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Postseason fantasy rankings: Top 165

Welcome back to the MLB playoffs! The postseason gets under way Friday with a pair of wild-card contests, and then a lot more games over the weekend, so we're getting you ready with our annual rankings for playoff pools. This season things are clearly different, though, because there are now 10 teams to include in the rankings, two more than last season. As a result, the list has grown quite a bit to reflect depth. Also, by Saturday morning, two teams will already have been eliminated. So when you peruse these rankings and wonder how Josh Hamilton can be ranked lower than Mat Latos, I get it. That does look odd.

However, it also makes sense. It's certainly possible the Texas Rangers lose Friday night to the Baltimore Orioles. I don't expect that will happen, but if you make Hamilton your first-round pick and he gets all of five at-bats before heading to his offseason, your team could be in some trouble. Nick Swisher could play in more games. Or Hamilton could win Friday and take his team to the World Series again! Anything is possible.

That brings us to the second part of the rankings: They're subjective. In order to win a postseason league, you need a little luck and to go with your gut on predicting teams that will advance. The owner who chose St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese in the eighth round of his draft last October got a steal! Freese's Cardinals not only upset the favored Philadelphia Phillies in the first round, but went all the way to the title in seven games, and Freese, certainly not one of the team's stars when the playoffs began, played the largest role in the final games.

Also note that in general, using the scoring you'll see below, ace starting pitchers and busy closers tend to do exceedingly well, as opposed to normal hitters. We're not using the final 2012 results from the ESPN Player Rater here, because they are irrelevant based on potential games played, and it's different scoring. If Latos wins a few games, he's really valuable. Last year the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter won four October games and Jason Motte saved five. Albert Pujols hit five home runs in 18 games, but those Cardinals pitchers were more valuable here, as was the surprising Freese.

For the record, I'm predicting the Rangers and Atlanta Braves will advance by winning Friday, then those teams will advance again by beating the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals, respectively. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers will top the upstart Oakland Athletics, and the San Francisco Giants will edge the Cincinnati Reds. So my rankings reflect that. If you think the Yankees are going all the way, as my colleague Tristan H. Cockcroft surely believes, by all means, move their players up. Today, nobody is wrong!

Thanks to Tristan for providing the scoring system we show here (and for running our office pool). The scoring rules we use: 1 point for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple, 4 for a home run, 1 for an RBI, 1 for a run scored, 1 for a walk, 1 for a hit by pitch (batter), 2 for a stolen base, 4 for a win, 8 for a save, 1 per pitching out (so 3 per inning), minus-1 for each hit allowed, minus-1 for each walk allowed, minus-1 for a hit by pitch (pitcher), minus-3 for an earned run, and 2 for a pitcher strikeout. Got all that? Here we go!

1. Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers: It is worth noting that in his previous five playoff series, his ERA has never been on the good side of 5.

2. Matt Cain, SP, Giants: He'll start Game 1 for San Fran, and should start plenty more.

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, Tigers: Playoff MVP? I actually like the Tigers to go far now that they made the playoffs.

4. Buster Posey, C/1B, Giants: I've got the G-men in the World Series, but also consider that he is a catcher. Not a lot of great catchers in the playoffs.

5. Gio Gonzalez, SP, Nationals: Speaking of Nats pitchers, wouldn't it be something if Stephen Strasburg shockingly showed up on the roster?

6. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: He isn't missing games anymore.

7. Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees

8. Prince Fielder, 1B, Tigers

9. Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants

10. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Nationals

11. Ian Desmond, SS, Nationals: Look at his season numbers and you might not believe just how good they were. No reason to think he stops hitting or running now.

12. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals

13. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees: The singles he will hit can add up quickly.

14. Curtis Granderson, OF, Yankees: Luckily, hitter strikeouts are not a factor in this pool.

15. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals: Age not a factor here. The kid can play.

16. Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers: Could be one and done for him! But I expect he'll pitch great on Friday, and beyond.

17. Jay Bruce, OF, Reds

18. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Reds: Eight points for saves! And he strikes people out, too!

19. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds

20. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Nationals: Quietest 33-homer, 100-RBI season I've seen in years. Good corner guy here.

21. Austin Jackson, OF, Tigers

22. Johnny Cueto, SP, Reds

23. Rafael Soriano, RP, Yankees: Saved 42 games this season. Mariano Rivera saved more in only two of the past six years.

24. Nick Swisher, 1B/OF, Yankees

25. Drew Storen, RP, Nationals: It's his job over Tyler Clippard, but there is the chance that manager Davey Johnson changes it up again. I doubt it, though.

26. Sergio Romo, RP, Giants: Really underrated closer who should see work in tight games.

27. Michael Morse, OF, Nationals: Season numbers don't show his true value.

28. Hunter Pence, OF, Giants

29. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees: Worth noting that, like Verlander, CC was terrible in last year's playoffs, and his career postseason ERA is 4.81.

30. Mat Latos, SP, Reds

31. Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers: Risky because he could play only one game, but has huge upside if Rangers get hot again. Owners must weigh the positives and negatives.

32. Jayson Werth, OF, Nationals: Walks count, and he's a leadoff hitter who takes walks.

33. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers

34. Hiroki Kuroda, SP, Yankees

35. Jose Valverde, RP, Tigers

36. Grant Balfour, RP, Athletics: Gotta think his arm is a bit tired, no? Regardless, closers are valuable.

37. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Athletics

38. Doug Fister, SP, Tigers

39. Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics

40. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees

41. Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees

42. Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics: When would you ever think Reddick would catch Teixeira? Incredible.

43. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Yankees: Don't forget the potential for steals; a single and stolen base are worth more than a double.

44. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves: Something to note is even if the Braves win Friday, their hitters would have to face excellent Washington pitching.

45. Matt Harrison, SP, Rangers: At least Hamilton and Heyward will play Friday. What if the Orioles win and Harrison doesn't pitch at all this postseason?

46. Kris Medlen, SP, Braves: Gotta think he continues to pitch well Friday night.

47. Kyle Lohse, SP, Cardinals: Or this guy could. One of them is advancing at the other's expense.

48. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers

49. Nelson Cruz, OF, Rangers

50. Tim Lincecum, SP, Giants

51. Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals: Didn't do much in two of last season's three playoff series.

52. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Giants

53. Omar Infante, 2B, Tigers: Seems ranked a bit too high, but he can get hits, and I think the Tigers will play 10 or more games.

54. Michael Bourn, OF, Braves

55. Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals

56. Allen Craig, 1B/OF, Cardinals

57. Bronson Arroyo, SP, Reds: Getting the second-game start over the aforementioned Latos, apparently.

58. Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals: Could end up in relief Friday night as well.

59. Angel Pagan, OF, Giants

60. Tim Hudson, SP, Braves

61. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers

62. Andy Pettitte, SP, Yankees: One of the greatest postseason pitchers ever!

63. Joe Nathan, RP, Rangers

64. Craig Kimbrel, RP, Braves: Ranked behind Nathan simply because, let's be honest, the Rangers have a better chance to win Friday. Nothing against the Orioles. Cards-Braves, on the other hand, could go either way.

65. Jason Motte, RP, Cardinals

66. Jim Johnson, RP, Orioles

67. Martin Prado, 2B/SS/3B/OF, Braves: Take advantage of his versatility and use him at shortstop! By the way, eligibility is generally what a player ended the 2012 season with. So Miguel Cabrera can still play first base, etc.

68. Delmon Young, OF, Tigers

69. Max Scherzer, SP, Tigers

70. Ryan Dempster, SP, Rangers

71. Anibal Sanchez, SP, Tigers

72. Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds

73. Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals

74. Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves

75. Derek Holland, SP, Rangers

76. Jarrod Parker, SP, Athletics

77. Phil Hughes, SP, Yankees

78. Edwin Jackson, SP, Nationals

79. Danny Espinosa, 2B/SS, Nationals

80. Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS/3B, Giants

81. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves

82. Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals

83. Barry Zito, SP, Giants

84. Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Athletics

85. Homer Bailey, SP, Reds

86. Jhonny Peralta, SS, Tigers

87. Jonny Gomes, OF, Athletics

88. Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees

89. Adam Jones, OF, Orioles

90. Mike Minor, SP, Braves

91. Chris Carpenter, SP, Cardinals

92. David Murphy, OF, Rangers

93. David Freese, 3B, Cardinals

94. Ryan Vogelsong, SP, Giants

95. Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics

96. Dan Uggla, 2B, Braves

97. Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants

98. Russell Martin, C, Yankees

99. Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals

100. Alex Avila, C, Tigers

101. Mike Napoli, C/1B, Rangers

102. A.J. Griffin, SP, Athletics

103. Dan Straily, SP, Athletics

104. Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, Reds

105. Steve Johnson, SP, Orioles

106. Ross Detwiler, SP, Nationals

107. Chris Davis, 1B/3B/OF, Orioles

108. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers

109. Michael Young, 1B/2B/3B, Rangers

110. Chris Tillman, SP, Orioles

111. Paul Maholm, SP, Braves

112. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Orioles

113. Jason Hammel, SP, Orioles

114. Seth Smith, OF, Athletics

115. Drew Stubbs, OF, Reds

116. Miguel Gonzalez, SP, Orioles

117. David Robertson, RP, Yankees

118. Stephen Drew, SS, Athletics

119. Brian McCann, C, Braves

120. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles

121. Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B, Orioles

122. Andy Dirks, OF, Tigers

123. Sean Marshall, RP, Reds

124. Jaime Garcia, SP, Cardinals

125. Tommy Milone, SP, Athletics

126. Zack Cozart, SS, Reds

127. Scott Rolen, 3B, Reds

128. Quintin Berry, OF, Tigers

129. Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF, Cardinals

130. J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles

131. Joe Saunders, SP, Orioles

132. Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees

133. Eric Chavez, 1B/3B, Yankees

134. Daniel Descalso, 2B/SS/3B, Cardinals

135. Brennan Boesch, OF, Tigers

136. Kurt Suzuki, C, Nationals

137. Manny Machado, SS/3B, Orioles

138. Ryan Hanigan, C, Reds

139. Derek Norris, C, Athletics

140. Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics

141. Josh Donaldson, C/3B, Athletics

142. Nate McLouth, OF, Orioles

143. Jim Thome, DH, Orioles

144. Casey McGehee, 1B/3B, Yankees

145. Andruw Jones, OF, Yankees

146. Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves

147. Jonathan Broxton, RP, Reds

148. Joaquin Benoit, RP, Tigers

149. Cliff Pennington, 2B/SS, Athletics

150. Eduardo Nunez, SS/3B, Yankees

151. Chris Heisey, OF, Reds

152. Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants

153. Tyler Clippard, RP, Nationals

154. Ryan Flaherty, 2B/3B/OF, Orioles

155. Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants

156. Santiago Casilla, RP, Giants

157. Tyler Moore, 1B/OF, Nationals

158. Javier Lopez, RP, Giants

159. Eric O'Flaherty, RP, Braves

160. Jonny Venters, RP, Braves

161. David Ross, C, Braves

162. Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds

163. Ryan Theriot, 2B/SS, Giants

164. Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B/3B/OF, Nationals

165. Reed Johnson, OF, Braves

Good luck!