Opening Day means it’s time for our MLB preseason power rankings 2022. From bottom-feeders to quick-risers and legit World Series candidates. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride.
MLB Preseason Power Rankings 2022
The 2022 MLB season will be one for the ages. The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves recently proved that you don’t have to be the most talented or the highest-spending team to win pennants, and it feels like anything can happen in this league.
That’s the beauty of baseball. Any team can get hot at any time, and it just takes a good stretch to prove the doubters wrong and go the distance. And judging by the free-agency frenzy and spending sprees, we’re in line for some big surprises in 2022. With that in mind, we’ve ranked all 30 MLB teams ahead of Opening Day:
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a couple of interesting pieces in their pitching staff but have shown little-to-no interest in competing lately. That became even more evident when star prospect Oneil Cruz didn’t make their Opening Day roster.
We expect most of their season to focus on yet another service-time manipulation story with him and rumors about trading Bryan Reynolds. Other than that, there’s little to say about this team.
The Arizona Diamondbacks inked Ketel Marte to a big contract extension, which was a no-brainer given his talent and skills.
But other than that, they have literally no one else to build around for the future. They have some veteran pieces they could move at some point in the season but that mediocre farm system and shortage of talent makes us think it can only get worst before it gets better.
Our MLB preseason power rankings 2022 have the Baltimore Orioles two spots above the bottom, not because they’re much better than the teams aforementioned but because they at least have shown a willingness to put together a contending team.
They have a plethora of prospects and a bright future ahead of them and will most likely add up to that mix by trading away some of their veterans at some point in the season.
You’ve got to feel terrible for Oakland Athletics fans. We’re talking about one of the most storied franchises in baseball history with one of the most incompetent front offices of all time.
Their refusal to spend has set the team back over and over, and they simply demolished a promising, contending roster in the blink of an eye. Just sell the team and put the fans out of their misery already.
The words ‘Colorado Rockies‘ and ‘Best MLB teams right now’ rarely go together and 2022 won’t be the exception to that trend.
Sure, Kris Bryant, Charlie Blackmon, C.J. Cron, and Ryan McMahon will get their homers at Coors Field but this team has been dead awful for the best part of their history. The talent is there but they need to add some pitching and we wouldn’t trust that front office to do… anything.
The Washington Nationals have Juan Soto. And that’s pretty much it.
Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg are in the backend of their careers, and there is a big shortage of talent in the nation’s capital. They need to act fast if they don’t want their superstar to force his way out in free agency, but that’ll be easier said than done. It’s crazy to think that this team won the World Series in 2019. Oh, did I mention they have Juan Soto?
Salvador Perez is coming off one of the all-time great seasons for a catcher. The Kansas City Royals weren’t too good in 2021, yet they refused to cave in and just throw the towel. Hopefully, they’ll keep some of that competitive spirit for the 2022 season, in which they’re not projected to be too good, either.
At least, star prospect Bobby Witt Jr. made their Opening Day roster and he’s going to be quite special. It won’t be long before they’re back to contention.
The Chicago Cubs went from World Series candidates to being in the mix for a top-10 draft pick.
They added Yan Gomes, which means that Willson Contreras will most likely be out the door. They claim they’re getting ready for the future, and signing Seiya Suzuki is a good sign of that. So, look for them to try and move Ian Happ and Kyle Hendricks before the trade deadline.
The Cincinnati Reds‘ offseason sure drew some contrasting takes. Just when it seemed like they were ready to just blow the roster up and tank,
they made some interesting moves to make us wonder if they will at least try to compete in 2022.
Other than Joey Votto doing Joey Votto things at 38 years old, there isn’t a lot to look forward to this season if you’re a Reds fan.
The Cleveland Guardians won’t be too good this season but at least they managed to secure Jose Ramirez with a massive contract extension.
Also, Triston McKenzie could be one of the most entertaining guys to watch in the league, assuming he’s healthy. The Guardians will kick off their new era with a bottom-feeding payroll and a team with no intention in competing any time soon.
No one seems to know what to make out of the Miami Marlins. On one hand, they do have one of the most exciting pitching staffs in the Majors. On the other, their reluctance to spend cash and bring in any sort of offensive help is also setting them back.
They claim they’re building a better team for the future and they could be right, but we just don’t know yet.
But they haven’t done much besides that huge monetary commitment, which is why they’re still so low on our MLB preseason power rankings 2022. They’re still several pieces away from contention but it’s nice to see they’re trying at least.
Even though they weren’t very good, the Detroit Tigers still fought hard until the end of last season.
Manager A.J. Hinch wants to bring back the winning culture to Detroit, and the moves they made show they want to start competing right away. Star prospect Spencer Torkelson will have enough playing time to prove his worth, and they now have one of the most dynamic players in Javier Baez. Their rotation is young and promising, so we expect them to be in the mix for a Wild Card spot.
The Seattle Mariners will look to put an end to baseball’s longest postseason drought, and they sure have enough talent to do it.
They have young, up-and-coming players in Jarred Kelenic, Cal Raleigh, and Logan Gilbert, and adding the likes of Robbie Ray, Adam Frazier, and Jesse Winker will only make them better. They’re finally heading in the right direction.
The Minnesota Twins have teased us with becoming legit World Series candidates for years, yet something always seems to happen.
They showed quite a promise at the end of the season and looked like a team that was just a piece away from getting over the hump. That piece might well be Carlos Correa, assuming he stays healthy, which has been a big issue in his career.
