The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to meet in the World Series this year. This is not much of a surprise to most people. Both teams are deep and full of top-notch talent. Smart money is on the Dodgers for several reasons that will be discussed in more detail a bit later. Now, before all of you New Yorkers start flooding sportsbetting-newyork.com to see how you can utilize your newly-acquired sports betting freedom and subsequently “bet the farm” on the Bronx Bombers, it would be prudent to look into a couple of outsiders. Since there are a couple of long-shots that are looking pretty strong, you may consider putting money on one of them to shock the world.
Challenging “The Favorites” AL
While the favorites are not much of a surprise, the success of the Oakland Athletics is. They have a good, young team with both power and pitching, so they were expected to do pretty well. However, not better than the Houston Astros, and certainly not better than the entire AL. The A’s are exceeding all of those expectations with an AL-leading record of 19-8. While they may not seem to have the whole package, it is hard to argue with the results.
Chris Bassitt is their only starting pitcher with really good numbers so far. Their bullpen makes up for the shortcomings of the rotation, though, by being lights-out. Out of the six pitchers in the ‘pen, the highest ERA is 2.53. The two Matts, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, anchor an offense that produces an average of 5.03 runs per game. This club is a force to be reckoned with, even though they are not loaded with superstars. Anything can happen in the post-season.
After a couple of decades as the proverbial “doormat” of the NL West, the San Diego Padres are quickly emerging as a major threat. The rebuild is finally just about complete. This team is surprisingly good, with just a couple of weak spots. They have star power, that is for sure. After placing third in ROY voting last year, Fernando Tatis Jr. is in the process of breaking out. He is currently in the running for the NL MVP—leading baseball in homers, RBI, Total Bases, Runs, and tied for first in Stolen Bases with six others. Not bad for a 21-year-old shortstop. When you surround him with the likes of Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer, you have quite a potent infield.
The Padres have been getting great outings by a couple of their pitchers as well, and they are winning games. They are comfortably in second in the West by a couple of games and hold the first wildcard spot. Only the Dodgers have more wins than the Padres in the NL. Once the Padres get better in the outfield, front of the pen, and another quality starter, they are going to be very hard to beat. In the meanwhile, they have what it takes to win lots of games now. And, if they get hot at the right time, they have a chance to go to the dance.
The Bronx Bombers
While the Yankees are thought of as the favorites in the AL, and arguably, all of baseball, it is not guaranteed that they will go all the way. They have been bitten hard by the injury bug. This squad is full of stars. Unfortunately, several of those stars are on the IL—including DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Zach Britton, to name a few. They are building up Masahiro Tanaka’s arm strength after a late start to the season due to his injury. The Yankees are currently tied in the East with a surprisingly good Tampa Bay Rays team. To get to the Show, they will need to get passed some stiff competition in the Minnesota Twins, and the A’s. Also, with expanded playoffs, they could see some other surging teams. When at full-strength, the Yankees are the best team in the AL. We will see what happens.
The Dodgers are the favorites to win it all. They have won the West for seven consecutive years, and played in two of the last three World Series. As laid out in the Dodgers Season Preview, it is a team full of All-Stars, as well as three MVP winners. They have the best record in baseball despite having Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, and Corey Seager all miss time with injuries. There does not seem to be a deeper team in all of baseball either. This team is deep, highly talented, and young. However, even after winning 106 games last season, they still lost in the Division Series to the eventual World Champions. So, anything can, and will happen. It seems like the only team that can beat them this year is themselves. This is going to be a quick and exciting season with an expanded playoff picture. It is anyone’s guess as to how it will finish, but it will be very exciting nonetheless. That is the only guarantee.