the Rays for AL East supremacy.
- St. Louis Cardinals
As a Brewer fan this one hurts me the most. Even without Chris Carpenter, the team has enough potential aces hidden away in the minors to be great for years. And the offense is just as good as it was in 2012, just a little bit older.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
It’s not an easy task to lose Justin Upton and actually get better. Adding Martin Prado and Jason Kubel will really help the offense and the rotation should shine behind Ian Kennedy and Brandon McCarthy.
- Oakland Athletics
The rotation had an ERA under 4 and the bullpen is strong. Can Cespedes and Reddick get better? If they do, this team can surprise the MLB again.
- Baltimore Orioles
The other surprise of 2012 is taking the next spot. If the offense and pitching repeats, the team will shine, but it’s hard to win that many one-run games two years in a row.
- Milwaukee Brewers
Adding Kyle Lohse helps the Brewers rotation in 2013. The offense is still strong. Estrada, Peralta and Fiers can help the team compete. Can the back end of the bullpen save games? This is a team that needs every win they can get to compete.
- Philadelphia Phillies
This team needs Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to stay healthy. Their big downfall will be if Roy Halladay is just as bad as we saw at the beginning of last year and in Spring Training.
- Seattle Mariners
Adding Kendry Morales and Michael Morse should help the team, along with moving the walls in. King Felix is still one of the best pitchers in the league, but will the rest of the rotation be worse now that hitting is a little easier in Safeco?
- Kansas City Royals
The Royals added a lot in the offseason. Shields should help the team greatly, but Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie shouldn’t help as much as some think. Their biggest weak spot? Ned Yost.
- Chicago White Sox
I honestly think the White Sox will be one of the surprise teams in the league. Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn have more than enough power for any team. Chris Sale should only get better in his second full season as a starter. The team will really suffer if Jake Peavy doesn’t stay healthy.
- Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates really need a winning season. Unfortunately Andrew McCutchen isn’t enough to keep this team in contention.
- New York Yankees
It is hard to put a playoff team this low on the list, but with all the injuries and questions in the rotation they will sink. This team could be in the bottom five in a month.
- Cleveland Indians
The Indians are better than last year, but not by much. Adding Swisher and Bourn will help, but the rotation is miserable. Aside from a few things to like offensively this team is going to be bad.
- Chicago Cubs
I think the Cubs could be better than most people expect. The rotation should be an improvement with Edwin Jackson joining Jeff Samardzija. The bullpen is miserable. Carlos Marmol will be gone by the end of the year, but as we learned last year, they have no one to fill in for him.
- Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are MVP caliber players. Unfortunately the Rockies will be buried in the NL West and only fantasy players will notice the two are any good.
- Boston Red Sox
If Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are as bad as they were last year, Boston will be in the cellar. If they perform like the pitchers who astounded in their early careers, Boston could compete again. The offense isn’t as bad as some might think.
- San Diego Padres
The Padres don’t have much to look forward to besides a good draft pick in 2014.
- New York Mets
I think the Mets will be really fun to watch this year. They are young and have a few prospects coming into the fold. Matt Harvey could repeat last year’s awesome performance. Travis D’Arnoud will help them be bearable whenever he is brought up.
- Minnesota Twins
With a staff that will have an ERA will over 4 for every pitcher, not much to expect as far as winning goes for the Twins.
- Miami Marlins
Miami is almost a lock to be the worst team in the NL. Hopefully they get a great return whenever they finally decide to let Giancarlo Stanton join a team that can support his huge power.
- Houston Astros
The Astros are a lock for 100 losses. That’s really all you need to know to understand why they are in dead last.