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Power Rankings: Nationals take top spot ahead of spring training

Power Rankings: Nationals take top spot ahead of spring training Photo:

It's the start of a brand new baseball season, and that means it's time for the return of SI.com's MLB Power Rankings. With spring training slated to begin next week, it's time to see how each team stacks up before pitchers and catchers report to camps in Arizona and Florida, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the Washington Nationals are No. 1. Last year's National League East champions snagged the top free agent of the offseason in starting pitcher Max Scherzer and boast arguably the best rotation in baseball (Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, etc.) to go with a deep and imposing lineup (Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, et al). That was enough to hold off the Dodgers, who remade their front office (most notably, bringing in Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations) and roster (adding second baseman Howie Kendrick and shortstop Jimmy Rollins, among others) in yet another offseason trading and spending spree and are second in the rankings. The Cardinals, Mariners and Angels round out the top five, with three of the winter's busiest and most improved teams — the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Padres — nipping at their heels.

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Things are crowded at the bottom of the rankings as well, with three teams — the Rockies, Phillies and Diamondbacks — all within one point of last place. Ultimately, it was Arizona ending up at No. 30. The D-backs had the worst record in the majors last year at 64-98, and new manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart will need to get the club out of the cellar it occupied for so much of 2014.

A quick reminder of how our Power Rankings work: Our panel of MLB experts is asked to submit a ranking for all 30 teams. A first-place vote is worth 30 points, a second-place vote 29, and so on all the way down to one point for a last-place vote. Those points are then added up to determine how the teams rank.

• WINTER REPORT CARDS: Grades, analysis for all 30 teams

  • 1
    1Washington Nationals
    Points: 208
    High Vote: 1st (5x)
    Low Vote: 2nd (2x)

  • 2
    2Los Angeles Dodgers
    Points: 205
    High Vote: 1st (2x)
    Low Vote: 2nd (5x)

  • 3
    3St. Louis Cardinals
    Points: 192
    High Vote: 3rd (5x)
    Low Vote: 6th

  • 4
    4Seattle Mariners
    Points: 181
    High Vote: 3rd
    Low Vote: 8th

  • 5
    5Los Angeles Angels
    Points: 177
    High Vote: 3rd
    Low Vote: 11th

  • 6
    6Detroit Tigers
    Points: 159
    High Vote: 4th
    Low Vote: 14th

  • 7
    7Toronto Blue Jays
    Points: 158
    High Vote: 6th (2x)
    Low Vote: 11th (2x)

  • 8
    8Boston Red Sox
    Points: 149
    High Vote: 4th
    Low Vote: 18th

  • 9
    9San Diego Padres
    Points: 146
    High Vote: 4th
    Low Vote: 19th

  • 10
    10Pittsburgh Pirates
    Points: 144
    High Vote: 4th
    Low Vote: 15th

  • 11
    11San Francisco Giants
    Points: 136
    High Vote: 7th (2x)
    Low Vote: 19th

  • 12
    12Cleveland Indians
    Points: 126
    High Vote: 9th
    Low Vote: 18th

  • 13
    13Baltimore Orioles
    Points: 120
    High Vote: 6th (2x)
    Low Vote: 20th (2x)

  • 14
    14Oakland Athletics
    Points: 117
    High Vote: 10th (2x)
    Low Vote: 20th

  • 15
    15Chicago White Sox
    Points: 116
    High Vote: 8th
    Low Vote: 18th (2x)

  • 16
    16Miami Marlins
    Points: 110
    High Vote: 7th
    Low Vote: 22nd

  • 17
    17Chicago Cubs
    Points: 103
    High Vote: 12th
    Low Vote: 22nd

  • 18
    18New York Yankees
    Points: 100
    High Vote: 11th
    Low Vote: 21st (2x)

  • 19
    19Kansas City Royals
    Points: 90
    High Vote: 12th
    Low Vote: 23rd

  • 20
    20New York Mets
    Points: 85
    High Vote: 14th
    Low Vote: 22nd

  • 21
    21Tampa Bay Rays
    Points: 82
    High Vote: 10th
    Low Vote: 24th

  • 22
    22Texas Rangers
    Points: 68
    High Vote: 16th
    Low Vote: 28th

  • 23
    23Milwaukee Brewers
    Points: 66
    High Vote: 14th
    Low Vote: 25th

  • 24
    24Houston Astros
    Points: 57
    High Vote: 12th
    Low Vote: 27th

  • 25
    25Cincinnati Reds
    Points: 49
    High Vote: 23rd
    Low Vote: 25th

  • 26
    26Atlanta Braves
    Points: 30
    High Vote: 23rd
    Low Vote: 30th

  • 27
    27Minnesota Twins
    Points: 28
    High Vote: 25th
    Low Vote: 29th

  • 28
    28Philadelphia Phillies
    Points: 20
    High Vote: 26th (2x)
    Low Vote: 30th (3x)

  • 29
    29Colorado Rockies
    Points: 19
    High Vote: 26th (2x)
    Low Vote: 30th

  • 30
    30Arizona Diamondbacks
    Points: 18
    High Vote: 27th
    Low Vote: 30th (2x)

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