Major League Baseball is in its final stages and some of the teams that were considered favorites at the start of the season have remained, others have faded over time and, least of all, appeared as surprises in the discussion.
Experts and bettors named seven franchises as favorites just days before the campaign began, led by the current World Series champions, the Houston Astros.
They also mentioned the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays.
As of early August, experts were still leaning toward the Astros, Dodgers and Braves, but also added the Texas Ranchers, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay.
Things are going smoothly for the Dodgers and Braves today and, barring an outbreak, they will cap another successful campaign as the Astros fight to stay ahead with Texas and Seattle breathing down their necks.
Others who were initially left out have joined the fray, such as the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins in the American League and the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League.
Gone are the intentions of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees to become champions in the new district, as well as the Mets and Padres in the National League, although the first of them are still in play.
But who will achieve his and his fans’ original goal of playing in the World Series?
Some are sticking with the Astros’ preference in the American League and betting on the Atlanta Braves in the National League, even though the Los Angeles Dodgers are once again in the shadows.
Baseball, as a sport, is about results, and although six teams will be champions in their respective divisions, they are not necessarily expected to reach the Finals, let alone win the World Series.
There are many examples: Marlins (1997 and 2003), Angels (2002), Red Sox (2004), Cardinals (2011), Giants (2014) and Nationals (2019), who entered through the back door as wild cards and won that Banner.
What do some experts think on this topic?
Houston and Atlanta
Panamanian journalist Aurelio Moreno lists the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros as his favorites to reach the World Series, although he doesn’t leave out any that show up.
“I think they are the most complete teams and the ones with the most depth,” said Moreno, who lives in the United States.
“Atlanta has starting pitching, speed and power, and historically they can be the team that hits the most home runs in a season,” he explained.
Minnesota has held the record since 2019 with 307.
He mentioned that Matt Olson and Ronald Acuña Jr. are strong candidates for the National League’s Most Valuable Player title, with 51 homers and 128 RBIs in the first and 37 homers and 97 RBIs in the second (last week’s data).
“Many strong players, such as Marcel Osuna (34, 81), Austin Riley (34, 85), Ozzie Albies (29, 93) and Eddie Rosario (21, 71), led them to the first team in the postseason and with that Home advantage,” he indicated.
He emphasized that Houston is the most complete team in the American League, even though it is dealing with multiple injuries and still has the Ranchers and Mariners behind it.
On offense there are Kyler Tucker with 26 home runs and 104 RBIs, Alex Bregman (22, 93), Yordan Álvarez (26, 85) and José Abreu (14, 77) and among the pitchers JP France (11-5, 96) . km), Framber Valdez (11-10, 178 km) and Hunter Brown (10-11, 162 km).
“Baltimore doesn’t have enough, and Tampa would have gone a lot further, but with the injury problem and the current problem with Walter Franco, it’s very difficult,” he noted.
“The only team I would be concerned about is the Milwaukee Brewers, whose pitching staff can do a lot of damage in short series,” he said.
Starter Freddy Peralta has a 12-8 record with 200 strikeouts, while Corbin Burns, who pitched eight hitless innings with the Yankees, has a 9-8 record (181 K and 1.06 WHIP) and reliever Devin Williams has 32 saves and Has 32 strikeouts and an 8-3 record (79 K).
The Nicaraguan journalist Edgar Rodríguez also decided for the Braves and Astros to take part in the World Series, with the former emerging as the winner in the end.
“Atlanta seems like the best team to me, with a strong pitching staff and a fearsome offensive line. He has great balance,” the New York Yankees scout said.
The Braves’ pitching staff is led by Spencer Strider (16-5, 250 km), Charlie Morton (14-11, 177 km) and Bryce Elder (12-4, 120 km) as well as reliever Raisel Iglesias with 29 saves (5th). -4).
Regarding the Astros, he said: “Houston knows how to accelerate when necessary and is counting on all the injured players little by little.”
Yes, Go Dodgers?
The Dodgers, led by Mookie Betts, one of the favorites for the Most Valuable Player award, will always be a team to keep an eye on, even late in the season.
Even though the Esquivadores are no longer the same franchise as they were in recent seasons, they have done well enough to overcome some obstacles and finish at the top of the Western Division.
Betts reached 103 RBIs, becoming just the third player with at least 100 RBIs as a leadoff hitter in the majors, and with help from Freddie Freeman (26 HR, 93 RBIs), Max Muncy (35 HR, 98) and JD Martínez ( 26 HR, 82) are still in the fight.
However, could they go to the World Series like they did in 2020?
According to Edgar Rodríguez, “No, although it is a great team with a very talented cast.”