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MLB Rankings from an Objective POV


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On another message board I frequent, unrelated to baseball, a group of guys decided to get together to create preseason MLB rankings. The rankers are made up of five posters all of which i can vouch, have excellent baseball knowledge and can be relied on to be relatively objective in their rankings. Without knowing the people you will just have to take my word for it. Either way I thought maybe some of you guys would enjoy looking over some rankings that were accumulated outside of a baseball based community. If the mods dont think this belongs here thats cool I just thought some people would find it interesting.

1: Boston Red Sox

krs:1 nyy:2 g21:1 BF:1 UD:2 TWK:1

Futon: With the Sox offseason moves and the roster getting healthy, this team is more loaded than the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Southie.

Waco: The most complete team on paper with the least question marks

2: Philadelphia Phillies

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Futon: Their rotation is the best I have seen since the Atlanta teams of the 90s. The offense? Question marks, especially with Chase Utley showing more signs of wear and tear. The lineup does not have the depth to survive him being out for a significant stretch of time. Key question: Which Brad Lidge shows up this year. This just is not the type of guy I want pitching for a contract.

Waco: Health is a concern with Utley and Lidge starting on the DL, and they need Rollins to stay healthy

3: New York Yankees

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Futon: Hey, if you spend 200 million dollars and Iva Nova is your 4th starter you should definitely be considered one of the top GMs in the game. Who would have thought Yankee fans would long for the days of “Fake Chow” Wang or Javier Vazquez (for a third time) showing up in this rotation. Scary thought for Red Sox fans? The Yankees offense is way under the radar right now and more than capable of carrying them for 162 games.

Waco: Starting pitching could be a problem, but the rest of the team is loaded as usual

4: San Francisco Giants

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Futon: With all the Albertdrama, Buster Posey has to be considered a darkhorse MVP candidate this year. The question now becomes will the disease of more spread to the Giants after their great run last year. The Giants benefit from the fact they can sleepwalk to 41-40 for the first half of the year and still be alive in the watered down National League.

Waco: Regining WS champs, but not the best on paper

5: Texas Rangers

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Futon: Good luck with that Adrian Beltre contract, why don’t you call Seattle and ask how that worked out. I want to lock up the Rangers now for most disappointing team of 2011. History shows us that the pitching will just not hold up over the Texas summer. If I own the Angles or As, I’m flying out Charlie Sheen and paying him to camp outside Josh Hamilton’s house for a week.

Waco: They should easily win the West again, solid balance of hitting, pitching and defense

6: Atlanta Braves

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Futon: Trendy upset pick up for the NL East. By the way who is more disappointed about Bobby Cox retiring, Braves fans or Mrs. Cox? I’m sure she is excited about having Bobby around for 365 nights a year.

Waco: The only real threat to the Phillies in the East, should be a 90 win team

7: Minnesota Twins

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Futon: Something would seem very wrong if Joe Mauer did not find a way to win a ring with the Twins. The lack of playoff success has to become concerning for Twins fans at this point over the last few years. Maybe Brad Radke or Scott Erickson still have some juice left in those arms to add some rotation depth come playoff time.

Waco: Race with Sox should come down to last week. if Nathan can get back to dominating that could be the different

8: Milwaukee Brewers

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Futon: The Gallardo and Greinke one-two punch goes together like Bratwurst and Beer. Throw in Prince Fielder being a guy that I love having in a contract year and Ryan Braun and I like the damage the Brewers can do. As long as Greinke can stay away from the Zoloft, I like the Brewers chances this year.

Waco: Potent lineup should be enough to win the mediocre Central

9: Chicago White Sox

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Futon: The pickup of Adam Dunn is appropriate for the 2011 White Sox. This team is either going to be boom or it is going to be bust. My prediction? This team is going to be like Oney Guillen off his meds, bad news. This will finally be the year the Kenny-Ozzie relationship boils over to the point one of them goes. At least Chicago will win a playoff series or two in the NBA until they run into Boston.

Waco: See above.

10: Tampa Bay Rays

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Futon: A few more question marks than the Rays teams of the past with all the talent leaving there. Carlos Pena’s production can be replaced but I think this team will miss Carl Crawford’s leadership and Matt Garza’s ability to get up for a big game. Plus they basically are relying on big years from Manny and Johnny Damon which is all well and good, if this was 5 years ago.

