2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings: World Series & Playoff Contenders — & Everyone Else

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2021

2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings: The one big question everyone is going to argue about in regards to the 2021 MLB season actually has to do with last year.

How much stock do we put in 2020 standings, considering how strange a season it was? It would be a mistake to completely write off the 2020 season when projecting power rankings for 2021. There were so many teams with players who were struggling for one reason or another, it’s difficult to know if teams who did poorly last year just experienced a fluky season.

This list reflects teams’ rankings going into the 2021 season with all of those factors and more taken into consideration.

⚾ Read our 2021 World Series Futures Bets and Picks. ⚾

MLB Division Futures Bets: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Note: Each MLB team has 2021 World Series Champion odds listed per PointsBet.

2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

MLB Preseason Power Rankings: The Contenders

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (+350)
2. San Diego Padres (+800)
3. New York Mets (+1000)
4. Atlanta Braves (+1100)
5. Chicago White Sox (+900)
6. New York Yankees (+550)
7. Toronto Blue Jays (+2000)
8. Minnesota Twins (+1800)
9. Tampa Bay Rays (+2500)
10. Oakland Athletics (+2000)

It should be no surprise to see the Dodgers atop anyone’s power rankings. They had the winningest record in 2020, had been contending for a World Series for years, and finally won last season. Signing Trevor Bauer certainly should help them retain their status as the top team in baseball. They have arguably the deepest bullpen in baseball, and two of the best players in the sport Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger.

The White Sox have a solid mix of young and veteran talent on both sides of the ball. They have a great mix of power (reigning 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu and rising young slugger Eloy Jimenez) and speed (Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal). Liam Hendriks could be the best closer in baseball in 2021 and should lock down a talented bullpen. It will be a close finish in the American League Central between the White Sox and Twins.

2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings: Clayton Kershaw's Dodgers are unsurprisingly at the top as defending World Series champions

2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings: Clayton Kershaw’s Dodgers are unsurprisingly at the top as defending World Series champions. (Image credit: USA TODAY Sports)

MLB Preseason Power Rankings: Maybe Playoffs?

11. Washington Nationals (+3000)
12. St. Louis Cardinals (+2500)
13. Cleveland Indians (+4000)
14. Houston Astros (+2200)
15. Los Angeles Angels (+4000)
16. Milwaukee Brewers (+5000)
17. Philadelphia Phillies (+4000)
18. Chicago Cubs (+4000)
19. Cincinnati Reds (+3000)
20. Boston Red Sox (+5000)
21. San Francisco Giants (+10000)
22. Seattle Mariners (+8500)
23. Miami Marlins (+7000)
24. Kansas City Royals (+10000)

The Cleveland baseball team traded away one of its best players, Francisco Lindor, this offseason, yet they should still remain competitive in their division. Shane Bieber might be the best pitcher in baseball in 2021, and he leads a young staff with a lot of promise, including 2020 breakout righty Zach Plesac. The additions of Cesar Hernandez, Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, and Eddie Rosario should help to balance out some of what they lost in trading away Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.

Mike Trout may be the greatest player of his generation and may go down as one of the best baseball players of all time. But Trout and fellow star Anthony Rendon will not be enough to carry the Angels this season. The Angels have been in desperate need of a pitching star for years and still lack that star. If outfield prospect Jo Adell does not take a step forward, the Angels don’t have much outfield depth behind him to step in, and that could hamper the team.

Boston is definitely on the outside, looking in on the American League East division race, with ace Chris Sale still recovering from Tommy John surgery and not due back until the summer. Eduardo Rodriguez, who experienced cardiomyopathy from Covid-19, should also return in 2021.

The 2020 Red Sox severely lacked pitching depth, so the team signed Garrett Richards, Matt Andriese, and traded for Nick Pivetta. There’s a chance they go with an opener strategy or a six-man rotation in 2021, with multiple players that have both starting and relief experience.

The team will need to rely on offensive stars Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez to keep them afloat.

The Marlins have the best shot at moving up the standings throughout the season. They have talented young pitchers like Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Sixto Sanchez, and Elieser Hernandez. Their offense contains some under-the-radar talent like Jesus Aguilar, Jorge Alfaro, and Brian Anderson. Starling Marte, former Pittsburgh All-Star and Gold Glove winner, will man center field. This team could catch a lot of people by surprise.

Wait ‘Til Next Year (Maybe Longer)

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (+10000)
26. Colorado Rockies (+15000)
27. Texas Rangers (+15000)
28. Detroit Tigers (+10000)
29. Baltimore Orioles (+10000)
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (+20000)

Colorado “earned" this by trading star Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals for … a less than stellar return.

Pittsburgh traded away anyone of value not named Ke’Bryan Hayes, and barring a miracle season will not be competitive this year. Considering the prospects they acquired in their various off-season trades, they will probably not be competitive for a few more years.

Possibly Profitable 2021 World Series Sleeper Bets

  • Toronto Blue Jays (+2000)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+2500)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (+5000)

⚾ After you read 2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings, use these 2021 MLB Predictions (or your other favorite 2021 MLB Futures bet) to make 2021 MLB Futures Bets at PointsBet (with our Welcome Offer) or another of our preferred sportsbooks. ⚾


Taylor Tarter

Taylor Tarter, a lifelong baseball fan, covers baseball, DFS baseball, and baseball betting for TheGameDay.com, and hosts the podcast Fastball Fantasy Baseball (@fastballpod on Twitter). He is a student of sabermetrics, which drives his podcast and his writing. Taylor has over a decade of fantasy baseball experience, including being a multi-time league champion in various formats. And finally... Go Nats!

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