With plenty of moves left to be made, I wanted to see how much my opinion will change over the course of this offseason and into the season. Obviously this is very subjective, and I try my best to keep bias out of things, but this is all a prediction based on the trajectory of the team, the predicted additions in the offseason, and whether I believe the team will overachieve, underachieve, or play about how predicted. Lets give it a try.
30th: Pittsburgh Pirates (59-103)
The Pirates are going to be really bad in 2021, and likely for a while longer, Ke’Bryan Hayes looked like a stud last season, but the protection behind him loosing Josh Bell, will be hard for a youngster. The rotation has a few pieces in Joe Musgrove, Jameson Taillon and Steven Brault, but dont expect them to likely end the season as a pirate
29th: Detroit Tigers (62-100)
The Tigers are continuing their rebuild, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with young pitchers Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize, along with an offense that has a couple nice young pieces in Willi Castro and Victor Reyes. Plus Torkelson is on his way in a year or two.
28th: Texas Rangers (65-97)
I love the David Dahl pick up for this team, and picking up Kohei Arihara from the NBO yesterday was a good way to get some innings from a pitcher with high upside. But overall, this team is just lacking many pieces, and could turn around a large portion of their team this season, such as Joey Gallo, Elvis Andrus and any form of pitching that does well. Sherten Apostle will be a stud though!
27th: Baltimore Orioles (66-96)
We saw some fight from the Orioles last season for the first time in what seems like forever, but they faded out in the second half of last years shorted season. Adley Rutschman has a good chance of being on the Opening Day roster for this team, and with Trey Mancini coming back and players like Anthony Santander looking like mainstays, they just need some pitching the begin to shoot up the rankings.
26th: Colorado Rockies (69-93)
Unfortunately for the Rockies, their window for winnings is closed, and Arenado and eventually Story will be on their way out to hopefully win a ring somewhere else. The Rockies desperately need to begin the rebuild, and get some young players to help them compete in the future.
25th: Seattle Mariners (70-92)
The future is coming for Seattle, but it will be a couple more years before they can truly be called contenders. Kyle Lewis looked like the real deal in 2020, and the pitching took a big leap forward, with Justus Sheffield having a good season and Marco Gonzalez continuing being a highly undervalued pitcher.
24th: Kansas City Royals (71-91)
I love what the Royals have done so far this offseason, with the addition of Carlos Santana and Mike Minor, and this honestly might even be too low for this team. With a lineup that now has Santana, Jorge Soler, Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier, if they can get some help on the pitching side of things with Brad Keller and youngsters Brady Singer and Kris Bubic, they could potentially compete for some meaningful games in September.
23rd: San Francisco Giants (71-91)
The Giants were surprisingly competitive in 2020, but I believe that was just a case of a shortened season helping a team that had a good stretch of games appear competitive. It has been well known that the Giants are getting older and older every year, with Evan Longoria, Buster Posey and Johnny Cueto all getting towards the end of their careers, the window for winning might be closed, but it appears they’re going for at least one more run at things.
22nd: Miami Marlins (75-87)
Was last year Marlins team for real? I say kind of. I think they are on the path to being a very competitive team, but they are still lacking a good number of things, most notably a bullpen, a couple starters, and a few offensive pieces. It wont be long till the Marlins are much higher on this list.
21st: Philadelphia Phillies (77-85)
Every season is the same for the Phillies for the last nine seasons, get excited about the team, talk like you’ll win the NL East, make a big splash in the free agent market, and then fall flat on your face. The Phillies have not been to the playoffs since 2011, and have not finishing above .500 since 2011 either. There’s no reason to think it will change in 2021, even with a change in the front office.
20th: Milwaukee Brewers (78-84)
Yelich looked like a completely different player in 2020, as he slumped big time, but I’m not too worried about him one bit. Im much more worried about the pitching on this team, especially the starting rotation, as Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes look like good pieces, but outside that, it is a whole lot of question marks.
19th: Cincinnati Reds (80-82)
The Reds are likely going to partially rebuild this offseason, I see them possibly getting rid of either a pitcher such as Castillo or Gray, and possibly Eugenio Suarez, but even if they lost one of all three, I still would have a good deal of faith they can still compete. Especially with a talented plethora of outfielders, and depth of starting pitching.
18th: Los Angeles Angels (82-80)
How is it the team with the best player of our generation, and one of the best of all time already, has only made it to the playoffs once in his tenure as an Angel. The addition of Rendon, already adding to the lineup they have that includes Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher and some aging vet’s such as Justin Upton and Albert Pujols. Their offense will not be the thing to hold them back, it will and always will be their pitching, unless they address it.
17th: Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80)
The Diamondbacks are one of the bigger question marks in baseball, they could be competitive like they were in 2019, or they could be god awful like they were in 2020. So im meeting right in the middle and saying they will be right around average. With players like Ketel Marte, Kole Calhoun, and Madison Bumgarner, they should be able to hold their own in the NL.
