MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand on Opening Day

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand on Opening Day

0 of 30

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    The 2017 MLB season kicked off with a tripleheader of games on Sunday, and ahead of Monday's full slate of action, it's time to officially unveil our Opening Day power rankings.

    All offseason we've shuffled teams around based on free-agent signings, trades, injuries and position battles. In many cases there was a simple shift in opinion as the cold winter months wore on and we moved closer to the start of the regular season.

    From here on out, we'll have actual on-field results to base these rankings on, but for now, they're still largely subjective and based on how the teams stack up on paper.

    These rankings are a fluid process throughout the course of the season. Win, and you climb. Continue to win, and you'll continue to climb. It's as simple as that, yet it never fails to spark some of the best debate in the MLB community.

    So who is baseball's No. 1 team on Opening Day? Where does your favorite team fall in our first regular-season power rankings? (Names in bold signify new acquisitions.)

30. San Diego Padres

1 of 30

    Austin Hedges
    Austin HedgesAndy Hayt/Getty Images

    Season Outlook

    Fun fact: The San Diego Padres are spending less on their active roster ($28.8784 million) than they are on players who have been traded or released ($37.05 million), per Spotrac.

    This is what ground zero of a rebuild looks like, folks.

    The Opening Day roster will feature six rookiesincluding three Rule 5 picks—and a starting rotation made up of four veterans who signed one-year deals in the offseason and one holdover who was a Rule 5 selection a year ago.

    Wil Myers has established himself as a franchise cornerstone, and the arrivals of Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges provide some hope for the future, but a 100-loss season looks inevitable in 2017.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Travis JankowskiRHP Jhoulys Chacin
    CF Manuel Margot (R)LHP Clayton Richard
    1B Wil MyersRHP Trevor Cahill
    2B Yangervis SolarteRHP Jered Weaver
    RF Hunter Renfroe (R)RHP Luis Perdomo
    3B Ryan SchimpfBullpen
    C Austin HedgesRHP Miguel Diaz (R)
    SS Erick AybarRHP Jarred Cosart
    BenchRHP Christian Bethancourt
    C Luis Torrens (R)LHP Jose Torres (R)
    C Hector SanchezRHP Craig Stammen
    IF Allen Cordoba (R)LHP Brad Hand
    IF/OF Luis Sardinas LHP Ryan Buchter
      RHP Brandon Maurer
      

29. Cincinnati Reds

2 of 30

    Amir Garrett
    Amir GarrettRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Cincinnati Reds have closed out back-to-back seasons in the NL Central cellar and there's a good chance that's where they'll reside once again this coming season.

    With Homer Bailey (elbow bone chip removal) and Anthony DeSclafani (sprained elbow) both starting the season on the disabled list, the team will get an early look at a handful of young arms that includes Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed.

    A path has also been cleared for speedy middle infielder Jose Peraza to take over as the starting second baseman after he hit .324 with 21 stolen bases in 72 games as a rookie.

    Evaluating the young talent and continuing to build for the future looks like the name of the game in 2017.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Billy HamiltonRHP Scott Feldman
    2B Jose PerazaLHP Brandon Finnegan
    1B Joey VottoRHP Rookie Davis (R)
    LF Adam DuvallLHP Amir Garrett (R)
    3B Eugenio SuarezBullpen
    RF Scott ScheblerLHP Cody Reed
    SS Zack CozartRHP Robert Stephenson (R)
    C Tucker BarnhartLHP Wandy Peralta
    BenchRHP Barrett Astin (R)
    C Stuart Turner (R)RHP Blake Wood
    1B/OF Patrick Kivlehan (R)LHP Tony Cingrani
    IF Scooter GennettRHP Michael Lorenzen
    IF/OF Arismendy AlcantaraRHP Drew Storen
      RHP Raisel Iglesias

28. Chicago White Sox

3 of 30

    Yoan Moncada
    Yoan MoncadaMorry Gash/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    All eyes will be on the Chicago White Sox Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights, to begin the 2017 season.

    That roster is home to a number of the team's top prospects—including Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer and Zack Burdi—and those players all figure to work their way into significant roles at the MLB level in short order.

    A long overdue rebuild finally kicked into high gear when the team shipped off Chris Sale and Adam Eaton during the winter meetings, and there figures to be more wheeling and dealing between now and Aug. 1.

    Jose Quintana is the crown jewel of the remaining trade chips, and this season will be all about maximizing the value of incumbent veterans and smoothly transitioning the next wave of young talent to the MLB level.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Tim AndersonLHP Jose Quintana
    LF Melky CabreraRHP James Shields
    1B Jose AbreuLHP Derek Holland
    3B Todd FrazierRHP Miguel Gonzalez
    RF Avisail GarciaRHP Dylan Covey (R)
    DH Cody AscheBullpen
    C Geovany SotoRHP Michael Ynoa
    2B Tyler SaladinoRHP Anthony Swarzak
    CF Jacob May (R)RHP Jake Petricka
    BenchRHP Zach Putnam
    C Omar Narvaez (R)LHP Dan Jennings
    1B/3B Matt DavidsonRHP Nate Jones
    IF Yolmer SanchezRHP David Robertson
    IF/OF Leury Garcia 

27. Minnesota Twins

4 of 30

    Byron Buxton
    Byron BuxtonOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Minnesota Twins had the second-worst team ERA (5.08) in baseball a year ago and it's hard to see them taking a huge step forward from their 59-103 showing with essentially the same crop of arms.

    Rookie Adalberto Mejia edged out Jose Berrios and Tyler Duffey for the No. 5 starter job, and the team signed veteran relievers in Craig Breslow and Matt Belisle to round out the bullpen, but it still looks like one of the weaker staffs in the league top-to-bottom.

    Breakout seasons from Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano would go a long way on the offensive side of things, and the new catching tandem of Jason Castro and Chris Gimenez will no doubt have a positive impact on the aforementioned pitching staff.

