Top 10 lineups right now, ranked 1-10

But beyond that, while we wait for the results of Correa’s latest medicals, let’s look ahead and rank the top 10 lineups in the Big Tent right now.

I usually wait until just before Opening Day to make this list. But the surprising news from Correa early Wednesday morning presents us with an opportunity that we cannot pass up.

So here we go with the top 10 rosters (we reserve the right to change our minds 100 times between now and the start of the campaign, of course):

1) Brandon Nimmo, CF
2) Carlos Correa, 3B^
3) Francisco Lindor, SS
4) Pete Alonso, 1B
5) Jeff McNeil, 2B
6) Starling Marte, RF
7) Daniel Vogelbach, BD
8) Mark Canha, F
9) Omar Narváez, C

You may accuse me of being a prisoner of the moment, but there are statistical reasons for putting the Mets first. The best way to quantify offensive impact, adjusting for league and stadium conditions, is wRC+. The Mets were third in the majors in wRC+ (116, or 16% better than league average) in 2022 and first in the second half (124). They had a clear power problem, but that will be compensated in a certain way with the arrival of Correa. And there’s a good chance that the Mets’ top prospect, catcher Francisco Álvarez, represents a big improvement in that area. So accuse me of being opportunistic, because I don’t care.

1) Fernando Tatis Jr., L.F.^
2) Juan Soto, RF
3) Manny Machado, 3B
4) Xander Bogaerts, SS
5) Jake Cronenworth, 1B
6) Matt Carpenter, BD
7) Ha Seong Kim, 2B
8) Austin Nola, C.
9) Trent Grisham, CF

^Will miss 20 regular season games while serving suspension

Wow, that was fun typing the top of that lineup. So imagine what Bob Melvin is going to enjoy writing it every day. The Padres’ offense didn’t really rock out like we expected it to in the final two months of the regular season after the Juan José Soto trade, but the addition of Bogaerts (.880 OPS over the last five years) and the Tatis’ return will give them – by far – the best foursome in MLB. There are more question marks in the second half of the order, but if Carpenter wants to go crazy again, all the better.

1) Jose Altuve, 2B
2) Jeremy Pena, SS
3) Yordan Alvarez, F
4) Alex Bregman, 3B
5) Kyle Tucker, R.F.
6) Jose Abreu, 1B
7) Michael Brantley, BD
8) Chas McCormick, CF
9) Martin Maldonado, C

The Astros ranked sixth in the majors in wRC+ (112) and eighth in runs scored (737) in 2022, and that was without the RBI machine that is Cuban Abreu and with Brantley’s nice swing around for just 64 games. The pair of veterans are getting older, and that must be taken into account. But the other side of the coin is that Cuban Álvarez, Tucker and Dominican Peña are entering what should be the best years of their careers. That tremendous mix of discipline and power the Astros have gives them a strong case for being No. 1 on this list, and they just might end up there by the end of the season.

1) George Springer, R.F.
2) Bo Bichette, SS
3) Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B
4) Alexander Kirk, C.
5) Matt Chapman, 3B
6) Danny Jansen, BD
7) Lourdes Gurriel Jr., L.F.
8) Santiago Espinal, 2B
9) Kevin Kiermaier, CF

They may be high up in this ranking, because while the Blue Jays were second in MLB in wRC+ in 2022 (118), they will have to make up for the departure of Teoscar Hernandez, who was traded to the Mariners for bullpen help. The Blue Jays could also greatly benefit from some production from the left side. Regardless, this is still one of the best lineups in the AL, with four regulars (Springer, Kirk, Guerrero and Bichette) who were at least 29% better than the league average for the season. last, according to his wRC+.

1) Tommy Edman, SS
2) Willson Contreras, C.
3) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
4) Nolan Arenado, 3B
5) Brendan Donovan, 2B
6) Tyler O’Neill, F
7) Lars Nootbaar, RF
8) Juan Yepez, BD
9) Dylan Carlson, CF

While the Cardinals will surely miss what Albert Pujols did in the second half of 2022, Contreras (132 wRC+ in 2022) replacing Yadier Molina (51) is one of the most significant improvements that can be made. with a single signature. Thanks to MVP seasons from Goldschmidt and Arenado and the takeoff of players like Donovan and Nootbaar, the Cardinals were fifth in runs scored (772) and wRC+ (114) last year. And prospect Jordan Walker could push them even further.

