MLB Power Rankings: A's open in mid 20s; Giants outside Top 5
From 30 to 1...
No longer the Lovable Losers, the Chicago Cubs instead begin the 2017 season wearing a giant bulls-eye. That’s the reward for ending a 108-year championship dry spell. Here’s a look at how the Cubs stack up with the other 29 teams looking to topple them (last year’s record is in parentheses):
30) Padres (68-94)
The Chargers may have left town, but San Diego fans still have the Padres to watch. For better or worse.
29) Reds (68-94)
After allowing a Major League-record 258 homers last season, we can safely say there’s nowhere for Reds pitching to go but up.
28) Twins (59-103)
Brian Dozier remains a Twin after winter trade rumors, but that won’t be enough to save this season.
27) Brewers (73-89)
The rebuilding is a slow, grinding process for Brewers fans.
26) White Sox (78-84)
They scored a nice bounty of prospects in trading Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, but the payoff won’t be seen right away.
25) A’s (69-93)
A healthier rotation alone would make them better than ‘16, but will it mean a climb in the standings?
24) Diamondbacks (69-93)
Starters Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller need to be much better than a year ago for this team to make any sort of move.
23) Braves (68-93)
Boasting one of the majors’ best farm systems, the Braves also added some interesting veterans to this year’s mix.
22) Phillies (71-91)
Not yet ready to make its move in the NL East, but this team is headed in the right direction.
21) Rays (68-94)
Their pitching is a question mark, and that’s not good when your division foes include the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles.
20) Angels (74-88)
They made some nice additions, but questions still abound with that starting rotation.
19) Marlins (79-82)
Baseball fans everywhere deserve a chance to see what Giancarlo Stanton could do over a full, healthy season.
18) Rockies (75-87)
There’s a lot of hype around this team, but let’s wait to see whether that bullpen really is improved.
17) Yankees (84-78)
There’s so much focus on their young talent, but Yankees never abandon trying to win in the present.
16) Pirates (78-83)
The young trio of Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon sure is a nice foundation for a starting staff.
15) Mariners (86-76)
GM Jerry Dipoto made 14 (!) trades over the winter. If the Mariners don’t make the postseason, it won’t be for lack of trying.
14) Royals (81-81)
With so many pending free agents, K.C. fans feel like this is the final season of their favorite TV show.
13) Orioles (89-73)
Baltimore can win lots of games playing home run derby, but the rotation once again has question marks.
12) Cardinals (86-76)
The signing of ex-Cub Dexter Fowler adds a nice twist to this NL Central rivalry.
11) Tigers (86-75)
If Justin Verlander challenges for the Cy Young award, Kate Upton gets to vote. Let’s make it a rule.
10) Rangers (95-67)
This team gets dismissed easily in preseason picks, but the two-time defending AL West champs deserve respect.
9) Blue Jays (89-73)
Back-to-back losses in the ALCS have spared A’s fans from the sight of Josh Donaldson in the World Series.
8) Astros (84-78)
They made quite a splash with their winter additions, but we have yet to see a trophy handed out for winning the offseason.
7) Mets (87-75)
The health of their vaunted rotation dominates the news, but if the Mets don’t score more runs, the pitching may not matter.
6) Giants (87-75)
Losing setup man Will Smith is huge, but this team is equipped to give the Dodgers all they can handle in the NL West.
5) Nationals (95-67)
Different season, same storyline — can this talented roster finally win a postseason series?
4) Red Sox (93-69)
Injuries have already rattled the rotation, and of course, no more Big Papi. That won’t lessen the expectations in Boston.
3) Dodgers (91-71)
They shelled out major cash to bring back some core pieces, and they look primed for a run at a fifth consecutive division crown.
2) Indians (94-67)
They add Edwin Encarnacion to an offense that finished second in the AL in runs. More important, they’ve got unfinished business in the postseason.
1) Cubs (103-58)
No more Billy Goat. No more World Series drought. Just the pressure to become the first repeat champ since the Yankees of 1998-2000. The Cubbies are capable.