    Still, a battle with the Chicago White Sox for fourth place in the AL Central seems like the best-case scenario.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Brian DozierRHP Ervin Santana
    CF Byron BuxtonLHP Hector Santiago
    1B Joe MauerRHP Kyle Gibson
    3B Miguel SanoRHP Phil Hughes
    RF Max KeplerLHP Adalberto Mejia (R)
    DH Robbie GrossmanBullpen
    LF Eddie RosarioRHP Tyler Duffey
    SS Jorge PolancoRHP Justin Haley (R)
    C Jason CastroLHP Craig Breslow
    BenchRHP Michael Tonkin
    C Chris GimenezLHP Taylor Rogers
    IF Eduardo EscobarRHP Matt Belisle
    IF/OF Danny SantanaRHP Ryan Pressly
      RHP Brandon Kintzler

26. Oakland Athletics

5 of 30

    Sean Manaea
    Sean ManaeaDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Oakland Athletics added some useful veteran pieces this offseason with Matt Joyce, Trevor Plouffe and Rajai Davis joining the starting lineup and Santiago Casilla bolstering the bullpen.

    However, with Sonny Gray (shoulder strain) beginning the season on the disabled list, their starting rotation boasts a combined 92 career starts, and most of those have come from Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaeaa duo better suited to be rounding out a staff than fronting it.

    Ryon Healy was a pleasant surprise as a rookie and slugger Khris Davis is capable of matching his 42-homer, 102-RBI season, but the lineup doesn't exactly boast the firepower to prop up that suspect starting rotation.

    In what could wind up being a four-team battle for AL West supremacy, the A's appear to be the one clear also-ran in the division.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF Matt JoyceRHP Kendall Graveman
    2B Jed LowrieLHP Sean Manaea
    DH Ryon HealyRHP Jharel Cotton (R)
    LF Khris DavisRHP Andrew Triggs
    C Stephen VogtRHP Raul Alcantara
    3B Trevor PlouffeBullpen
    SS Marcus SemienRHP Frankie Montas (R)
    1B Yonder AlonsoLHP Daniel Coulombe
    CF Rajai DavisRHP Liam Hendriks
    BenchRHP John Axford
    C Josh PhegleyRHP Ryan Dull
    1B/OF Mark CanhaRHP Santiago Casilla
    IF Adam RosalesLHP Sean Doolittle
      RHP Ryan Madson

25. Milwaukee Brewers

6 of 30

    Junior Guerra
    Junior GuerraJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Milwaukee Brewers will be hoping for more surprise performances like the ones they received from Jonathan Villar, Junior Guerra and Keon Broxton a year ago.

    Guerra has a chance to emerge as a valuable trade chip if he can prove his out-of-nowhere performance as a 31-year-old rookie was the real deal—he pitched to a 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 121.2 innings of work.

    Make no mistake, this club is still very much in the flipping veteran pieces for prospect-talent stage of rebuilding, albeit a bit further along in that process than some of the teams ranked below them here.

    Outfielder Lewis Brinson and left-hander Josh Hader look like the next top prospects on the horizon in what should be an exciting year of ushering in rookie talent and another push for fourth place in the NL Central.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Jonathan VillarRHP Junior Guerra
    CF Keon BroxtonRHP Zach Davies
    LF Ryan BraunRHP Wily Peralta
    1B Eric ThamesRHP Chase Anderson
    RF Domingo SantanaRHP Jimmy Nelson
    3B Travis ShawBullpen
    SS Orlando ArciaRHP Taylor Jungmann
    C Jett BandyLHP Tommy Milone
    BenchRHP Jared Hughes
    C Manny Pina (R)RHP Jacob Barnes
    1B Jesus AguilarRHP Jhan Marinez
    IF/OF Hernan PerezRHP Carlos Torres
    OF Kirk NieuwenhuisRHP Corey Knebel
      RHP Neftali Feliz

24. Philadelphia Phillies

7 of 30

    Howie Kendrick
    Howie KendrickJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    One thing the Philadelphia Phillies have on most of the other teams in this bottom tier is a starting rotation with significant upside.

    Jeremy Hellickson proved to be a successful reclamation project a year ago, and the team is hoping for similar results from Clay Buchholz. Meanwhile, the young trio of Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Vincent Velasquez are all capable of taking another step forward after flashing plenty of potential a year ago.

    However, the offense—which finished last in the majors at 3.77 runs per game—could struggle to score runs once again, even with the offseason additions of Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders.

    The Phillies appear to be one year away from spending big in free agency and making a serious run at contending, but for now, the focus remains on shaping the young core and deciding who fits into the long-term plans.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Cesar HernandezRHP Jeremy Hellickson
    LF Howie KendrickRHP Jerad Eickhoff
    CF Odubel HerreraRHP Clay Buchholz
    3B Maikel FrancoRHP Vincent Velasquez
    RF Michael SaundersRHP Aaron Nola
    1B Tommy JosephBullpen
    SS Freddy GalvisLHP Adam Morgan
    C Cameron RuppRHP Edubray Ramos
    BenchLHP Joely Rodriguez (R)
    C Andrew Knapp (R)RHP Pat Neshek
    1B Brock Stassi (R)RHP Hector Neris
    1B/OF Daniel NavaRHP Joaquin Benoit
    IF Andres BlancoRHP Jeanmar Gomez
    OF Aaron Altherr 

23. Atlanta Braves

8 of 30

    Dansby Swanson
    Dansby SwansonBrett Davis/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Atlanta Braves will usher in SunTrust Park with a roster that features an interesting mix of up-and-coming young talent and veteran leadership.

    Adding the trio of Bartolo Colon, Jaime Garcia and R.A. Dickey should help bring some stability to a rotation that finished 28th in starter's ERA (4.87) and burned through 16 different starters over the course of last season.

