30 Teams, 6 Divisions, 2 Leagues, and 1 Champion. Who will rise to win the 2014 World Series? We know it will not be the defending World Series Champions Boston Red Sox and most people think the Athletics are the favorite. Let’s take a closer look into what teams will make the playoffs, and how far they will go!
AL East: Once was the most difficult division in the sport and has quickly fallen to one of the more easier divisions to win. This division has been up and down throughout the year, the first team to really start to gain a big lead were the Toronto Blue Jays in late May. All five teams were within at least 4 games until that time. Toronto began to fall and that’s when the rise of the Baltimore Orioles began, the Orioles have held 1st place since July 6th and don’t seem to have any interest in losing that spot. No team took a whopping lead in the division and every team seemed to be still in it, until a week and a half before the trade deadline. The Red Sox lost 8 out of 9 and lost their season, and the Rays decided to deal their best pitcher in David Price. The Orioles will win this division by a very small margin and the Blue Jays will win the 2nd Wild Card Spot.
AL Central: If you don’t have good pitching in this division, you don’t even have a chance, and that is why the White Sox and Twins have no shot at making the playoffs. The White Sox started out hot with their rookie slugger Jose Abreu, but like the Twins just did not have enough pitching and fell out of the chase fairly early. The Indians and Royals both have decent rotations but not good enough, both teams have solid offenses but not enough to overcome their somewhat lack of pitching. That is why the Detroit Tigers have been in 1st place since day one and will be the only team to make the playoffs out of this division.
AL West: Let’s just start out by saying we knew the Astros had 0.1% chance of making the playoffs this year, therefore almost automatically it became a four team chase in the AL West. In about mid May we learned that the Rangers had way too many injuries to overcome and looked like they were almost out of it, and then the downfall began. On July 8th the Rangers officially became the worst team in baseball, squeezing behind the Astros, suddenly now a three team chase. The Mariners are just too far behind the Blue Jays and Angels to catch a Wild Card spot, but do have a pretty solid team, and possibly have the Cy Young winner: Felix Hernandez. As of July 31st the Oakland A’s have become the World Series favorites and because of their depth in pitching they will win the AL West and the Angels will face the Blue Jays in the Wild Card game.
NL East: Let’s face it, this division is a tale between the two “aces.” The Nationals and Braves have been leading the way since day one and haven’t looked back in the rearview mirror. Sadly, it was another year of enjoying all-stars Giancarlo Stanton and David Wright for the Marlins and Mets, instead of competing in the playoffs. The Phillies made their moves over the offseason including signing Marlon Byrd and A.J. Burnett and re-signing Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz, and looked like they could potentially be playoff contenders. When Ryan Howard started to stink up the joint and Jimmy Rollins just couldn’t produce like he has in the years past, the Phillies learned fairly quickly they had no chance at making the playoffs. The Nationals will win the division and the Braves will claim the 2nd Wild Card spot.
NL Central: Sorry Cubs, your now 105 year drought of not winning a World Series will continue. The Cubs learned very early that they had no shot, as they have been in last place since day one. The Reds have been sitting around .500 and just haven’t had the year they were expecting. The Pirates have been hanging in there, and now with their best player, Andrew McCutchen likely out for a couple of weeks they will start to slip away and miss out on two straight years in the postseason. The Brewers have been a tremendous feel good story of the year after coming off a horrible year last year going 74-88. They just lost one of their better pitchers, Matt Garza, and sadly for them will go on a horrible losing streak in September just like the 2011 Red Sox, and miss out on the playoffs. This leaves the Cardinals to win the division, and with their new additions of John Lackey, A.J. Pierzynski, and Justin Masterson, they look like they are on their way to their 7th postseason appearance in 11 seasons.
NL West: The Diamondacks and Padres maintained 4th and 5th in the division until July 1st, and both teams will miss out on the postseason once again. The Padres traded away their best players, Huston Street and Chase Headley and basically put themselves out of it. The D’Backs haven’t made it back to October since 2011, and will miss it again. The Rockies got off to a good start going 27-22 until their epic downfall began. Since May 24th the Rockies have only won 17 games and quickly buried their season. The Dodgers and Giants have been going neck and neck throughout the whole season and will likely go right down to the wire. The Dodgers will win the division by a slight margin and the Giants will get the 1st Wild Card spot.
AL Wild Card Game: Toronto Blue Jays vs Los Angeles Angels
The Blue Jays will have Mark Buehrle on the mound vs Jered Weaver in this one game playoff, to see who will play the Oakland A’s. Both teams have great offenses with the Blue Jays having Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion and the Angels having Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. Pitching wins games, and the Angels have the better pitching in Jered Weaver and that is why the Angels will win and face the Oakland A’s.
NL Wild Card Game: Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants
The Braves will have Julio Teheran facing off vs Madison Bumgarner for this one game playoff to see who will face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once again pitching wins championships and the Giants have a better starting pitcher and a much deeper bullpen than the Braves and that is why the Giants will be advancing and will play the Dodgers.
AL Champion: The A’s will face off with Tigers in the ALCS, and yes I have said it many times before, pitching wins championships, but when both teams have tremendous pitching staffs it comes down to offense. The A’s have had the best offensive team up to this point, but the Tigers have the best player in baseball. The Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera will come alive and lead his team over the favorites Athletics and to the World Series.
NL Champion: The Dodgers will play with Nationals in the NLCS to try and advance to the World Series. Both teams have tremendous talent on both pitching and hitting. The Dodgers have a great 1-2-3 duo of Kershaw, Grienke, and Ryu and will match up against Strasburg-Zimmerman-Fister. Pitching wins championships and that is why the Dodgers will beat the Nationals and face off with the Tigers in the World Series.
World Series: The Tigers and Dodgers will compete with each other to win the 2014 World Series. They match up so well with each other with tremendous starting rotations and fire power all around on the offensive side. In this series it is a matter of who performs in the big games. The Tigers have choked for many years in the past, but will not choke again and they will go on to the World Series. David Price will be the difference as he will start game 6 and win it for the Tigers, keep in mind the Dodgers were the frontrunners for Price until they decided not to trade top prospects Urias, Seager, or Pederson. The MVP will be David Price as he will win both games 1 and 6 with dominant performances, and there will be a parade in Detroit for the first time since 1984.
World Series Champions – Detroit Tigers
World Series MVP – David Price