10. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies started the year on-fire, and then hit a terrible slump. The last few weeks of the season were desperate times, but the team responded well. Heading into the playoffs, they boast an explosive lineup, but the starting pitching is a huge question mark.
9. Minnesota Twins
These young Twins will be a force in the near future, but season won’t be there’s to go to the World Series. The lineup is solid, really solid…BUT…they need an improved rotation and a healthy Miguel Sano to really make a move.
8. New York Yankees
The Yankees have offense and plenty of it. They also boast an excellent, yet inconsistent, bullpen. The major question is their starting rotation. Sure, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and Sonny Gray are mega-talented, but they’re of so inconsistent. This team has what it takes, but they may be a year early.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Dbacks are a powerful team with outstanding offense. The reason they’re even in this position though, is because of a much improved rotation and excellent bullpen. Arizona’s also one of the most dominate teams in the league at home, but will struggle away from there. This is a fiercely-competitive club.
6. Chicago Cubs
There was certainly significant championship hangover this season for the Cubs, especially in the first half. To begin the season, the club was a mess, struggling to even get to .500. After the all-star break, the hitting returned to elite status. An aging Jon Lester and banged-up Jake Arrieta are major causes for concern.
5. Boston Red Sox
On paper, Boston is certainly a championship team. Additionally, they’ve looked like that for much of the season. The problem here is injuries. David Price is back, but that’s high-quality starter not in the rotation. To make matters worse, ace Chris Sale appears to be running on fumes. Nevertheless, this can still be a great squad.
4. Washington Nationals
The Nats sustained a potentially-catostrpohic loss in acquisition Adam Eaton and a leaky bullpen to become a championship-caliber team. The former is out for the year, while the latter is much-improved. Bigger concern at this point is the health of Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer.
3. Houston Astros
The Astros have had a magical season and are poised for a deep postseason run. Their lineup is never in question, but they’ll need sterling performances from Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel if this is to come to fruition. If so, a World Series is in reach.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Just a couple of months ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers would have been a runaway #1 on this countdown. Well, things have changed and this team has gone into a major funk. They still pose a significant threat, especially give their starting pitching, but there’s much more vulnerability.
- Cleveland Indians
Similar to the Cubs, but to a lesser extent, the Indians had a bit of a World Series hangover themselves. Struggling to find their identity for much of the year, the Indians finally hit their stride in late-August, reeling-off an AL-best 22 straight victories. This club really has no weaknesses and incredible chemistry.