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2009 Preseason MLB Baseball Power Rankings

MLB Power Rankings: Preseason Edition

The 2009 WBC is over, the MLB preseason is underway, and Scott Orgera weighs in with his weekly MLB Power Rankings article for the 2009 MLB baseball season.

1. New York Yankees – 2008 Record – 89-73
Coming out of camp, this team boasts the strongest, most balanced starting rotation in the game.A deep bullpen with several interchangeable pieces in the minors ensure a fast start out of the gate. Even with Cody Ransom at third base, this is still one of the league’s deepest lineups. Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui must return to healthy form offensively or A-Rod’s absence will become noticeable in a hurry.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +225
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +450

2. Boston Red Sox – 2008 Record – 95-67
Big Papi and Mike Lowell are hitting well in exhibition games.  If they’re both close to full strength early on, this offense should feast on weaker rotations and bullpens.  A rebound season from Tim Wakefield and Brad Penny are key, at least until John Smoltz is ready.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +300
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +500

3. Chicago Cubs – 2008 Record – 97-64
Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster lead a top-notch rotation. Rich Harden is healthy, for now, and is one of the best in the biz when he’s not ailing. New right fielder Milton Bradley is on fire in the exhibition season, and he will add to a lineup already containing a lot of pop. Closer situation is still not decided, with Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg both showing that they can handle the job the past couple of weeks.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +275
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +800

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4. Tampa Bay Rays – 2008 Record – 97-65
The AL Champs, on paper, are even better than ’08. Young, talented rotation is so deep that post-season phenom David Price was just sent to AAA. Pat Burrell adds strength and experience to the heart of the lineup. Matt Joyce, who has breakout potential, has all but lost his starting job because of a calf problem. Gabe Gross can fill in amicably until Joyce is ready for a full-time big league role.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +800
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +1400

5. Philadelphia Phillies – 2008 Record – 92-70
The World Champs find themselves in a vastly improved division in ’09. Cole Hamels’ elbow issues do not appear to be serious. Can Jamie Moyer really keep this up? Raul Ibanez will hit enough to make fans forget Pat Burrell. J.C. Romero will be missed during his 50-game suspension, but the bullpen still has depth.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +650
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +1400

6. Los Angeles Dodgers – 2008 Record – 84-78
With Manny Ramirez back and Orlando Hudson signing on to play second, this lineup has virtually no weak spots. That is a scary thought for opponents, especially in the offense-deprived NL West. If Clayton Kershaw lives up to his billing and Chad Billingsley repeats ’08 performance, this team has a chance to take a big lead early. Number 5 spot in the rotation is still up for grabs, but it may belong to Jason Schmidt when he is ready in a few weeks.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +750
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +1500

7. New York Mets- 2008 Record – 89-73
Carlos Delgado will be hard-pressed to continue on 2nd half performance of ’08. Jose Reyes and David Wright should continue to improve while Carlos Beltran remains a consistent force. Corner outfield spots as well as second base and behind the plate could become glaring weaknesses on offense. Revamped bullpen turns it into a 7-inning game for opponents. No guarantee that the staff can be effective through 6, however, on days Johan Santana is not pitching.promo/casino

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +350
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +800

8. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 2008 Record – 100-62
New closer Brian Fuentes may be in for a rude awakening against AL lineups. The rest of the pen is reliable. John Lackey and Ervin Santana lead a decent group of starters. Bobby Abreu’s patient approach should fit in nicely with a lineup that knows how to manufacture runs. This team isn’t as good as last year, but they’ll be in the AL West chase.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +1000

9. Atlanta Braves – 2008 Record – 72-90
Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez will be workhorses at the top of revamped rotation. Jair Jurrjens will just continue to get better. Mike Gonzalez has underrated stuff for the 9th inning. Offense is counting on Casey Kotchman and Josh Anderson to realize potential.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1400
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +3000

10. Cleveland Indians – 2008 Record – 81-81
The Indians are relevant again, especially in a division that is completely up for grabs. Kerry Wood can be the shutdown closer this team needs. Accompanying him is an effective bullpen with a healthy mix of workhorses and specialists. The front of the rotation is set with two aces, Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona, while the back end is rounded out with youth and promise. Both Anthony Reyes and Scott Lewis could develop quickly. Bounceback years from Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez are key.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +2000

