The first Power Rankings of 2022

Baseball is back, Opening Day is in the offing, and with that comes another time-honored tradition: trying to predict which teams will dominate in their divisions weeks before the action begins.

Last year, the Braves were crowned champions, the Giants stunned with a 107-win season and the Mariners were in contention for the AL Wild Cards down the stretch, signaling that their long rebuild was nearly complete. .

Although spring training is about to begin, there is a lot of work to be done. Luxury free agents like Freddie Freeman and Puerto Rican Carlos Correa are not yet under contracts. There are dozens of free agents left on the market. Players have a definite time to prepare for Opening Day on April 7 after a long period of inactivity.

The first edition of the 2022 Power Rankings reflects what happened in 2021, with some forecasts for the coming season.

Power Rankings Top 5

1. DodgersThe Dodgers fell where they dropped when we do our first preseason rankings — first place, thanks to their endless depth and success the year before. The Dodgers lost key players like Corey Seager and Max Scherzer in free agency, but the fact that Trea Turner will move to his natural position at shortstop will help stabilize the infield. The Dodgers would benefit from more pitching, and they took a step in that direction, as they reportedly signed a one-year deal with Clayton Kershaw.

2. White Sox
When the main question surrounding a team is, “Will this be the year they win the World Series?”, it’s easy to understand why the White Sox rank so high in the first Power Rankings of the year. Chicago’s ninth faces other questions: Who will play right field and second base? Do they need more pitching? But with nearly everyone on the 2021 playoff team returning, and the club boasting Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and Lance Lynn, the Palefoots appear to be in a good position to win the Central title. of the American League with ease.

The Rays had their first 100-win season last year and, not surprisingly, will be relying on a group of young pitchers with no track records to try to put together another season. Ryan Yarborough and Josh Fleming will return, while Yonny Chirinos and Tommy Romero hope to help out at some point. But there are other pitchers to watch: Shane McClanahan, Shane Baz, Drew Rasmussen and Luis Patino. This group has a lot of talent but little experience. The second could change in 2022.

4. Yankees
The Yankees face two big questions right now: Who will play shortstop? Do they have enough pitching? The bullpen is considered a strong point, but they need at least one more pitcher. For now, their rotation is made up of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, the Dominican Luis Severino, the Cuban Nestor Cortes Jr. and the Dominican Domingo Germán. Of that group, Severino appears to be the most vulnerable, as he has made just seven major league appearances since he signed a four-year deal in the spring of 2019.

5. Mets
The Mets were one of the most active teams on the free-agent market before the lockout began, and it’s unclear if they’ll continue to add to a roster that already looks deep enough to contend in the East. National League. Manager Buck Showalter is on a long list of “new” Mets that also includes Max Scherzer, outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte, and infielder Eduardo Escobar. The Mets would like to add another starter and a left-handed reliever. What remains to be seen is how much more they are willing to spend.

The rest of the 30 teams:

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss

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The first Power Rankings of 2022