5. New York Mets
Every year the Mets are an afterthought when New York baseball is discussed, but they have forced themselves into the forefront with a brilliant season that sees them atop the National League Central division. Their batting order borders on pathetic at times, but their pitching staff is among the best in the league and will give them a chance to shut down any opponent, which gives them a chance to win it all without a doubt.
4. Houston Astros
Houston is set up similarly to the Mets, in that their pitching has carried them to the top of their division. Led by American League All-Star Game starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, the Astros have allowed fewer runs than any other American League team. But while Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve are nice pieces in their batting order, their inexperience could lead to their downfall in October. But just getting that far would be a great step forward for a Houston team that was baseball’s worst club in recent years.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays would be higher on this list if they had played as well as they have over the last month during the entire season, but as it stands they are definitely on the short list of teams who may lift the World Series trophy. Thanks to the additions of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki, the Jays now have a number one starting pitcher who can pitch multiple games in every series as well as a dependable shortstop with World Series experience. In the middle of the pack in the American League East a month ago, their transformation has been amazing. It will be interesting to see how baseball tipsters view them come playoff time.
2. Kansas City Royals
Kansas City has a tremendous pitching staff, and a lineup that can hit with baseball’s best. But when you’re deep in the playoffs, everyone can do those things. The key question surrounding the Royals will be whether or not they can escape the conservative style of play that manager Ned Yost employed for much of last year’s postseason, in which they lost to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. If so, they very well may lift the trophy this year.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
By far the best pitching team in baseball, the Cardinals have earned the best record in baseball to this point in the season by simply stifling their opponents. Their pitching first approach has won them several recent titles, and all indications are that they are in prime position to add another.
By Jason M. Sanin]]>