MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at Start of Spring Training

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand at Start of Spring Training

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Pitchers and catchers will begin reporting to spring training later this week, and among other things, that means it's time for an updated version of our MLB power rankings.

    These rankings were last updated Jan. 16, so any transactions or injuries that have taken place between then and now factored into any changes in the rankings this time around. There was also some shifting of opinion on how one team stacks up to another.

    Notable additions and re-signings during that time include:

    • SP Yu Darvish (CHC)
    • LF Christian Yelich (MIL)
    • CF Lorenzo Cain (MIL)
    • 3B Todd Frazier (NYM)
    • CF Austin Jackson (SF)
    • CF Lewis Brinson (MIA)
    • OF Randal Grichuk (TOR)
    • RP Ryan Buchter (OAK)
    • RP Seung Hwan Oh (TEX)
    • RP Sergio Romo (TB)
    • RP David Hernandez (CIN)
    • SP Jesse Hahn (KC)
    • RP Dominic Leone (STL)
    • SS Alcides Escobar (KC)
    • 1B Brandon Moss (OAK)
    • IF Jose Reyes (NYM)
    • C Andrew Susac (BAL).

    There's still a ton of talent left on the free-agent market, though, so expect a lot more activity between now and Opening Day.

    As with any offseason power rankings, these are not meant to be predictions for the year ahead, but instead a look at how teams would stack up with the rosters they currently have if the season were to start today.

    Keep that in mind, as a lot can still change between now and Opening Day.

         

    Note: Players listed in bold on projected rosters indicate newcomers, and italics indicate a player is not on the 40-man roster. An (R) next to a player indicates his rookie status is intact.

30. Detroit Tigers

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    Nicholas Castellanos
    Nicholas CastellanosDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    After a 98-loss season last year and with an abundance of talent flipped for prospects since the trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers could be headed for their first 100-loss season since 2003.

    Big picture, the next few seasons won't be about their win-loss record, as they work to cultivate the youngsters they've acquired while waiting out the contracts of guys like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jordan Zimmermann.

    The two outfield spots alongside Nicholas Castellanos will both be up for grabs headed into spring training. Keep an eye on Rule 5 pick Victor Reyes, who finds himself in an ideal position to get a long look at the MLB level.

         

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Leonys MartinRHP Michael Fulmer
    3B Jeimer CandelarioLHP Matthew Boyd
    1B Miguel CabreraRHP Mike Fiers
    DH Victor MartinezRHP Jordan Zimmermann
    RF Nick CastellanosLHP Daniel Norris
    C James McCannBullpen
    LF Mikie MahtookLHP Travis Wood
    2B Dixon MachadoRHP Buck Farmer
    SS Jose IglesiasLHP Daniel Stumpf
    BenchRHP Joe Jimenez
    C John HicksLHP Blaine Hardy
    IF/OF Alexi AmaristaRHP Drew VerHagen
    OF Victor Reyes (R)RHP Alex Wilson
     RHP Shane Greene

    DL: None

29. Kansas City Royals

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    Danny Duffy
    Danny DuffyNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    If the Kansas City Royals open the season with the starting lineup that's projected below, they could legitimately have trouble averaging three runs per game this season. (The MLB low last season was 3.73 per game by the Padres.)

    And considering they'll be backing that offense with a starting rotation that is unchanged from the group that ranked 24th in the majors with a 4.89 ERA last year, all signs point to a battle with the Tigers to avoid the AL Central cellar.

    Deciding what to do with young infielder Raul Mondesi will be one storyline to watch this spring, as the decision to re-sign Alcides Escobar has clouded his immediate future.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Whit MerrifieldLHP Danny Duffy
    LF Alex GordonRHP Ian Kennedy
    RF Jorge BonifacioRHP Jason Hammel
    C Salvador PerezRHP Jake Junis
    DH Jorge SolerRHP Nathan Karns
    1B Cheslor CuthbertBullpen
    3B Hunter Dozier (R)RHP Jesse Hahn
    CF Paulo OrlandoRHP Brad Keller (R)
    SS Alcides EscobarRHP Kevin McCarthy
    BenchRHP Burch Smith
    C Drew ButeraLHP Brian Flynn
    IF Ryan GoinsRHP Wily Peralta
    OF Billy BurnsRHP Brandon Maurer
     RHP Kelvin Herrera

    DL: None

28. Miami Marlins

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    J.T. Realmuto
    J.T. RealmutoRich Schultz/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Since we last updated these rankings, the fire sale continued for the Miami Marlins as Christian Yelich was flipped to the Milwaukee Brewers for a package of prospects built around outfielder Lewis Brinson.

    The 23-year-old will be given every chance to win the starting center field job this spring, competing with fellow offseason prospect addition Magneuris Sierra and a handful of others.

    Catcher J.T. Realmuto is the most likely candidate to be traded if the team makes another move before the start of the season, while Starlin Castro, Dan Straily, Derek Dietrich and Brad Ziegler could all wind up being dealt before the 2018 season comes to a close.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    C J.T. RealmutoRHP Dan Straily
    LF Martin PradoLHP Wei-Yin Chen
    2B Starlin CastroRHP Jose Urena
    1B Justin BourLHP Dillon Peters (R)
    RF Derek DietrichLHP Justin Nicolino
    CF Lewis Brinson (R)Bullpen
    3B Brian Anderson (R)RHP Elieser Hernandez (R)
    SS J.T. RiddleRHP Brett Graves (R)
    BenchRHP Nick Wittgren
    C Tomas Telis RHP Junichi Tazawa
    1B Garrett Cooper (R)LHP Jarlin Garcia
    IF Miguel RojasRHP Drew Steckenrider
    OF Scott Van SlykeRHP Kyle Barraclough
     RHP Brad Ziegler

    DL: None

27. San Diego Padres

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    Dinelson Lamet
    Dinelson LametOrlando Ramirez/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    While the San Diego Padres are still looking to the future and set for another season of rebuilding, they were better than most expected on their way to 71 wins a year ago and should continue trending in the right direction this season.

