TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Blogs

Nationals open at No. 1 in MLB Power Rankings

Scott Cullen
3/21/2013 4:51:20 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

The Washington Nationals start the 2013 Major League Baseball season in the lofty top spot of the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.

After a 98-win season in 2012, the Nationals can expect a full season from rising ace starter Stephen Strasburg and have every right to expect more from phenom left fielder Bryce Harper. As a 19-year-old last season, Harper hit 22 home runs, stole 18 bases, hit .270 and had an .817 OPS. He was 19!

With more contributions from their cornerstone building blocks, the Nationals also added veteran centre fielder Denard Span and righthanded starter Dan Haren, along with closer Rafael Soriano, so they've loaded up.

Swept away in the World Series by San Francisco last year, the Detroit Tigers added right fielder Torii Hunter and designated hitter Victor Martinez, who will come back after a season on the disabled list, to a lineup already boasting two of the game's premier power hitters, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Add in a pitching staff full of power arms, headed by ace Justin Verlander, and the Tigers understandably have high expectations.

Few teams in history have altered expectations over the course of one offseason the way the Toronto Blue Jays have, revamping their pitching staff by adding National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, righthander Josh Johnson and lefty Mark Buehrle. Shortstop Jose Reyes is among the best in the game and left fielder Melky Cabrera could be a useful contributor.

Adding those players to a group that includes power hittters like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, as well as energetic and talented third baseman Brett Lawrie, understandably has the Blue Jays anticipating playoff baseball for the first time in 20 years.

A difficult offseason, full of injuries and departures, leaves the New York Yankees at 11 to start the season, while two other 90-win teams from last season -- the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles -- fall in the middle tier of the rankings as well.

While there can be plenty of fluctuation in the middle of the rankings, there is little reason to wonder about the teams at the very bottom. The Houston Astros, Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies open the year in the most dubious ranking positions and, based on their current lineups, those positons are well-deserved.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard are paving new ground for Canadian tennis and 17-year-old Francoise Abanda could be Canada's next breakout star. More...

Podcasts

TSN 1050: Gamenight: July 29 - Isaac Lowenkron

To break down the impending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, Clippers radio host Isaac Lowenkron joins Gamenight this hour.

TSN 1050: Gamenight with Andy McNamara and Dave McCarthy: July 29 - Simon Tsalikis

Simon Tsalikis of TSN 690 in Montreal joins Gamenight this hour to discuss P.K. Subban, and looming decisions regarding his future in Montreal.

TSN 1050: Scott MacArthur: 1-on-1 with Kevin Seitzer

TSN 1050 Blue Jays Reporter Scott MacArthur goes one-on-one with Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television