Obviously we are all well aware that there are more than eight teams with a shot of winning the World series therefore it stands to reason that the voting from my helpers is a little all over the place.
To start with there were 15 different teams suggested and what came as a real surprise was that the Orioles were not amongst them. So they are the most underrated team in
baseball but even so one may have expected them to have been named. From what we can see currently it is shaping up to be a totally crazy season particularly as the Yankees managed just one vote and the Red Sox didn’t even manage a mention! Need I remind you that there has never been a season where both of these teams have missed the postseason selections.
Another surprise was the Phillies bringing in just one vote however this could be down to the many questions surrounding the team and many of the scouts just can’t bring themselves to champion Halladay and the way things are shaping up for the Phillies.
The Royals managed to bring in just two votes and the A’s fared slightly better with three votes, although I had thought they may have managed more, however one scout did predict that they would finish ahead of Texas.
The real surprise has to be the Rays who totalled 5.5 votes (yes there is always one voter that can’t make their mind up!) and whilst Joe Maddon is certainly magic on the field the scouts felt that the Rays don’t show enough offense to make it further.
The Cardinals racked up a respectable 7 votes however if it wasn’t for the injuries the team have sustained they would have raked in far more votes.
The Rangers finished tied with the Dodgers with nine votes each however personally I feel that the Dodgers are intriguing and the Rangers are not the team they once were. Whilst it would be wrong to write them off their pitching, loss of power amongst other issues is worrying.
For the past 20 years it has always seemed as though the best baseball teams were in the American league however this may not ring true this year. After all there are five non-league teams making the elite eight with just three from the league. If there is anything that can tell us about this sport it has to be the fact that the Nationals and Reds got nominated by each and every voter and although I don’t know whether it means these teams will be the winners but it shows that they are definitely built to win.
The following are the Elite Eight and the World Series entries will come at the end:
Los Angeles Dodgers
Why is it that the Dodgers may win? Well in case you didn’t realize this is one team where they are all in. With a payroll of $217 million we would expect nothing less. They can run a Ryu/Beckett/Kershaw/Greinke rotation at the opposition in a short series and have the bunch potential that is second to none. Considering that they have more money than anyone else, they are in the position where they can go and buy anything they need in July and this is why they cannot be excluded. I would go as far to say that they are the most interesting team in the sport.
Why would they not win? Many of the people polled referred to how the mix of personalities and players terrifies them! They are technically an all-star team but how long can the money and egos get along together? Some have gone so far as to compare the team to a bunch of mismatched toys.
Toronto Blue Jays
Why is it that the Blue Jays may win? Having sneaked into the top eight by half a vote, they do have tremendous talent on the field, and I would go as far to say that they are head and shoulders above the rest of the division. Thanks to the brilliance of Josh Johnson with the help of Brandon Marrow, Mark Buehrle, CY Young amongst others, but if they are looking to win then they will need to be sure to start J A Happ.
Why would they not win? Let’s be honest, how many times does the team that wins the offseason ever secure the World Series? It may happen in this case, however it is hard to get away from health issues and a winner’s mentality that seems to have eluded Toronto so far.
San Francisco Giants
Why is it that the San Francisco Giants may win? It could have something to do with winning being in their blood, they pitch, they catch simple. The management and coaching staff are exemplary and as a team they are always prepared and know exactly how to win, and just go out and do it!
Why would they not win? The Giants are bringing back the team that won last year and statistically this appears never to work, and barring a big shake up 21 out of 25 played on last year’s team. It is also worth bearing in mind that one of those who didn’t is none other than an ex-Giant Andres Torres. It would be fair to ask whether lightening can strike twice, but the consensus appears to be that it might be time for them to be knocked of their perch.
Los Angeles Angels
Why is it that the Angels may win? Just watch how well this team gels, with Hamilton, Trout, Pujols, Aybar, Kendrick the list goes on. Labelled as scary and an extremely hard line-up to get through, what is stopping them from winning.
Why would they not win? Although on paper the Angels may appear to have everything they are going to have to stay healthy which has been an issue for a number of players. There is also talk of a lack of depth to the team, as far as star power is concerned they have it all however they are a team that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see fall apart.
Why is it that the Braves may win? There are such a multitude of ingredients in this team that it may just lead to really big things. The Braves are a young squad with just one player in his 30s, this could be the team to create a serious storm.
Why would they not win? Although there is plenty of talk about their tremendous line up, the disadvantages are just as apparent. It is suggested that whilst they may be great fun to watch, they may not show signs of any real improvements to the way that they play. To date there is far too much missing and swinging without any real purpose for me.
Why is it that the Reds may win? Realistically there is not enough said about how good this team actually is, not only are they tipped to top the league in runs, but as hitters they are far superior than most of the competition. Their defense is about as good as it gets, with a really good set of staff this team really has no weaknesses.
Why would they not win? Honestly it is really hard to find an answer to why the Reds won’t win, scouts that have covered the team have raised questions with regards to whether Choo can handle the center field and more to the point what if he can’t? Last year they were able to rely heavily on certain players however this is not something they say will happen again, therefore the question remains will then have ten players to call upon and this is on the premise that they are only dealing with the normal amount of injuries etc.
World Series runner-up: Detroit Tigers
Why is it that the Tigers may win? Having made it to the World Series last year and considering that they are better this year this could see them securing victory. The Tigers really are the proud owners of the best line up in the game and it looks like they will certainly be killing the opposition without too much trouble at all.
Why would they not win? With the talent that is the Tigers they can appear to be too one dimensional for some, and whilst they can certainly swing a bat if they are broken down they are really quite slow. They are not the most athletic and there are questions about their bullpen and many that do not really rate their defense either.
The Winner – the Washington Nationals
Why is it that the Nationals may win? Well as there is very little that they can’t do, I mean they can run, score, strike you out early or late, catch a ball anywhere on the field their talents really are endless. Their team is truly formidable with all bases covered to the point where predictions are already giving them 95 wins and some even going as far to say that the will win the division.
This will not be enough though as Davey Johnson; the manager has already ingrained upon the team that it is “World Series or bust” this time around.
Why would they not win? To date no one has been able to identify any area of weakness in this team and therefore the only thing that could become an issue for the team is health. The Nationals as a team appear to thrive on the idea of being hunted as opposed to the hunters and all in all the manager and team appear to be the perfect complement to one and other. If there was ever a team as focused and willing to take on this mission, they would be hard pressed to outdo the Nationals.
Well that’s it, already let the games begin, I know that I am really looking forward to seeing my fearless predictions come true, or not!