ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05: Right fielder Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers reacts to a post-game cream pie in his face after the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark on April 5, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

MLB Power Rankings: Looking Ahead To A Season Of Mystery And Intrigue

And so, early in the first week of the MLB regular season, we launch our inaugural edition of the MLB Power Rankings, as voted and remarked on by SB Nation MLB bloggers Jim McLennan, Will McDonald, Sam Page, Kyle Lobner, Jeff Sullivan, and Randy Booth. The top three may surprise you. Or they may not, at all.

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MLB Power Rankings: Looking Ahead To A Season Of Mystery And Intrigue

Hi there, and welcome to the first-ever run of the SBNation MLB Power Rankings. What is a 'power ranking,' you ask? Let's break it down. Dictionary.com defines 'power' as:

1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.

Meanwhile, 'ranking' is defined as:

1. an act or instance of indicating relative standing.

That about captures it. A power ranking, for our purposes, serves to rank Major League baseball teams on a 1-through-30 scale by their perceived capability of doing something. Indeed, the team that finishes last is deemed least able to do something, while the team that finishes first may be able to do anything, at any time, whenever it wants. It's a scale that, like none other, is able to separate the likely doers from the likely do-nothings.

How are the ranks devised? The six contributing authors and editors put their heads together and called upon their vast swaths of baseball knowledge in attempting to answer the question: Which baseball teams appear most and least likely to do something? Once each contributor had submitted his order, the final rankings were determined using a very complicated algorithm to determine the "arithmetic mean." I can't explain it, but I think the results speak for themselves.

Below, you will find the ultimate fruits of our labor. Listed here in descending order, to build the most suspense, and to bring the most humiliation to the teams considered least capable of doing something. But wait! Couldn't "being humiliated" be considered something these teams have already done?

We'll have to leave that one to the philosophers.

30. Washington Nationals

SBN Blog: Federal Baseball

2009 record: 59-103

2010 record: 0-1

The Nationals may be one of the most improved teams of the offseason, but only in going from awful to bad. Strasburg is coming, but between the strength of the Phillies and Braves and the upside of the Mets and Marlins, he won't be enough.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates

SBN Blog: Bucs Dugout

2009 record: 62-99

2010 record: 1-0

The good news: This team is probably headed in the right direction. The bad news: They're not moving very fast.

28. Kansas City Royals

SBN Blog: Royals Review

2009 record: 65-97

2010 record: 0-1

A once promising pitching staff has eroded, despite Zack Greinke's emergence as a dominant force. Gil Meche appears to be unhealthy, while Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar have frustrated for too long. The lineup is an inspired work of stupidity, and manager Trey Hillman is dedicated to getting Willie Bloomquist his at bats.

27. San Diego Padres

SBN Blog: Gaslamp Ball

2009 record: 75-87

2010 record: 0-1

The Padres had a good spring, and if they can live up to their mantra of pitching, speed and defense, they could be dangerous. The loss of Jake Peavy leaves their rotation looking flimsy, and they still need a lot of pieces to fall into place if they are not to be the dwellers in the cellar.

26. Houston Astros

SBN Blog: The Crawfish Boxes

2009 record: 74-88

2010 record: 0-1

A team already lacking in depth begins the season with its top pitcher (Roy Oswalt) already having undergone a cortisone shot and its top hitter (Lance Berkman) on the DL. This could get ugly fast.

25. Toronto Blue Jays

SBN Blog: Bluebird Banter

2009 record: 75-87

2010 record: 0-1

A solid lineup is backed by a very young rotation that, for once, lacks Roy Halladay. If the Jays are to succeed, they'll need another great year from Aaron Hill. And really bad years from every other team in the division.

24. Baltimore Orioles

SBN Blog: Camden Chat

2009 record: 64-98

2010 record: 0-0

A young team could be led by young stars in Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. The entire pitching staff could be the team's downfall in the end, but even a successful season overall is barely going to get them noticed.

23. Cleveland Indians

SBN Blog: Let's Go Tribe!

2009 record: 65-97

2010 record: 0-1

Will the Indians perform when there's no hype and absolutely no expectations? There's the potential for a good offense in place, and with so many young players, a dreamy upside is imaginable. Unfortunately, they might have one of the AL's weakest pitching staffs unless Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook make comebacks.

22. New York Mets

SBN Blog: Amazin' Avenue

2009 record: 70-92

2010 record: 1-0

Despite all their injury concern, the depth on the Mets' roster has seemingly only gotten worse. Still, if healthy, the star power could catapult them into the N.L. East race.

21. Oakland Athletics

SBN Blog: Athletics Nation

2009 record: 75-87

2010 record: 0-1

The Mariners got all the attention, but the A's have been built in an almost identical mold, and with plenty more depth. This is a pretty good baseball team. It's just a pretty good baseball team littered with injury risks. Cutting Jack Cust to start Eric Chavez certainly didn't serve to lift their ranking.

20. Arizona Diamondbacks

SBN Blog: AZ Snakepit

2009 record: 70-92

2010 record: 1-0

Brandon Webb's shoulder isn't going to get any better, meaning the team will be relying on the untested Ian Kennedy and Rodrigo Lopez in their early rotation. Run scoring doesn't look like it'll be a problem, but whether they will be able to push across more than the opposition consistently is certainly a question.

19. San Francisco Giants

SBN Blog: McCovey Chronicles

2009 record: 88-74

2010 record: 1-0

Had more spring training wins than any other team, but the main question for the Giants remains basically unchanged from this time last year. Who is going to produce for the offense? Pablo Sandoval may end up getting a Bonds Lite number of walks, unless someone else proves they can hit. Free Buster Posey!

