1. Houston Astros
The Astros are the defending World Series Champions, beating the Dodgers in seven games. Not only are the Astros returning nearly all of their starters from their championship season, but they also added some talent. The Astros already had a talented rotation, headed by Justin Verlander and Dallas Kuechel, but added the very talented Gerrit Cole. The Astros are also bringing back plenty of young hitting talent with Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman and reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve.
2. New York Yankees
The Yankees have been in the headlines all offseason. New York, who already hit the most homeruns as a team in 2017, added Giancarlo Stanton to their already loaded lineup. Stanton is the reigning NL MVP and hit 59 homers last season. Stanton will fit nicely in a lineup that already has Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in it. New York also has one of the best bullpens in the MLB. The Yankees biggest weakness is their rotation. After Luis Severino, New York has many question marks amongst their starting pitchers.
3. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox were a good team in 2017, but lacked a consistent power hitter and that’s exactly what they got in the offseason. Boston brought in JD Martinez who slashed .303 with 45 HRs and 104 RBIs in just 119 games in 2017. He will be joining a very talented lineup, which already includes Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox are also returning the 2017 AL Cy Young runner up, Chris Sale, and arguably the best closer in the MLB – Craig Kimbrel.
4. Washington Nationals
The Nationals could be looking at their last good chance to win a World Series for a while in 2018. Star outfielder Bryce Harper is in the final year of his contract and will be hitting the free agent market next year. But with that being said, Harper has something to prove if he wants a monstrous pay day in 2019, so expect Harper to put up unbelievable numbers this season. The Nationals are also returning their young shortstop, Trea Turner and veterans Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy, not to mention one of the best 1-2 starting pitching combinations in the league with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
5. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs and the Indians were very close for the fifth spot in the rankings, but the loss of Carlos Santana allows the Cubs to sneak in at five. Chicago will be bringing back the most talented corner infield combo in the MLB with Anthony Rizzo at first base and Kris Bryant at third, to go along with a young talented middle infield – Addison Russell and Javier Baez. The Cubs also have a good rotation with Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and big free agent signing Yu Darvish. However, the Cubs lack a proven closer after losing Wade Davis to the Rockies in the offseason.