In 2019, there hasn't been much parody in baseball, but there has been comers and goers. Some teams, like the San Francisco Giants, were supposed to participate in the Tank Bowl, but instead, found themselves in a hunt for a National League wild-card spot. Their counterparts in the Bay Area, Oakland Athletics, have made a push, as well as becoming a team that can steal a wild-card spot in the American League. Once the July 31st trade deadline passes, all teams that want to win a World Series must push all their chips to the center of the table. Here are four that I think have a better chance of winning it all.
1. New York Yankees
*Insert Darth Vader entrance music*
The Evil Empire might be an unstoppable force in 2019. In early May, almost the entire starting lineup was on the injured list. While that was happening, the second team was able to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Rays, and once the starters returned, the Yankees haven't looked back. Yes, some players like DJ LeMahieu have played way above expectations, which is considered the norm nowadays in the New York Market. If (that's a very big IF) the Yankees need one more piece, it's a starter that can give them consistent innings, and then turn things over to the bullpen.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
What is more motivation than going to back to back World Series and losing them? For the Dodgers, there might not be anything more motivating. Clayton Kershaw is a liability in the postseason, but a couple of good postseason starts and a World Series ring might re-write that narrative. Of all the teams looking to make a postseason push, the Dodgers have no glaring weaknesses; starters, good; hitting, leading the league; bullpen, good, not great, but good. With many teams needing bullpen help, the Dodgers shouldn't try to do more than they need to at the deadline.
3. Houston Astros
After an ALCS exit in 2018, the Astros were coming back with vengeance. Alex Bregman, taking Jared Carabais DEEP in spring training, George Springer turning into a bonified star, Jose Altuve, doing Jose Altuve things, and the pitching doing what the pitching does. In June and July, the Texas Rangers were making a run at the Astros, but lack of depth is going to hurt them. Now, the Oakland Athletics have the depth and have the experience from last year to make a charge. For the Astros, they need to keep pace with what they are currently doing right now and they will be a contender for October.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves may be in the most precarious situation out of all the teams on this list. Some of their amazing prospects have arrived, but some are still developing. Ronald Acuna Jr. is turning into the games best player, Dansby Swanson is becoming the 2015 #1 overall pick, Austin Riley is a human cheat code, the veteran leadership of guys like Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and Nick Markakis is just what this team needs to win a ring. Out of all these teams though, the Braves are in the best situation to fall victim to their own division. The Nationals are beginning to heat up and wanting to make a run at the Braves through the late summer months.