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Top Three N.L Teams Favored To Win The World Series

by admin on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

clayton kershaw los angeles dodgersYesterday we took a look at the top three teams in the A.L favored to win the Fall Classic. Today we examine the top-three National League teams that are expected to win the World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+500): The back-to-back National League Pennant winners are still a top team in the National League and in their division as they continue to look like one of the most complete teams in the N.L West from top to bottom.

The problem is that it remains to be seen what the hangover from losing back-to-back world series will be. How they react from dealing with such disappointment two years in a row may determine how their 2019 season goes.

A.J Pollock is a nice signing for the Dodgers, but his health has frequently been a big question mark. In his last seven seasons he’s only played twice in 115 games or more so staying healthy is definitely a struggle for the 31-year-old centerfielder.

Losing Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in their trade with the Cincinnati Reds hurt their depth so Pollock, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson will have to step up in their absence in the outfield.

Bellinger will have to step up his game and go from star to superstar for the Dodgers if they are to make a third straight World Series. He has all the tools that are required to become a superstar, but he must cut back on his number of strikeouts if he wants to take his play to the next level.

Shortstop Corey Seager must find a way to stay healthy to have a significant impact this season, but that could be a problem as he failed to play in more than 27 games in two of his last four seasons.

Their infield otherwise looks pretty solid with Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and especially Justin Turner, who is expected to continue to perform at a high level after establishing himself as one of the Dodgers’ most consistent batters.

Their rotation is still good as future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw continues to anchor a group that also has Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, and Kenta Maeda so they will still probably dominate their division.

After helping the Red Sox defeat the Dodgers in the World Series Joe Kelly was added to the Dodgers bullpen. The Anaheim native bolsters a group that already includes Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, Dylan Floro, and Scott Alexander among others.

After another disappointing World Series showing, closer Kenley Jansen looks to rebound this season. He is expected to stay fresher throughout the season and thrive once again now that Kelly will assist in relief duties and keep Jansen from having to pitch multiple innings.

The Dodgers should finish with more than 90 wins, but it remains to be seen if they have enough left in the tank to make a third straight trip to the Fall Classic.

rhys hoskins philadelphia mlbPhiladelphia Phillies (+850): They have created a lot of noise this offseason due to the fact that they are said to be the highest bidder to get the services of slugger Bryce Harper before Opening Day.

The fact that they’re among the top three teams in the N.L that are favored to win it all even without him in the lineup proves that they’re not too shabby as they stand right now.

Even though there still are a lot of questions to be answered this team should compete in the N.L East with both the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves for the division’s crown. However, if they do end up signing Harper look for the Phillies to not only compete but actually win this division.

After the 2018 season, it was clear that they needed to upgrade their lineup and this offseason they went out and did just that to surround first baseman Rhys Hoskins with the right talent.

The Phillies traded for shortstop Jean Segura (with the Seattle Mariners) to bolster the top of their lineup, acquired All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto via a trade with the Miami Marlins, and they also signed free-agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen to help bring some veteran leadership and postseason experience to that lineup and outfield.

Their Rotation is expected to be anchored by Aaron Nola, followed by Jake Arrieta, Nick Piveta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin, although it’s still to be seen if they decide to go after Houston’s Dallas Keuchel, a big addition that would make definitely them even stronger contenders in the National League.

Their bullpen was also improved in the offseason with the addition of former New York Yankees pitcher David Robertson who is expected to assume a closer role this campaign along with Seranthony Dominguez.

With all these improvements the Phillies have become one of the most complete teams in the N.L East and could further improve if they end up signing Harper. If that’s the case, don’t be surprised if they end up winning, or at least playing in, the World Series.

kris bryant chicago cubsChicago Cubs (+900): Last year the Chicago Cubs had problems because many of their young hitters failed to take a step forward and instead actually regressed when compared with previous seasons.

The question is, can they go back to what they used to be? The answer should be positive considering that these players are still quite young and should bounce back with a notable group that includes Wilson Contreras, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, and Anthony Rizzo.

Their pitching staff, which returns largely intact, needs to be more aggressive but the problem is that they’re going into the season with four starters that are 30 or older so health could become an issue in MLB’s marathon season. Furthermore, last year their rotation was next to last in walks and 13th in WHIP.

Their bullpen got help in the form of middle relievers Brad Brach and Xavier Cedeno, who are joining a group that already includes Brandon Morrow, Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek among others. They are also rumored to be interested in Boston’s free agent closer Craig Kimbrel which would further strengthen their bullpen.

For the Cubs to be able to successfully compete for a World Series spot this year they would need they would need their everyday players, such as outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ, to blossom to better and higher levels of performance and have breakout seasons.

Even if that happens and they end up making the Fall Classic their chances against younger American League teams with more explosive lineups, such as the Yankees and Red Sox, would not be very good at all.






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