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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Houston Astros top MLB Power Rankings for January

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With the debut of our 2018 Power Rankings, we take a look at the state of each team on New Year’s Day. With the unusual lack of offseason activity, there are still many free-agent signings that will affect this list by the time pitchers and catchers report in six weeks.

1. Houston Astros (2 first-place votes), 88 points: Reigning champions bringing everyone back.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (1), 87: Another team with a very short list of offseason adjustments.

3. New York Yankees, 86: Winners of the winter meetings with surprise Giancarlo Stanton deal.

4. Cleveland Indians, 81: Led majors with +1.6 run differential last season.

5. Washington Nationals, 77: One last run with Bryce Harper in the fold?

6. Chicago Cubs, 75: Low-key signing of Tyler Chatwood shores up a decent rotation.

7. Boston Red Sox, 73: New leadership in first-time manager Alex Cora.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks, 68: Stayed healthy and earned surprise wild-card berth. Can they repeat?

9. Colorado Rockies, 65: Wade Davis deal gives them enough arms to compete.

10. Los Angeles Angels, 61: Welcome to the Shohei Otani show — but how quickly will he adjust?

11. St. Louis Cardinals, 59: Got the Marlins’ second-best piece in Marcell Ozuna.

12. Minnesota Twins, 58: Young talent helping them move up the ranks.

13. Seattle Mariners, 49: Could have enough talent — if healthy — to compete for second wild card.

14. Milwaukee Brewers, 46: Will soon see results of hanging onto their prospects last season.

15. Texas Rangers, 44: Rebuilt middle of rotation with offseason moves.

16. Atlanta Braves, 40: Punishment for prospect scandal was a huge blow to team’s future.

17. Oakland Athletics, 39: Yet another stadium deal dissolved. What year are they targeting?

18. Pittsburgh Pirates, 38: If everything goes right, they look pretty good. But how likely is that?

19. (tie) Tampa Bay Rays, 36: Traded the franchise in Evan Longoria. Looking toward 2020.

19. (tie) Toronto Blue Jays, 36: Might be too late for the current group, could deal pieces this year.

21. Baltimore Orioles, 32: What will they do with Manny Machado?

22. New York Mets, 28: We’re pretty sure they won’t be worse this season.

23. Kansas City Royals, 25: Impossible to predict before Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain sign — somewhere…

24. (tie) Philadelphia Phillies, 23: A solid group of young players under new manager Gabe Kapler.

24. (tie) San Francisco Giants, 23: Is Longoria trade first step in quick-fix rebuild?

26. Cincinnati Reds, 18: Billy Hamilton reportedly still on the market.

27. Chicago White Sox, 17: Highly regarded farm system nearly ready to produce.

28. San Diego Padres, 12: Same for these guys, with a 2019 arrival date for their best.

29. Detroit Tigers, 8: Trade of Justin Verlander showed they plan a total tear-down.

30. Miami Marlins, 3: Plenty of blame to go around for the current state of the team.

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