2019 World Series Predictions
We are about to take a look at World Series futures now that pitchers and catchers are starting to report and meaningful baseball is within sight. But before we do, we have to address just how stupid this entire process is. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are two of the best free agents we have ever seen in the sport - super-freaks in the primes of their career. Both are 26 and wildly productive. But not only is neither guy signed, but it doesn't seem like they are particularly close. It's bizarre - but MLB says that there is no collusion, and they would never lie about such a thing, so obviously this is just a series of strange coincidences. Without knowing where they wind up, it really isn't particularly meaningful to look at these numbers. Either guy would have a big impact on the team they join, and it's likely at least one will join of the top contenders. But we can only work with what we have, so here's a look at where things stand right now. (Odds to win the World Series are from BetOnline)
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Yankees (+600): The Yankees are going to be able to hit like crazy, with the insane power duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton leading the way. The addition of James Paxton to the rotation is huge. And they could easily add one of the two big free agents. They are very good. But in my eyes, they wouldn't be favored if they were any team other than the Yankees. I don't see any value here at all. Of course, that could just be wishful thinking because I hate the Evil Empire so much. The world is so much better when the Yankees don't win.
Red Sox (+700): They are the defending champs, so they come into the season with some swagger. Their pitching is better than New York's. And they have plenty of threatening power, led by Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. The gap isn't big, but I give them a slight edge over the Yankees, which means that there is at least some relative value here. But I don't see a lot of overall value.
Astros (+700): They have lost a couple of pieces - or likely will, because Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez are two more very solid free agents who somehow haven't landed on a team yet. But they have so much talent all over the field, and the addition of Michael Brantley to an already-excellent roster makes them really scary. They will win their division soundly and are my pick to win the AL. That means that I like this price better than the last two - though I'm not calling my banker to get a second mortgage or anything.
Dodgers (+700): Corey Seager should be back after Tommy John surgery, but Manny Machado is likely gone after he was added late last season. They have talent, and they should win the NL West again - though it could get more interesting if the Giants win the Harper non-derby. I'll say what I always say, though - I don't respect the mental game of this team, so I don't want anything to do with them at this price. Or at any reasonable price really.
Phillies (+1000): The overpaid badly for J.T. Realmuto, so they really need to add at least one of the big two free agents to make this offseason a success. And even if they do pull that off, I'm not sure that there is value at this price. Actually, I'm sure there isn't. Their division is tough right now, with the Braves and Nationals both poised to be strong as well. I don't like this price at all as the team currently sits.
Cubs (+1200): I'll be at Wrigley Field for the first time in July. I'd love to see them relevant at that point. But I don't think they will be relevant enough to justify this price. I like the Cardinals better in the division as they currently sit, and I still think that Harper in St. Louis makes a lot of sense. They could be a wild card team because it feels like they always are, but I don't love this price.
Cardinals (+1400): Like I just said, I like this team. The addition of Paul Goldschmidt to this roster is an excellent move, and I am not convinced that they are done. I like them to win their division, and I like this price better than a lot we have seen.
Braves (+1600): This is a team I like a lot, too. They have some really good young talent, and I expect a big bounce-back year from new addition Josh Donaldson, who was hobbled by injuries last year. They earned a lot of experience in their shocking season last year, and I look for them to build on that. They are going to be right in the wild card battle - at least.
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