    Those are clearly stopgap additions, though, as the team waits on a deep crop of pitching prospects that largely populated the lower levels of the minors last season. Meanwhile, shortstop Dansby Swanson has emerged as the face of the team's rebuilding efforts as the first star-caliber player to rise to the MLB ranks from what is one of the better farm systems in baseball.

    The future is bright and the present should be at least relatively competitive, although contending is still unlikely.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Ender InciarteRHP Julio Teheran
    SS Dansby Swanson (R)RHP Bartolo Colon
    1B Freddie FreemanLHP Jaime Garcia
    LF Matt KempRHP R.A. Dickey
    RF Nick MarkakisRHP Mike Foltynewicz
    2B Brandon PhillipsBullpen
    3B Adonis GarciaRHP Josh Collmenter
    C Tyler FlowersRHP Chaz Roe
    BenchLHP Eric O'Flaherty
    C Anthony ReckerRHP Jose Ramirez
    C Kurt SuzukiLHP Ian Krol
    IF Jace PetersonRHP Arodys Vizcaino
    IF/OF Emilio BonifacioRHP Jim Johnson
     IF/OF Chase d'Arnaud 

22. Tampa Bay Rays

9 of 30

    Chris Archer
    Chris ArcherChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    As is usually the case, the Tampa Bay Rays will go as far as their starting rotation can carry them in 2017.

    Despite trading Matt Moore last summer and Drew Smyly during the offseason, the staff still has a chance to be a strength if Chris Archer returns to ace form, Alex Cobb stays healthy and Blake Snell takes another step forward in his sophomore campaign.

    The offense got a nice boost from Brad Miller and his 30-homer performance alongside Evan Longoria last season, and Colby Rasmus, Wilson Ramos, Derek Norris and Mallex Smith were all added to the mix during the offseason. Still, this won't be a club that outslugs opponents, especially in the AL East.

    This franchise has gotten more out of less, but at this point, it looks like they'll have their hands full trying to avoid a second consecutive last-place finish.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    DH Corey DickersonRHP Chris Archer
    CF Kevin KiermaierRHP Jake Odorizzi
    3B Evan LongoriaRHP Alex Cobb
    2B Brad MillerLHP Blake Snell
    RF Steven SouzaRHP Matt Andriese
    1B Logan MorrisonBullpen
    SS Tim BeckhamRHP Austin Pruitt (R)
    LF Mallex SmithRHP Erasmo Ramirez
    C Derek NorrisRHP Jumbo Diaz
    BenchRHP Danny Farquhar
    C Jesus SucreLHP Xavier Cedeno
    1B/OF Rickie Weeks Jr.RHP Tommy Hunter
    IF Daniel Robertson (R)RHP Alex Colome
    OF Peter Bourjos 

21. Los Angeles Angels

10 of 30

    Danny Espinosa
    Danny EspinosaMark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Los Angeles Angels offseason additions may appear modest on the surface, but they shored up several weaknesses without sacrificing any future financial flexibility.

    Second base (.235 BA, .620 OPS) and left field (.204 BA, .584 OPS) were both offensive black holes last season, and starting pitching depth was a concern as well.

    Adding Danny Espinosa, Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere, Jesse Chavez, Yusmeiro Petit and Bud Norris addressed all three of those issues without breaking the bank.

    Whether that's enough to make a run at contending in a talented AL West remains to be seen, but they appear to be in better shape than the group that went 74-88 a year ago.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    3B Yunel EscobarRHP Ricky Nolasco
    RF Kole CalhounRHP Matt Shoemaker
    CF Mike TroutRHP Garrett Richards
    DH Albert PujolsLHP Tyler Skaggs
    1B C.J. CronRHP Jesse Chavez
    LF Cameron MaybinBullpen
    SS Andrelton SimmonsRHP Yusmeiro Petit
    2B Danny EspinosaRHP Bud Norris
    C Martin MaldonadoRHP Blake Parker
    BenchLHP Jose Alvarez
    C Carlos PerezRHP J.C. Ramirez
    IF Cliff PenningtonRHP Andrew Bailey
    IF/OF Jefry MarteRHP Cam Bedrosian
    OF Ben Revere 

20. Kansas City Royals

11 of 30

    Lorenzo Cain
    Lorenzo CainPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Kansas City Royals are gearing up for one last hurrah before the band breaks up in free agency.

    Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar are all set to hit the open market next offseason, and it's abundantly clear that the small-market club can't afford to keep all of those guys.

    That said, healthy seasons from Cain and Moustakas and a bit more stability in the starting rotation with the additions of Jason Hammel, Travis Wood and Nathan Karns could help the team rebound from a disappointing title defense and there's enough talent here for a run at a wild-card spot.

    Otherwise, a summer fire sale could forthcoming, and they could certainly use the prospect talent as they currently boast one of the weaker farm systems in baseball.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Alex GordonLHP Danny Duffy
    3B Mike MoustakasRHP Ian Kennedy
    CF Lorenzo CainRHP Jason Hammel
    1B Eric HosmerLHP Jason Vargas
    C Salvador PerezRHP Nathan Karns
    DH Brandon MossBullpen
    RF Paulo OrlandoLHP Mike Minor
    SS Alcides EscobarRHP Chris Young
    2B Raul MondesiLHP Travis Wood
    BenchRHP Peter Moylan
    C Drew ButeraLHP Matt Strahm (R)
    IF Christian ColonRHP Joakim Soria
    IF Cheslor CuthbertRHP Kelvin Herrera
    OF Terrance Gore 

19. Arizona Diamondbacks

12 of 30

    Taijuan Walker
    Taijuan WalkerMatt York/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the more intriguing dark-horse candidates on the heels of a wildly disappointing 69-93 season.

    A.J. Pollock and David Peralta should provide a major boost to the offense after playing a combined 60 games while battling injuries a year ago, while the starting rotation has significant upside and couldn't possibly be worse than the group that posted an NL-worst 5.19 ERA.

    Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Brandon Drury all profile as potential breakout candidates, and the starting staff has considerable depth with former top prospects Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley among those waiting in the wings.

    The retooled bullpen could be the biggest X-factor as the D-backs look to make a significant turnaround and contend for a playoff spot.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF A.J. PollockRHP Zack Greinke
    SS Chris OwingsLHP Patrick Corbin
    1B Paul GoldschmidtRHP Taijuan Walker
    3B Jake LambLHP Robbie Ray
    LF Yasmany TomasRHP Shelby Miller
    2B Brandon DruryBullpen
    RF David PeraltaRHP Archie Bradley
    C Jeff MathisLHP Jorge De La Rosa
    BenchRHP J.J. Hoover
    C Chris IannettaLHP Andrew Chafin
    C/OF Chris HerrmannRHP Tom Wilhelmsen
    IF Nick AhmedRHP Randall Delgado
    IF/OF Daniel DescalsoRHP Fernando Rodney
    OF Jeremy Hazelbaker 

18. Miami Marlins

13 of 30

    Christian Yelich
    Christian YelichJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    There are obvious reasons for optimism with a Miami Marlins team that finished 79-82 a year ago.

    Full seasons of Giancarlo Stanton (119 games) and Dee Gordon (79 games) should boost the offense, while the additions of Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler to an already talented bullpen potentially gives them one of the best relief corps in all of baseball.

    It's hard to look past that starting rotation, though.

    Edinson Volquez and Dan Straily were nice additions to round out the staff, but the lack of incumbent talent means those two will be fronting the staff. It's essentially a collection of No. 4/5 starter types hoping to make it through the lineup twice before turning things over to that dangerous bullpen.

    That might not sound like a recipe for success, but this is a better team than the one that won 79 games, so wild-card contention would appear to be within reach.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Dee GordonRHP Edinson Volquez
    C J.T. RealmutoRHP Dan Straily
    CF Christian YelichRHP Tom Koehler
    RF Giancarlo StantonLHP Wei-Yin Chen
    1B Justin BourLHP Adam Conley
    LF Marcell OzunaBullpen
    3B Derek DietrichRHP Jose Urena
    SS Adeiny HechavarriaRHP David Phelps
    BenchRHP Nick Wittgren
    C A.J. EllisRHP Dustin McGowan
    1B/OF Tyler MooreRHP Junichi Tazawa
    IF Miguel RojasRHP Brad Ziegler
    OF Ichiro SuzukiRHP Kyle Barraclough
      RHP A.J. Ramos

17. Colorado Rockies

14 of 30

    Jon Gray
    Jon GrayChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Colorado Rockies have been a popular pick all offseason to be the surprise contender of 2017.

    However, an injury-plagued spring costs them a few spots in these Opening Day rankings as David Dahl, Ian Desmond, Tom Murphy, Chad Bettis, Chad Qualls and Chris Rusin all start the season on the disabled list.

    Once they're back to full strength, they should again boast one of the most potent offenses in baseball, and the trio of Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood atop the starting rotation finally gives the pitching staff the look of a group that is capable of backing that high-scoring lineup.

    The rookie trio of Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland and German Marquez will ultimately go a long way in determining just how good the rotation will be, and the same can be said for reclamation project Greg Holland at the back of the bullpen.

    There's some intriguing potential here, though.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Charlie BlackmonRHP Jon Gray
    2B DJ LeMahieuLHP Tyler Anderson
    3B Nolan ArenadoRHP Tyler Chatwood
    RF Carlos GonzalezRHP Antonio Senzatela (R)
    SS Trevor StoryLHP Kyle Freeland (R)
    LF Gerardo ParraBullpen
    1B Mark ReynoldsRHP German Marquez (R)
    C Tony WoltersRHP Jordan Lyles
    BenchRHP Scott Oberg
    C Dustin GarneauLHP Mike Dunn
    IF Cristhian AdamesRHP Carlos Estevez
    IF/OF Alexi AmaristaLHP Jake McGee
    OF Stephen Cardullo (R)RHP Greg Holland
      RHP Adam Ottavino

16. Baltimore Orioles

15 of 30

    Zach Britton
    Zach BrittonChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Baltimore Orioles found their way into the Wild Card Game last season on the strength of a powerful lineup that led the majors with 253 home runs and a bullpen that finished third in the majors and first in the AL with a 3.40 ERA behind the trio of Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O'Day.

    It was hard to view them as a legitimate title contender, though, because of a weak starting rotation and that went unaddressed again this offseason.

    Chris Tillman (shoulder bursitis) and Wade Miley (respiratory infection) will eventually join Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Ubaldo Jimenez to make up a fairly weak staff that is also thin on reinforcements should injuries become a bigger issue.

    Expect the O's to once again be in the mix for a wild-card spot, but a step back from last year's 89 wins looks like a real possibility.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Hyun Soo KimRHP Kevin Gausman
    CF Adam JonesRHP Dylan Bundy
    3B Manny MachadoRHP Ubaldo Jimenez
    1B Chris DavisBullpen
    DH Mark TrumboLHP Vidal Nuno
    RF Seth SmithRHP Tyler Wison
    2B Jonathan SchoopRHP Oliver Drake
    C Welington CastilloLHP Donnie Hart
    SS J.J. HardyRHP Mychal Givens
    BenchRHP Darren O'Day
    C Caleb JosephRHP Brad Brach
    1B/OF Trey Mancini (R)LHP Zach Britton
    IF/OF Ryan Flaherty 
    OF Craig Gentry 
    OF Joey Rickard 

15. Pittsburgh Pirates

16 of 30

    Andrew McCutchen
    Andrew McCutchenGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    After a 98-win season in 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates were among the biggest disappointments of the 2016 season as they fell to 78-83 to snap a run of three consecutive postseason appearances.

