5 teams that could win in 2019
LOS ANGELES – Who’s going to be the next World Series champion?
Can it be the Red Sox again? We haven’t had a repeat champion since the New York Yankees almost two decades ago.
The 1998 Yankees were the last team to win at least 119 games, and the Yankees went on to win three consecutive World Series — so maybe the Red Sox do have a chance.
Here are five World Series championship contenders in 2019:
Boston Red Sox
Sure, they are bucking history and are in the torturous American League East, but there’s no reason they can’t repeat. They were the best team in baseball from start to finish and will have virtually their entire team back. Their only notable free agents are closer Craig Kimbrel, reliever Joe Kelly and starter Nathan Eovaldi. Considering the Red Sox spent $240 million on this year’s team, they certainly won’t be shy about spending even more for a chance to win it all again.
New York Yankees
This is the winter the Yankees have been waiting for the past two seasons. They wanted to make sure they would get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold to ensure they can be big-time spenders in a winter with free agent stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. They don’t need Harper with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but they could sure use Machado. The Yankees will be without shortstop Didi Gregorius for about half the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and they have the perfect $300 million replacement, who has dreamed of being a Yankee. The Yankees aren’t about to sit back and idly watch the Red Sox start a dynasty. They’ll be aggressive this winter to make their World Series championship drought doesn’t extend for a decade.
The Cubs, who ended their 108-year drought in 2016, realize their window is closing quicker than they envisioned. They need to take advantage of this mega-talented team while they can. They will be awfully aggressive this winter, will have Yu Darvish returning, and, of course, still have ace Jon Lester along with Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. They’ve been to the postseason four consecutive years, and they’ll be knocking on the door once again.
Los Angeles Dodgers
They have won six consecutive National League West titles and back-to-back NL pennants and will be back again. They have the deepest and most talented team in the league, and they’ll make sure Clayton Kershaw isn’t going anywhere. He’ll be flanked by young stud pitchers Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Machado probably won’t be back, but the Dodgers look forward to the return of injured shortstop Corey Seager.
The Astros were favored to go back-to-back this season but ran into a buzz saw in the AL Championship Series with the Red Sox. They will be back. Again and again. Simply, they are too talented and have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole again atop their rotation, along with a kid by the name of Forrest Whitley, who happens to be the best pitching prospect in baseball. They’re the American League’s version of the Cubs, a team that tanked, with the strategy paying off brilliantly. It won’t be a surprise to anyone if the Astros and Cubs wind up playing each other this time a year from now.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez were two of Boston’s biggest contributors in 2018.