18. Cincinnati Reds

SBN Blog: Red Reporter

2009 record: 78-84

2010 record: 0-1

Just like every other year, they're a dark horse candidate to contend in the Central. If they can get contributions from Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman, who weren't even in the organization at this point last year, they could improve in a hurry.

17. Florida Marlins

SBN Blog: Fish Stripes

2009 record: 87-75

2010 record: 0-1

The ever pesky Fish sport a dangerous young rotation headed by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. Depending on the performances of centerfielder Cameron Maybin and first baseman Gaby Sanchez, they could challenge for the wild card.

16. Chicago Cubs

SBN Blog: Bleed Cubbie Blue

2009 record: 83-78

2010 record: 0-1

Nearly all of the parts are still here from the team that was considered a nearly prohibitive favorite in the NL Central last year. Will the roll of the dice come up differently in 2010?

15. Milwaukee Brewers

SBN Blog: Brew Crew Ball

2009 record: 80-82

2010 record: 0-1

This team should hit a fair amount, and could win even with below-average pitching. Jim Edmonds might go from unemployed in 2009 to 400+ plate appearances in 2010 at the age of 39. What have the rest of you 39 year olds ever done?

14. Detroit Tigers

SBN Blog: Bless You Boys

2009 record: 86-77

2010 record: 1-0

A curious mix of too old and too young, the Tigers aren't necessarily in a hopeless spot in the AL Central. There's some pitching in Detroit, but it isn't clear how they'll score. The Royals wouldn't necessarily trade lineups with them.

13. Chicago White Sox

SBN Blog: South Side Sox

2009 record: 79-83

2010 record: 1-0

The off-season story never changes with the White Sox. Every winter we hear about how they plan to score more runs using Ozzieball, chasing a misremembered 2005. The Sox have one of the better pitching staffs in the American League, but unless they get better support from their offense, it won't matter.

12. Seattle Mariners

SBN Blog: Lookout Landing

2009 record: 85-77

2010 record: 1-0

The offseason's media darlings need to keep their heads above water as they wait for Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard to return. Only time will tell if Casey Kotchman can float. Early returns: 100% positive!

11. Los Angeles Dodgers

SBN Blog: True Blue LA

2009 record: 95-67

2010 record: 0-1

I know Opening Day is over-rated, but Vincente Padilla and his career 100 ERA+ getting tapped for that start sets the bar low for the rotation. Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are superior. Got some good young talent on the offense, but will Manny be Manny, or Moany?

10. Colorado Rockies

SBN Blog: Purple Row

2009 record: 92-70

2010 record: 1-0

Hand them the NL West title now, and be done with it. That's the impression from the Rockies bandwagon, in full swing now, with all manner of pundits clambering for a seat. But they're not impregnable, especially while Huston Street's shoulder is providing cause for concern.

9. Minnesota Twins

SBN Blog: Twinkie Town

2009 record: 87-76

2010 record: 0-1

The Twins are the consensus favorite in the Central for the first time in years. Minnesota has quietly become an offense-oriented team that relies a good bit on the long ball to score runs. It'll be interesting to see how their power guys (Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer and Thome) hit in the cool air of Target Field early on. While the Punto types might miss hitting on artificial turf.

8. Texas Rangers

SBN Blog: Lone Star Ball

2009 record: 87-75

2010 record: 1-0

Arguably the most talented young team in baseball, the Rangers find themselves in possession of the most upside in the West. It's a strange circumstance for Texas to be deep in the rotation and a little iffy in the lineup, but here we are. I hate the unfamiliar.

7. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

SBN Blog: Halos Heaven

2009 record: 97-65

2010 record: 1-0

The Angels have clearly been weakened and drawn closer to the pack, but their decline, at least in 2010, may be exaggerated. This offense is going to hit. That said, be on the alert for excruciating blown leads. Generally speaking, the solution to problems with your closer isn't "sign Fernando Rodney."

6. Atlanta Braves

SBN Blog: Talking Chop

2009 record: 86-76

2010 record: 1-0

There's considerable injury risk, but their pitching staff is as deep as any in the National League. On the hitting side, don't underestimate what an improvement Jason Heyward is over a broken Jeff Francoeur.

5. St. Louis Cardinals

SBN Blog: Viva El Birdos

2009 record: 91-71

2010 record: 1-0

With two MVP (Pujols, Holliday) and two Cy Young candidates (Carpenter, Wainwright), it's going to take more than a few bumps in the road to derail the defending NL Central champs. The Cardinals could literally bench Pujols all season long and probably still win the Central with breathing room to spare.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

SBN Blog: The Good Phight

2009 record: 93-69

2010 record: 1-0

The defending National League champions swapped Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay and Pedro Feliz for Placido Polanco, leaving them with essentially the same roster that has dominated the NL East two years running. They are a little old at some positions, but that shouldn't be a problem yet.

3. Tampa Bay Rays

SBN Blog: DRays Bay

2009 record: 84-78

2010 record: 0-0

The Rays have an uphill battle in the AL East against the Yankees and Red Sox, but a strong offense is a strong offense. If the rotation stays healthy, they could pull the upset in the East.

2. Boston Red Sox

SBN Blog: Over The Monster

2009 record: 95-67

2010 record: 1-0

Boston revamped their team in the offseason, focusing on improving its defense and shoring up its pitching staff. With a rotation led by Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey, they could be one of the best all season long.

1. New York Yankees

SBN Blog: Pinstripe Alley

2009 record: 103-59

2010 record: 0-1

It's hard not to give the defending champions the top spot after a successful offseason. Injury concerns will be key for New York to make a repeat. And that's about it. Injuries and luck. Must be nice.

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