Entering this season, every team mathematically has the same chance to be named World Series champion with each team starting with a record of 0-0. Realistically though, fans know that each team does not have the same chance as there are those that are just more talented than the others.
There are no sure bets as teams embark on their 2013 campaign and they all have some kind of question marks. However, there are six teams that should feel optimistic about their chances to make the World Series.
The San Francisco Giants are the reigning World Series champions, have the reigning NL MVP in Buster Posey, and kept the majority of their roster intact from last year. There is no reason to think that this team is not one of the favorites to be playing in October.
The pitching rotation that the Giants have put together with Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito is one of the best in the game and the strength of this team. As long as they are able to stay healthy, there is no reason not to think that the Giants have a good chance to be celebrating again at the end of the World Series.
This year should be highlighted by a great divisional race between the San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers, who have added a number of All-Stars over the past 12 months. The additions of Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Zack Grienke join Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp to form a championship caliber team.
This team is not without question marks as they wonder if Crawford can return to his Tampa Bay Rays' form rather than his form with the Boston Red Sox after Tommy John surgery. How quickly can Hanley Ramirez return from the thumb injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic? Is Josh Beckett still able to pitch at a high level at this point in his career?
If these questions go the Dodgers' way, they will be competing with the Giants for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.
Last year, the Nationals finished with the best record in the regular season before being knocked out in the NLDS by the Cardinals. That should only be a minor setback for this young club as it looks to take the next step in 2013.
The Nationals have the best young pitcher in the game in Stephen Strasburg, who won't be affected by having had his innings-pitched limited last year. They also have one of the best young hitters in the game in Bryce Harper, who is off to a fast start this season with two home runs in his first game.
The Nationals have been able to add a supporting cast of Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman to their young superstars. This team is ready to bring the World Series to the nation's capital.
Just like the NL West, the NL East has two teams that have legitimate chances at making the World Series this year.
Unlike the other teams, the Atlanta Braves lost a key player on their roster with the retirement of Chipper Jones, leaving them to go out and get the Upton brothers to fill that void.
The other big difference the Braves over the other teams on this list is a very deep farm system with a number of MLB-ready prospects who can fill in if they are hit by the injury bug.
The similarity Atlanta has with the rest of these teams though it has a very good pitching rotation. The Braves are led by Kris Medlen, who will be looking to build on a great season last year, and veteran Tim Hudson, who has been a steady force and a leader for this rotation the past few years.
It is pretty clear to see that the National League is the dominant league entering 2013 and is a down year for the American League.
The Tigers are the top team in the American League and have a very good chance of making a repeat appearance in the World Series.
They have one of the top pitchers in the game in Justin Verlander, the AL MVP in Miguel Cabrera and top hitters Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez. The rest of the pitching staff after Verlander is one of the best in the game with Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Annibal Sanchez and Doug Fister.
The biggest concern has to be their closer situation after Bruce Rondon was unable to secure the position out of spring training. If the Tigers are able to be successful with the closer by committee, which worked effectively during their playoff run, they should be able to make it back to The Fall Classic.
The Toronto Blue Jays were the most active team in baseball this winter and have gotten them in a position that they can be considered legitimate World Series contenders.
The biggest question is how this group of players will gel, but if they do click early in the season, the other teams in the AL East are in trouble.
The first move they made was a trade with the Miami Marlins that brought in big names like Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Josh Johnson. That trade alone would have gotten them in playoff contention, but they weren't satisfied as they traded for NL Cy Young Award-winner R.A. Dickey and signed free agent Melky Cabrera.
This Jays probably have the most question marks surrounding them. Collectively, they are an unknown commodity but if every player brought in can play at the level that fans have come to expect, they should make a long playoff run.