Top 10 MLB Lineups Heading Into Spring Training
10 Lineups That Will Be Giving Pitchers Nightmares
While pitching may win championships, no team has ever won a game without scoring a run; that is where the offense comes into play. Having a good offense can alleviate the stress on a pitching staff when they are able to go out and put up crooked numbers on a regular basis. With many offenses adding and subtracting pieces this winter, where will the top offenses be slugging from this season?
Being able to run out an intimidating lineup consistently will provide many sleepless nights for several pitchers throughout the season. However, the 10 managers that will get to fill out these lineup cards each day should get a few extra good night's rest this season. What exactly is the must-have quality for a strong lineup? Is it just having home run power or speed, or is it having the balance of being able to win games in multiple ways?
The following list features five teams from each league, and six of the teams were able to reach the postseason a year ago. For fantasy purposes, having players from these lineups will also provide great value to your team this year. Many teams upgraded their offense this winter, some better than others. However, the great equalizer will always be that one injury that could change everything for a given team.
An argument can be made for a few teams staking the claim to having the best lineup going into Spring Training, but it will all be sorted out on the field. It is almost splitting hairs, but here is a look at the 10 best lineups going into the spring. Anything can happen; how would your list look?
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.
10. Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are certainly capable of putting up some crooked numbers. They are very strong on the corners of both the infield and outfield.
Top hitters include Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
It may sound crazy, but the Philadelphia Phillies actually have some potential with the bats. With the addition of Marlon Byrd, their corner outfielders will bop some long balls. They still also have the veterans around the infield; they may be old, but if they can all stay healthy, you never know.
Top hitters include Ryan Howard, Byrd and Domonic Brown.
8. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves have some great power and also led the NL in home runs last year. However, they do lack a consistent team batting average.
Top hitters include Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.
7. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels underachieved last year and are now without Mark Trumbo. However, they still have a trio of tremendous hitters in the game right now.
Top hitters include Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
6. New York Yankees
After missing the playoffs, the New York Yankees did what the Yankees do -- spend money. The question will be, can they all stay healthy this season? They will be adding four new hitters to the lineup in 2014 and will put up some numbers offensively.
Top hitters include Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Derek Jeter.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers may not hit a bunch of home runs, but they did have the third best team batting average in the NL. The Dodgers certainly have star power and a lineup full of dangerous hitters.
Top hitters include Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez.
4. Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers will look slightly different and have a different approach at the plate than a season ago. They had the most hits in baseball last year and were second in runs scored. Even with a few changes, they should still be one of the best this year.
Top hitters include Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez.
3. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers are in the top seven in baseball for both team home runs and team batting average; they also had the second most stolen bases in 2013. They have added two huge additions to their lineup and will be dangerous all season long.
Top hitters include Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre.
2. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will likely not be a team that will rely on the long ball. However, they do have a bunch of guys that know how to get on base and drive in runs. They finished third in runs scored, second in doubles, and forth in team batting average.
Top hitters include Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Allen Craig.
1. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox will return most of their lineup that won the World Series. They scored the most runs in the league by a wide margin and were second in hits. Boston will keep the line moving once again in 2014.
Top hitters include David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli.