Where Do the Houston Astros Fit in Our MLB Power Rankings?

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Mar 26, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Kris Bryant (76) at bat during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs. 20. team. 9. The Cubs were like a child in a swimming pool with all of the splashes they made this offseason. They have a new manager in Joe Maddon, an ace atop their rotation in Jon Lester, and slew of young talent (sans Kris Bryant for now) that the fan base should all be excited about. Even bringing back Jason Hammel appears to be a solid move, as Hammel held an 8-5 record along with a 2.85 ERA with Chicago before being traded to Oakland last July. Back to the Future may have been a bit hasty in its prediction of a 2015 World Series Championship, however. The kids will need to gain some experience in the coming years, and once Addison Russell (from that Oakland deal) gets the call the team may be officially ready to start competing.. (0-0). Previous: --th

Previous: --th. Houston Astros. 19. team. 135. Is this ranking a little optimistic? Perhaps, but the Houston Astros focused on areas of need this offseason. They brought in Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek to bolster the bullpen and traded Dexter Fowler to the Cubs for Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily. The folks in the Crawford Boxes will have some fun enticing Evan Gattis to “hit it here” with the short porch in left being just 315 feet away. A lot will rest on the starting pitching this season, with Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh leading the way. Asher Wojciechowski will make his big-league debut next week, and if he performs well, this team could be in contention for a little while.. (0-0)

team. 7. The Royals replaced Billy Butler, who could play a little first base, with Kendrys Morales, who shouldn’t play any first base with Kansas City. Alex Rios takes over for Nori Aoki in right. Staff ace James Shields will be replaced by Yordano Ventura, with Edinson Volquez being added to the rotation from Pittsburgh. But none of that matters. The Royals are built around their bullpen, and if they stay healthy, the team should put up enough runs to be around .500 this season.. (0-0). Previous: --th. Kansas City Royals. 18

New York Mets. 17. team. 3. The Mets will go as far as their starters take them. Matt Harvey is back from Tommy John surgery, and has looked sharp this spring, holding a 1.19 ERA over 22 2/3 innings. Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will give the Metropolitans a great 1-2 punch with Harvey. Bobby Parnell should return from Tommy John around May, which will give their bullpen a boost. If the bats show up in Citi Field, the Mets could be a contender for a second wild card.. (0-0). Previous: --th

Previous: --th. San Francisco Giants. 16. team. 40. The team just won another World Series title, and they’re ranked this low?! Well, yeah. They lost Pablo Sandoval to Boston, but that’s not why they’re here. Their starting rotation has a lot of question marks heading into the season, and the team has done nothing to soothe those worries. Madison Bumgarner logged 270 innings last season. Tim Hudson struggled for much of the second half, and is entering his age 39 season. Matt Cain missed most of last year due to elbow surgery. Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit will all likely see time in the Giants’ rotation over the course of the season, and  while Petit has become something of a star with his postseason performance, his splits suggest he’s much better as a long reliever than as a full-fledged starter. Hunter Pence is expected to miss the first month of the season, and with the teams around them improving, that month could put the Giants behind early.. (0-0)

Bold Prediction: The Houston Astros and New York Mets will be in contention come September.

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