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MLB Power Rankings: Ben Verlander's preseason top-10

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The 2024 MLB season has officially kicked off with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers splitting a series one game apiece in Seoul, South Korea. 

With the other teams’ opening matches coming shortly, here are Ben Verlander‘s preseason power rankings for the upcoming MLB season.

1. Atlanta Braves

The Braves came up short last season but will return as one of the top corps, led by last year’s National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. and MLB home run leader Matt Olson. They also added lefty Chris Sale to give them another impact in a rotation that already includes strikeout king Spencer Strider.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers won the offseason, adding multi-time MVP Shohei Ohtani, young Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and strikeout machine Tyler Glasnow. They also were able to sign the underrated but productive Teoscar Hernández to an offense that already featured Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies mostly sat out the offseason, even losing closer Craig Kimbrel and slugger Rhys Hoskins in free agency, but they were able to bring back ace Aaron Nola despite a lot of interest from other teams. A full season by Bryce Harper should improve an already potent offense for the Phillies.

4. Baltimore Orioles

After a tremendous year that saw them win 101 games, the Orioles didn’t coast in the offseason. They took a leap by adding ace Corbin Burnes to front their rotation. They also added more depth to their bullpen by signing well-traveled closer Craig Kimbrel to help offset the loss of shutdown closer Felix Bautista, who will miss the season with Tommy John surgery.

5. Texas Rangers

Last year’s World Series champs slot in at number five on the rankings. They remained quiet this offseason, instead adding depth pieces with relievers Kirby Yates and David Robertson and starter Tyler Mahle. A fully healthy season of Corey Seager and a full year by rookie postseason phenom Evan Carter should power an already potent offense.

6. Houston Astros

Gone are Michael Brantley, Martín Maldonado and manager Dusty Baker, but the Astros were able to add Josh Hader to give more punch to the back end of their bullpen. They also should be able to count on their offense to continue to perform at elite levels, led by Yordan Álvarez and José Altuve.

7. New York Yankees

New York lost some players but added some big names that will more than offset any supplementary pieces. Most notably, the Yankees added perennial MVP candidate Juan Soto, who, as a powerful lefty, should make noise with a short porch in right field. They also added outfielder Alex Verdugo in a rare trade with Boston and righty Marcus Stroman.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

After coming up just short in the World Series last season, the Diamondbacks made some interesting decisions in free agency. The team added left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to deepen their rotation, while also adding two all-or-nothing hitters: Eugenio Suarez and Joc Pederson. Those two will hope to replace the veteran production from the departed Evan Longoria and Tommy Pham.

9. Seattle Mariners

Seattle finally won their first playoff series since 2001 last season, which should help them continue to grow. However, this was a strange offseason where they slashed payroll, sending out Robbie Ray and letting Teoscar Hernandez leave, while also pulling the plug on former top prospect Jarred Kelenic. They’ll hope their trade for infielder Jorge Polanco makes a big offensive impact. 

10. Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto, one of the most tenured players in baseball and face of the Reds franchise, is gone after leaving as a free agent. However, the Reds made some interesting moves that could pay dividends this year, signing infielder Jeimer Candelario, as well as taking a flier on right-hander Frankie Montas. Cincinnati was also able to add depth to their staff with Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagan.

Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him at @BenVerlander.

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