2018 MLB World Series Contenders
In our blog about predictions for the 2017 MLB World Series, we picked the Houston Astros as one of the teams that could go all the way to lift the title. And they did go on to win the biggest prize in the sport.
The 2018 MLB campaign is now up and running so we decided to have a crack at predicting who we think will be crowned World Champions when this campaign ends. Like last year, this wasn’t easy but we still gave it a shot.
Here are our 2018 MLB World Series Contenders:
New York Yankees
Some people did predict that the New York Yankees will win the World Series in 2017 while there were others who thought it was going to be a step too far for them. The Yankees gave it a good go but eventually that was not good enough to land them their twenty eighth World Series title.
This year however they can go all the way. So what has changed for them? Well for one – Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees added him to their roster in the offseason and that makes the middle part of their batting lineup very dominant indeed. Secondly, the young players they added to the lineup last season will have another year’s worth of experience too.
Young stars like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Young lit up the league last year. The two of them were instrumental in helping the Yankees hit two hundred and forty one home runs. Not only that, but the Yankees also posted their first season of ninety wins since the year 2012. Other players like Luis Severino and Sonny Gray also did some serious damage last term. The Yankees juggernaut is stirring once again and that can only be bad news for the rest of the MLB.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2013 but the four years since then haven’t been too kind to them. They missed the playoffs in the two seasons immediately following their World Series triumph. They did return to the playoffs in 2016 and 2017 but went as far as the ALDS. They have the talent to go all the way and it will be all about making the most of that this season.
Firstly, they need to make sure David Price is fit and injury free. If that happens, then the Red Sox fans will get to see Price team up with Chris Sale and Rick Porcello to make up one of the scariest pitching teams in the MLB today. If these three click, then watch out for some serious fireworks.
They have another ace up their sleeves in the shape of Craig Kimbrel who had a stellar 2017. Add Carson Smith to the equation and the Boston Red Sox look well equipped for the challenge. In the last two months of the season, Smith just allowed one earned run in ten outings. The Red Sox can mount a serious challenge this season.
The Washington Nationals have made four trips to the playoffs starting 2012 and on all four occasions, they have failed to get past the NLDS. But in all four of those campaigns, they have ended up winning the NL East. The Nats are looking for their first World Series title and this might be the year when the wait ends.
Bryce Harper will be the topic of discussion and he will be the man to lead the Nationals to the World Series title. He adds an extra bit of flair to the middle of the lineup. Add Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy into the mix and that is a lineup strong enough to scare any side in the league.
The Nats also have the two-time NL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer in their ranks with Stephen Strasburg to back him up. If Adam Eaton and Trea Turner remain fit for the entirety of the campaign, then it is very easy to see why Nationals are being tipped by quite a few people as favorites to win the 2018 World Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers did go all the way to the World Series Finals in 2017 but fell short of winning the title against the Houston Astros. They will be out to prove a point or two this term and it will certainly come as no surprise if they are playing in the World Series in 2018 as well. The question though is; Will they be able to win it?
The Dodgers have gone for stability this season. They did not make a lot of moves in the offseason and have decided to stick with more or less the same lineup that took them all the way to the World Series. The big move they made was to add Matt Kemp to the lineup. A lot of their hopes will be pinned on Clayton Kershaw, the winner of three NL Cy Young Awards.
Then there are young players like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger who will be keen to step up to the plate. Chris Taylor was more than dependable for the Dodgers last year and with Yasiel Puig also amassing twenty eight HRs last season, his career best, the Dodgers look quite good. They are favorites to win the NL West for the sixth straight season but their sights will be set on winning their first World Series since the year 1988.
Last but definitely not the least we come to the defending MLB World Series champions, the Houston Astros. The Astros surprised quite a few people by winning the World Series last season but are they strong enough to repeat the trick this term? It certainly will not be easy as history tells us because no team has defended the World Series title successfully since the Yankees won three on the bounce between 1998 and 2000.
They can defy the odds and win the World Series this year because they are heading into the season with the core of their title winning team intact. On top of that, Justin Verlander will be playing his first full season for the Astros. Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh will cement the bullpen. Carlos Correa should be fit once again after missing two months of last season through injury. If Correa plays to his potential, then Astros will be very very strong indeed.
The 2018 MLB season promises to be one for the ages. There are going to be plenty of ups and downs all through the campaign. There are plenty of strong teams that can win the title this year but these are our 5 2018 MLB World Series contenders.