    Even with a career-worst season from Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates averaged 4.5 runs per game last season, and with impact rookie Josh Bell taking over as the starting first baseman and McCutchen likely to bounce back in some capacity, scoring runs shouldn't be an issue. 

    It's the young starting rotation that will be the deciding factor in whether the Bucs contend in 2017. 

    Gerrit Cole needs to pitch like an ace and Ivan Nova needs to prove his two months in Pittsburgh last season were the real deal ahead of a trio of young arms in Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl and Tyler Glasnow that has quite a range between floor and ceiling.

    The middle ground between their terrific 2015 and disappointing 2016 seems like a reasonable expectation and that may be enough to contend for a wild-card berth.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Josh HarrisonRHP Gerrit Cole
    1B Josh Bell (R)RHP Jameson Taillon
    RF Andrew McCutchenRHP Chad Kuhl
    CF Starling MarteRHP Ivan Nova
    LF Gregory PolancoRHP Tyler Glasnow (R)
    3B David FreeseBullpen
    C Francisco CervelliLHP Wade LeBlanc
    SS Jordy MercerRHP Trevor Williams (R)
    BenchLHP Antonio Bastardo
    C Chris StewartRHP Juan Nicasio
    1B John JasoLHP Felipe Rivero
    IF Alen Hanson (R)RHP Daniel Hudson
    IF/OF Adam FrazierLHP Tony Watson
    IF/OF Phil Gosselin 

14. Detroit Tigers

17 of 30

    Daniel Norris
    Daniel NorrisChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    Props to the Detroit Tigers for putting the good of the team ahead of payroll obligations.

    When push came to shove in the starting rotation, Anibal Sanchez and his $16.8 million salary were slotted in the bullpen, while Mike Pelfrey and his $8 million salary were released in favor of the young lefty duo of Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd.

    Now the question is whether that starting rotation will be good enough for them to contend.

    Actually, the bullpen might be a bigger concern as it finished 24th in the majors with a 4.22 reliever's ERA last season and didn't make any notable additions. Top prospect Joe Jimenez should provide a boost at some point, but it might take more than one reinforcement.

    The front office tabled the idea of rebuilding fairly early in the offseason, but it's something that could be revisited if they struggle early. This team looks good enough to stick around in the wild-card race, though.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Ian KinslerRHP Justin Verlander
    3B Nick CastellanosRHP Jordan Zimmermann
    1B Miguel CabreraLHP Daniel Norris
    DH Victor MartinezRHP Michael Fulmer
    LF Justin UptonLHP Matt Boyd
    RF Mikie MahtookBullpen
    C James McCannRHP Shane Greene
    CF JaCoby Jones (R)RHP Anibal Sanchez
    SS Jose IglesiasLHP Kyle Ryan
    BenchRHP Bruce Rondon
    C Alex AvilaLHP Justin Wilson
    IF Dixon Machado (R)RHP Alex Wilson
    IF/OF Andrew RomineRHP Francisco Rodriguez
    OF Tyler Collins 

13. New York Yankees

18 of 30

    Masahiro Tanaka
    Masahiro TanakaMatt Rourke/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The New York Yankees are building toward something big with arguably the top farm system in the game and a level of payroll flexibility they have not seen in years.

    This is not a franchise that will ever go into rebuilding mode, though, so the expectation is still to contend while they wait on the young talent and that vaunted 2018/19 free-agent class to arrive.

    The starting rotation will be the deciding factor in whether that happens.

    Masahiro Tanaka was shaky on Opening Day, but he's a legitimate ace. The rest of the staff is a huge question mark, though, as a diminished CC Sabathia, the wildly inconsistent Michael Pineda and talented but raw Luis Severino will be leaned on heavily.

    Anything from a fourth-place finish and also-ran status by midseason to legitimate contention for a wild-card spot seems possible for this group.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Brett GardnerRHP Masahiro Tanaka
    C Gary SanchezLHP CC Sabathia
    1B Greg BirdRHP Michael Pineda
    DH Matt HollidayRHP Luis Severino
    CF Jacoby EllsburyBullpen
    2B Starlin CastroRHP Bryan Mitchell
    3B Chase HeadleyLHP Chasen Shreve
    RF Aaron Judge (R)RHP Jonathan Holder (R)
    SS Ronald TorreyesRHP Adam Warren
    BenchLHP Tommy Layne
    C Austin RomineRHP Tyler Clippard
    1B Chris CarterRHP Dellin Betances
    IF Pete KozmaLHP Aroldis Chapman
    OF Aaron Hicks 

12. Texas Rangers

19 of 30

    Yu Darvish
    Yu DarvishLM Otero/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    Did the Texas Rangers do enough this offseason to keep pace with the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the AL West?

    The one-two punch of Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels is as good as any duo in baseball, but it's fair to question whether signing Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross was enough to address the rotation as a whole.

    The bullpen also went without an impact addition, as the team will instead rely on a handful of young, relatively unproven arms to round out the relief corps alongside the late-inning trio of Jeremy Jeffress, Matt Bush and Sam Dyson.

    The lineup looks strong and would be even better if Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar take a step forward, but they can't afford to be without Adrian Beltre for too long. He'll start the season on the disabled list with a calf strain.

    Repeating last year's 95 wins and defending their AL West title won't be easy, but they still look like contenders.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Delino DeShields Jr.RHP Yu Darvish
    CF Carlos GomezLHP Cole Hamels
    DH Shin-Soo ChooLHP Martin Perez
    1B Mike NapoliRHP A.J. Griffin
    2B Rougned OdorBullpen
    C Jonathan LucroyRHP Mike Hauschild (R)
    RF Nomar MazaraLHP Dario Alvarez
    SS Elvis AndrusRHP Jose Leclerc (R)
    3B Joey GalloLHP Alex Claudio
    BenchRHP Tony Barnette
    C Robinson ChirinosRHP Jeremy Jeffress
    IF/OF Jurickson ProfarRHP Matt Bush
    IF/OF Drew Robinson (R)RHP Sam Dyson
    IF/OF Ryan Rua 

11. New York Mets

20 of 30

    Yoenis Cespedes
    Yoenis CespedesJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The New York Mets have the pitching to make another run at the World Series.

