The 2012 baseball season ended with the San Francisco Giants' sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Predictably, both clubs are poised to challenge for a ring again this year. If it happens for the Giants, they would own three of the last four.
As formidable as the Giants are, though, they are not the best team in baseball at the moment. Entering spring training, the Tigers hold that distinction in The Plain Dealer's first power rankings for 2013. Already formidable offensively, Detroit added Torii Hunter via free agency and Victor Martinez from injury. Scoring runs will not be a problem -- not that a rotation led by Justin Verlander needs many. Infield defense and the bullpen are concerns, but they will amount to speed bumps.
The Tigers should have minimal difficulty winning the AL Central, and they have more than enough talent to return to the World Series.
The Giants are third in the power rankings. The Washington Nationals, who were oh-so-close to facing San Francisco in the NLCS, open at No. 2.
Tigers atop pre-spring debut of 2013 MLB power rankings
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Feb 3