    The starting rotation could surprise some people, with young starters Dinelson Lamet and Luis Perdomo, veteran Clayton Richard and trade pickup Bryan Mitchell all capable of turning in solid seasons.

    With the Padres still in the mix to sign Eric Hosmer, it will be interesting to see what the rest of the offseason has in store, whether they get their guy, turn their attention elsewhere or simply stand pat.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Manuel MargotLHP Clayton Richard
    3B Chase HeadleyRHP Dinelson Lamet
    1B Wil MyersRHP Luis Perdomo
    LF Jose PirelaRHP Bryan Mitchell
    RF Hunter RenfroeRHP Tyson Ross
    SS Freddy GalvisBullpen
    2B Carlos AsuajeRHP Jordan Lyles
    C Austin HedgesLHP Buddy Baumann
    BenchRHP Kazuhisa Makita (R)
    C Rocky Gale (R)LHP Jose Torres
    3B Christian VillanuevaRHP Craig Stammen
    IF Cory SpangenbergRHP Kirby Yates
    OF Travis JankowskiLHP Brad Hand
    OF Matt Szczur 

    DL: RP Carter Capps

26. Chicago White Sox

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    Jose Abreu
    Jose AbreuJose Juarez/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    With Carlos Rodon set to start the season on the disabled list, the Chicago White Sox figure to have a trio of young starters round out the rotation behind Miguel Gonzalez and James Shields.

    Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer are the front-runners for those spots, and all three will be looking to prove they belong on the staff for good with strong springs. Fulmer, in particular, is still looking to shake the consensus that he'll inevitably wind up in the bullpen as a result of his high-effort delivery.

    With a pair of outfield spots undecided and a number of bullpen jobs up for grabs, Guaranteed Rate Field could be a spot for some of the market's remaining midtier free agents on one-year deals, giving the White Sox some potential trade chips in the summer as they continue rebuilding.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Tim AndersonRHP Miguel Gonzalez
    2B Yoan MoncadaRHP James Shields
    1B Jose AbreuRHP Lucas Giolito
    RF Avisail GarciaRHP Reynaldo Lopez
    DH Nicky DelmonicoRHP Carson Fulmer (R)
    C Welington CastilloBullpen
    3B Yolmer SanchezRHP Rob Scahill
    LF Leury GarciaLHP Xavier Cedeno
    CF Charlie TilsonRHP Danny Farquhar
    BenchLHP Luis Avilan
    C Omar NarvaezRHP Gregory Infante
    3B Matt DavidsonRHP Juan Minaya
    IF/OF Tyler SaladinoRHP Joakim Soria
    OF Willy Garcia 

    DL: SP Carlos Rodon, RP Nate Jones

25. Baltimore Orioles

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    Dylan Bundy
    Dylan BundyPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Baltimore Orioles seem set on not making the same mistake they did four years ago when they signed Ubaldo Jimenez to an ill-advised four-year pact in free agency.

    As a result, they'll pick at the scraps of the free-agent market to round out a starting rotation that currently stands as the worst in all of baseball.

    Given that strategy and the strength of their own division, it's hard to see any way they're still in contention by midseason. That could mean upcoming free agents Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton and Brad Brach all find themselves on the block.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    3B Tim BeckhamRHP Dylan Bundy
    SS Manny MachadoRHP Kevin Gausman
    2B Jonathan SchoopRHP Gabriel Ynoa
    CF Adam JonesRHP Miguel Castro
    1B Chris DavisRHP Mike Wright
    LF Trey ManciniBullpen
    DH Mark TrumboLHP Nestor Cortes (R)
    C Chance Sisco (R)RHP Jose Mesa (R)
    RF Austin Hays (R)LHP Donnie Hart
    BenchLHP Richard Bleier
    C Caleb JosephRHP Darren O'Day
    IF Engelb Vielma (R)RHP Mychal Givens
    OF Joey RickardRHP Brad Brach
    OF Anthony Santander (R) 

    DL: RP Zach Britton

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Jameson Taillon
    Jameson TaillonMark Tenally/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    There's no sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates to stop rebuilding now after they pulled the trigger on trading Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole earlier this offseason.

    Josh Harrison makes the most sense as the next veteran to be on the move. His defensive versatility and reasonable contract give him broad appeal, and moving him would clear a path once some of the team's abundance of middle infield prospects proves ready.