    It's simply a matter of avoiding the injury bug that plagued them last season and getting enough consistent production from the offense to support their stacked rotation.

    The late-season emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, along with the return of Zack Wheeler, leaves the pitching staff better prepared to deal with injuries, and they're already doing just that as Steven Matz and Lugo will both start the year on the disabled list.

    The same can't be said for the lineup, though. They are thin everywhere but the outfield, and any time missed by offensive anchor Yoenis Cespedes would be a dagger. The Mets were 13-17 without Cespedes last season.

    The upside here is obvious, but things could also unravel quickly.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    3B Jose ReyesRHP Noah Syndergaard
    SS Asdrubal CabreraRHP Jacob deGrom
    LF Yoenis CespedesRHP Matt Harvey
    CF Curtis GrandersonRHP Zack Wheeler
    2B Neil WalkerRHP Robert Gsellman (R)
    RF Jay BruceBullpen
    1B Lucas DudaRHP Rafael Montero
    C Travis d'ArnaudLHP Josh Edgin
    BenchLHP Josh Smoker (R)
    C Rene RiveraLHP Jerry Blevins
    IF Wilmer FloresRHP Hansel Robles
    IF/OF Ty KellyRHP Fernando Salas
    IF/OF T.J. Rivera (R)RHP Addison Reed
    OF Michael Conforto 

10. Seattle Mariners

21 of 30

    Felix Hernandez
    Felix HernandezElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Seattle Mariners came one win away from reaching the playoffs in 2014 and three wins away a year ago, leaving them with the longest active postseason drought in baseball at 15 years.

    General manager Jerry Dipoto was hard at work once again this offseason retooling the club, as there are 11 newcomers on the Opening Day roster and 18 total on the 40-man roster.

    After finishing sixth in the majors at 4.74 runs per game, adding Jean Segura atop the lineup should make the offense even more potent in 2017.

    It's the starting rotation that looks like the X-factor. If Felix Hernandez returns to ace form, James Paxton turns in a breakout season and newcomers Yovani Gallardo and Drew Smyly can be serviceable arms at the back of the staff, you could be looking at a division winner.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Jean SeguraRHP Felix Hernandez
    RF Mitch Haniger (R)RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
    2B Robinson CanoLHP James Paxton
    DH Nelson CruzLHP Ariel Miranda
    3B Kyle SeagerRHP Yovani Gallardo
    1B Danny ValenciaBullpen
    CF Leonys MartinLHP Dillon Overton (R)
    C Mike ZuninoRHP Evan Scribner
    LF Jarrod DysonLHP James Pazos (R)
    BenchRHP Casey Fien
    C Carlos RuizLHP Marc Rzepczynski
    IF/OF Taylor Motter (R)RHP Nick Vincent
    OF Guillermo Heredia (R)RHP Dan Altavilla (R)
      RHP Edwin Diaz

9. St. Louis Cardinals

22 of 30

    Dexter Fowler
    Dexter FowlerJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The St. Louis Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time in six years last season and they haven't watched from home in October in back-to-back years since 2007 and 2008.

    The addition of Dexter Fowler should improve a shaky outfield defense and give the offense a different look, allowing Matt Carpenter to move into the No. 3 spot in the lineup and more of a run-production role.

    Losing electric young right-hander Alex Reyes for the season to Tommy John surgery was a blow, as he had a chance to make a real impact, whether it was as the No. 5 starter or a dangerous multi-inning weapon out of the bullpen.

    Still, the return of Lance Lynn, a healthy season from Michael Wacha and the addition of Brett Cecil could make this an improved pitching staff as well.

    The No. 9 spot in these rankings makes the Cardinals the No. 2 wild-card team in the National League and that seems like a reasonable expectation here on Opening Day.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Dexter FowlerRHP Carlos Martinez
    SS Aledmys DiazRHP Adam Wainwright
    1B Matt CarpenterRHP Mike Leake
    3B Jhonny PeraltaRHP Lance Lynn
    C Yadier MolinaRHP Michael Wacha
    RF Stephen PiscottyBullpen
    LF Randal GrichukRHP Miguel Socolovich
    2B Kolten WongRHP Sam Tuivailala
    BenchRHP Matt Bowman
    C Eric FryerLHP Brett Cecil
    1B Matt AdamsRHP Jonathan Broxton
    IF Greg GarciaLHP Kevin Siegrist
    IF Jedd GyorkoRHP Seung Hwan Oh
    OF Jose Martinez (R) 

8. San Francisco Giants

23 of 30

    Mark Melancon
    Mark MelanconRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    After watching the bullpen meltdown last October, the last thing San Francisco Giants fans wanted to see was a blown save from new closer Mark Melancon on Opening Day.

    While it was a less than ideal first appearance for the $62 million man, he's going to be fine. The 32-year-old has converted 90.7 percent of save chances (147 of 162) over the past four years with a 1.80 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.

    The offense returns largely unchanged, but healthy seasons from Joe Panik (127 games) and Hunter Pence (106) could go a long way toward improving on last year's 4.41 runs per game, which was 19th in the majors.

    A full season of Matt Moore should give the rotation a boost, and guys like Ty Blach and Tyler Beede are waiting in the wings if Matt Cain falters in the No. 5 starter role.

