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The Nationals and Dodgers each had great winters, but which National League power heads into spring training as SI.com's No. 1 team in baseball?

By SI.com Staff
February 13, 2015

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.

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1
Washington Nationals
Low Vote: 2nd (2x)
2
Los Angeles Dodgers
Low Vote: 2nd (5x)
3
St. Louis Cardinals
Low Vote: 6th
4
Seattle Mariners
Low Vote: 8th
5
Los Angeles Angels
Low Vote: 11th
6
Detroit Tigers
Low Vote: 14th
7
Toronto Blue Jays
Low Vote: 11th (2x)
8
Boston Red Sox
Low Vote: 18th
9
San Diego Padres
Low Vote: 19th
10
Pittsburgh Pirates
Low Vote: 15th
11
San Francisco Giants
Low Vote: 19th
12
Cleveland Indians
Low Vote: 18th
13
Baltimore Orioles
Low Vote: 20th (2x)
14
Oakland Athletics
Low Vote: 20th
15
Chicago White Sox
Low Vote: 18th (2x)
16
Miami Marlins
Low Vote: 22nd
17
Chicago Cubs
Low Vote: 22nd
18
New York Yankees
Low Vote: 21st (2x)
19
Kansas City Royals
Low Vote: 23rd
20
New York Mets
Low Vote: 22nd
21
Tampa Bay Rays
Low Vote: 24th
22
Texas Rangers
Low Vote: 28th
23
Milwaukee Brewers
Low Vote: 25th
24
Houston Astros
Low Vote: 27th
25
Cincinnati Reds
Low Vote: 25th
26
Atlanta Braves
Low Vote: 30th
27
Minnesota Twins
Low Vote: 29th
28
Philadelphia Phillies
Low Vote: 30th (3x)
29
Colorado Rockies
Low Vote: 30th
30
Arizona Diamondbacks
Low Vote: 30th (2x)

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