    At this point, it looks like the Pirates will not be battling with the Cincinnati Reds to avoid the NL Central cellar, and those two teams are headed in opposite directions.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Josh HarrisonRHP Jameson Taillon
    LF Adam FrazierRHP Ivan Nova
    CF Starling MarteRHP Trevor Williams
    1B Josh BellRHP Joe Musgrove
    RF Gregory PolancoRHP Chad Kuhl
    3B Colin Moran (R)Bullpen
    C Francisco CervelliRHP Jordan Milbrath (R)
    SS Jordy MercerRHP Dovydas Neverauskas (R)
    BenchRHP A.J. Schugel
    C Elias DiazRHP George Kontos
    1B/3B David FreeseRHP Michael Feliz
    IF/OF Sean RodriguezRHP Daniel Hudson
    OF Jordan Luplow (R)LHP Felipe Rivero
    OF Daniel Nava 

    DL: RP Nick Burdi, 3B Jung Ho Kang (restricted list)

23. Cincinnati Reds

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    Jesse Winker
    Jesse WinkerJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    If a few things break right in the starting rotation, the Cincinnati Reds have a chance to be vastly improved from the group that won 68 games a year ago.

    Luis Castillo looks like a potential breakout candidate and Robert Stephenson finished the 2017 season strong, so those will be two to keep an eye on as major X-factors this spring.

    Perhaps the biggest decision facing this team in the short term will be what to do with Eugenio Suarez once top prospects Nick Senzel is ready to take over at third base. After he hit .321/.391/.514 last season and reached Double-A, that figures to be sooner than later, so don't be surprised if Suarez is trying some new positions this spring.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Billy HamiltonRHP Anthony DeSclafani
    RF Jesse Winker (R)LHP Brandon Finnegan
    1B Joey VottoRHP Luis Castillo
    LF Adam DuvallRHP Homer Bailey
    3B Eugenio SuarezRHP Robert Stephenson
    2B Scooter GennettBullpen
    SS Jose PerazaLHP Amir Garrett
    C Tucker BarnhartRHP Kevin Shackelford
    BenchLHP Kyle Crockett
    C Devin MesoracoRHP Jared Hughes
    IF Dilson HerreraRHP David Hernandez
    OF Phillip Ervin (R)LHP Wandy Peralta
    OF Scott ScheblerRHP Michael Lorenzen
     RHP Raisel Iglesias

    DL: None

22. Philadelphia Phillies

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    J.P. Crawford
    J.P. CrawfordChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Another team that will only be as good as the starting rotation allows, the Philadelphia Phillies desperately need someone to establish themselves as a long-term piece behind budding ace Aaron Nola.

    There is no shortage of options as Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez have both flashed intriguing potential in the past, while Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, Ricardo Pinto and prospect Tom Eshelman will all be battling for a spot on the staff this spring.

    As for the lineup, paths have been cleared for J.P. Crawford and Jorge Alfaro to finally seize everyday spots, and unless they absolutely flop this spring, they should be penciled in on Opening Day.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Cesar HernandezRHP Aaron Nola
    CF Odubel HerreraRHP Jerad Eickhoff
    LF Rhys HoskinsRHP Vince Velasquez
    1B Carlos SantanaRHP Ben Lively
    RF Nick WilliamsRHP Jake Thompson
    3B Maikel FrancoBullpen
    C Jorge Alfaro (R)RHP Mark Leiter
    SS J.P. Crawford (R)RHP Victor Arano (R)
    BenchRHP Edubray Ramos
    C Cameron RuppLHP Adam Morgan
    1B Tommy JosephRHP Luis Garcia
    IF/OF Pedro FlorimonRHP Tommy Hunter
    OF Aaron AltherrRHP Pat Neshek
     RHP Hector Neris

    DL: None

21. Atlanta Braves

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    Luiz Gohara
    Luiz GoharaTami Chappell/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Atlanta Braves have more top-tier pitching talent down on the farm than any team in baseball; it's simply a matter of waiting to see how they develop.

    Luiz Gohara could be the first from that group to carve out a spot in the big league rotation, as he'll be competing with fellow prospect Max Fried and veterans Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy for the final two spots in the rotation.

    That said, the biggest prospect storyline will be outfielder Ronald Acuna, who has a clear path to starting gig after the team moved Matt Kemp. He'll likely start at Triple-A so the team can secure another year of arbitration, but an early promotion and a run at NL Rookie of the Year looks inevitable.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Ender InciarteRHP Julio Teheran
    2B Ozzie AlbiesLHP Sean Newcomb
    1B Freddie FreemanRHP Mike Foltynewicz
    C Tyler FlowersLHP Luiz Gohara (R)
    RF Nick MarkakisLHP Scott Kazmir
    LF Preston TuckerBullpen
    SS Dansby SwansonRHP Brandon McCarthy
    3B Johan CamargoRHP Anyelo Gomez (R)
    BenchRHP Chase Whitley
    C Kurt SuzukiLHP Sam Freeman
    3B Rio RuizRHP Dan Winkler (R)
    IF Charlie CulbersonLHP A.J. Minter (R)
    OF Lane AdamsRHP Jose Ramirez
     RHP Arodys Vizcaino

    DL: RP Grant Dayton

20. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Matt Duffy
    Matt DuffyDavid Goldman/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Losing Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison from an offense that ranked 25th in the league in runs scored last season doesn't bode well for the Tampa Bay Rays.

    However, they've always been a team that will go as far as its pitching staff allows, and the rotation has a chance to be a strength once again—provided Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are both still on the roster come Opening Day.

    Prospects Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames and Jake Bauers will all have a chance to position themselves for an early call-up with a strong spring.