    They're still chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers at this point, but they look like a playoff team.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Denard SpanLHP Madison Bumgarner
    1B Brandon BeltRHP Johnny Cueto
    RF Hunter PenceRHP Jeff Samardzija
    C Buster PoseyLHP Matt Moore
    SS Brandon CrawfordRHP Matt Cain
    3B Eduardo NunezBullpen
    LF Jarrett ParkerRHP Cory Gearrin
    2B Joe PanikLHP Ty Blach (R)
    BenchRHP Neil Ramirez
    C Nick HundleyRHP George Kontos
    1B/3B Conor GillaspieRHP Derek Law
    1B/OF Chris MarreroRHP Hunter Strickland
    IF Aaron HillRHP Mark Melancon
    OF Gorkys Hernandez 

7. Toronto Blue Jays

24 of 30

    Marcus Stroman
    Marcus StromanChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    A funny thing happened last season: The Toronto Blue Jays quietly transitioned from an offensive juggernaut to a team led by one of the league's best starting rotations.

    So while the loss of Edwin Encarnacion and potential continued decline of Jose Bautista is certainly worth talking about, it's not as big an issue as some might think.

    The starting staff tied for the MLB lead with 100 quality starts last season while leading the AL with a 3.61 ERA. Swapping out R.A. Dickey for Franciso Liriano should be a wash, if not a net gain, and Marcus Stroman is capable of an awful lot more than the 4.37 ERA he posted over 204 innings last year.

    Once Roberto Osuna returns to action, the bullpen should be fine and even if it's no longer a juggernaut the offense is not a weakness by any stretch of the imagination.

    The Boston Red Sox are the team to beat in the AL East, but the Blue Jays are legitimate contenders in their own right.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Devon TravisRHP Marco Estrada
    3B Josh DonaldsonLHP J.A. Happ
    RF Jose BautistaRHP Marcus Stroman
    DH Kendrys MoralesLHP Francisco Liriano
    SS Troy TulowitzkiRHP Aaron Sanchez
    C Russell MartinBullpen
    LF Steve PearceRHP Dominic Leone
    1B Justin SmoakRHP Ryan Tepera
    CF Kevin PillarLHP Aaron Loup
    BenchRHP Joe Smith
    C Jarrod SaltalamacchiaLHP J.P. Howell
    IF Darwin BarneyRHP Joe Biagini
    IF/OF Ryan GoinsRHP Jason Grilli
    OF Ezequiel Carrera 

6. Washington Nationals

25 of 30

    Bryce Harper
    Bryce HarperJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    After whiffing on Chris Sale during the winter meetings, the Washington Nationals turned their attention to outfielder Adam Eaton, who cost them a load of prospect talent to acquire from the Chicago White Sox.

    It's a deal they might regret in the long run, but there's little question it makes them a better team in 2017 and their window to win is open right now.

    A healthy season from Stephen Strasburg and limited regression from Tanner Roark would give the Nats one of the league's best rotations, and for all that's been made of the lack of a proven closer, the relief corps as a whole looks strong.

    A monster spring from Bryce Harper (1.216 OPS, 8 HR) has the 2015 NL MVP looking poised for a bounce-back season, and some of his struggles last year were simply the result of some bad luck (.264 BABIP) so positive regression will help.

    The Mets might have that loaded starting rotation, but the Nationals still look like the most talented team in the NL East top-to-bottom.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Trea TurnerRHP Stephen Strasburg
    2B Daniel MurphyRHP Tanner Roark
    RF Bryce HarperLHP Gio Gonzalez
    3B Anthony RendonRHP Max Scherzer
    LF Jayson WerthBullpen
    CF Adam EatonLHP Enny Romero
    1B Ryan ZimmermanLHP Oliver Perez
    C Matt WietersRHP Koda Glover (R)
    BenchLHP Sammy Solis
    C Jose LobatonRHP Joe Blanton
    1B Adam LindRHP Shawn Kelley
    IF Wilmer Difo (R)RHP Blake Treinen
    IF Stephen Drew 
     OF Chris Heisey 
    OF Michael Taylor 

5. Houston Astros

26 of 30

    Alex Bregman
    Alex BregmanGail Burton/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Houston Astros have as much upside as any team in baseball; it's simply a matter of whether their starting rotation cooperates.

    Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. are both capable of pitching like front-line arms, but they're both far from a sure thing to provide that level of production. The idea of trading for Jose Quintana will be talked about all season and it's certainly an option they could explore if the rotation becomes a glaring need.

    The bullpen is also a bit of an enigma as it's as deep with quality arms as any group in baseball but lacks a proven closer. Ken Giles has the stuff to be a dominant ninth-inning option, but he hasn't reached that level yet.

    What looks to be a sure thing is that this team will score a ton of runs after adding Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick to a dynamic homegrown core. Don't underestimate the impact Alex Bregman is capable of making in his first full season either.

    If anyone is going to throw a wrench into the Red Sox and Indians' battle for AL supremacy that most are predicting, it might be the Astros.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF George SpringerLHP Dallas Keuchel
    3B Alex BregmanRHP Lance McCullers Jr.
    2B Jose AltuveRHP Charlie Morton
    SS Carlos CorreaRHP Joe Musgrove
    DH Carlos BeltranRHP Mike Fiers
    C Brian McCannBullpen
    1B Yulieski Gurriel (R)RHP Brad Peacock
    RF Josh ReddickRHP Jandel Gustave (R)
    LF Nori AokiRHP Michael Feliz
    BenchLHP Tony Sipp
    C Evan GattisRHP Chris Devenski
    IF/OF Marwin GonzalezRHP Will Harris
    OF Jake MarisnickRHP Luke Gregerson
      RHP Ken Giles

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

27 of 30

    Clayton Kershaw
    Clayton KershawRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Los Angeles Dodgers gave the Chicago Cubs everything they could handle in the NL Championship Series and they look like the team with the best chance of unseating them atop the National League.

    A healthy Clayton Kershaw will make a world of difference as far as their pursuit of another NL West crown is concerned, and if Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu can somehow combine for 450 innings, the starting rotation is going to be a real strength.

    Keep in mind, Julio Urias is being held back at extended spring training to limit his innings, so there's another significant weapon waiting in the wings.

