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The 30: Champs on top but three AL teams in top five as new season, format debuts

The defending world champions are baseball's best one week in, but the Astros, Red Sox and Indians each look like they will be a formidable contender for Chicago's crown.

Welcome to the season premiere of The 30! Throughout the year at SI.com, I’ll break down the biggest stories in baseball, while ranking all 30 teams.

Fair warning: These are not your typical rankings. If you want a simple accounting of wins and losses, consult MLB’s standings page. Instead, The 30 considers a wide array of factors, including run differential, hit sequencing, team health, strength of schedule and a broader, objective overview of the overall quality of a team. Actual wins and losses make up just one piece of the puzzle.

Things get even more complicated this early in the season. At this stage, I’ll lean much more heavily on roster quality and season-long projections, rather than a random three-game winning streak or losing streak. As the season goes on, actual on-field results will of course play an increasingly important role.

Finally, there's been a change to our format: Instead of running every week during the regular season (as it did last year at SI.com), The 30 will instead run every two weeks in 2017. But wait, there’s good news! In lieu of highlighting four teams per week, I’ll feature every team in the American League, followed by every team in the National League (and so on) every two weeks until the start of the playoffs. So you’ll get to read about your favorite team more often, and you’ll get to scream at me about how biased and terrible I am more often!

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Today, it’s The 30, AL edition. Enjoy.

30. San Diego Padres (3–4 record, minus-17 run differential)

29. Atlanta Braves (1–5, minus-12)

28. Milwaukee Brewers (2–5, minus-6)