16th: Houston Astros (83-79)
Another team that the window is closing on their winning (or cheating) ways. The Astros still have the tools to win the AL West, but with the harsh decline of most of their mainstays in 2020, might mark the downfall of the team. But Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are hard to bet against having a bounce back season.
15th: Chicago Cubs (84-78)
The Cubs rank will truly depend on whether or not they decide to sell off some of their stars, such as the rumors surrounding Kris Bryant this offseason. Like the Reds, I think that the Cubs even if they get rid of Bryant, have the tools to still work towards a meaningful September.
14th: Boston Red Sox (85-77)
I think the Red Sox will take a step in the right direction in 2021, after showing some of the youth in 2020, the Red Sox need to just address their rotation and bullpen, and they can contend of the Wild Card as soon as next season, which I’m betting on.
13th: St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
The Cardinals are unlike a lot of teams previously mentioned, I think their rotation and bullpen, when healthy is one of the better ones in the game, with Jack Flahery leading the charge. But their offense leaves a good deal to desire, with Paul Goldschmidt, and then a bunch of aging players and unproven youngsters.
12th: Toronto Blue Jays (88-74)
The youth is here to stay north of the border in Toronto. Bichette looks like the real deal, and Guerrero Jr and Biggio both look like pieces to build around. Teoscar Hernandez is a huge part of this offense and expect a big season from him in 2021, like he did in 2020. Hyun Jin Ryu was a great signing and if they can get one or two more starters this offseason, they will become a Wild Card favorite.
11th: Washington Nationals (89-73)
A team with the potential like the Nationals, its hard to keep them away from the top portion of the list, even after an abysmal 2020 season. Juan Soto looks like one of the future faces of baseball, if he isnt there already. And a rotation that features Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin is hard to bet against.
10th: Cleveland Indians (89-73)
Even if the Indians were to trade Lindor this offseason or during the season, the Indians are still in a great position to make the postseason. Jose Ramirez is arguably a better player than Lindor, and Shane Bieber is on his way to becoming the best pitcher in the game sooner rather than later.
9th: New York Mets (91-71)
The Mets are eventually going to win the NL East, it is just going to happen. And this is coming from a person who really doesn’t like the Mets or Mets fans one bit. The offense is great, with Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso leading the show. And if the pitching rotation actually can stay healthy and supply Jacob Degrom with some depth behind him, it will be a successful 2021.
8th: Oakland A’s (92-70)
The A’s need Matt Chapman back and Matt Olsen to preform much better than he did in 2020. But expect a bounce back season from Khris Davis and company in 2021, along with a pitching staff that has 2020 standout Chris Bassitt and two young high promise arms in it with Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk in it. They really need to go out and get Liam Hendriks back though, so banking on the A’s to open their wallets is sometimes a risky gamble.
7th: Minnesota Twins (93-69)
Mitch Garver is much better than the player he was in 2020, so expect him to have a much better 2021 season. The offense will hopefully get granddad Nelson Cruz back, who will just continue hitting 30+ home runs a year until I die. Kenta Maeda was a terrific pickup for the club, but they do need to go get another reliable starter to pair with him and Jose Berrios.
6th: San Diego Padres (93-69)
The future is now for San Diego, and with a powerful offense that features young stud Fernando Tatis Jr. Manny Machado and hit or miss Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer. The pithing staff will get Mike Clevinger back eventually, and will provide a boost to a rotation that already has Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies, Chris Paddack and a couple top pitching prospects in MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino.
5th: Atlanta Braves (95-67)
The Braves have built a winning team, and they looked like the real deal in 2020, taking the eventual World Series champion Dodgers to seven games in the NLCS. Young pitching really carried this team, with Ian Anderson taking a huge step forward in his rookie season, and Max Fried looking like a legitimate ace. Any team with Acuna Jr and Albies will be a great one.
4th: Tampa Bay Rays (95-67)
When you look at the Rays lineup, you really dont see anyone that jumps out of the page, but year in and year out they just continue to get better. The Rays are truly the best team in baseball at getting production out of players that other teams give up on. Couple that with a rotation that even losing Charlie Morton can still lead the team back to the fall classic.
3rd: New York Yankees (98-64)
There is no question, the Yankees offense is one of the best in the game, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit. The Yankees need two things to win their first World Series since 2009, they need their team to stay relatively healthy, and they need two more starters to give them innings. They really dont even need a Bauer type pitcher, just someone to have around a 4.00 ERA and thrown near the 200 inning mark and with their offense, that will do more than fine.
2nd: Chicago White Sox (100-62)
Im big time on the White Sox train, and with the youth they have now with the pitching staff that has one of the best 1-3’s in the big leagues with Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Dallas Keuchel. The offense has the chance to be the best in the AL too, with Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada to just name a few. Andrew Vaughn will win the ROTY as well.
1st: Los Angeles Dodgers (108-54)
The 2020 World Series Champion Dodgers are obviously the team to beat in 2020, and they’re going to be extremely hard to beat. With the rumors of them being in the market for Nolan Arenado, which would just make their lineup absolutely ridiculous, adding on top of Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. Don’t forget about their pithing rotation either, headlined by Clayton Kershaw, and youngsters Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin.