World Series Predictions
With the MLB season nearing the home stretch, it’s time to start looking ahead at which teams appear poised to make a deep playoff run. We’ll start our discussion in the American League with the New York Yankees. Prior to the season, I had the Bronx Bombers as a wild card team, but they are clearly playing the best baseball of any team in the bigs right now and it doesn’t look like the Red Sox will be able to catch them in the A.L. East. The Yankees got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Alex Rodriguez was healthy enough to be inserted into the lineup, they have been rolling. The Yankees currently have the best record in baseball at 75-45 and both Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia have not disappointed since coming aboard. Teixeira leads the Yanks with 30 homeruns and Sabathia leads the team with 14 wins and a 3.58 ERA. The odds show the New York Yankees at +250 to win the World Series.
Other teams to keep an eye on in the American League are the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox. The Angels are one of the hottest teams in baseball and have done much of their damage on the road, winning 21 of their last 27 away from home. They currently have a 72-45 record and appear to be New York’s biggest competition in the A.L. right now because of their run production. The Halos rank No. 1 in the league in runs per game (5.8) and batting average (.291). The Los Angeles Angels are listed at +800 to win the World Series.
We have become very accustomed to seeing the Red Sox make deep postseason runs in recent years and I’m not ready to count them out yet, even though they are seven games back in the A.L. East. Boston is battling it out with the Texas Rangers for the A.L. wild card, and I like Bean Town’s chances because of its deeper starting rotation. The Sox are currently 67-51 and their experience should give them the edge over the Rangers in the wild card race. The Red Sox are listed at +600 to win the World Series.
Now, let’s head over to the National League and take a look at the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals. At 71-49, the Dodgers currently have the best record in the N.L., but the reigning World Series champion Phillies are still the team to beat in my opinion. The Phillies started out slow at home, but they kept the division lead by being the best road team in baseball. They are currently 37-20 away from home and 67-49 on the season. And now the home wins are starting to pile up as the Phillies are 17-7 in their last 24 home games. You also have to like the moves Philly has made to bolster its pitcher staff with Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez. The Philadelphia Phillies are listed at +550 to repeat as World Series champs.
Getting Joe Torre to manage and Manny Ramirez to come up with clutch hits took the Dodgers deep into the postseason in 2008. Now, they could win it all in 2009. Manny missed considerable time with a drug suspension, but the Dodgers kept right on winning without him thanks to good pitching and defense. The Dodgers’ pitching staff ranks No. 2 in ERA and No. 1 in WHIP and the defense ranks No. 1 with the fewest errors committed this season. If you think LA’s defense can take them to a title, bet the Dodgers at +600 to win the World Series.
Heading into the season, the Chicago Cubs appeared to be the team to beat in the N.L. Central, but they have not been able to overcome numerous stifling injuries. The St. Louis Cardinals have taken full advantage. They are currently 68-53 on the season and appear to be fully capable of winning another world series title this decade. The duo of Chris Carpenter and Adam Waiwright make up one of the best one-two punches in baseball and the acquisition of Matt Holliday to go along with Albert Pujols has sparked the lineup. The St. Louis Cardinals are listed at +1000 to win the World Series.
If you are going to be making your own World Series predictions then make sure you focus on pitching. It’s tough to win in the postseason unless you have a gun who is going to shut down the other team, or a great set of 3 to 4 starters who will be able to handle everything the opposition brings your way. The odds are set with a strong focus on the starting pitcher to begin with so you need to be on top of the arms in order to beat the books throughout the year, especially in the World Series.