11. Oakland Athletics – 2008 Record – 75-86
Billy Beane’s team comes into 2009 with new life. Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi will take advantage of a decent amount of RBI opportunities. Justin Duchsherer will miss his first couple of turns with a sore elbow. Brad Ziegler could be lights out at closer.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1800
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +3500

12. Arizona Diamondbacks – 2008 Record – 82-80
Jon Garland may show significant improvements dealing to NL lineups, and Max Scherzer is already drawing comparisons to some of the all-time greats.  If these two are serviceable at the back end of a rotation anchored by Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, the D-Backs can match up with almost any staff.  The lineup won’t scare anyone, though, as there may not be a .300 hitter among the group.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +800
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +1800

13. Detroit Tigers – 2008 Record – 74-88
It seems like everyone has forgotten about the Tigers. Big mistake. Justin Verlander is back in form, Armando Galarraga is the real deal, and Jeremy Bonderman could be ready in a few weeks. Closer candidates Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney have been awful this spring, but don’t read too much into that yet. The lineup still features legitimate table setters followed by consistently potent power.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +2000

14. St. Louis Cardinals – 2008 Record – 86-76
Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel are centerpieces of a surprisingly powerful lineup. Chris Carpenter has looked tremendous this spring. A comeback year from the former Cy Young winner could vault this team into contention. Skip Schumaker’s transition to second base could result in some painful unearned runs for the staff early on.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1200
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +3000

15. Minnesota Twins – 2008 Record – 88-75
The entire starting rotation has the potential to be stars. Francisco Liriano looks like he’s completely back in gear, dominating opponents so far this spring. Deep bullpen led by elite closer Joe Nathan makes this team a legitimate sleeper in the Central. Joe Mauer’s health problems are starting to scare some front office folks.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1400
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +2500

16. Milwaukee Brewers – 2008 Record – 90-72
Rotation is too dependent on middle-tier starters like Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan. If Jason Kendall can learn how to hit again, this lineup has no easy outs top to bottom. Ryan Braun is quickly becoming one of the best hitters in the game. Prince Fielder is having a solid spring.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +4000

17. KC Royals – 2008 Record – 75-87
Trey Hillman’s squad seems to be the trendy sleeper pick in the AL, and with just cause to a certain extent. Coco Crips leads off in a lineup containing several question marks but also a great deal of young promise. Alex Gordon and Billy Butler both have high ceilings, and breakout seasons from one or both of them would immediately change the entire dynamic of the team’s offense. This may finally be the year where Zack Grienke strings it all together on the mound.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +4500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +8000

18. Florida Marlins – 2008 Record – 84-77
Fredi Gonzalez has these guys believing in themselves, and why shouldn’t they? The young staff chock full of flamethrowers can give opposing lineups fits. Hanley Ramirez is a bonafide star who appears ready to carry a team. Setting things off will be Cameron Maybin, who has a tremendous upside. Dan Uggla has finally silenced doubters about his power being a fluke after averaging 30 homers across three seasons.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +4000

19. Cincinnati Reds – 2008 Record – 74-88
Young rotation led by Harang and exciting future aces Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez will keep them competitive throughout.  The offense is forced to rely heavily on Jay Bruce and Joey Votto to meet lofty individual expectations. Newly acquired Ramon Hernandez should handle young staff well.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2800
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +5500

20. Chicago White Sox – 2008 Record – 89-74
Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, and John Danks — not a bad starting 3. Too many question marks at the back end, however, with veterans who are way past their prime like Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon in the mix. Carlos Quentin is proving this spring that last year was not a fluke, and will anchor a lineup that is starting to get a bit old. Youngster Josh Fields is being counted on heavily to supply a spark at third.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +1400
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +3000

21. Houston Astros – 2008 Record – 86-75
If Miguel Tejada and Pudge have anything left in the tank, this lineup has the potential to knock some teams around. Roy Oswalt had a tough time in the WBC, but that is not a good measurement stick. Counting on Mike Hampton to fill a rotation spot tells you that this team is on thin ice in the rotation department. Continued progression from Wandy Rodriguez could ease the pain.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2200
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +4500

