The 2019 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

N important part of a fan’s preparation for baseball’s regular season is managing and creating expectations. Not only in the typical euphemistic feeling of»preparing oneself for failure» (though certainly baseball entails a whole lot of failure) but also in the sense of figuring out what every group is capable of accomplishing. An 85-win year and third-place finish could be a tragedy for the Red Sox, for instance, but it’d be the best season the Cincinnati Reds have managed in the greater part of a decade.
Expectations come from outside means, such as projections being bullish on the Yankees or down on the A’s this year, or through a fast glance at a group’s roster construction, which might reveal that the Padres or even Braves could overachieve thanks for their glut of youthful talent. It’s also possible to guess in a team’s confidence via the moves it created in the offseason—the Phillies, after falling short, filled two shopping carts in the supermarket —or throughout the rhetoric of its own GM, director, or players. The indications are everywhere. So let’s rank all 30 teams based on how good they need to be this season.
Houston Astros
Houston won 103 games last year and its roster may be better in 2019. The Astros lost Charlie Morton and (likely ) Dallas Keuchel to free agency this offseason, plus Lance McCullers Jr. to Tommy John, but marginally incredibly have the pitching depth to make up for it. Utilityman Marwin Gonz??lez pulled up stakes and headed to Minnesota, but Aledmys D??az figures to be a competent replacement.
Houston also covered up its few weaknesses: Catcher Robinson Chirinos (.222/.338/.419 past year) will probably be an improvement on Brian McCann (.212/.301/.339 in 2018), and if nothing else watching him squat 150 times each game will not make you wince and hold your knees. The Astros went out and got Michael Brantley to play left field, in which they were quietly pretty awful last season; part of the reason behind this has been Kyle Tucker, their top offensive prospect, that attracted comparisons to Ted Williams in spring training last year but struck .141/.236/.203 in 72 enormous league plate appearances. Whether he is coming off the bench, DHing, or displacing Josh Reddick in appropriate field throughout the season, Tucker should supply more (any) value in 2019, as will Carlos Correa, who performed through a back injury in the second half and struck only .180/.261/.256 after the break. Correa posted back-to-back six-win seasons in 2016 and 2017, and also six extra-base strikes in 42 preseason plate looks, he seems a lot more comfortable than he did six months ago.
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