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MLB East Power Rankings: Yankees still the team to beat

Mark Brown / Getty Images Sport / Getty

For the 60-game Major League Baseball season, teams will play two-thirds of their games against division rivals while the balance will be played against interleague counterparts from the corresponding division.

Today, theScore editors rank the teams in the eastern divisions:


1. New York Yankees

Projected record World Series odds
37-23 +350

The injury-ravaged Yankees still managed to cruise through the AL East in 2019 and nearly reached the World Series. The injury bug looked like it was rearing its ugly head before the 2020 season was put on hold, but good news for Yankees fans - and bad news for everyone else - the time off has allowed Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and James Paxton to get healthy. That projected win total might be modest compared to where they eventually finish.

2. Tampa Bay Rays

Projected record World Series odds
34-26 +1800

Given the prowess of their bullpen and pitching staff, the Rays actually might be the team best built for success in a shortened 60-game season. Teams are going to ride their relievers a disproportionate amount relative to a normal 162-game season; a total of 28 qualified relievers in the AL posted a strikeout rate higher than 28% last year, and the Rays employed five of them. They traded away Emilio Pagan but still have Colin Poche, Oliver Drake, Diego Castillo, and Chaz Roe. Further, Nick Anderson struck out 52.6% of batters over 21 1/3 innings after being acquired midseason and flamethrowing lefty Jose Alvarado (who whiffed 30.4% of batters in 2018) should be back to full strength.

3. Atlanta Braves

Projected record World Series odds
33-27 +1200

Atlanta might be well-suited for a sprint to the finish. The shutdown, while obviously a nuisance, allowed for veteran starter and important offseason pickup Cole Hamels to rehab a shoulder injury - he's now ready to go when the season starts. The Braves also boast a potent offense featuring new addition Marcell Ozuna, and though he can't fill Josh Donaldson's shoes on his own, the entire lineup remains quite potent. This is a team that can make significant noise in 2020.

4. New York Mets

Projected record World Series odds
31-29 +1500

The Mets have a strong lineup, deep bullpen, and enough quality starting pitching to be a monster this season. Starters will need some time to build up, so the likes of Hunter Strickland, Brad Brach, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, Dellin Betances, and Edwin Diaz should get plenty of work coming out of the bullpen. New York will be without Noah Syndergaard due to Tommy John surgery, so Marcus Stroman will slide into the No. 2 spot, while newcomer Rick Porcello could be an X-factor if he bounces back from a terrible 2019 season.

5. Washington Nationals

Projected record World Series odds
32-28 +1500

The defending champions will be without veteran stalwart Ryan Zimmerman and hurler Joe Ross for the shortened campaign. However, they're still in good shape to make a run at back-to-back titles thanks to an incredible starting staff anchored by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and an improved bullpen featuring Sean Doolittle, Daniel Hudson, and Will Harris. Losing Anthony Rendon to free agency was a big subtraction; Juan Soto and Trea Turner will need to carry a larger offensive load to make up for it if the Nats hope to have the same kind of success as last season.

6. Philadelphia Phillies

Projected record World Series odds
30-30 +2000

The biggest concern facing the Phillies right now is how hampered they'll be by the coronavirus outbreak from their spring facilities in Clearwater earlier this month. With so few games on the schedule, a slow start will be a death knell. If they can recover in time, the perpetually underwhelming Phillies could finally live up to expectations.

7. Boston Red Sox

Projected record World Series odds
30-30 +3000

The most notable offseason move for the Red Sox involved shipping away former MVP Mookie Betts and former Cy Young winner David Price. Even worse, they lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery before the season even began. While that hurts their chances, it doesn't eliminate them, and the club could be a fringe wild-card contender in a 60-game campaign. The bullpen ranked fifth in the majors by FanGraphs WAR last season, and remains unchanged. Furthermore, Eduardo Rodriguez took a step forward last year, and the outfield still packs some punch with Andrew Benintendi and new acquisition Alex Verdugo.

8. Toronto Blue Jays

Projected record World Series odds
28-32 +10000

There's no reason to anticipate the Blue Jays leaping into contention, but they'll still be fun to watch. Toronto features a dynamic young offense led by emerging stars Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., with solid contributors Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., among others. On the mound, potential future ace Nate Pearson could make his big-league debut this summer. Their schedule won't be easy so it's quite the long shot, but this is the kind of team with no expectations that could get on a roll and shock people in a shortened season.

9. Miami Marlins

Projected record World Series odds
24-36 +50000

The Marlins will have a tough time finishing over .500 for the first time since 2009. Miami looks to have the hardest geographical schedule out of any squad in the East - it will only play five or six contests against sub-.500 clubs from 2019 during the 60-game season. Veteran additions such as Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, and Jesus Aguilar should help the Marlins be more competitive than last year's listless group.

10. Baltimore Orioles

Projected record World Series odds
21-39 +50000

It's a short season, but it's the same Orioles. Baltimore still promises to be one of the worst teams in any region, and now that they're forced to face NL East contenders as well as their usual heavyweight AL East rivals, it could be a long couple of months. One bright spot could be John Means, who's looking to build on his All-Star rookie campaign atop the O's otherwise mediocre staff.

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