What are your teams chances to win the World Series?

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With the MLB season coming to a close, and big name players returning from, (or in some cases going on), the disabled list, I wanted to give my thoughts on what teams are primed for a postseason run, and what teams will have to watch from home. Only 10 spots up for grabs come October, will your team get one?

 

THE AMERICAN LEAGUE

  1. The Boston Red Sox: Current Record: 103-47 / Projected Record: 109-51  

The Red Sox have been the best team in baseball all year long lead by 1st year manager Alex Cora, and 2 strong AL MVP candidates in Mookie Betts and JD Martinez. Combine that with above average defenders on the field, excellent starting and relief pitching  lead by CY Young favorite Chris Sale and All-Star closer Craig Kimberl, this team is primed to make a deep run in October. At this point, the only thing that can slow this team down is an injury, and the injury to Chris Sale that has limited him to just 9 total innings pitched since July 27th is concerning, however he has throw in 2 separate outings in September, and the Red Sox seem to be very cautious with him as the season comes to an end. As long as they are healthy come October, they will be a heavy favorite to come out.                                                                                                                              Pennant Odds: 5/2    World Series Odds: 5/1

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2. The Houston Astros: Current Record: 94-56 / Projected Record: 101-61

The 2017 Astros are looking to become the 1st team since the 1999-2000 Yankees to repeat as World Champions. Injuries have plagued the Astros all year long as all 3 of their All-Stars missed significant time due to injury this year. (Altuve 26 days, Knee) (Correa 45 days, Back) (Springer 11 days, Quad). To go along with that, the Astros also lost last years World Series game 7 starter Lance McCullers to a UCL injury that put him out of action for the rest of 2018 back in August. However the Astros are still one of the best teams in all of baseball thanks to a huge break out year from Alex Bregman who is putting up MVP caliber numbers with 50 doubles, 30 homeruns, 100 RBIs, a slash of .292/.399/.547, and playing Gold Glove quality defense at the hot corner. Not to mention picking up former course I cant talk about the Houston Astros and not mention how Justin Verlander has become the pitcher he was back in 2011-2014 where he was arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Verlander is 16-9 with a 2.67 ERA and an American League high 269 strikeouts in 32 games this year. Don’t sleep on Houston just because they don’t have the same hype around them that they did last year. This team could easily repeat.                                                                                                                              Pennant odds: 4/1             World Series Odds: 7-1

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3. The Cleveland Indians: Current Record 83-66 / Projected Record: 92-70 

Believe it or not, the Indians are the only current playoff team in the AL without atleast 90 wins to their name. Granted, the Indians played in the worst division in baseball this year, (the AL Central). However they are also only the 2nd team in all of baseball to have clinched a playoff spot (the Red Sox being the other). The Indians are just as stacked as their AL opponents and only got better this past month by adding 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson to their team after claiming him off waiver wires on August 31st. The move did raise some eye-brows across the league, however, the Inidans were the only team who wanted to take a chance on him, (since he had only played 33 games all year and was hurt with Shoulder and Calf injuries). Donaldson is back now and healthy again, and while he is not putting up amazing numbers at the moment, he will be a great piece to add to an already stacked team lead by AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez and All-Star SS Fransisco Lindor, this line up can hang with any in the MLB. Their pitching is also off the charts, lead by last years CY Young winner Corey Kluber, and the return of All-Star Trevor Bauer, this team will not be an easy task for anyone come October.              Pennant odds: 6/1             World Series Odds: 9/1

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4. The New York Yankees: Current Record 91-58 / Projected Record 99-63

