Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Preseason Favorites for the 2014 World Series

Spring training is well under way and baseball diamonds all over the country are getting readied for the beginning of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, which starts in just under 1 month’s time!  While the return of America’s greatest pastime is alluring and should fill fans of all teams with an abundance of hope, the harsh reality is that only several of the big-spending baseball teams will have any chance at claiming the 2014 World Series, or even contending for the October postseason.  Since winning championships is the ultimate goal in professional sports, here are the 5 teams most likely to win it all this year:
1.  Los Angeles Dodgers – The preseason frontrunners have assembled a team that is scary good, and it is probably just a matter of time before they win it all.  They have two aces for starting pitchers in Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, they have proven and mature batters Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez, and they have the hottest prospect in baseball, Yasiel Puig.  Having had a great year last season that fell short in the NLCS, it is simply a matter of time before the Dodgers take home a World Series trophy!
2.  Boston Red Sox – How could anyone doubt the reigning champions?  Ever since they broke the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 the Red Sox have been a powerful team, and their work last year was tremendous.  Although Jacoby Ellsbury committed treason by signing for the Yankees, there is really only one player that matters and can lift the team to a championship: David Ortiz!  Big Papi can take over the postseason like no other player, and the Red Sox have proven their strength time and time again during the past decade!
3.  St. Louis Cardinals – While they never make the big buys and come out as obvious contenders for the titles, this team has simply put out strong teams year after year, and won the title as recently as 2011.  Their roster is solid from top to bottom and includes great hitters like Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, and Yadier Molina, while their pitching staff has always been good and is led by Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller.  The addition of Johnny Peralta should definitely enhance this team and help them reach new heights.
4.  New York Yankees – While everyone outside of New York enjoyed their down year last season, this is a team that will buy its way out of any hole, and they look to have done just that this offseason.  While several key players like Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite (both retired), Alex Rodriguez (suspended), and Robinson Cano have left, incoming stars like Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka will bring about a new and improved side.  Mainstays like C.C. Sabathia and Derek Jeter will also bring a great presence to this team.  Expect them to rebound and make the postseason.  After that, it’s all possible for the Bronx Bombers!
5.  Texas Rangers – It’s been roughly 5 years of heartache for fans of this team that have twice seen their beloved Rangers fall short in the World Series, and have been eliminated from postseason play in demoralizing 1-game tiebreakers and playoffs the last two seasons!  This offseason, the team brought in two sensational hitters, Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo.  Helping elevate their lineup to elite status with Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios, and factoring the solid pitching department led by Yu Darvish and Martin Perez, this team can certainly contend.  The main challenge will be getting over their painful recent seasons, but I sense this just might be their year!
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