           

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Kevin KiermaierRHP Chris Archer
    3B Matt DuffyRHP Jake Odorizzi
    RF Steven Souza Jr.LHP Blake Snell
    DH Corey DickersonRHP Jacob Faria
    C Wilson RamosRHP Matt Andriese
    1B Brad MillerBullpen
    LF Denard SpanRHP Nathan Eovaldi
    2B Joey Wendle (R)LHP Jose Alvarado
    SS Adeiny HechavarriaRHP Chaz Roe
    BenchRHP Andrew Kittredge (R)
    C Jesus SucreLHP Dan Jennings
    IF Daniel RobertsonRHP Sergio Romo
    IF/OF Micah JohnsonRHP Alex Colome
    OF Mallex Smith 

    DL: None

19. Oakland Athletics

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    Paul Blackburn
    Paul BlackburnJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Position battles abound for an Oakland Athletics team that has an outside chance to make a run at a winning record after going 75-87 a year ago.

    It will come down to whether the relatively anonymous stable of starting pitchers is up to the task, as the powerful lineup should score plenty of runs and the Blake Treinen-led bullpen has a chance to be a good unit.

    Keep an eye on Dustin Fowler and Jorge Mateo—two prospects who came over from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade—as both could be in the mix for the starting center field job.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Marcus SemienRHP Kendall Graveman
    LF Matt JoyceLHP Sean Manaea
    2B Jed LowrieRHP Andrew Triggs
    DH Khris DavisRHP Daniel Mengden
    1B Matt OlsonRHP Paul Blackburn
    RF Stephen PiscottyBullpen
    3B Matt ChapmanRHP Raul Alcantara
    CF Boog PowellRHP Emilio Pagan
    C Bruce MaxwellRHP Chris Hatcher
    BenchRHP Liam Hendriks
    C Josh PhegleyRHP Yusmeiro Petit
    1B/OF Brandon MossRHP Santiago Casilla
    IF/OF Chad PinderLHP Ryan Buchter
     RHP Blake Treinen

    DL: None

18. San Francisco Giants

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    Chris Stratton
    Chris StrattonMichael Owen Baker/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The San Francisco Giants are going to be a better team than the one we saw a year ago.

    Then again, that's not exactly the boldest prediction, considering they lost 98 games with a roster than many expected to contend for a division title.

    Adding Andrew McCutchen, Evan Longoria and Austin Jackson moves the needle, but not enough for them to look like anything more than fringe contenders until a number of bounce-back candidates prove they're capable of doing just that.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Andrew McCutchenLHP Madison Bumgarner
    2B Joe PanikRHP Johnny Cueto
    3B Evan LongoriaRHP Jeff Samardzija
    C Buster PoseyLHP Ty Blach
    1B Brandon BeltRHP Chris Stratton
    SS Brandon CrawfordBullpen
    RF Hunter PenceRHP Julian Fernandez (R)
    CF Austin JacksonRHP Derek Law
    BenchLHP Steven Okert
    C Nick HundleyRHP Cory Gearrin
    3B Pablo SandovalRHP Hunter Strickland
    IF Kelby TomlinsonRHP Sam Dyson
    OF Gorkys HernandezRHP Mark Melancon
    OF Jarrett Parker 

    DL: RP Will Smith

17. Seattle Mariners

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    James Paxton
    James PaxtonTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    It's been asked more than once this offseason: Are the Seattle Mariners going to add a starting pitcher?

    The rotation looked to be far and away the biggest weakness on the roster heading into the offseason, and despite another busy winter from general manager Jerry Dipoto, they've yet to make a significant addition to the starting staff.

    For a franchise that is desperate to snap a postseason drought that stretches back to 2001, there's too much talent on this roster not to make a concerted effort to shore up the rotation. They look like fringe wild-card contenders right now and the fourth-best team in their own division.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Dee GordonLHP James Paxton
    SS Jean SeguraRHP Felix Hernandez
    2B Robinson CanoRHP Mike Leake
    DH Nelson CruzRHP Erasmo Ramirez
    3B Kyle SeagerLHP Marco Gonzales
    RF Mitch HanigerBullpen
    1B Ryon HealyRHP Shawn Armstrong
    C Mike ZuninoLHP Marc Rzepczynski
    LF Ben GamelRHP David Phelps
    BenchLHP James Pazos
    C Mike MarjamaRHP Nick Vincent
    IF/OF Taylor MotterRHP Juan Nicasio
    IF/OF Andrew RomineRHP Edwin Diaz
    OF Guillermo Heredia 

    DL: None

16. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Josh Donaldson
    Josh DonaldsonGail Burton/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    By adding Curtis Granderson, Randal Grichuk, Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz, the Toronto Blue Jays have better positioned themselves to make one last run with the current core, and they've done it without altering the club's future plans.

    It's easy to forget that a rotation led by the same four starters was one of the best in baseball two years ago, and if J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez can stay healthy, it has a chance to be a major strength once again.

    Sorting out the No. 5 starter spot looks like the biggest decision of the spring, and left-hander Ryan Borucki could be the answer he went 8-8 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 157 strikeouts in 150.1 innings while climbing three levels to Triple-A.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Curtis GrandersonRHP Marcus Stroman
    3B Josh DonaldsonLHP J.A. Happ
    1B Justin SmoakRHP Marco Estrada
    DH Kendrys MoralesRHP Aaron Sanchez
    SS Troy TulowitzkiLHP Ryan Borucki (R)
    2B Yangervis SolarteBullpen
    RF Randal GrichukRHP Carlos Ramirez (R)
    CF Kevin PillarLHP Matt Dermody
    C Russell MartinRHP Danny Barnes
    BenchLHP Aaron Loup
    C Luke MaileRHP Joe Biagini
    IF Aledmys DiazRHP Ryan Tepera
    IF/OF Steve PearceRHP Roberto Osuna
    OF Ezequiel Carrera 

    DL: 2B Devon Travis

15. Minnesota Twins

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    Ervin Santana
    Ervin SantanaKathy Willens/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Minnesota Twins were dealt a pair of significant blows last season.

