2019 Diamond Digest Opening Day Power Rankings

The date has finally arrived; Opening Day 2019 is upon us! Kick off the season with our power rankings based on each team’s roster right now, with the overall rankings comprised of the averages from the individual rankings of 14 of our writers. Without further ado, here’s how all 30 teams stack up for us:

1. Astros

The Houston Astros enter 2019 with sky high expectations following an injury-spoiled 2018 postseason. After adding key players like Michael Brantley, and with Altuve, Correa, and Springer now healthy, it’s World Series or bust for the 2017 champs.

2. Yankees

The Yankees have an incredible lineup from top to bottom, including a group of sluggers poised to break their own team home run record from last year, a strong rotation despite some injury questions, and one of the greatest bullpens ever, at least based on name value.

3. Red Sox

The Sox bring back almost the entire roster that won it all in 2018. They don’t seem to be susceptible to a World Series hangover, but to many people their bullpen is cause for concern.

4. Dodgers

Star power and enormous depth will carry them through the season to a probable division title, barring injuries. However, the consistency of their bullpen will determine how far they go in the playoffs.

5. Nationals

The Nationals have mainly been seen as a team on the decline after a disappointing 2018 and the departure of superstar Bryce Harper, but they’re potentially stronger than they’ve ever been in 2019. With the signing of Patrick Corbin, they’ve assembled arguably baseball’s best rotation, and the outfield is hardly mourning the loss of Harper with the arrival of top prospects Juan Soto and Victor Robles.

6. Cubs

Somehow, the Cubs are sneakily a much better team than many people think. They won 95 games in 2018 without Yu Darvish and an injured Kris Bryant, and despite bullpen concerns, they posted the best bullpen ERA in the National League in 2018.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo

7. Cardinals

The acquisition of Goldschmidt solidified the lineup as one of the NL’s best. Uncertainty in the rotation leaves the Birds vulnerable to start the season, but a rejuvenated bullpen should be able to pick up some of the slack.

8. Brewers

The Brewers outfield was a large factor in their incredible late season push which propelled them to the NL Central division title and an NLCS berth in 2018. With one of the most dominating bullpens in the league, the Brewers should have no problem picking up any potential slack left by a young, unproven starting rotation, even if the offense regresses a bit.

9. Braves

The Braves rose to contention sooner than expected in 2018, taking the NL East division crown and proving the legitimacy of Ronald Acuña Jr. The Braves will have a much bigger challenge in the new and improved 2019 NL East, but have the momentum and young pitching talent to compete.

10. Phillies

After a huge offseason, the Phillies have high hopes going into the 2019 season. Led by a Cy Young candidate in Aaron Nola and MVP candidate in Bryce Harper, there is a lot of excitement in South Philadelphia, but they will have to overcome some concerns, primarily with their defense.

11. Indians

The best rotation in baseball in addition to two MVP candidates keeps the team afloat. Outside of those aspects, this team would rank near the bottom of the league, but they look to capture a postseason berth once again in the weak AL Central.

12. Rockies

The Rockies offense is as potent as it’s ever been, with a 1-5 consisting of Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Daniel Murphy. With as much promise as the rotation has, the only thing holding this team back will be its pitching, particularly in the bullpen.

Nolan Arenado
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportsware

13. Rays

The Rays managed to fix their pitching problems by signing Charlie Morton and extending Blake Snell, as well as having a plethora of pitching prospects on the horizon. The lineup has question marks, but they can still make a strong run at a Wild Card spot.

14. Athletics

The A’s are the poster child for a good offense with a terrible rotation. With an ace of Mike Fiers going into 2019, the lineup will have to put up big numbers to help the team compete.

15. Mets

The Mets made moves in the offseason that put them in contention for a World Series. On paper they have a great roster, but health is a concern and it is tough to be sold on a team where players historically do not stay healthy.

16. Angels

A sneaky good bullpen backed by Trout and a young, blooming core, the Angels look to break their mediocrity. The strength of this team relies in its ability to stay healthy.

Mike Trout
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

17. Twins

The Twins have several question marks going into this year, especially whether Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano can return to their impressive 2017 form. If those guys and several others play up to their potential, the Twins will be a dangerous team who can move up this list fast and steal the AL Central title.

18. Reds

With the arrival of top prospects and several offseason moves, the Reds are suddenly seeing improvement, and while they likely won’t reach their potential this season, they are due to move up this list in the coming seasons.

19. Padres

The Padres are one of the most intriguing teams in all of baseball. Though they are not yet in a position to compete with the Dodgers for the division title, there are a lot of exciting things going on with this team. Look for the Padres to shoot up in these rankings very soon.

20. Pirates

The Pirates have some very good players who have flown under the radar, including starter Jameson Taillon, who looks to have a season to surprise many. While they are a solid team, they will struggle to keep up in this year’s NL Central, one of the toughest divisions in recent memory.

21. Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks’ stock will drop this year following the loss of star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, starting center fielder A.J. Pollock, and breakout starter Patrick Corbin. They still have some potential left in their lineup, but may struggle to prove it down the stretch.

22. Blue Jays

The Jays had it rough in 2018’s toughest division, only finishing ahead of the league-worst Orioles. They’ll start to see improvement this season with the arrival of several top prospects, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., perhaps the biggest prospect in several years.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Photo via Wikipedia

23. Mariners

Following a somewhat surprising 2018 season, GM Jerry Dipoto tore down the Mariners roster, ridding the team of many of its best assets. The Mariners still have decent starting pitching, especially after winning top Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, but will look much different, and likely much worse, this season.

24. Giants

The Giants underwhelmed in 2018, and don’t look to be much different this season. Some players are still left from the 3 championship teams, most notably Buster Posey, but the Giants won’t look pretty in 2018. At least they can still ride those recent championships.

25. White Sox

The White Sox have been rebuilding for the last couple of years and will continue to do so this year. They are this low simply because their pitching is lackluster and they will take a while to get consistent as far as offense goes. They don’t project to have a winning season, likely finishing 3rd or 4th in the AL Central.

26. Rangers

The outlook for the Rangers this year is not good, and they don’t seem to have a whole lot of hope moving forward either. Joey Gallo and Jose Leclerc should continue to impress, but the team suffered a loss in production (and in fun) following the retirement of Adrian Beltre.

27. Royals

The Royals surged late in 2018 thanks to the play of several young guys with a lot of potential, including Adalberto Mondesi, Brad Keller, and Ryan O’Hearn. The Royals hope to see a continuation of this play in an otherwise bleak season.

Adalberto Mondesi
Brian Davidson/Getty Images

28. Tigers

The Tigers are in full rebuild mode, with some good players remaining like Miguel Cabrera, who promises he has something left, and Nick Castellanos, a widely underrated offensive outfielder.

29. Marlins

Gone are the days of Realmuto, Stanton and Yelich, as the Marlins enter the second year of the Jeter Rebuild. They won’t be good, but it’s a fresh start.

30. Orioles

If the Orioles are anywhere other than last in power rankings for the entire season it will be a surprise. It’s a team full of rule 5 picks, underperforming prospects, bad contracts, and guys hoping for bounce back seasons. The silver lining is that at least they now have some discernible direction unlike a year ago. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Featured Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ryan Ruhde

Cubs, Royals and general analysis writer. Emory University Psychology Major/Music Minor and Pre-Med, class of 2023. Find me on Twitter @ruhdolph

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