Baseball

MLB Power Rankings: 24th-22nd

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MLB Power Rankings

So far we’ve brought you 30-25, and they have all been National League teams in the stages of rebuilding.  Here’s the list so far:

30. Atlanta Braves

29.  Cincinnati Reds

28. San Diego Padres

27. Milwaukee Brewers

26. Colorado Rockies

25. Philadelphia Phillies

And now for this week:

24: Baltimore Orioles

The Comeback

2015 record: 81-81, 3rd in AL East

The Orioles came into 2015 with high expectations, but they were, at best, a mediocre team.  A year after reaching the ALCS, the Orioles lacked key players on both sides of the ball to allow them to make another run at an AL East title.  During the offseason, the division only got tougher, and the Orioles have not made any roster moves that show an improvement from 2015. The O’s lost pitcher Wei-Yen Chen and replace him with veteran Yovani Gallardo.  It was definitely a good move to add Gallardo,  but despite a strong bullpen, the Orioles rotation still lacks the depth that it needs to make a playoff run in the AL East   On the bright side, Baltimore was able to resign offensive star Chris Davis.  They also acquired veteran power (yet terribly inconsistent) bat Mark Trumbo, and resigned elite reliever Darren O’Day.  They have key pieces remaining in their lineup in Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and Manny Machado, but these players can never seem to stay healthy.  Ultimately, the Orioles were unable to add enough pieces to change the results from last year, and will ultimately disappoint again against even better AL East competition.

2016 prediction: 73-89, 5th in AL East

Key needs: Starting pitching

Key losses: Wei-Yen Chen

Key addition: Mark Trumbo

MVP: Adam Jones

X-factor: J.J. Hardy

23: Oakland Athletics

Clubhouse News

2015 record: 68-94, Last in AL West

The Oakland A’s shocked everybody in the offseason prior to 2015 by trading star third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie.  Naturally, Donaldson won the AL MVP and Lawrie hit .260 and is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.   Key free agent addition Billy Butler underwhelmed, and overall the A’s offense struggled.  After consecutive winning seasons and trips to the postseasons, the Athletics had the worst record in the American League, and 2016 does not look promising. The best addition for the A’s was starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez who missed most of 2015 from shoulder surgery. But, $6 million dollars is worth the risk, as he was the ace if the Marlins staff in 2014.  The Athletics also revamped their bullpen with the signing of veteran pitcher Ryan Madson to a three-year contract. However, no big moves have been made on offense, and the A’s will not be good enough to compete for a playoff spot.

2016 prediction: 73-89, 5th in AL West

Key needs: Offensive weapons

Key losses: Brett Lawrie

Key addition: Henderson Alvarez

MVP: Sonny Gray

X-factor: Billy Butler

22: Los Angeles Angels

ESPN

2015 record: 85-77, 3rd in AL West

Following a disappointing season in which he Angels had, perhaps, the worst offseason in all of baseball.  They needed offense, as it had been the weak point in an underperformance in 2015. However, the Angels only managed to trade for defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons, who is not the offense they needed.  They also managed to deplete their already weak farm system in the trade, and it is now ranked as the worst in baseball.  Unfortunately for the Angels, their unavoidable down spiral began in 2015, and will continue in 2016.   It isn’t like the Angels lack stars: they have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout and a proven veteran in Albert Pujols.  However, a lackluster and inconsistent offense and a decent at best pitching staff led by Garrett Richards and Jered Weaver will disappoint the Angels and their fans, and they will finish just in front of the aforementioned A’s.

2016 prediction: 73-99, 5th in NL East

Key needs: Offense

Key losses: Erick Aybar

Key addition: Andrelton Simmons

MVP: Mike Trout (Duh)

X-factor: Albert Pujols

Who will be next in our 2016 MLB Power Rankings? Stay tuned for 21-16 on February 24th and also an NFL Mock Draft on March 1st!

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