Five 2018 MLB World Series Contenders

The postseason is when baseball gets even more exciting. Plenty of games have been won and lost on individual performances, who could forget Andrew Miller's performance in 2016 for the Indians. But the depth of a team's roster is also an important point to consider. Will they have the right players to pick up the slack? Read our MLB bitcoin betting guide to the postseason to get the lowdown on the top contenders.

Boston Red Sox (4.6)

A team that boasts an offensive line up of Mookie Betts, J.D Martinez and Xander Bogaerts always has the potential to win the World Series. When you pair them up with Cy Young Award winners David Price and Rick Porcello along with All-Star Chris Sale, the Red Sox have the depth to go deep into the postseason.

Finding a weakness in the Red Sox is difficult, however their bullpen could be exposed in the postseason. While Craig Kimbrel is as good as anyone in the majors at keeping leads safe, the other relievers struggle either with missing bats or avoiding walks. One injury to Kimbrel could cause their season to fall apart.

Houston Astros (6.25)

The 2017 MLB Champions return with the same recipe of success as last year. Collectively after 48 games, the Astros had a 2.25 ERA, which was the best in MLB history. The Astros have three legitimate candidates for the AL Cy Young award in Justin VerlanderCharlie Morton and Gerrit Cole. Unlike last year, Verlander and Cole have spent the full season in Houston, so we should see an improved Astros starting rotation come October. The Astros also boast strength in the depth of their roster: 2017 MVP Jose Altuve along with George Springer and Alex Bregman who provide the majority of their runs.

The Astros enjoyed their fair share of luck in the 2017 postseason.

The Astros came from behind to win in three of their four World Series victories. Of Houston's 11 postseason wins, five were decided by one run. Some of those games came down to one pitch or one moment, the thinnest of margins. If the Astros don’t enjoy the same luck as last year, they may be unable to go back-to-back.

New York Yankees (8.25)

The Yankees were one win from the World Series in 2017, when they weren’t expected to even come close. For the 2018 season, the most recognisable and prestigious franchise in North America has improved, boasting a deep and talented line-up. The Yankees acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton has had a significant impact on their season, leading his team in runs, home runs, hits and RBI.

New York Yankees World Series Contender
Will the Yankees make it to the World Series in 2018?

The Yankees' World Series ambitions are further boosted by Luis Severino, who had a break out 2017 campaign, along with veteran CC Sabathia. However the Yankees pitchers may struggle owing to their lack of depth. It might be a push too far to win a World Series. The majority of their core starters have struggled with performance and injuries throughout the season.

Los Angeles Dodgers (10.5)

After dropping 17 of their opening 29 games, the Dodgers have settled the ship. In a National League where things are seemingly wide open, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dodgers rediscover the form that saw them reach the 2017 World Series, especially if three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw can turn back the clock. Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig have all struggled at times this season but they should eventually turn things around. Their acquisition of Manny Machado is just what the Dodgers needed to charge towards a sixth successive Post Season.

The concern for the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw’s fitness, after spending the majority of May and June on the DL with bicep tendonitis and chronic back pain. His velocity is at a career low, and his strikeouts per inning are below his best. If the Dodgers couldn’t win the World Series with him on top form, they'll need a minor miracle to pull it off without him.

Chicago Cubs (11.7)

After winning their first World Series in 108 years in 2016, the Cubs had a successful 2017 reaching the National League Championship Series. Once again, the Cubs are back, and currently hold the best winning percentage in the National League. If Chicago can maintain this pace and reach the playoffs, Jon Lester may be able to lead his team to glory. The Veteran left hander is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of his era, with a 2.55 in 25 career playoff appearances.

The major problem facing the Cubs is a lack of superstar pitching talent. They signed Yu Darvish hoping he would shore up the rotation, however due to a right tricep injury, he has only made eight starts. Chicago’s rotation has not picked up the slack, ranking 10th in the NL with a 5.19 ERA since the All Star Break.

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