The Philadelphia Phillies will be must-watch television night in and night out, but that’s not always a good thing.
They have enough firepower to outscore nearly every team in the game, but their volatile bullpen will make sure to blow huge leads more often than not. Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Nick Castellanos will also be a treat to watch, but the Phillies need to stop beating themselves for once.
Also, Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh have shown glimpses of greatness, so they could be a big factor there too. Even so, no one trusts the Angels to stop being, well… the Angels. Prove us wrong, guys, or stop wasting Trout’s career.
The St. Louis Cardinals had one of the most exciting streaks in MLB history last season. They’re the kind of team one can never count out and they know how to win big games.
The only concern about this team is their age, as Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are 39 and 40, respectively. Also, it’s not like they can expect Albert Pujols to hit 40 homers at this point in his career. If Jack Flaherty is healthy and Dylan Carlson breaks out, this could be a dark-horse playoff team.
Our MLB preseason power rankings 2022 have the San Diego Padres as a middle-of-the-pack team. They failed to live up to the hype in 2021 when they were healthy, so why would anybody be high on them now?
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the biggest entertainer in the game, yet he can’t shake off injuries. Yu Darvish and Blake Snell are coming off terrible seasons, and Mike Clevinger is still nowhere to be found.
The New York Mets will pay the ‘Steve Cohen Tax’ after signing Max Scherzer to a mammoth contract. And, while they look to be World Series candidates after years of struggles, some insiders still project them to miss the postseason.
Francisco Lindor needs to step up once and for all, and there are serious doubts about the Jacob deGrom – Scherzer duo and how they’ll stay healthy throughout the season. They’re the true definition of boom-or-bust.
10. Red Sox
Chaim Bloom added multiple arms to their starting rotation and capped it off by signing Trevor Story to be their new second baseman. Rafael Devers is projected to have an MVP-worthy season and we already know what he’s capable of offensively.
They could still do better in terms of their bullpen and Bobby Dalbec is the weakest link in that infield but the Boston Red Sox are certainly heading in the right direction.
The San Francisco Giants are fresh off breaking a franchise record for wins, yet they couldn’t finish the job against the Dodgers.
They’re a slightly worse team this season without Kevin Gausman, Buster Posey, and Kris Bryant, and will play in one of baseball’s toughest divisions. Even so, this is the kind of team you can never count out, especially after such a strong season.
The reigning World Series champions will look to keep the momentum going.
They finished last season in a strong way thanks to an offensive surge and Max Fried finding his groove. They’ve lost Freddie Freeman but won’t do that badly with Matt Olson handling his duties, and Ronald Acuña Jr. could have another MVP-caliber season if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks.
The New York Yankees are perennial World Series candidates. They’re set to have the highest payroll in the history of the organization, although that hasn’t translated into much success lately.
They’re much better defensively with Isiah Kiner-Falefa instead of Gleyber Torres at shortstop, and we all know they can rake when they’re healthy, which is a huge question mark. If they’re healthy and they add more pitching via trade, then look out for the always dangerous Bronx Bombers.
Our MLB preseason power rankings 2022 have the Houston Astros shockingly out of the top 5, which only speaks volumes of how stacked the league will be this season.
They’ll surely miss Carlos Correa, but they have a nice combination of contact and power to make up for that loss. Dusty Baker is one of the best minds in the game, and they could climb their way to the top if Justin Verlander is back to his usual self now that he’s healthy.
Somehow, someway, it seems like any of us could suit up for the Tampa Bay Rays and immediately start throwing 95+ and go for a couple of scoreless innings. But the 2022 version of Kevin Cash‘s team also features a well-balanced lineup that’s coming off scoring the second-most runs in the Majors.
Also, they’ve completely owned the Yankees over the past couple of seasons. Add a potential generational talent like Wander Franco to that mix and the Rays will be quite scary again this season.
4. White Sox
Following a heartbreaking end to an otherwise
perfect season, the Chicago White Sox only got better for this year. They’re banking on a breakout year from Luis Robert and they boast enough hitting and power to compete at the highest level.
Even with an injured Lance Lynn, they’re one of the best MLB teams right now. They’ll have a cakewalk to the division pennant.
The Milwaukee Brewers have the best starting rotation in the Majors and it’s not even close. On paper, they’re built to beat even the best-hitting lineups on a nightly basis, featuring multiple Cy Young candidates.
The only issue with them will be whether they have enough offense to back up their aces on the mound. If Christian Yelich stays healthy, which is a huge if, this team could be a big threat.
2. Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays showed glimpses of great play last season and are now the most improved team in 2022. Most MLB preseason predictions have them winning the American League pennant and it’s certainly hard to bet against them right now.
They have a couple of young studs in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette and added more firepower to both their lineup and their rotation. Their combination of youth and experience will be key this season and they’ll be one of the must-watch squads in the league.
Well, no surprises here. The Los Angeles Dodgers were already the team to beat last season and they only got better in 2022. Adding Freddie Freeman to the mix will allow Trea Turner to go back to the shortstop spot and make up for the loss of Corey Seager.
Clayton Kershaw is back at full strength and Max Muncy is expected to be back at some point in the season. On top of that, they now have one of the prime closers in the game in Craig Kimbrel, so it’s clearly World Series-or-bust for Dave Roberts‘ team. Injuries and Roberts’ questionable decisions are the only thing that can stop them this season.