1) Ronald Acuna Jr., RF
2) Michael Harris II, CF
3) Austin Riley, 3B
4) Matt Olson, 1B
5) Sean Murphy, C.
6) Travis d’Arnaud, DH
7) Ozzie Albies, 2B
8) Marcell Ozuna, F
9) Vaughn Grissom, SS

Another lineup that could be undersold here. (What can I say? This is tough.) Notably, current FanGraphs runs-per-game projections (pre-Correa on the Mets) have the No. 1 Braves. totally off knee surgery — he’s back to his MVP-caliber production, if Olson has another year like 2021 now that he’s more comfortable in Atlanta, and if Grissom proves he can hold his own in Dansby’s absence Swanson. The Braves got great production from d’Arnaud and William Contreras at receiver and DH last season, and we can say that trend could continue with Murphy on board.

1) Mookie Betts, RF
2) Freddie Freeman, 1B
3) Will Smith, C.
4) Max Muncy, 3B
5) JD Martinez, BD
6) Gavin Lux, SS
7) Chris Taylor, L.F.
8) Miguel Vargas, 3B
9) James Outman, CF

It didn’t look that way in the NLDS vs. the Padres, but this was the best lineup in baseball last season, hands down. The Dodgers came out on top in every major category. The drop from No. 1 to No. 7 on this list really isn’t as bad as it sounds, because these are all quality lineups. But I put them in this position after they lost to the Turner Brothers — Trea and Justin (no, not really brothers), both of whom had wRC+ averages around 25% better than the league average. Martinez was called to the All-Star Game last year, but, by his standards, it was his worst full season since he became a regular in Detroit.

1) Kyle Schwarber, BD
2) Trea Turner, SS
3) JT Realmuto, C
4) Bryce Harper, R.F.^
5) Rhys Hoskins, 1B
6) Nick Castellanos, F
7) Alec Bohm, 3B
8) Bryson Stott, 2B
9) Brandon Marsh, CF

^To start season on IL after undergoing Tommy John surgery

The Phillies’ lineup clearly belongs in this Top 10, but it’s probably the hardest team to rank in these top 10 lineups right now, just because we don’t know exactly when Harper will return from Tommy John surgery and how quickly he’ll be able to recover. its level of production to which we are accustomed. With Harper limited to DB duties (plus missing 50 games with a thumb injury), the Phillies finished 10th in wRC+ (106) and seventh in runs (747) last year. Now, Turner gives them a nice speed boost near the top of the lineup, and a rebound from Castellanos sounds like a real possibility.

1) Harrison Bader, CF
2) Aaron Judge, R.F.
3) Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4) Giancarlo Stanton, BD
5) Gleyber Torres, 2B
6) Josh Donaldson, 3B
7) Jose Trevino, C
8) Oswald Peraza, SS
9) Aaron Hicks, L.F.

The Yankees ranked second in runs (807) and fourth in wRC+ (115) in 2022. Keep in mind that that happened with Judge’s season and with Matt Carpenter (as mentioned above) briefly resembling Barry Bonds. In the second half, the overall production of the lineup was very ordinary. Re-signing Judge and Rizzo is something the Bombers had to do, and it keeps them in the Top 10. But this offense still looks pretty reliant on Judge, and seeing Judge repeat his performance from 2022, of course, looks like a very difficult task.

1) Steven Kwan, L.F.
2) Amed Rosario, SS
3) Jose Ramirez, 3B
4) Josh Bell, 1B
5) Josh Naylor, BD
6) Oscar Gonzalez, RF
7) Andres Gimenez, 2B
8) Mike Zunino, C.
9) Myles Straw, CF

See how these elusive young Guardians sneak into this Top 10. They were definitely a mid-table offense last year, as they ranked 15th in runs per game (4.31). But it’s really not a huge jump from 15th to 10th, and I’d argue that Cleveland can do it if they can drastically improve at two positions (DH and catcher) where they ranked 29th in OPS last year (Bell and Naylor can essentially now share at-bats as 1B/BD). Bell and Zunino both bring a share of power. Add some power to a club that had the best contact rate (80.8%) and finished fourth in Baserunning score by FanGraphs (13.2) last season, and you have the potential for a Top 10 offense.

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Top 10 lineups right now, ranked 1-10