It's Opening Week of the 2021 baseball season, with a full 162-game schedule on deck beginning Thursday.
Need a quick rundown on where each team stands? Is your team tanking or trying? Spending or scrimping? Here are the projected regular-season standings for each league.
American League East
1. New York Yankees (97-65)
Order, restored: The Yankees should match the AL’s highest payroll with the league’s best record.
2. Toronto Blue Jays (91-71)
A batch of new faces—George Springer, Marcus Semien, Steven Matz—definitely signals a new era for the Jays.
3. Tampa Bay Rays (86-76)
It hurts to trade away Blake Snell, but if any team can succeed when it looks like it shouldn’t, it’s the Rays.
4 Boston Red Sox (80-82)
They may not have actively torn down any more this winter—but they sure didn’t start building back up.
5. Baltimore Orioles (62-100)
It should be yet another looong summer. At least Trey Mancini is back after recovering from colon cancer.
American League Central
1. Chicago White Sox (94-68)
A talented young core will make Tony La Russa’s return season a fun one. He’s back with the Sox after 35 years.
2. Minnesota Twins (92-70)
They weren’t particularly aggressive this winter (Nelson Cruz is back!), but they’re still a good bet to reach the postseason.
3. Cleveland (81-81)
This pitching staff is still a force—but a league-low payroll did no favors this winter for a paltry offense.
4. Kansas City Royals (78-84)
Despite a few notable acquisitions (outfielder Andrew Benintendi, for one), their outlook is bleak.
5. Detroit Tigers (64-98)
The bright spot here? At least they’re better than the Orioles. AJ Hinch also came aboard as manager.
American League West
1. Los Angeles Angels (90-72)
In spring training’s first week, Shohei Ohtani threw 100 mph and hit a 468-foot homer. Can he do it all year?
2. Houston Astros (88-74)
Losing center fielder George Springer will sting, but the Astros are still, well, the Astros.
3. Oakland Athletics (86-76)
The A's did their best to replace key players who departed, but it still won’t be enough to catch Houston or L.A.
4. Seattle Mariners (69-93)
Fans have the call-up of top prospect Jarred Kelenic to look forward to and ... not a whole lot else.
5. Texas Rangers (63-99)
This is officially a rebuild, and it might be rough for a while. Enjoy the (new) new stadium.
National League East
1. Atlanta Braves (92-70)
They came agonizingly close to beating the Dodgers last year to win the pennant. This year they’ll do it.
2. New York Mets (89-73)
Steve Cohen’s cash can’t buy championships, but it can keep Francisco Lindor around for years to come.
3. Washington Nationals (88-74)
The NL East is loaded, but any team anchored by Max Scherzer and Juan Soto can’t be overlooked.
4. Philadelphia Phillies (82-80)
The bullpen (7.06 ERA in ’20) won’t be historically bad, but the NL’s longest playoff drought should continue.
5. Miami Marlins (71-91)
Phenom righthander Sixto Sánchez makes this team worth watching once every five days.
National League Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
How do you fix one of baseball’s worst offenses? Easy. Trade for Nolan Arenado.
2. Milwaukee Brewers (84-78)
Relievers Josh Hader and Devin Williams are already giving hitters late-inning nightmares.
3. Chicago Cubs (81-81)
Yu Darvish and Jon Lester have exited. Will Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo go next?
4. Cincinnati Reds (73-89)
Losing Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers in free agency squashes their chances of an October return.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (57-105)
Baseball’s worst team deteriorated even further after trading Josh Bell and Joe Musgrove over the winter.
National League West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (101-61)
The champs got better (welcome, Trevor Bauer), but so did several of the teams chasing them.
2. San Diego Padres (97-65)
After winning the winter and revamping their pitching staff, the Padres are still second best in the West.
3. San Francisco Giants (79-83)
The sun is setting on the championship tenure of Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (73-89)
They better hope Year 2 of Madison Bumgarner’s stay in the desert goes better than Year 1 (6.48 ERA).
5. Colorado Rockies (58-104)
At least Coors Field is beautiful and star shortstop Trevor Story hasn’t been traded ... yet.