MLB power rankings: The 2020 MLB season is almost here. It’s been a slow offseason, with free agency slowed down significantly, leaving marquee talents available for the taking. With spring training right around the corner, it’s time to dive into our MLB power rankings for 2021.
The Los Angeles Dodgers deserve the top spot. Not only are they the defending World Series champions, but there’s a case for them as one of the best teams in recent memory. It’s not like they lost talent this offseason either, signing Trevor Bauer and still having the resources to do even more. Fortunately for MLB fans, the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves will be gunning for them this season.
As for the American League, that’s where things get a little more intriguing. The New York Yankees made a few moves this offseason, but the Toronto Blue Jays showed far more aggressiveness. Not to be outdone, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins brought in key pieces they hope will help them become World Series contenders.
The COVID-19 pandemic will likely still influence the 2021 season, but everyone should be happy about seeing baseball return in April with a much bigger schedule. The road to the World Series starts now and there’s plenty to get excited about for each team this upcoming season.
MLB power rankings: 2021 World Series contenders
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers got the World Series monkey off their back. While it might just be a piece of metal to Rob Manfred, capturing that elusive franchise meant everything to that clubhouse and this franchise. Oh, they are positioned well for a repeat in 2021. Even without Trevor Bauer, the Dodgers’ rotation gave San Diego competition for baseball’s top pitching staff. With Bauer, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, Los Angeles now boasts a potentially historic starting rotation.
The Dodgers are loaded beyond measure and there’s always a chance they add even more. This lineup is even better, with two MVP candidates (Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger) and All-Star talent around them. Oh, Justin Turner is also back for some extra pop at third base. After holding the No. 1 spot in our MLB power rankings throughout the entire 2020 season, we could see the same in 2021. There’s zero doubt who is the best team in MLB.
2. San Diego Padres
Talk about a front office being aggressive. Just trading for Blake Snell would have been enough to elevate San Diego into World Series contention, but this front office wanted more. So, it went out and acquired Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. The Padres now have a dominant rotation, one that features Chris Paddack as the No. 5 starter and MLB’s top pitching prospect (MacKenzie Gore) waiting in the wings. That will complement a lineup that scored the third-most runs (325) in baseball last season. Don’t sleep on this bullpen, which just added Mark Melancon. If not for Los Angeles signing Bauer, there might have been a case for these two teams being closer. Barring a response from San Diego, it grabs a distant No. 2 spot behind Los Angeles.
3. Atlanta Braves
The Braves have been relatively quiet this offseason, but that’s acceptable factoring in the club’s overall talent. Adding Charlie Morton gives this rotation a No. 2 starter and makes it one of the most underrated pitching staffs in baseball. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a lienup featuring Ronald Acuña Jr, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies. We also can’t ignore this team’s impressive depth, with Jake Lamb, Ender Inciarte and Jason Kipnis providing a variety of tools for different in-game situations. If the Braves decide to go for it, a move their farm system would allow, they can jump right into the mix with the Padres.
4. New York Yankees
Disappointment in the playoffs s becoming a familiar theme for the New York Yankees. Fortunately, the talent still exists for this club to win a World Series. New York’s lineup is loaded with DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge both capable of competing for AL MVP. When healthy, Giancarlo Stanton is still outstanding, Clint Frazier could be a star in the making and Gleyber Torres’ bat is dangerous. It will all come down to the rotation. If Corey Kluber stays healthy and Jameson Taillon performs, coming off his second TJS, New York has a quality playoff trio.
For now, the Yankees are the top AL team in our MLB power rankings. With that said, this team isn’t better than the ones that kept falling short. The Chicago White Sox are a real threat and we’ve seen the Tampa Bay Rays own the Yankees before.
5. Chicago White Sox
Meet the best professional sports team in Chicago. As the Chicago Cubs begin to plummet, the White Sox are poised to be the new kings of The Windy City. The lineup features Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenéz, Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert and José Abreu. They are each All-Star candidates and this is also a deep batting order with Yasmani Grandal, Nick Madrigal and Adam Eaton. Look at that rotation, featuring three strong starters (Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dallas Keuchel). The pieces are in place for the White Sox to be insanely entertaining in 2021 and beyond.