22. San Francisco Giants – 2008 Record – 72-90
Barry Zito’s actually gained control of his curve in camp. If he can be even mildly effective, this rotation can dominate. It will be interesting to see what the Big Unit has left in the tank. Nevertheless, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are exciting. Brian Wilson can be a servicable closer. The problem lies in the anemic offense, which may have trouble scoring runs against the weakest of teams.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +4000

23. Seattle Mariners – 2008 Record – 61-101
New management and field staff ready to put ’08 debacle behind them. The rotation, behind King Felix and a hopefully healthy Erik Bedard (he’s already having a sore buttocks issue in camp), may be able to consistently compete for 5-6 innings a night. However, the closer situation is still undecided and the rest of the bullpen is nothing to write home about. Too many potential rally killers scattered throughout the lineup.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +5000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +10000

24. Baltimore Orioles – 2008 Record – 68-93
Youthful outfield combination of Felix Pie, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis has the potential to be very exciting. George Sherrill shouldn’t see too many opportunities in the 9th before Chris Ray takes his old job back full-time. Jeremey Guthrie is a bonafide ace, while the rest of the rotation could go either way at this point.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +7500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +12000

25. Texas Rangers – 2008 Record – 79-83
Lineup led by Josh Hamilton is flat-out scary. Michael Young’s shift to third will probably go rather smoothly, especially if prospect Elvis Andrus grows up fast at short. Pitching staff is in shambles, with the top arms in the minors still a year or two away.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +3000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +6000

26. Colorado Rockies – 2008 Record – 74-88
Todd Helton’s back is better, and that could mean a major resurgence of power. Ryan Spilborghs is relishing is full-time role in center by having a great exhibition season. Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez both have 15+ win potential this year, but the rest of the rotation leaves much to be desired. Huston Street and Manny Corpas both have meltdown potential in the late innings.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +5000

27. Toronto Blue Jays – 2008 Record – 86-76
In a division ripe with progress, the Jays have taken a step backwards. After Roy Halladay, who is as close to automatic as it gets, the rotation shows little promise. The bullpen is solid, but it won’t matter much if the team can’t hand off any leads. Even if Alex Rios and Vernon Wells rebound to star form, the lineup doesn’t offer enough pop to overcome the medicore pitching staff.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +2500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +4000

28. Washington Nationals – 2008 Record – 59-102
Will Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes finally realize their potential? If so, and Nick Johnson stays on the field, it will complement Ryan Zimmerman and newcomer Adam Dunn nicely in a lineup that could be better than a lot of folks are expecting. The same question should be asked for Daniel Cabrera, who has shown scattered flashes of brilliance for years. Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman’s impressive spring has added to the hype surrounding him. If all these pieces fall into place, the Nats will no longer be the NL’s punching bag.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +6500
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +15000

29. San Diego Padres – 2008 Record – 63-99
If you thought last season was tough to watch, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Jake Peavy and Chris Young are legitimate arms, but the rest of the rotation does not project to do much. Heath Bell should ease the loss of Trevor Hoffman. Not many bright spots on offense other than Adrian Gonzalez.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +6000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +10000

30. Pittsburgh Pirates – 2008 Record – 67-95
This organization seems to be stuck in neutral. Paul Maholm, who could win 15 games somewhere else, sits atop an unproven staff containing disappointing talents Ian Snell and Zach Duke. Rounding out the back end should be Yankees castoffs Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf, each of which has shown small glimpses of hope during their brief careers. The lineup has a couple of exciting players like Nate McClouth and Ryan Doumit, but not much else.

Last Week Rank: N/A
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win pennant +10000
2009 – BetUS.Com Odds to win World Series +20000

More Scott Orgera Articles Previewing All MLB Teams’ Pre-Season Odds Can Be Found Here >>>

Scott wants to hear from you!!! Hit him up with a comment below!!! Scott Orgera is a regular contributor to the Capper’s Picks Blog and can be reached at scottorgera @ hotmail.com

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Comments

Comments

  1. chevy chase ave says:

    good ranking..

  2. I like the Cubs with Bradley

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