Both the Giants and Athletics made the postseason in 2012, and given how their rosters are shaping up for next season, both clubs are expected to be in the hunt yet again next fall.
According to a recent poll conducted by Buster Olney of ESPN, the San Francisco Giants are currently baseball's top team. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, especially with Bruce Bochy's club winning two of the last three World Series. And with most of the roster returning next year, San Francisco figures to enter the season as one of the favorites to repeat.
There are some skeptics out there, though. One NL executive feels the Giants just benefitted from getting hot at the right time last year.
"To me, the Giants are the best example of what a crapshoot the postseason is. I don't think they're a great team, but they've played well in a couple of Octobers; they were lucky. I don't think they're the best team."
As for the Oakland Athletics, they came out of nowhere to win the American League West in 2012. They were ranked 5th on Olney's list, although some scouts feel the jury is still out on them.
Longtime AL evaluator: "I don't see Oakland that high. Anaheim and Texas will be ahead of them and both should be in the top 10. For me, Oakland doesn't have a No. 1 starter or a true middle-of-the-order bat. I'd have Detroit at No. 1."