Tuesday, July 30, 2013

With MLB Trade Deadline Approaching, Who is Ready to Contend for the 2013 World Series?

The MLB trade deadline is just several days away so contending baseball teams are scrambling in order to get that final piece of the roster puzzle that will help them contend for the 2013 World Series.  However, even with all the trades, there is still a realization that this is pretty much the team you’ve got, and how the season will pan out depends largely on the players already on the roster.  Several teams have come together in the last few weeks and should figure to contend this year.  Here are my 5 World Series favorites:
1.  Boston Red Sox – The team is currently ahead of the jam-packed AL East, and will be in a dogfight for their post-season lives, but the Red Sox are starting to play with passion.  As anyone who witnessed David Ortiz attack a dugout telephone can attest to, the madness sprung a surge, and Ortiz went 4-4 the next day.  Additionally, the Red Sox have solid hitters in Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and decent pitching.  Jon Lester and John Lackey are formidable while if the injured Clay Buchholz can return and build off of his 1.71 ERA before his injury, the Red Sox may just have all the ingredients for a World Series run.
2.  Los AngelesDodgers – This team has all the talent and is getting really hot.  Since early June they are 26-6, while bats have come alive and pitching has been incredible.  Yasiel Puig injected a bit of passion into this team, while other hitters like Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez have also worked magic.  With a starting pitching tandem of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers are the best team in the league.  Will they keep up the heat through October and win the World Series?  Perhaps, but there will certainly be more tests along the way!
3.  Detroit Tigers – Although the Cleveland Indians are breathing down their necks in the AL Central, the Tigers are the premier team in this division as usual.  Miguel Cabrera is one of the league’s best hitters and is already approaching 100 RBI on the season.  Other hitters like Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, and Johnny Peralta add both power and consistency to the lineup.  Pitcher Max Scherzer is having an incredible year while Justin Verlander has also been dominant.  The Tigers are built to win now, and will be quite hungry come the MLB Playoffs.
4.  Tampa Bay Rays – Not supposed to be anything special, the Rays are on the move.  With players emerging from all over the place to produce, the team is hot on the Red Sox’s AL East heels and could nab the division or a wildcard spot.  Their team doesn’t look special, but players like Matt Moore, David Price, James Loney, and Kelly Johnson are producing and giving the team wins.  Youngster Wil Myers has been superb, and suddenly the Rays are back in contention.  They could claim this division and do more if Evan Longoria can re-discover his bat!
5.  St. LouisCardinals – One of the most successful teams in recent years, the Cardinals are facing a tough race against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds in the competitive NL Central.  I presume that the Cardinals will edge out through their recent experience and October heroics.  The team is loaded with unspectacular and unflashy, yet very talented players.  Their hitting power from Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, and Allen Craig is formidable while their stable of pitchers is great top to bottom and features Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and newcomer Shelby Miller.  The Cardinals have been regulars in recent MLB Postseasons, and I expect them to be another team fully capable of lifting the 2013 World Series.
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