    First, veteran Ervin Santana was lost for 10 to 12 weeks following surgery last week on his right middle finger, leaving his status for Opening Day in doubt.

    That was followed by news that the Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish on Sunday, according to CBSSports.com. The Twins have made it clear that Darvish was their No. 1 target all offseason, and now they'll need to quickly shift gears in their search for starting pitching help.

    The young offensive core has significant upside and Jose Berrios is capable of taking another step forward atop the staff, but until they shore up the rotation, it's hard to see them reaching the 85 wins they posted in 2017.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Brian DozierRHP Jose Berrios
    1B Joe MauerRHP Kyle Gibson
    DH Miguel SanoLHP Adalberto Mejia
    LF Eddie RosarioRHP Tyler Duffey
    SS Jorge PolancoRHP Aaron Slegers (R)
    RF Max KeplerBullpen
    CF Byron BuxtonRHP Tyler Kinley (R)
    3B Eduardo EscobarLHP Zach Duke
    C Jason CastroRHP Ryan Pressly
    BenchLHP Taylor Rogers
    C Mitch Garver (R)RHP Trevor Hildenberger
    1B Kennys VargasRHP Addison Reed
    IF/OF Ehire AdrianzaRHP Fernando Rodney
    OF Robbie Grossman 

    DL: SP Ervin Santana, SP Michael Pineda, SP Phil Hughes, RP Trevor May

14. New York Mets

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    Noah Syndergaard
    Noah SyndergaardAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Only one pitcher on the New York Mets staff—Jacob deGrom—topped 120 innings last season.

    So what has the front office done on the pitching side of things this offseason?

    Added veteran reliever Anthony Swarzak and nothing else.

    Putting all your eggs in the same basket that broke and left you with a splattered, 92-loss mess a year ago is a recipe for disaster.

    At the same time, it's hard to see things going any worse for this team from a luck standpoint. There's undeniable talent on the roster, so the middle of the pack here at No. 14 seems about right.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Brandon NimmoRHP Jacob deGrom
    2B Asdrubal CabreraRHP Noah Syndergaard
    LF Yoenis CespedesRHP Matt Harvey
    RF Jay BruceRHP Zack Wheeler
    3B Todd FrazierRHP Robert Gsellman
    1B Adrian GonzalezBullpen
    C Travis d'ArnaudRHP Seth Lugo
    SS Amed RosarioRHP Rafael Montero
    BenchRHP Paul Sewald
    C Kevin PlaweckiLHP Jerry Blevins
    IF Wilmer FloresRHP Anthony Swarzak
    IF Jose ReyesRHP A.J. Ramos
    OF Juan LagaresRHP Jeurys Familia
      

    DL: OF Michael Conforto, SP Steven Matz, 3B David Wright, IF T.J. Rivera

13. Texas Rangers

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    Willie Calhoun
    Willie CalhounTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    Let the great, six-man rotation experiment begin!

    With Martin Perez sidelined to start the season, there's a good chance non-roster invitee Bartolo Colon will be given every chance to break camp as the No. 6 starter for the Texas Rangers.

    While a six-man staff might not make sense for a lot of teams, the Rangers look to be in a perfect position to give it a try. They have two converted relievers (Mike Minor and Matt Bush), a bounce-back candidate (Matt Moore), two capable veterans who will benefit from additional rest (Doug Fister and Colon) and an aging ace (Cole Hamels) who failed to reach 150 innings for the first time since 2006.

    The battle for DH at-bats between prospects Willie Calhoun and Ronald Guzman will also be fun to watch this spring, and both players have a chance to make an impact.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Delino DeShields Jr.LHP Cole Hamels
    RF Shin-Soo ChooLHP Matt Moore
    SS Elvis AndrusRHP Doug Fister
    3B Adrian BeltreLHP Mike Minor
    LF Nomar MazaraRHP Matt Bush
    1B Joey GalloRHP Bartolo Colon
    C Robinson ChirinosBullpen
    2B Rougned OdorRHP Chris Martin
    DH Willie Calhoun (R)RHP Tony Barnette
    BenchRHP Jose Leclerc
    C Juan CentenoRHP Seung Hwan Oh
    IF/OF Jurickson ProfarLHP Jake Diekman
    IF/OF Ryan RuaRHP Keone Kela
     LHP Alex Claudio

    DL: SP Martin Perez

12. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Brent Suter
    Brent SuterGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    There's no question the Milwaukee Brewers improved with the additions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain to what was already a potent lineup.

    However, it's hard to see them legitimately contending with the top dogs in the National League with a rotation that's fronted by Chase Anderson, Zach Davies and eventually Jimmy Nelson.

    Now that Yu Darvish is off the board, things may finally get moving on the Jake Arrieta market, and the former Cy Young winner could truly be the missing piece for the Brew Crew.

