Chicago Cubs Odds To Win NL Pennant: +175
Prediction: Chicago Cubs To Win World Series
Jake Arrieta is somehow off to an even better year than his 2015 campaign, which is just the tip of the iceberg when talking about the Chicago Cubs. The more you look at the Cubs, the more you realize how young and talented this current edition is.
The Cubs have a crop of young hitters, all of whom have proven they can be counted on in the clutch. The foundation of the lineup is comprised of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Rizzo, the oldest of the bunch at 26, embodies the team’s youthful and exuberant spirit.
The Cubs will most likely be making deep runs into the playoffs for the foreseeable future, and with the rotation of Jon Lester, John Lackey and Arrieta, 2016 may just be their year. The Cubs are in the top 10 in every offensive metric including stolen bases. If the defense can keep their end of the bargain, which was their undoing in the NLCS in 2015, the Cubs are our pick to win not only the NL pennant, but the World Series, too.
San Francisco Giants Odds To Win NL Pennant: +425
Prediction: San Francisco To Lose In NLCS
The San Francisco Giants have made it to the World Series in alternating years since they won in 2010. Can they do it again in 2016? Manager Bruce Bochy conceded that the length of the season makes it tough for teams to win back-to-back NL pennants, and if that is true, the rest of the National League better believe these guys are well rested and ready to go.
Madison Bumgarner is having another incredible year and is averaging 10.4 K’s per 9 innings. The offseason acquisition of Johnny Cueto has helped elevate San Francisco’s pitching to a level that will be tough to match.
The Giants, however, lack the potent hitting that other favorites boast and are 13th in home runs out of the 15 NL teams. Expect the Giants to make a few changes to solidify their roster. We think the Giants, behind the Cubs, are favorites to win the NL pennant.
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The American League is slightly inferior to the National League this season. Kansas City and Toronto have lost traction, leaving the race for the AL pennant wide open. Boston has returned to form in the final year of David Ortiz’s historic career and the Detroit Tigers are a rejuvenated side.
Boston Red Sox Odds To Win AL Pennant: +450
Prediction: Boston Red Sox To Win ALCS
The Red Sox are hitting the ball better than any other team in the AL, sitting first in runs, hits and doubles. Ortiz is leading the charge and is on pace to set the MLB record for doubles in a season (67, Earl Webb 1931 Red Sox).
The Red Sox are firing on all cylinders but have been relying heavily on production from Big Papi, which should trouble the Sox. Boston doesn’t have the type of pitching that can pull out low-scoring games if Big Papi’s form dips at any point during the campaign.
Detroit Tigers To WIn AL Pennant: +1200
Prediction: Detroit Tigers To Lose In ALCS
The Detroit Tigers had to trade Yoenis Cespedes last season and the move has paid immediate dividends. Michael Fulmer, in our opinion, is a shoe-in for AL Rookie of the Year and one of the main reasons Detroit has been able to shake off the last season’s disappointing season.
Fulmer has been the most surprising player this season but with Verlander returning to his Cy Young form, averaging 9.4 K’s per 9IP, and the signing of Jordan Zimmerman, the Tigers have one of the best three-men rotations.
The Tigers, as long as they can hang around the top of the Central division, are a great darkhorse selection given the state of the American League.