2019 World Series Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Analysis
This is a strange year in baseball. There is still a long way to go until the playoffs start, and there are going to be 10 playoff teams, but it already feels like it is going to be just a three-horse race. Those three horses all feel better than most teams most years, but they are all here now, and they are heading for a series of epic showdowns. And behind them we have, well, not that much. There are other teams that have talent, and that could do some damage if everything works just perfectly. But you have to work really, really hard to make even a remotely compelling case for anyone other than the Astros, Dodgers or Yankees. Here's a look at where the futures sit right now at the end of August:
Houston Astros (+275): The biggest obstacle standing in the way of the Astros right now has to be that they really need to finish first in the AL, and they are currently trailing the Yankees narrowly. This is just not the same team on the road. They are a stunningly stupid 51-17 in Houston and a very pedestrian 36-31 away. There is so much to like about this team - pitching depth, experience, coaching, and on and on. And they are playing the best baseball in the American League right now. But if things go as expected, the Astros could potentially have to open on the road against both the Yankees and the Dodgers. That would be a lot to overcome for this team. I'm not saying that they can't do it, but I struggle to make them a clear favorite given that. The pitching staff is just such a weapon in a playoff series, though. If I had to pick one team right now, it would be the Astros, but they really need to close strong and get the home-field advantage throughout in their pockets.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+275): The Dodgers have the best run differential in baseball, driven by both the best offense and the stingiest defense in the NL. This is a very good team. And the National League is a lot easier to get through than the American League right now. And the Dodgers have the experience of getting to the World Series the last two years to draw on here. But I have been saying one thing about this team for a very long time, and I am not going to stop now - I just don't trust their mental toughness. They are certainly talented enough to win, and they are well positioned to make the World Series, but for some reason this team can't quite seem to take the final step when the chips are down and everything matters. They are the Atlanta Falcons of baseball. And until they prove otherwise, they are going to be very tough for me to trust - doubting them has served me too well over the years to change now. The huge advantage they have is that the Yankees and Astros could beat themselves up before making the Series. But I still like Houston a little more.
New York Yankees (+400): There is one truly crazy stat about this team that stands out above all. The next time they get a home run in the ninth inning, they will become the first team in the entire history of baseball to get at least 20 home runs from each position in the batting order and in each inning of the game. That's ridiculous. And that's with Stanton out most of the year and Judge banged up. But this pitching staff just isn't as good as it should be. It's working up to this point, but it's tough to find too many potential matchups against the two biggest opponents that you would feel truly great about. I respect this team and especially their coaching, and the way they keep finding guys who can put up big numbers is incredible, but the more I look at them and watch them, the better I feel about the Astros.
Atlanta Braves (+1000): Mike Soroka grew up in my hometown and played in the same Little League I did - though long after I was done - so I have a big soft spot for this team. And they are talented for sure. But they would need absolutely everything to go right for them to beat the Dodgers. And the price isn't right enough to justify a bet on them.
Minnesota Twins (+1400): I was partly right about this team - I said before the season that I thought they have a decent chance of finishing above .500, and they just won their 82nd game of the season to guarantee that they will. But as to seeing this coming, or understanding how they keep doing it, I'm at a loss. Every year baseball provides us with a true mystery, and the Twins are it. They could be dangerous because they have the swagger that is bred by having nothing at all to lose. And what they are doing is obviously working. But they would likely have to beat all three top contenders to host the big prize, and that is tough to see happening - at least at this price.
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