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The Times' Major League Baseball rankings

Washington tops the list, but Dodgers and Angels are among the contenders.

April 06, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Washington's Bryce Harper hit two home runs on opening day and is one of the reasons the Nationals are on top of The Times' baseball rankings.
Washington's Bryce Harper hit two home runs on opening day and is one… (Al Behrman / Associated…)

THE CONTENDERS

1. WASHINGTON (4-1) Three names: Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper

2. SAN FRANCISCO (3-2) Best starting rotation in the major leagues

3. DETROIT (3-2) After reaching Series in ’12, Cabrera, Verlander hungry to win one this year

4. CINCINNATI (3-1) Stable lineup, stable manager will soften loss of OF Ryan Ludwick

5. DODGERS (2-2) Guggenheim Partners’ pockets deeper than the Marianas Trench

6. BALTIMORE (3-1) Had first winning season in 15 years in 2012

7. TAMPA BAY (2-2) Only one member of Rays’ standout rotation is older than 27

8. TEXAS (3-2) Solid rotation, experienced roster and 19 games with the Astros

9. ST. LOUIS (1-3) Made playoffs three times in last four seasons

10. ATLANTA (3-1) MLB’s youngest roster + weak division = playoff spot

11. ANGELS (2-3) Trout, Pujols, Hamilton, Trumbo give Halos new Murderers’ Row

12. TORONTO (2-3) Busy off-season proved ownership is all in

13. MILWAUKEE (1-3) Led the NL in scoring last season

14. CHICAGO (AL) (3-2) Spent 126 days atop division in Robin Ventura’s debut as manager

15. CLEVELAND (2-2) Terry Francona brings a pedigree and a new attitude to the Tribe

16. PHILADELPHIA (1-3) Aging roster could have one final pennant run in it

THE PRETENDERS

17. ARIZONA (3-1) Despite deep rotation and solid lineup, will have trouble keeping up in NL West

18. OAKLAND (3-2) Lost two members of rotation that posted third-best ERA in AL last year

19. NEW YORK (AL) (1-4) Yankees have MLB’s oldest roster, plus $84 million on the DL

20. BOSTON (3-2) Only four active players remain from 2007 champions

21. PITTSBURGH (1-3) Pirates a combined 38-77 after Aug. 1 last two seasons

22. SAN DIEGO (1-3) Gave up 21 runs in first series of season

23. KANSAS CITY (2-2) No regular starter older than 29

24. SEATTLE (3-3) Future could be bright, but present will be a little grim

25. MINNESOTA (2-2) See Seattle above. Plus Twins play in a deep division

26. NEW YORK (NL) (3-2) No Santana, no Dickey, no hope

27. COLORADO (3-1) Rotation returnees were a combined 11-17 in 2012

28. CHICAGO (NL) (2-2) 101 losses last year may be remembered as the “good old days”

29. MIAMI (1-3) Needed 20 innings to score their first run of the season

30. HOUSTON (1-3) Shut out twice in first three games, set record with 56 strikeouts in first four

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