I donít know about where you live, but where I am it is downright cold these days. That sadly means that summer is over and fall is in full swing. That, in
turn, means that baseball has entered the true nitty-gritty. By my count about 15 teams are still at least theoretically alive in the hunt for a World
Series title. There will be just one winner, though, and our job here is to pick out who that winner will be. With the World Series futures from Sportsbook.ag as a guide, here are the latest version of our 2014 World Series predictions:
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L.A. Dodgers (+400):
I just donít trust these Dodgers. Not enough to make them favorites, anyway. Their pitching is obviously impressive, and they have all the talent money can
buy on the roster. The problem I have this year, though, is the same I had last year with this team. Winning the World Series is more about mental
toughness than how well you can play ó most teams that make the playoffs are good enough to win it if everything goes right for them. The Dodgers seem just
too delicate. The last few weeks have exposed some issues on this front. They got swept at home by the Brewers in a series they should have won. They lost
two of three in San Diego, and they let the Mets get the best of them as well. When things get tight and tough at the end of the season, truly elite teams
should be consolidating their power ó like Washington, the Angels and, shockingly, Baltimore are doing. Instead, the Dodgers are letting the Giants ó a
team that isnít nearly as good on paper but which has repeatedly shown incredible late season grit over the years ó back into the race for the division. I
canít say I would be shocked if the Dodgers were to win it all, but I certainly am not going to pick them ó especially not at this price.
L.A. Angels (+450):
Itís hard not to like this team. They have a balanced and deep roster, and the rotation is similarly competent without relying too heavily on one guy over
another. It took longer than it should have ó by a year ó but they have exerted their dominance in their division, and that has them where they are right
now. There is no real reason barring a catastrophic injury that they canít keep it up, and the path out of the American League seems slightly more
straightforward than it is in the NL. I still am not going to pick the Angels to win it all, but they are more justified at their price than the Dodgers
are, and they would be far more legitimate favorites in my eyes.
Washington Nationals (+550):
Last year was a major disappointment for me when it came to the Nationals. They had been so strong two years back, and I expected them to build on that
last year. Instead, they floundered. At the beginning of this year they also seemed poised to underwhelm, but then something clicked. They have played very
well lately, and they have done it despite having a more balanced, less star-loaded roster than other teams around. They have learned how to win together,
and that is paying off. They have upside, too, as several players are capable of being even better than they have been. Perhaps I am just being loyal to a
team I was high on going into last season, but the Washington Nationals are my World Series pick.
Baltimore Orioles (+600):
What makes baseball so great is how it just doesnít make any sense at all sometimes. This is, in so many ways, a marginal roster, and they have been hit by
some key injuries. Through it all, though, they have built a 9.5-game lead in the American League East and arenít looking back. You could make the same
argument about this team as the Nationals ó they are winning because they are playing as much like a team as you can. Unlike Washington, though, I canít
shake the feeling here that the bubble will burst and the team will come back to earth in a big way. Nice story, but if they win it all it will cost me
money because Iím sure not betting on them.
Oakland Athletics (+800):
If you ever needed proof that karma exists you donít need to look any further. A team that for years had succeeded by following their own path went all-in
at the trade deadline and has been lousy since. Jon Lester has pitched well but has been let down by his new team repeatedly, and thatís just what has
happened too often overall. Six weeks ago I would have picked this team to win it all, but I would have been wrong.
Detroit Tigers (+1200):
I talked about mental toughness earlier with the Dodgers. Like them, I have questioned the mental aspect of the game for these Tigers for years, too, and
it is why I have never believed in the team despite their success. They are not crunch performers, and I donít expect them to be here, either. They have no
shortage of hardware in the rotation, but I donít expect that to be enough. Iíll pass at this price ó or any less than about 30/1.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham