2014 Kansas City Royals MLB Opening Day: Wild Card Preview

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Mar 16, 2014; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays: 91-71

Tampa Bay could compete with the Red Sox for the division title, but more likely, they’ll grab one of the wild card spots.

They still have ace David Price, which goes a long way for that rotation. Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Chris Archer are all decent pitchers and it seems like they always manage to find good starters if any get hurt. They lost Jeremy Hellickson in January when he went under the knife for elbow surgery, but they still have ex-Kansas City Royals prospect Jake Odorizzi who looks like a solid fifth starter.

If they sustain another loss to the rotation, however, they will have trouble covering.

Their offense is almost as good as the Cleveland Indians’. Every position on the infield has a decent hitter there. They have their own perpetual MVP candidate in Evan Longoria, who continues to hit and field well at third base. Ben Zobrist continues to give a .350+ OBP and can bounce all over the field to give plus-defense at any position on the diamond.

Their outfield of David Dejesus, Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers should provide a solid offensive boost and provide average defense.

They took a chance on Yunel Escobar and were rewarded with one of the better hitting Gold Glove-caliber shortstops in the majors. They decided to give Ryan Hanigan a try at catcher after he came off a disappointing season. He was a very good hitting catcher before that.

They have a decent front to their bullpen after acquiring Grant Balfour. The back of the bullpen may prove a liability, but the rest of their team is solid.