World Series contenders and pretenders: Will NL field be stronger than the AL?

How well do the powerful Orioles and pitching-strong Dodgers match up against playoff-caliber teams? USA TODAY Sports

There's an important truth about the postseason that people sometimes fail to keep in mind: Come playoff time, every team is good.

It's not enough to have a good lineup. Most playoff teams have a good lineup.

It's not enough to have an ace starter. Most playoff teams have an ace starter.

In the regular season, you'll come across lopsided matchups, like the Chicago Cubs against the Cincinnati Reds. In October, all the margins narrow. As such, that leaves more room for luck. It also serves to make things more exciting.

So the MLB playoffs start soon, and 10 solid rosters will compete for the World Series. Each team will have earned its berth. If you take one thing away from this, let it be that they're all good enough to have a chance. There is no team in the playoffs that doesn't deserve a championship. With all that said, they're not identically good. There are separators, and so there are favorites and underdogs.

What I've attempted to do is identify what you could call a "contender" as well as a "pretender." Strong labels for sure, but there are teams that seem better than the perception and teams that seem worse. The Cubs are a clear favorite, but then, everybody knows that.

With that, here are the result of my findings. Let's just say the National League playoff field looks a lot stronger than you might think, and a few American League teams could disappoint.