SEPARATING THE STRIVERS FROM THE TANKERS
If you'd gone to sleep after the last out of Game 7 of the World Series and just woken up now, you'd find there had been no change among the MLB teams at the top. If anything, that grouping has gotten more entrenched after a winter in which nearly a dozen clubs punted on even trying to compete for a title in 2018. And so baseball enters its new season with its deepest divide between the rich and the rebuilding, the title favorites and the tankers, and teams that aren't in one camp or the other—such as the Angels—have become rare.
ALL IN ON '18
(TEAMS WITH PROJ. PAYROLL)
NON-CONTENDER IN '18
The Giants, who have one of the worst farm systems, lost 98 in '17, and are still gunning for a title in '18.
The O's have an aging roster, and Manny Machado is a free agent after this season.
Stocked with top prospects, Chicago is loaded for the future.
WORLD SERIES CONTENDER IN '18
With Bryce Harper heading toward free agency, this could be the Nats' last chance to win a championship.
New York is arguably baseball's best positioned team, with a championship-caliber roster, payroll flexibility and a top farm system.
BUILDING TO '21