First, I truly believe no team in the National League will win the World Series. The American League is the most dominant and I truly do not see any of the five teams in the American League, losing the them.
Honorable Mention: Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers (in order from 6-10)
5: The Cleveland Indians (87-68)
Cleveland is Cleveland. They are an amazing hitting team with subpar pitching. Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber will win them at least a game, but after that they really have no one. Andrew Miller is on and off the DL this season and even when he’s off, he is 2-3 with an over 3.00 ERA which is just not usual for him. This Indians offense is dangerous though, they could make a run but they’d have to get past the Astros, which I just don’t think is possible given the Astros strong pitching and hitting.
4: The New York Yankees (95-60)
The Yankees are who everyone thought they would be. A top 5 hitting team (2nd) who would struggle with pitching (10th in the league) but also has one of the best bullpens in baseball. The Yankees are lower on my list than I’d like, but with the chance that DiDi might be out for the year, it scares me. The Yankees have the two best Rookies in the league with Andújar and Torres, but they have no postseason experience, which scares me as well. With Judge coming back, Voit being dominant, Severino returning to his Cy Young self, this team can do some damage, if they can beat the Athletics next Wednesday. ***
3: The Houston Astros (98-57)
The defending World Series Champions clock in at #3 in this week’s rankings. Many people have them at #1, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. The Astros are amazing. Their pitching alone could secure them a #1 spot with Verlander, Morton, McCullers, Keuchel, and Cole allowing a league best .217 average hit against them. Their run differential is a +249, which hasn’t been achieved since the 1998 Yankees who had a +309 run differential. The Astros are a scary team, but why don’t I have them higher? More, next week.
2: The Oakland Athletics (94-62)
The A’s have been a shock for many including myself. With a 60-25 record in their last 85 games, the A’s have themselves in prime contention from home field advantage in the Wild-Card game against the Yankees. The A’s are 31-13 in games decided by one run and they have the home run leader, Khris Davis. Davis, who has 45 total home runs, has hit 5HRs with 13RBIs and 15 runs in his last 16 games. They rank fifth in total batting in the league and eighth in pitching. The Yankees vs Athletics is an intriguing matchup and home field advantage is a very important factor, but I think the Athletics get home field, considering their remaining schedule. ***
1: The Boston Red Sox (105-51)
It’s hard not to pick the Boston Red Sox as the favorite for the World Series. I’ve expressed my doubts, but they remain the top stop in my rankings, simply due to the resurgence of Mookie Betts. Mookie is looking more and more like his AL MVP self, after a quiet slump over the last month. The Red Sox have the best hitting, top 5 pitching. They’ll be a scary opponent in October. However, I still do not believe they will win the World Series. More, next week.
***The Yankees vs Athletics will be an extraordinary matchup. What sucks is that it’s only one game. Both teams will likely use a starter to begin. Yankees with Severino, Athletics with Friars. But, the leash will be very short. Both teams have dominant bullpens, so I believe this game will quickly become a bullpen battle. This game comes down to the home field advantage. If the Yankees get it, I like their chances and vice-versa. But it won’t determine the game by itself. Whichever offense can get started sooner, will win this game. My official predication will come in next week’s edition. But, I do believe whoever wins this matchup, will beat the Red Sox in the ALDS.