Waco: I feel like they could be 5 spots higher or lower, so many young guys that are unrproven, but talented. lots of bullpen changes

Underdog: Biggest disparity of this edition, with krs ranking them second(!) and nyy ranking them 16th(!).

11: Cincinnati Reds

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Futon: If the Rangers are my pick to be the least likely to duplicate their success, then the Reds are my top pick to surprise people and duplicate their mistake. Two things the Reds have going for them: 1) Joey Votto being an absolute beast 2) No guys named Owens, Ochocinco or Palmer playing for them.

Waco: Starting pitching issues or they would be higher, could easily win the Central

12: Colorado Rockies

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Futon: Will we see first half Ubaldo or second half Ubaldo? Can Troy Tulowitzki actually hit in the first half of the season? Is Carlos Gonzalez just a one year wonder? You have to rank the Giants higher due to coming off a World Series win and the top part of their starting rotation but I think I like the Rockies to win the NL West.

Waco: Probably too high, but I like them to win the wild card. 2 young superstars and a legit ace lead the way

Underdog: Some disagreement here with gamma21 and Waco ranking the Rockies way higher than the consensus.

13: St. Louis Cardinals

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Futon: Thank god the Rams are semi-relevant again (definition of semi relevant being playing in the dumpster fire that is the NFC West and therefore being able to win 7 games) because the Cardinals season is ending before it even started. First, Albie is unhappy and leaving at year’s end and then Adam Wainwright needs Tommy John. It might be time to hire Tony LaRussa his own driver because things are getting depressing fast. I wonder if Leonard Little is available.

Waco: Mediocre team without Wainwight, but not ready to bury them in an open Central race

14: Detroit Tigers

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Futon: Not that I condone drunk driving but isn’t the correct answer to how you got home after a few drinks “Gettin Miggy With It?”

Waco: Inconsistent starting pitching will likely be their downfall

15: Los Angeles Angels

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Futon: Did any team have a worst offseason? The Angels overplayed their hand on Carl Crawford (who honestly fit way better in LA than he does in Boston, but whatever) and then lost out on the Adrian Beltre sweepstakes to Texas (probably a good long term move but bad in the short term.) So there answer? Make a ridiculous trade for Vernon Wells and get no money back. And yet the Angels are still the more respectable management team in LA. What a city.

Waco: Another team that I am low on that could end up higher and would not surprise, but I see little to be excited about

16: Los Angeles Dodgers

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Futon: Will the Dodgers be able to overcome the messy McCourt divorce and contend in the National League this year? Will Don Mattingly figure out the rules of baseball regarding how many trips you can make the mound? Will this be the year the Dodgers young talent can finally put it together and pull their heads out of their collective asses? The answers: No. Maybe, and they should have broken this young nucleus up two years ago when people were willing to overpay for Matt Kemp.

Waco: Lineup problems again cause them to underachieve

Underdog: I'd just like to say that the Dodgers suck. How's that for impartiality?

17: Oakland Athletics

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Futon: The Athletics feature the best starting pitching in the AL West with Cahill, Braden, Gonzalez and Brett Anderson. (which by the way I would take these guys having a lower combined ERA than the Phillies vaunted 4 if you throw in the ERA adjustment across leagues.) The bullpen is also solid. Unfortunately it looks like David DeJesus might be their best hitter. That qualifies you for middle of the pack status.

Waco: Great young pitching staff should be enough to finish over .500

18: Florida Marlins

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Futon: Florida is another team that could be sneaky good this season. The rotation is shaping up nicely and Javier Vazquez has the potential to a big arm when pitching in the National League. Hanley Ramirez is more than capable of carrying the offense and I liked the quiet addition of John Buck to make the Marlins one of the better teams up the middle in baseball. The problem for the Marlins is that on paper the Braves and Phillies just look like too much for them.

Waco: Might have them a few spots too high, but they always seem to play better than preseason expectations

19: Toronto Blue Jays

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Futon: See the last sentence of the Orioles. Some nice young hitters here but we need a division relocation program in baseball to give Toronto or Baltimore a chance on a yearly basis.

