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1. New York Yankees
With the revamped rotation led by C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, the Yankees have put themselves in a position to be the best. The question is can they be what they say they are on paper.
2. Boston Red Sox
The top two teams come from the same division, should be fun to watch this one unfold in the East. The Red Sox hitters all had career years last year, I see them falling just a little but still at the top of the league.
3. New York Mets
I know the Phillies are the defending champs but I give the edge to the Mets because of the bullpen. Charlie Manuel has a brand new pen that others envy, with guys like J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez, leads in the late innings should be much safer this season.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
The defending AL Champs will have a hard time making the playoffs this year because of their tough division only getting tougher this offseason.
5. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are coming off a great regular season last year and a forgettable performance in the playoffs, but they are as strong as ever. Milton Bradley adds depth to their outfield and if their rotation stays healthy, they will be at the top of the NL once again.
6. Philadelphia Phillies
Utley and Hamels need to stay healthy for the Phillies to have a shot at a repeat.
7. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
In my opinion, the Angels had a tough offseason losing their All-Star closer K-Rod and first baseman Mark Teixeira. Bobby Abreu and Brian Fuentes don’t come close to replacing those guys but the Angels are in a weaker division in the AL West and should take it.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
Manny single-handedly makes this team better. Look at what they did with him compared to without him last season, he makes others around him better and they play in the weakest division in baseball.
9. Minnesota Twins
Young, solid talent makes this team a contender every year.
10. Oakland Athletics
The offense was horrible last season but has been improved drastically with Holliday, Giambi and Cabrera added. The pitching is the question mark here.
11. Milwaukee Brewers
Gallardo should be the ace of the staff, but can’t carry this team very far by himself.
12. St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols is lone bright spot remaining on the Cards.
13. Cleveland Indians
14. Arizona Diamondbacks
Young and talented team with decent staff, just not ready to break through yet.
15. Texas Rangers
Hamilton, Kinsler and co. should power the offense just fine but the pitching is always shaky in Arlington.
16. Detroit Tigers
Last season they were projected to break records with their bats, when that did not happen they went back to reality. Reality is they are not deep enough to contend.
17. Chicago White Sox
Not much left in the windy city for the Sox.
18. Florida Marlins
Hanley wants out because he had to cut his hair…if he is unhappy, fans will be unhappy with the Marlins record.
19. San Francisco Giants
Great staff led by NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum but it is not enough to get them close to contention because their offense is horrible. You have to score runs to win in baseball.
20. Atlanta Braves
Lowe can’t carry the load for the Braves and Chipper is aging…no hope in Atlanta.
21. Cincinnati Reds
Votto should have a breakout year for the Reds but it will not be enough to contend.
22. Houston Astros
Berkman and Lee have big bats but the Astros will be looking up at a lot of teams in the NL Central come season’s end.
23. Kansas City Royals
Moving up slowly. Still not close to being a contender.
24. Toronto Blue Jays
Playing in the hardest division in baseball does not help this mediocre team.
25. Baltimore Orioles
The O’s are in the same boat as the Blue Jays.
26. Colorado Rockies
Lost their biggest offensive threat in the Holliday trade, have some talent coming up but it will not be enough to get them past the big guns in the NL.
27. Seattle Mariners
Going into last season many people had the Mariners winning the West with some of their big name acquisitions but the Mariners are used to big names not working out in Seattle. Nothing worked out last year for the M’s and nothing will this year either. Griffey is a good acquisition for the fans but not much else.
28. San Diego Padres
Rebuilding. Adrian Gonzalez is all they got and likely will be traded by the deadline.
29. Washington Nationals
Adam Dunn adds a little pop but not enough to bring them up.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth is a great hitter but without guys on base to drive in, it does not matter. Nothing will matter for the Pirates yet again.
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