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My Pre-Season Top 5 World Series Contenders
- Updated: January 7, 2013
It has come to that time where most of the major free agents have found their homes and it seems like most major deals are done, barring a Justin Upton deal. Today I sat back and really gave some thought as to who is a true contender and narrowed it down to the top 5. Here are my predictions for the 2013 World Series, in order!
1. Washington Nationals
The Nationals are the most complete team in baseball in my mind. Ian Desmond is a star at short, their rotation is stacked with high impact talent and the addition of Denard Span gives them a solution in center and at the top of the lineup. Their bullpen is adequate enough considering they won’t be as taxed throughout the season with the dominant rotation. I predict they win the division, but it will be a dog fight with all the talent in the NL East.
2. Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver looks like he’s already in decline based on his steady decrease in velocity over the past 3 seasons and Tommy Hanson is a high risk addition. Their rotation will be a question, but their lineup is extremely powerful and balanced. Mike Trout is the best player in the game and most projections have him repeating that feat for year 2. I’m not sure they have any moves left in them based on their prospect spend to acquire Greinke. However, if Texas doesn’t perform up to their potential or suffers an injury, the Angels are in a position to run away with it.
3. Atlanta Braves
Their pitching is better and more experienced. Brandon Beachy will be back around the All-Star break and there’s still the chance that Michael Bourn returns on a 1-year deal because they wouldn’t have to give up a pick. They added BJ Upton and there’s a chance that he plays a tick or two better with new coaching and influences. The real wild card here is their bullpen, which has been so dominant but many evaluators like myself always wonder when their bodies will give in to the workload.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
Their lineup is absolutely fierce and I believe it’s the best in the game when entirely healthy. The biggest questions are the rotation. We saw Brandon Morrow step up last year, but a lot of questions remain. Will R.A. Dickey come in and perform in the AL East and in a dome? Will Josh Johnson stay healthy for the first time in a long time? Will Rickey Romero learn from his difficulties and make the appropriate adjustments? A lot of questions remain, but the offense will continue to provide extra days off when they blow the doors off on hot offensive nights.
Look, I’m not a huge fan of their team and the fact that Chad Billingsley‘s arm is falling off or that Hanley seems to care about baseball around 5% of the time. What I am a fan of, is their incredibly top heavy rotation that is an absolute nightmare if they can get into the playoffs. Facing both Greinke & Kershaw back to back isn’t fun for any lineup. Not to mention they still have some depth in the farm in case ownership gets a little antsy towards the trade deadline. I still think this team has another move in them but as currently constructed they are capable of winning regardless, especially if Billingsley can stay healthy.
Reds, Cardinals, Athletics, Giants, Rangers, Dbacks
I think all of these teams have a legit chance of becoming serious contenders, particularly the Dbacks and Rangers. However they all have plenty of questions and weaknesses that make me fear their chances in a short series. Remember, these are World Series predictions, not the best team.