Waco: Poor Jays, I'm sure they will start out hot and then fall apart per usual. just no chance in the East, but a solid team

20: Baltimore Orioles

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Futon: The Orioles were great in the second half last year and this offense has the potential to lead the AL in homeruns. The question as always is pitching, pitching, pitching. For all you fantasy owners out there, a nice sleeper? Brian Matusz who was dominant from August on last season. If the Orioles played in the AL West or Central I’d have them as a darkhorse to win their division. Unfortunately in the AL East, calling them to be a darkhorse to finish 3rd is a stretch.

Waco: Played well under Showalter and have some nice young pieces

21: New York Mets

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Futon: The Mets playoff chances are already deader than Bernie Madoff’s kid. What a disaster. Best case scenario? Donald Trump buys a share of the Mets and decides to come in next year and overbid the Cubs and everybody else for Albert. Worst case scenario? Status quo reigns and we get to see RA Dickey and Oliver Perez make 30 starts. The good news? I hear Jason Bay can finally count to Potato after his concussion last year.

Waco: Starting pitching will be better than most think, health is the main concern. Bay and Beltran need to rebound

22: Chicago Cubs

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Futon: Alfonso Soriano: 19 Million. Fukudome: 14 Million. Aramis Ramirez: 16 Million. Carlos Pena: 10 Million. Carlos Zambrano: 19 Million.

Waco: Carlos Pena will be better than most think, but it won't be enough for them to compete

23: San Diego Padres

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Futon: Last year’s collapse for the Padres was extremely depressing for a couple reasons. I would have won a lot of money if the Padres won that division and it marked the end of the Adrian Gonzalez era in San Diego. I wonder if Mrs. Gonzalez will question this decision in mid-April when it is 35 degrees and freezing rain in Boston and stupid sunny, 80 degrees in San Diego. I’m going to say yes. And then change the answer to no, when AdGon wins the Triple Crown playing in Fenway.

Waco: Last year was a fluke and now they have no Gonzo? better than the Dbacks tho!

Underdog: My homerism is showing through, ranking these guys 3 spots higher than the average. But with Gregerson, Adams, and Bell intact at the back end and good defense, I think they are going to suprise again.

24: Washington Nationals

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Futon: I will save you the 4.95 for ESPN Insider in July of 2013. “The Nationals are looking to move Jayson Werth but teams are balking about taking on the last four years of his insane contract. The Nationals will have to add a significant of money and be willing to take a B-level prospect back in return.”

Waco: 2 budding superstars but one is injured and the other is not ready. Ian Desmond is leading off - really?

25: Houston Astros

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Futon: How is the Carlos Lee deal still going on? Does Craig Biggio still play for these guys too? I’m so confused.

Waco: They are in rebuilding mode still, some nice young players

26: Arizona Diamondbacks

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Futon: It’s never good when you can confuse a roster with the available list of free agents still unsigned in March.

Waco: Too many strikeouts on offense and not enough starting pitching, not to mention bullpen concerns

27: Seattle Mariners

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Futon: Enjoy King Felix while he lasts Seattle. It is really a shame that the Mariners could not put a better ballclub around him for this last year or two while he is in Seattle because Felix in a 5 game series would be downright scary against any team.

Waco: Eric Wedge is the guy that's going to turn it around? Yikes.

28: Cleveland Indians

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Futon: At least the Indians seems to be going in the right direction rebuilding wise. Hopefully Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona put together decent first halfs and lead to the Tribe getting a few prospects back in return. It’s never good when your average cities sports franchise’s winning percentage is lower than the cities unemployment rate.

Waco: A bad team lost their best player, and Sizemore is not ready to produce on a regular basis = long year

29: Kansas City Royals

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Futon: I don’t like baseball’s salary inequity as much as the next guy but Hal Steinbrenner has a point when he says baseball is practicing socialism at the moment. Now I am all for revenue sharing if teams want to put the money back on the field and there are plenty of small/mid-market teams doing that (see Minnesota/Milwaukee) but when you see a team like the Royals basically trotting out a team that would finish below .500 in Japan it seems a bit absurd.

Waco: Soria is a top of the line closer, but not much else to be excited about. time is now for Billy Butler to start producing. way too young and untalented to compete.

30: Pittsburgh Pirates

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Futon: Let’s play a game called “Where will Andrew McCutchen play in 2015?.”

Waco: No comment needed

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