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MLB Season Preview: Power Teams Reside in the AL

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D.S. Williamson

March 26th, 2019

In order to know which teams in Major League Baseball will perform well this season, look at action on World Series Futures.

Unless the odds on the 2019 World Series are way off, it’s going to be difficult for any National League team to beat the American League’s fearsome three: the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Boston Red Sox.

Read deeper into why most MLB fans are bullish on the Yanks, Astros, and Red Sox. Also, find out which three teams in the NL should perform well this season.

BetAmerica AL Team Odds to Win the World Series

New York Yankees +550

The Yankees batting lineup should be just as fearsome this season as it was last season. If anything, Giancarlo Stanton will be even more devastating because he’s had a year in pinstripes. There are two keys for NYY: Luis Severino’s shoulder and James Paxton. If Severino’s shoulder holds up for the entire season, he’s as good of an ace as there is in baseball. If James Paxton can be the second lockdown pitcher the Yankees desperately need, the Pinstripes could definitely win it all.

Houston Astros +650

The big loss was not re-signing Dallas Keuchel to fill in the third spot in the starting rotation. Get this, though. Keuchel’s currently at home in SoCal staying sharp. There’s a chance he ends up an Astro again. Even without Keuchel, the rotation’s formidable as long as Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole remain healthy. The bats are always live with this lineup. They’ll be live again. If Jose Altuve rediscovers his 2017 form, forget it. Houston could be looking at their second World Series win in the past 3 years.

Boston Red Sox +650

Here’s a knock from the betting point of view: No team has won back to back since the Yankees took home 3 World Series trophies in a row from 1998 through 2000. That’s a long drought, which is why even though Boston really didn’t change at all from last year’s dominant squad, they’re offering higher odds than the rival Yankees.

Boston’s got a shot to repeat for one reason. They’ve got the best starting rotation in baseball, and it’s not even close. Chris Sale was hurt most of last season, and they still won it all. Sale is healthy now. David Price is any other team’s ace, while Nathan Eovaldi, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez would push for second starter in the rotation status on any other team.

 

BetAmerica NL Team Odds to Win the World Series

L.A. Dodgers +750

On paper, it sure appears as if no team in the National League can stand up to the Dodgers. Unfortunately for L.A. fans, that’s just not the case. The Dodgers could either win the NL Pennant for the third straight season, or end up not even making the playoffs.

The problem for Los Angeles is that they made very few changes during the offseason. They didn’t re-sign Manny Machado. They didn’t convince Bryce Harper that he’d win more in La La Land than in Philly. What’s worse? The Dodgers didn’t make a trade for a pitcher to help out Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw, by the way, will miss the first three weeks of the season, which means the Dodgers are hoping Walker Buehler, 39-year-old Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu carry the load. Los Angeles’ prospects of winning the Fall Classic aren’t any better this season than they were last season.

Philadelphia Phillies +1000

Philadelphia’s odds dropped considerably after they signed Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract. Harper’s a career .279 hitter. Last year, he batted .249. In 2016, he batted .243. In seven seasons, he’s batted .300 or better only twice—in 2015 and 2017.

It’s hard to back the Phillies just because they signed Harper. Luckily if you’re a Phillies fan, though, there are a few other reasons to like them. In addition to signing Harper, they also signed catcher J.T. Realmuto, former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, and shortstop Jean Segura.

Those three guys will hide the issues in Harper’s game because all three of them will contribute. Add in a decent rotation led by Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, and all of a sudden, we’ve got the makings of an NL Pennant winner.

Chicago Cubs +1200

Not surprisingly, Cubs GM Theo Epstein might have the former lovable losers right back to where they were in 2016, fighting for a World Series trophy. Chicago didn’t make any big changes; rather, they need one thing to happen that could turn them into major contenders.

Yu Darvish must rediscover his fastball. When he’s healthy, Darvish’s four-seamer averages 93-95 miles per hour and tops out at 99mph. If Darvish gets back to where he was, the rotation is solid. Darvish could fill the two while Jon Lester stays at the one. That makes Kyle Hendricks the three and Cole Hamels or Jose Quintana the four. With a healthy Yu Darvish, Joe Maddon will have a lot to work with.

The MLB season is just about here! Based on current BetAmerica odds to win the World Series, the six teams that will play best this season are the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, L.A. Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago Cubs.  


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