The Yankees came into this year as the favorites to win the American League after acquiring 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to hit behind AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge. Oh yeah, and these were the only 2 guys to crack 50 homeruns in 2017 and they were now hitting in the same line up together. While they started off hot, the Yankees got hit hard with the injury bug as well, loosing Judge for 49 days with a broken wrist and All Star catcher Gary Sanchez for 63 days with a groin issue. Judge makes his return to the starting line up today and will face live pitching for the first time since July which all Yankee fans should be thrilled about. When this team was healthy in the beginning of the year, they looked unstoppable, and they will need to recapture that style of play if they want to have any chance against any of the other teams they play. 99 Wins and you can only get a Wild Card…Thats tough, but don’t feel too sorry for these guys, they are still the Yankees. Lol                                                                                                                                    Pennant odds: 8/1                World Series odds: 12/1

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        5. The Oakland Athletics (A’s): Current Record 90-60 / Projected Record 96-66

Honestly this is the biggest surprise of the year, to me, in all of baseball. Before the season had started, many people had the A’s finishing either 4th or 5th in the AL West, and not having any chance to make the playoffs in such a stacked division. Well guess what, the A’s are now 7 games ahead in the 2nd wild card spot and will most likely make it pending some catastrophic collapse in these next 2 weeks. The A’s since the All-Star break are 35-18 and are lead by Khris Davis who will finish with his 3rd straight 40 HR 100 RBI season, and an array of Bullpen and starting pitching that has been pitching the best baseball of their careers. Don’t be surprised if the A’s go into NYC and dethrone the evil empire in the Wild Card game either because this team has the talent to win.    Pennant odds: 10/1               World Series odds: 18/1

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Teams that will just miss the postseason: Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays

AL Rookie of the Year: Shohei Ohtani, LAA                                                                                    AL Manager of the Year: Alex Cora, BOS                                                                                         AL CY Young: Blake Snell, TB                                                                                                             AL MVP: Alex Bregman, Hou                                                                                                             AL Champions: Boston Red Sox

 

THE NATIONAL LEAGUE

  1. The Chicago Cubs: Current Record 88-62 / Projected Record 95-67

The Cubs have been the best team in the NL for a while now, and adding Cole Hamels and Daniel Murphy at the trade deadline seems to have brought more life back into the Cubs clubhouse. The Cubs have had their fair share of injuries this year, loosing 2016 MVP Kris Bryant for 57 total days and Yu Darvish who has missed 128 days after signing a 6-year 128 Million dollar deal with the Cubs. However, the Cubs were lead my NL MVP candidate Javier Baez who became just the 3rd SS in Cubs history to have 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs in a season. Not to mention, he has played incredible defense at 3 different positions for them this year, Baez was certainly the MVP of the Cubs and could possibly be the MVP of the National League. The Cubs starters have also been great all year, and are currently one of the top rotations in all of baseball. They have the tools and the experience to run through the NL, now its just a matter of playing well at the right time.  Pennant odds: 5/1                  World Series odds: 8/1

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2. The Los Angeles Dodgers: Current Record 83-68 / Projected Record 90-72

The Dodgers are the most interesting team in the National League to me, not only because they are my favorite team, but because they currently have the best run differential in the NL at +152, yet they are only a half game ahead of the Rockies who have a negative run differential. The Dodgers have had their fair share of injuries, loosing All-Star SS Corey Seager to Tommy John Surgery on April 30th, while both Justin Turner and Clayton Kershaw both missed over 50 days with injuries, Turner with his wrist, and Kershaw with his back. Never the less, the Dodgers proved they were all in again at the trade deadline by adding one of the top free agents SS Manny Machado, 2B Brian Dozier, and 1B David Freese. While the Dodgers aren’t as dominate as they were last year when they won 105 games, I still believe with the current line up, they can hit with the best teams in baseball, and if the pitching can find its way, then the Dodgers could find themselves with a chance to finish the job they couldn’t finish last year.  Pennant odds: 5/1                     World Series odds: 8/1

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3. The Milwaukee Brewers: Current Record 86-65 / Projected Record 93-69

