Barry Laminack: Breaking down the MLB teams -- who are the real contenders?

Barry Laminack: Breaking down the MLB teams -- who are the real contenders?
The Yankees will be among baseball's elite. Abbie Parr/Getty Images

It's Thursday, March 15 which means March Madness is officially underway and if you read my article from last week you know that I don't give a bleep, so let's talk some baseball!

I’ll do a division-by-division breakdown as we get close to opening day, and with a few key free agents still out on the open market, things could change a little between now and then.

For today's exercise, here are the categories we’ll be using to group teams:

Elite (90+ wins) - The best of the best. Any of these teams could end up in the World Series.

Good (80-89 wins) - These are the teams that should be in the wild card hunt all year.

Undecided (75-85 wins) - Teams that could end up being in the hunt for a wild card, but could also not reach 80 wins. These teams either have health or rotation questions (or both).

Close (65-75 wins) - Teams that are in the midst of a rebuild but could be good in the next couple of years.

Bad (<65 wins) - Teams that are starting a rebuild (or should be starting a rebuild) and are going to suck for the next 4-plus years.


Chicago Cubs

Cleveland Indians

Houston Astros

Los Angeles Dodgers

New York Yankees

Washington Nationals


Arizona Diamondbacks

Boston Red Sox

Colorado Rockies

Los Angeles Angels

Milwaukee Brewers

Minnesota Twins

St. Louis Cardinals


New York Mets

Seattle Mariners

San Francisco Giants

Texas Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays


Atlanta Braves

Chicago White Sox

Philadelphia Phillies


Baltimore Orioles

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

Kansas City Royals

Miami Marlins

Oakland Athletics

Pittsburgh Pirates

Tampa Bay Rays

San Diego Padres

Last year I made a pretty bold prediction in saying that the Rockies would make the playoffs (I had one guy tell me I didn’t know sh-- about baseball and should be kicked off the radio because of this prediction), so what’s my bold prediction for this year?

You’ll have to wait a week or two.


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The Texans have one of the best young cores in the NFL. Composite Getty Image.

We all agree that the Texans have one of the best young cores in the league. But how good are they? Do they have the best core of young players under 25 in the NFL?

Pro Football Focus says no, it's the Detroit Lions. The Lions have 5 players on the best under 25 list. But the Texans are right behind them with 3. Only the Texans and Lions have 3 or more players that cracked the list.

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's Joel Blank & Jeremy Branham weigh in on PFF's list, examine if any deserving Texans were left off, and much more!

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