No. 1 New York Yankees
2000 Record: 87-74 (1st AL East)
The New York Yankees proved last year that the regular season is for getting to the playoffs and nothing more. Their record was only the ninth-best in baseball, but with a team built for the postseason it didn't matter.
After signing Mike Mussina in the offseason, you could say the same thing about the 2001 Yankees. Since '95, Mussina has won 95 games and pitched at least 200 innings in every season. He combines with future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez and Andy Pettitte to form a rotation no one will want to face in October.
For the ninth inning there's Mariano Rivera, a closer so dominant that in 452 career innings he's allowed just 358 hits while striking out 395 batters.
The real question mark is the three aging starters in New York's lineup. Putting Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius In Focus show a steady decline in slugging percentage in each of the past three seasons.
All three are in their final contract year, so there may be one last productive season left in each of them. That's why I rank the Yanks as baseball's best team, with a good shot at a fourth consecutive World Series title.