    Adding Logan Forsythe and Franklin Gutierrez should also help address the team's struggles against left-handed pitching. They hit just .214/.291/.333 against southpaws a year ago.

    After winning 91 games despite myriad injuries last year, it's easy to get excited about what even a semi-healthy season might look like for this team.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Andrew TolesLHP Clayton Kershaw
    SS Corey SeagerRHP Kenta Maeda
    3B Justin TurnerLHP Rich Hill
    1B Adrian GonzalezRHP Brandon McCarthy
    2B Logan ForsytheLHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
    C Yasmani GrandalBullpen
    CF Joc PedersonRHP Ross Stripling
    RF Yasiel PuigLHP Alex Wood
    BenchRHP Chris Hatcher
    C/IF Austin Barnes (R)LHP Luis Avilan
    1B/OF Scott Van SlykeRHP Sergio Romo
    IF Chase UtleyLHP Grant Dayton
    IF/OF Kike HernandezRHP Kenley Jansen
    OF Franklin Gutierrez 

3. Boston Red Sox

28 of 30

    Andrew Benintendi
    Andrew BenintendiChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The Boston Red Sox have some injury issues to overcome right out of the gates.

    David Price and Drew Pomeranz are missing from the starting rotation, and setup man Tyler Thornburg will also begin his Red Sox tenure on the disabled list.

    That leaves the pitching staff a bit short-handed and reliant on some inexperienced arms to open the season, but once those guys return and Carson Smith also makes his way back from Tommy John surgery, it could become a major strength.

    As for the offense, even without David Ortiz, they have a real chance of repeating as the highest-scoring team in the league.

    The addition of Mitch Moreland and a full season of Andrew Benintendi will go a long way toward offsetting the loss of Big Papiat least from a numbers standpoint—and a bounce-back season from Pablo Sandoval isn't completely out of the question.

    That Blue Jays pitching staff is going to keep them in the hunt, but it would be a major upset if the Red Sox don't repeat as AL East champs.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Dustin PedroiaRHP Rick Porcello
    LF Andrew Benintendi (R)LHP Chris Sale
    RF Mookie BettsRHP Steven Wright
    DH Hanley RamirezLHP Eduardo Rodriguez
    1B Mitch MorelandBullpen
    SS Xander BogaertsRHP Ben Taylor (R)
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.LHP Robby Scott (R)
    3B Pablo SandovalRHP Heath Hembree
    C Sandy LeonLHP Fernando Abad
    BenchLHP Robbie Ross Jr.
    C Christian VazquezRHP Matt Barnes
    1B/OF Steve SelskyRHP Joe Kelly
    IF/OF Brock HoltRHP Craig Kimbrel
    OF Chris Young 

2. Cleveland Indians

29 of 30

    Edwin Encarnacion
    Edwin EncarnacionRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    The free-agent signing of Edwin Encarnacion represented a clear all-in move by the Cleveland Indians as they look to make a return trip to the World Series.

    While that big bat will be a welcome addition to the middle of the lineup, healthy seasons from Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes could prove to be equally impactful and the same can be said about a full season of deadline addition Andrew Miller.

    The starting rotation will once again be a major strength, and it is better positioned from a depth standpoint after guys like Mike Clevinger and Ryan Merritt gained valuable experience amid injuries down the stretch.

    Getting Jason Kipnis healthy will be important and keeping Brantley healthy will be a priority as well, but they're well covered from a depth standpoint across the diamond.

    All due respect to a solid Detroit Tigers team and a Kansas City Royals club just a year removed from winning the World Series, but the Indians are going to run away with the AL Central.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    1B Carlos SantanaRHP Corey Kluber
    SS Francisco LindorRHP Carlos Carrasco
    LF Michael BrantleyRHP Danny Salazar
    DH Edwin EncarnacionRHP Josh Tomlin
    2B Jose RamirezRHP Trevor Bauer
    CF Tyler NaquinBullpen
    3B Yandy Diaz (R)RHP Zach McAllister
    RF Abraham AlmonteRHP Shawn Armstrong (R)
    C Yan GomesRHP Dan Otero
    BenchLHP Boone Logan
    C Roberto PerezRHP Bryan Shaw
    IF Michael MartinezLHP Andrew Miller
    OF Brandon GuyerRHP Cody Allen
    OF Austin Jackson 

1. Chicago Cubs

30 of 30

    Javier Baez
    Javier BaezGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Season Outlook

    When finding a way to get Javier Baez regular playing time is among the most pressing issues facing a team, you know said team is in pretty good shape.

    The lack of a prototypical leadoff hitter follwing the departure of catalyst Dexter Fowler, a predomianntly right-handed bullpen and the precarious health of Brett Anderson in the No. 5 starter role could all be pointed to as potential concerns.

    Really, that's some high-level nitpicking, though.

    The Cubs are the most talented team in baseball, hands-down, and it's impossible to justify putting anyone else in the No. 1 spot to begin the year.

    It's not easy to repeat as World Series champions and a lot can happen in the season to come, but they're clearly the team to beat.

     

    Opening Day Roster

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Kyle SchwarberLHP Jon Lester
    3B Kris BryantRHP Jake Arrieta
    1B Anthony RizzoRHP John Lackey
    2B Ben ZobristLHP Brett Anderson
    SS Addison RussellRHP Kyle Hendricks
    RF Jason HeywardBullpen
    C Willson ContrerasLHP Mike Montgomery
    CF Jon JayRHP Justin Grimm
    BenchRHP Pedro Strop
    C Miguel MonteroRHP Carl Edwards Jr.
    IF Javier BaezRHP Koji Uehara
    IF Tommy La StellaRHP Hector Rondon
    OF Albert Almora Jr.RHP Wade Davis
     OF Matt Szczur 

     

    All regular season stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, while spring stats come via MLB.com.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X