Matt Slocum/Associated Press
1. St. Louis Cardinals (95-67, First Place)
Already one of the deepest and most talented teams in baseball, last year's World Series runner-ups head into 2014 in even better shape than they were a year ago.
The Cardinals upgraded the left side of their infield, have Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina leading a young, talented pitching staff and sit with a loaded farm system that is ready to provide reinforcements, should they be needed.
If you're looking for the best team in baseball, look no further—it resides in St. Louis.
2. Cincinnati Reds (83-79, Second Place, Wild Card Berth)
Questions about Billy Hamilton's ability to effectively replace on-base machine Shin-Soo Choo atop the lineup and the loss of long-time Red Bronson Arroyo from the rotation find the Reds weaker than they were a year ago. Still, there's enough talent for Cincinnati to remain in the thick of the wild-card race.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (81-81, Third Place)
Wandy Rodriguez returns from an injury-plagued 2013 season to try and help the Pirates replace A.J. Burnett in the rotation, but questions about the rotation—and a gaping hole at first base—find the Pirates unable to carry the momentum it built up with last year's playoff appearance to make it two-in-a-row.
4. Milwaukee Brewers (75-87, Fourth Place)
The addition of Matt Garza to the rotation and Ryan Braun's return to the lineup will keep Milwaukee closer to the top of the division than the bottom, but the Brewers lack the depth, both on the roster and on the farm, to contend in 2014.
5. Chicago Cubs (65-97, Fifth Place)
Chicago's rebuilding process continues, leaving the team years away from contending with the likes of St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. But the Cubs should see their first wave of prospects, including SS Javier Baez, make their MLB debuts in 2014, setting the team up for future success.