    While it might be hard to see them contending for a title without a significant addition to the starting staff, this is still a legitimate wild-card contender with their current roster.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Christian YelichRHP Chase Anderson
    CF Lorenzo CainRHP Zach Davies
    3B Travis ShawRHP Jhoulys Chacin
    RF Ryan BraunRHP Yovani Gallardo
    1B Eric ThamesLHP Brent Suter
    SS Orlando ArciaBullpen
    C Stephen VogtRHP Oliver Drake
    2B Jonathan VillarRHP Jeremy Jeffress
    BenchLHP Boone Logan
    C Manny PinaRHP Matt Albers
    1B Jesus AguilarRHP Jacob Barnes
    IF/OF Hernan PerezLHP Josh Hader
    IF/OF Eric SogardRHP Corey Knebel
    OF Domingo Santana 

    DL: SP Jimmy Nelson

11. Colorado Rockies

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    Ryan McMahon
    Ryan McMahonWilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    A strong bullpen and viable starting pitching depth.

    That's two things the Colorado Rockies have rarely had since their inception as a franchise, and they are their tickets to building off an 87-win season and a trip to the Wild Card Game a year ago. 

    Ace Jon Gray, along with Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson look like locks for the rotation, leaving German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman to compete for the final two spots on the staff.

    The other big spring decision will be whether prospect Ryan McMahon is the answer at first base. That said, don't be surprised if Mark Reynolds eventually returns on another one-year deal.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Charlie BlackmonRHP Jon Gray
    2B DJ LeMahieuRHP Chad Bettis
    3B Nolan ArenadoLHP Tyler Anderson
    RF Gerardo ParraRHP German Marquez
    SS Trevor StoryLHP Kyle Freeland
    1B Ryan McMahon (R)Bullpen
    LF Ian DesmondRHP Antonio Senzatela
    C Chris IannettaLHP Chris Rusin
    BenchRHP Scott Oberg
    C Tony WoltersLHP Mike Dunn
    IF/OF Pat ValaikaRHP Adam Ottavino
    OF Raimel TapiaRHP Bryan Shaw
    OF Mike Tauchman (R)LHP Jake McGee
     RHP Wade Davis

    DL: None

10. Boston Red Sox

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    Drew Pomeranz
    Drew PomeranzPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    At some point, the Boston Red Sox are going to do something, right?

    The team has not made a single addition to the 40-man roster this offseason, as re-signing first baseman Mitch Moreland has been their biggest move to date.

    Slugger J.D. Martinez remains the top free-agent target, but there were varying reports last week that he might be "fed up" with the team's unwillingness to negotiate from its original five-year, $125 million offer.

    Logan Morrison would be a cheaper alternative to adding some pop to the lineup, albeit a clear step down from Martinez.

    A lack of starting pitching depth and the matter of filling the second base spot until Dustin Pedroia returns to action are also areas that will need to be addressed for a team that won 93 games and a division title last year.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Xander BogaertsLHP Chris Sale
    LF Andrew BenintendiLHP David Price
    RF Mookie BettsRHP Rick Porcello
    DH Hanley RamirezLHP Drew Pomeranz
    3B Rafael DeversRHP Steven Wright
    1B Mitch MorelandBullpen
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.RHP Heath Hembree
    C Christian VazquezLHP Brian Johnson
    2B Esteban Quiroz (R)RHP Joe Kelly
    BenchRHP Carson Smith
    C Sandy LeonRHP Tyler Thornburg
    IF Deven MarreroRHP Matt Barnes
    IF/OF Brock HoltRHP Craig Kimbrel
    OF Bryce Brentz (R) 

    DL: 2B Dustin Pedroia, SP Eduardo Rodriguez

9. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Luke Weaver
    Luke WeaverGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    It looks like Luke Gregerson and Dominic Leone will be the extent of the St. Louis Cardinals' additions to the relief corps.

    Will that be good enough to allow them to keep pace with the rival Cubs in the NL Central?

    There's no question the offense is improved with the addition of Marcell Ozuna, and the starting rotation should again be a strength, even with Lance Lynn departing in free agency.

    A healthy Alex Reyes would be one of the biggest X-factors in all of baseball, even if he's deployed exclusively as a reliever this season in an effort to limit his innings and ease him back into things on the heels of Tommy John surgery.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    1B Matt CarpenterRHP Carlos Martinez
    CF Tommy PhamRHP Michael Wacha
    LF Marcell OzunaRHP Adam Wainwright
    RF Dexter FowlerRHP Luke Weaver
    SS Paul DeJongRHP Miles Mikolas
    C Yadier MolinaBullpen
    3B Jedd GyorkoRHP John Brebbia
    2B Kolten WongRHP Sam Tuivailala
    BenchLHP Brett Cecil
    C Carson Kelly (R)RHP Matt Bowman
    1B Luke VoitRHP Dominic Leone
    1B/OF Jose MartinezLHP Tyler Lyons
    IF Greg GarciaRHP Luke Gregerson
    OF Harrison Bader (R) 

    DL: SP Alex Reyes

8. Los Angeles Angels

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    Shohei Ohtani
    Shohei OhtaniJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    This is admittedly a bullish ranking for the Los Angeles Angels, considering they won 80 games last season and have failed to reach the playoffs in seven of the past eight seasons.

    It's just tough to ignore how improved their roster looks heading into 2018.

    The additions of Shohei Ohtani, Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsleralong with a full season of Justin Upton—are obvious improvements.

    It's a healthy starting rotation that deserves equal attention.

    Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker and Tyler Skaggs are all capable of being above-average or better rotation options, and they combined for just 36 starts a year ago. 

