The 2014 Major League Baseball season is upon us and the No. 1 ranked team is…
The St. Louis Cardinals
Like it or not, if this team stays healthy they may return to the World Series yet again. Last year, the Red Sox ousted them 4-2 in the series. It was appropriate that those two teams faced one another given that they tied for a 2013 regular season best 97 wins.
The Cardinals have a young but stellar pitching rotation built around their ace, Adam Wainwright. Wainwright, who had 19 wins last season, is the oldest of the starting five at age 32. The other four range from age 22-26. These are guys that the league has not seen enough of and that works to their advantage.
In the field and lineup, it’s hard to argue against players like Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina. The Cardinals even upgraded at shortstop by picking up Jhonny Peralta from the Tigers. In 107 games last season, the guy hit .303 with 124 hits, 50 runs, and 55 RBIs. The Cardinals seem to always be a contender as of late. They won the World Series back in 2011, made it their in 2013, and have made the playoffs in all of the last three seasons. Bleacher Report power rankings had them at No. 1 on opening day last week.
Two other National League teams to look out for this season are The Los Angeles Dodgers and The Washington Nationals. In the American League, last year’s winners, The Boston Red Sox will again be in the mix alongside division rivals The Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and the AL central’s Detroit Tigers. The Tigers, as always, will be rolling behind their ace Justin Verlander. Also, never count Billy Beane and his Oakland Athletics out of the running. The team won their division last season with a major league second best 96 wins. He knows how to win games and it’s just a matter of time until he gets all the way through to a championship.