In terms of comparing our major sports, parity shines brightest in the MLB. Look no further than the Washington Nationals' trek in 2019 that started with an improbable midseason turnaround and finished with the toppling of the heavily-favored Houston Astros to capture their first-ever World Series title.
With Boston's Mookie Betts and David Price on their way to the Los Angeles Dodgers, it's increasingly apparent which clubs experts ought to be penciling into next season's Fall Classic. But how will the rest of the league pan out? Here's a look at some early MLB power rankings after Tuesday's blockbuster deal.
30. Baltimore Orioles
Things are going to be ugly in Baltimore for a few years, so Orioles aficionados had better find a hobby that isn't baseball come springtime. Lamar Jackson! Lamar Jackson!
29. Detroit Tigers
We fully expect that the Tigers will breach the century mark in the loss column for the second consecutive year.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates
Now that Starling Marte has been offloaded to Arizona, slugging first baseman Josh Bell is the only thing Pirates fans have to be excited about in 2020... and he projects to be traded before the deadline. Oof.
27. Miami Marlins
Jesus Aguilar, Jonathan Villar, and Corey Dickerson are nice additions to Miami's offense, but the Marlins pitching rotation will be atrocious again next season.
26. Seattle Mariners
Seattle natives shouldn't be at all invested in Mariners baseball in 2020. Just get excited for the potential of outfield prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez on the come-up and leave it at that.
25. San Francisco Giants
San Francisco, though two years too late, has finally embraced a rebuild. And with that in mind, they will be one of the worst teams in baseball in 2020.
24. Kansas City Royals
Sorry, Kansas City, but Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, and Adalberto Mondesi won't be enough. At least you have the Chiefs, right?!?
23. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are an unmitigated calamity. Look no further than their miserable mismanagement of Nolan Arenado, a superstar they are looking to trade a year after handing him an eight-year contract worth $260 million.
22. Toronto Blue Jays
It's impossible to deny that the future is bright in Toronto, but there are far too many holes on the Blue Jays's roster. Their consistency will fluctuate this year in an always-ruthless AL East.
21. Texas Rangers
Corey Kluber was a fine addition, but Texas' limited ceiling is apparent. A rebuild looms for the Rangers.
20. Los Angeles Angels
The prospect of Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout in the same lineup is mouth-watering, but the Angels won't make much noise in 2020. The AL West in the AL West, and they don't have the pitching for a legitimate playoff run.
19. San Diego Padres
Failing to poach Betts from the Red Sox will be viewed as a loss, but the future is truly bright in San Diego. We expect the Padres, led by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., to take another step forward in 2020.
18. Cleveland Indians
More will be known of Cleveland’s outlook for 2020 come the trade deadline, where we predict they will be serious sellers. The Twins and White Sox improved this winter, making the AL Central far more cutthroat than we’ve seen in recent years.
17. Chicago White Sox
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn went to TOWN this offseason. Yasmani Grandal, arguably the game's best catcher, will join forces with stars Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Edwin Encarnacion. Chicago should be right in the thick of the AL Central race.
16. Boston Red Sox
Don't get it twisted: the Red Sox still have a talented compilation of players at their disposal, which makes their trade of Mookie Betts all the more baffling. Still, we expect Boston to be as inconsistent as ever next campaign. For those curious, they still haven't appointed a replacement for Alex Cora and Spring Training is right around the corner. What are you waiting for, Chaim?
15. Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee had better hope that Christian Yelich remains healthy for the entire year, because it's preposterous to think they could muster a similarly improbable run to that of 2019 after he was shelved with a fractured kneecap.
14. New York Mets
As presently constructed, the Mets boast a roster that should contend for a Wild Card berth. If the dominoes fall into place, New York could even challenge Atlanta and Co. for the NL East crown. However, history has taught us that the Mets will let fans down after an offseason spent impressively rounding out their roster, especially their bullpen.
13. Chicago Cubs
The Cubbies are about as tough of a team to predict in the MLB. They could compete in the NL Central or be a comprehensive letdown, and the latter would be more likely if they do, in fact, offload Kris Bryant.
12. Cincinnati Reds
Is Cincy finally ready to turn the proverbial corner? Don’t be surprised if they do. An exciting core of Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto, Trevor Bauer, and Aristides Aquino was bolstered with offseason acquisitions of Mike Moustakas, Nicholas Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama. Make no bones about it, the Reds will contend in the NL Central.
11. St. Louis Cardinals
We don’t love the Cardinals roster, but the NL Central being up for grabs makes their path to the playoffs more feasible. Pitching will likely have to carry St. Louis, but the team’s entire outlook would change drastically if they manage to land Nolan Arenado in a trade with the Rox.
10. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona should be considered a Wild Card contender in 2020. And if they weren’t in the same division as the Dodgers, they’d be contending for the NL West. They stunned the world by plucking Madison Bumgarner in free agency, and most recently acquired Starling Marte in a trade with the Pirates...and they are fresh off winning 85 games last season.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
Philly failed to live up to their lofty billing in 2019 after signing Bryce Harper, but the appointment of Joe Girardi as skipper will give this team an incredibly high ceiling. Didi Gregorius will prove to be a fantastic addition as well, bringing more of the Yankees winning culture to the City of Brotherly Love.
8. Washington Nationals
Anthony Rendon is a devastating loss, but we’re still talking about a team molded around Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Patrick Corbin, and Trea Turner. Washington will be in the playoff mix in 2020. After all, they lost Bryce Harper and immediately won the World Series.
7. Oakland Athletics
Oakland will finally be presented with the opportunity to challenge the Astros in the AL West, and we fully expect them to do so. Their pitching staff concerns us, but their lineup, led by Marcus Semien, is one of the best that the league has to offer.
6. Tampa Bay Rays
Trading Tommy Pham was a questionable move that we’ve yet to wrap our minds around, but Tampa Bay’s path to October became THAT much more clear after the Betts trade. We’d be stunned if they didn’t push for the century mark in wins in 2020.
5. Houston Astros
You may disdain Houston with the heat of a thousand suns, but this is still a good ball club. There’s no replacing Gerrit Cole, but the majority of the Astros' core is still intact. Dusty Baker was a nice hire, and he will go a long way in helping the city get over their despicable cheating scandal and find stability in trying times.
4. Atlanta Braves
Losing Donaldson hurts, but landing Marcell Ozuna seemingly out of nowhere is a fine consolation prize. They’ve yet to fill the whole at third base, but there is rumored to be a pair stars on the trade market on their radar this offseason: Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado. More importantly, the addition of left-handed reliever Will Smith will transform their infamously questionable bullpen.
3. Minnesota Twins
Baseball fans in the North Star State are surely wary of the prospect of avoiding the Yankees in the ALDS this time around, but that’s a predicament to worry about later on. After a 100-win campaign, the Twins pressed the issue to add more talent, and boy, did they ever. The club brought in Josh Donaldson, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill, and now Kenta Maeda on an already-loaded roster.
2. New York Yankees
Coming into Tuesday, the Yankees were set-it-and-forget-it in terms of our No. 1 team. Landing Gerrit Cole in free agency changes everything for New York, who are rightfully favored -- and heavily, at that -- to represent the American League in the Fall Classic in 2020. Hopefully, Aaron Boone's side isn't bit as sternly as they were by the injury bug this time around.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Let's cut the BS, Los Angeles. It's go-time. The Dodgers are positioned better than they ever will be to end a World Series championship drought that dates back to 1988. They've managed to add Mookie Betts and David Price to a roster that already flaunts All-Stars like Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, and Justin Turner. It's World Series or bust in La La Land in 2020.