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    2B Ian KinslerRHP Garrett Richards
    CF Mike TroutRHP Shohei Ohtani (R)
    LF Justin UptonLHP Tyler Skaggs
    DH Albert PujolsRHP Matt Shoemaker
    RF Kole CalhounRHP JC Ramirez
    3B Zack CozartBullpen
    SS Andrelton SimmonsRHP Luke Bard (R)
    1B C.J. CronRHP Blake Wood
    C Martin MaldonadoLHP Jose Alvarez
    BenchRHP Keynan Middleton
    C Rene RiveraRHP Jim Johnson
    IF Luis ValbuenaRHP Cam Bedrosian
    IF/OF Jefry MarteRHP Blake Parker
    OF Eric Young Jr. 

    DL: SP Alex Meyer

7. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Yasmany Tomas
    Yasmany TomasLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Arizona Diamondbacks went from 69 wins in 2016 to 93 wins last season, and it will be interesting to see where they land this year.

    Based simply on their on-paper talent, this looks like a team that should be able to duplicate last year's success.

    The starting rotation is rock-solid from top to bottom, the offense was plenty potent before J.D. Martinez was acquired last year, and the bullpen could actually be improved with Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano in and Fernando Rodney out.

    They might not be able to bridge the gap to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but another 90-win season and a return trip to the Wild Card Game is well within reach.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    RF David PeraltaRHP Zack Greinke
    CF A.J. PollockLHP Robbie Ray
    1B Paul GoldschmidtRHP Taijuan Walker
    3B Jake LambRHP Zack Godley
    LF Yasmany TomasLHP Patrick Corbin
    C Alex AvilaBullpen
    2B Chris OwingsRHP Albert Suarez
    SS Ketel MarteLHP T.J. McFarland
    BenchRHP Randall Delgado
    C Jeff MathisLHP Andrew Chafin
    C/OF Chris HerrmannRHP Yoshihisa Hirano (R)
    IF/OF Daniel DescalsoRHP Brad Boxberger
    IF/OF Brandon DruryRHP Archie Bradley
    OF Socrates Brito (R) 

    DL: SP Shelby Miller

6. Cleveland Indians

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    Danny Salazar
    Danny SalazarChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Cleveland Indians lost two key cogs from their recent run of success—first baseman Carlos Santana and workhorse reliever Bryan Shaw.

    Free agent Yonder Alonso will replace Santana, and the hope is that he'll land somewhere between his huge first-half and dismal second-half numbers.

    As for the bullpen, incumbent Nick Goody will likely be asked to step into a higher-leverage role to replace Shaw after he posted a 2.80 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings with six holds in 56 games last year.

    The Tribe should run away with the AL Central once again after winning the division by 17 games over the Twins, and anything short of a trip to the World Series will be a disappointing result.

               

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Francisco LindorRHP Corey Kluber
    2B Jason KipnisRHP Carlos Carrasco
    3B Jose RamirezRHP Trevor Bauer
    DH Edwin EncarnacionRHP Danny Salazar
    LF Michael BrantleyRHP Josh Tomlin
    1B Yonder AlonsoBullpen
    RF Lonnie ChisenhallLHP Ryan Merritt (R)
    CF Bradley ZimmerRHP Zach McAllister
    C Roberto PerezRHP Dan Otero
    BenchLHP Tyler Olson
    C Yan GomesRHP Nick Goody
    3B Giovanny UrshelaLHP Andrew Miller
    IF Erik GonzalezRHP Cody Allen
    OF Brandon Guyer 

    DL: SP Cody Anderson

5. New York Yankees

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    Luis Severino
    Luis SeverinoBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The New York Yankees are now the team to beat in the AL East, and they fit right alongside the Indians as the leading contenders to dethrone the Houston Astros for AL supremacy.

    Sorting out second and third base will be one of the biggest storylines of spring training, in part because top prospect Gleyber Torres could be the answer at one of those spots.

    Along with the high-profile addition of Giancarlo Stanton, a full season of Greg Bird at 100 percent health could also be a huge addition to an already potent offense.

    The Red Sox still have work to do this offseason, but they'll be chasing the Yankees regardless of what additions they make.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Brett GardnerRHP Luis Severino
    RF Aaron JudgeRHP Masahiro Tanaka
    DH Giancarlo StantonRHP Sonny Gray
    SS Didi GregoriusLHP CC Sabathia
    C Gary SanchezLHP Jordan Montgomery
    1B Greg BirdBullpen
    CF Aaron HicksRHP Adam Warren
    3B Miguel Andujar (R)RHP Chad Green
    2B Ronald TorreyesLHP Chasen Shreve
    BenchRHP Tommy Kahnle
    C Austin RomineRHP David Robertson
    1B/OF Tyler AustinRHP Dellin Betances
    IF Tyler Wade (R)LHP Aroldis Chapman
    OF Jacoby Ellsbury 

    DL: None

4. Washington Nationals

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    Adam Eaton
    Adam EatonDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    It's a make-or-break year for the Washington Nationals.

    There's no glaring hole on the roster and there's a clear sense of desperation hanging over the franchise after another disappointing National League Division Series exit and with Bryce Harper staring down free agency.

    A changing of the guard is coming for this organization one way or another, and winning a World Series title in 2018 would go a long way toward smoothing that transition.