The Brewers went into this offseason knowing they were just a couple pieces away from becoming a serious threat to the 2 top dogs in the NL, (Dodgers and Cubs), and it seems like they may have found those pieces. Christian Yelich has emerged as an MVP favorite currently leading the NL in batting and slashing .318/.385/.570 with 31 homeruns 93 RBI’s and above average speed and defense. His other outfielder Lorenzo Cain is currently leading all NL players in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) at 6.7 and having a nice season of his own as he is in the top 10 in average and stolen bases. The Brewers also added veteran pitcher Gio Gonzalez to their rotation, which Jim Jeffress and Corey Knebal continue to be a lights out 1-2 punch for the 8th and 9th innings. Id hate to be the 1st team to play them in the playoffs if they make it through the wild card game.                        Pennant odds: 9/1                           World Series odds: 12/1

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4. The Atlanta Braves: Current Record 83-67 / Projected Record 88-74

The Braves came into this year thinking it would be a rebuild year, as they start to grow their young talented prospects into major league ready players. Well it didn’t take long for that to happen. Ronald Acuna Jr has immediately become a house hold name among baseball fans. The 20 year old outfielder has shown us he is a super-star in the making, and one of the future faces of baseball. In just 99 games this year, Acuna has a slash of .296/.371/.575 with 25 homeruns and 56 RBI’s, not to mention a Braves record 8 lead off homeruns. His spark along with the always consistent play of All-Stars Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis, has allowed the Braves to pull away in that crowded NL East. I like the Braves and their players, but I do think they are way ahead of schedule in the sense that they will make the playoffs, but probably not go too far in them.                        Pennant odds: 15/1                            World Series odds: 25/1 

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5. The Colorado Rockies or The Arizona Diamondbacks: Current Record R:82-68 / Projected Record R:85-77  –  Current Record D: 78-73 / Projected Record D: 85-77

This was an interesting one for me. Obviously they are the Dodgers division rivals and have been a thorn in there sides all year long, however a lot has changed recently for these two teams. The Diamondbacks held the top spot in the NL west for most of the year, but have really gone off the tracks in the last month as they now sit 5 games back in the division and the wild card race. Paul Goldschmidt is playing at an MVP caliber lever again while the emergence of David Peralta has really made the Diamondbacks offense potent again. Combine that with one of the best starting staffs in all of baseball and the D-Backs could easily make a run in the last 2 weeks and sneak into the playoffs. The reason I say this is that the Colorado Rockies announced today that SS Trevor Story will need Tommy John Surgery to repair a tear in his UCL ligament, and could cost him the rest of the 2018 season and the 2019 season. This is a shame too because Story was having a career year slashing .288/.373/.550 with 33 homeruns and 102 RBI’s. Loosing him will absolutely hurt the Rockies chances at a post season run, but with players like Nolan Arenado and  Charlie Blackmon still leading the way, and good pitching from the Rockies starters and bullpen, the Rockies could still make it to the Wild Card game at the least.                                                                                                                                            Pennant odds: R – 20/1 D – 20/1                                       World Series odds: R – 50/1 D – 50/1

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NL Rookie of the Year: Ronald Acuna Jr, ATL                                                                                NL CY Young: Jacob DeGrom, NYM                                                                                                NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell, MIL                                                                                 NL MVP: Javier Baez / Christian Yelich, CHC / MIL                                                                     NL Champions: The Los Angeles Dodgers  

WORLD SERIES Matchup: Los Angeles Dodgers vs Boston Red Sox

WORLD SERIES Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games 

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Biggest Disappointment in 2018: This one is easy and needs little to no explanation if you follow baseball but its The Washington Nationals. They easily had the best roster in the NL coming into the season. They had stars up and down the line up and even a teenager came in and made an impact. They have the best right handed pitcher in baseball in Max Scherzer and yet still they couldn’t beat out 2 teams full of youth and talent. Nationals need to take a long look into the mirror this year and figure out what went wrong in 2018.

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If you made it this far, Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll leave me a comment with who you think will win the World Series and why, and ill tell you what I think. Thanks again!

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