It is finally here! The 2019 MLB season gets underway this Thursday, March 28. Fans across the US can’t wait for the Boys of Summer to return after a long winter. With a lot of changes this offseason, it will be interesting to see which teams get off to a good start and which stumble out of the gate.

Manny, Bryce bring change and pressure

The two biggest moves of the offseason were definitely Manny Machado signing with the San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper heading to the Philadelphia Phillies.

While both cities welcome each player with open arms, the pressure to win and make a postseason run will be higher than ever.

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According to NBC Sports, Phillies fans are already planning on buying up a lot of tickets when the Phillies play Harper’s old team, the Washington Nationals. Not when they play in Philadelphia mind you, in Washington! Obviously, Phillies fans want to show Washington just what they lost out on in the offseason.

The Nationals knew that Harper would most likely leave and test the free agent market, but losing one of the best players in the game to your division rival is tough. Now Harper will face the Nationals several times a year - this time as their opponent.

Deep down, the Nationals' brass would have probably preferred to see Harper head to the American League. Yes, this is going to be an interesting season.

Power rankings

The first edition of the MLB Power Rankings is based on two things – how the teams are expected to do, and how they did in spring training. Of course, to many, spring performance doesn’t mean much. However, for Week 1, it isn’t a bad idea to take it into consideration.

The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals played well in the spring, and not much is expected out of either this season.

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Nevertheless, Detroit jumped up from No. 27 to No. 21, while the Royals rose up four spots from No. 28 to No. 24. These moves are comparable to the final rankings of 2018. The biggest drop belongs to the LA Dodgers. The Dodgers fall from No. 2 to No. 9.

Here are the MLB Power Rankings heading into Week 1.

Play ball!

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Houston Astros
  4. Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Philadelphia Phillies
  6. Chicago Cubs
  7. Washington Nationals
  8. Atlanta Braves
  9. Los Angeles Dodgers
  10. St. Louis Cardinals
  11. Cleveland Indians
  12. Oakland Athletics
  13. New York Mets
  14. Colorado Rockies
  15. Tampa Bay Rays
  16. Cincinnati Reds
  17. San Diego Padres
  18. Minnesota Twins
  19. Los Angeles Angels
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. Detroit Tigers
  22. Pittsburgh Pirates
  23. Seattle Mariners
  24. Kansas City Royals
  25. Texas Rangers
  26. Chicago White Sox
  27. San Francisco Giants
  28. Arizona Diamondbacks
  29. Miami Marlins
  30. Baltimore Orioles