    At this time a year ago, there were major questions about the relief corps that ended up being completely justified. Now, the bullpen looks like an area of strength and this team looks poised to make a push for 100-plus wins and a deep playoff run. 

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    SS Trea TurnerRHP Max Scherzer
    LF Adam EatonRHP Stephen Strasburg
    RF Bryce HarperLHP Gio Gonzalez
    1B Ryan ZimmermanRHP Tanner Roark
    2B Daniel MurphyRHP A.J. Cole
    3B Anthony RendonBullpen
    C Matt WietersRHP Koda Glover
    CF Michael TaylorLHP Matt Grace
    BenchRHP Shawn Kelley
    C Pedro SeverinoLHP Enny Romero
    1B Matt AdamsRHP Ryan Madson
    IF/OF Wilmer DifoRHP Brandon Kintzler
    IF/OF Howie KendrickLHP Sean Doolittle
    OF Brian Goodwin 

    DL: SP Joe Ross

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Alex Wood
    Alex WoodAlex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The extent of the Los Angeles Dodgers offseason has essentially been swapping out relievers Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson for Tom Koehler and Scott Alexander.

    That's a far cry from last offseason when the front office dropped some serious money to re-sign Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill.

    Big picture, this team didn't need a splashy winter.

    The lineup has a chance to be one of the best in baseball once again, the starting rotation is a clear strength, the bullpen has been addressed and there's more homegrown help on the way as Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo could both make an impact in 2018.

    It would be an upset if they don't make it six straight NL West titles in 2018.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF Chris TaylorLHP Clayton Kershaw
    SS Corey SeagerLHP Rich Hill
    3B Justin TurnerRHP Kenta Maeda
    1B Cody BellingerLHP Alex Wood
    RF Yasiel PuigLHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
    LF Joc PedersonBullpen
    C Austin BarnesRHP Ross Stripling
    2B Logan ForsytheLHP Adam Liberatore
    BenchRHP Tom Koehler
    C Yasmani GrandalLHP Tony Cingrani
    IF/OF Kike HernandezRHP Josh Fields
    OF Matt KempLHP Scott Alexander
    OF Trayce ThompsonRHP Pedro Baez
      RHP Kenley Jansen

    DL: SP Julio Urias

2. Chicago Cubs

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    Kyle Schwarber
    Kyle SchwarberJim Young/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    And just like that, the Chicago Cubs are once again the NL favorites.

    After weeks of hand-wringing, the front office finally gave Yu Darvish that sixth year, as he joins an already talented starting rotation on a six-year, $126 million deal that could be worth $150 million with incentives.

    Richard Justice of MLB.com wrote of the signing:

    "The Cubs have positioned themselves to win a third straight division championship, regardless of how the Brewers and Cardinals respond. The Cubs' window of opportunity will not remain open forever. But as long as it is open, owner Tom Ricketts and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein intend to give their guys every chance to win another World Series championship. In the end, that's what this day signified."

    Figuring out the closer's role and deciding who bats leadoff headline the spring to-do list, and this team is not without flaw, but it's hard to view them as anything but World Series contenders.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    LF Kyle SchwarberLHP Jon Lester
    3B Kris BryantRHP Yu Darvish
    1B Anthony RizzoRHP Kyle Hendricks
    C Willson ContrerasLHP Jose Quintana
    SS Addison RussellRHP Tyler Chatwood
    RF Jason HeywardBullpen
    CF Albert Almora Jr.LHP Mike Montgomery
    2B Javier BaezRHP Justin Grimm
    BenchLHP Brian Duensing
    C Chris GimenezLHP Justin Wilson
    IF Tommy La StellaRHP Steve Cishek
    IF/OF Ian HappRHP Pedro Strop
    IF/OF Ben ZobristRHP Carl Edwards Jr.
     RHP Brandon Morrow

    DL: SP Drew Smyly

1. Houston Astros

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    Brad Peacock
    Brad PeacockRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Spring Outlook

    The Yu Darvish signing was enough to bump the Cubs up to the No. 2 spot and it certainly closes the gap, but the Houston Astros are still the team to beat in 2018.

    Not only are they the defending champs, but they'll have a full season of Justin Verlander and offseason pickup Gerrit Cole in what could be the best starting rotation in baseball.

    The offense remains an absolute juggernaut and the bullpen will benefit greatly from having ousted starters Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh as regular contributors.

    Closer Ken Giles will need to pitch up to his potential, but there's enough depth behind him that the team will be fine even if he falters in the ninth.

    Long story short, it's hard to poke holes in what looks like the deepest and most talented roster in all of baseball.

    Repeating as World Series champion is incredibly difficult, but the Astros have the goods.

          

    Projected Opening Day Roster (as of Feb. 11)

    Starting LineupStarting Rotation
    CF George SpringerRHP Justin Verlander
    3B Alex BregmanLHP Dallas Keuchel
    2B Jose AltuveRHP Gerrit Cole
    SS Carlos Correa RHP Charlie Morton
    LF Marwin GonzalezRHP Lance McCullers Jr.
    1B Yuli GurrielBullpen
    RF Josh ReddickRHP Brad Peacock
    DH Evan GattisRHP Collin McHugh
    C Brian McCannLHP Tony Sipp
    BenchRHP Hector Rondon
    C Max StassiRHP Will Harris
    IF Tyler WhiteRHP Joe Smith
    OF Jake MarisnickRHP Chris Devenski
      RHP Ken Giles

    DL: RP Jandel Gustave

              

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.