It’s that time of year again, playoff baseball! Though this isn’t your normal year for baseball. Coronavirus shortened the season to 60 games and expanded the playoffs to 8 teams from each league. This means the field is more wide open than ever. Today, I am going to try and break down the 5 who have the best chance at taking home the world series trophy.
5. The Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have been an interesting team to watch all year. They currently sit 20th in batting average, but 5th in ERA. That sums up this team, their pitching staff has been elite all season while the bats have struggled to get going at times. The Rays have looked good against their division, owning the Yankees this season and keeping them at an arm’s length away from the division title. They currently sit at +750 for their odds to win the World Series, but if their bats can get hot and their pitching stays as hot as it has been, they have a legitimate shot.
4. The Chicago White Sox
The White Sox swing very hot bats, sitting at 3rd in average and home runs on the season. Their ace, Lucas Giolito has been great this year, even throwing a no-hitter this season, Dallas Kuechel has been great for them and the power bats that are on this team really give them a chance at a run in the playoffs. Currently, they sit at +900 odds to win the world series, but with Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, and Tim Anderson leading the offense, it’s hard to tell where this train will stop.
3. The San Diego Padres
The Padres haven’t made the playoffs in 14 years! That is about to change this season thanks to studs like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Dinelson Lamet. The lineup has more talent than it has in over 10 years. The pitching staff ranks 7th in ERA, 5th in Strikeouts, and only got better with the trade-deadline acquisition of Mike Clevinger. They sit at +850 as of now to win the world series.
2. The Atlanta Braves
The Braves have had this coming for a few years now. They currently sit 2nd in home runs and batting average and are 1st in doubles and hits. Their bats have been phenomenal, led by veteran leader Freddie Freeman, young star Ronald Acuna, and Marcell Ozuna, who is in his first year with the team. The issues the Braves have faced in the past is pitching. Mike Soroka, their opening day starter, was placed on the IR for the season after tearing his Achilles in one of his first starts of the season. Luckily, 26-year-old Max Fried has stepped up, posting career numbers of 6-0 and a sub-2 ERA. The bullpen has looked better than before as well, with 4 guys posting less than 1 ERAs. The Braves odds currently sit at +1300 to win the world series.
1 .The Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are 1st in home runs, 2nd in batting average, runs, RBIs, and slugging %. They have been knocking the cover off the ball. The Dodgers have an incredible lineup that includes Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner. This complements an incredible pitching rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Julio Urias, and Walker Buehler. This team has been to the World Series twice in 3 years, and many think it is their year. They were already deeper than any team in baseball, then they went and got Mookie Betts. It’s going to be hard to take down the Dodgers, especially since there is no crowd to affect Kershaw and the apparent choking that he does in the playoffs. Their odds sit at +350. The best any team has of winning it all. This could truly be their year after the heartbreak in recent years.