Gary | Fri 13/05/2016 - 11:39 EDT

World Series 2016 Predictions

World Series 2016 Predictions
Though the World Series is nearly five months away at the end of October, it's never too early to peer into the crystal ball to forecast which teams could be crowned as champions by the end of the 2016 season. Odds based on Bovada's futures picks.

Who Will Win The 2016 World Series

The Contenders:

Chicago Cubs (+375)

The Cubs were on the cusp of returning to the World Series for the first time since 1945 in 2015, but were outmatched by the pitching-heavy New York Mets in the NLCS. After a dominant start to begin 2016, Chicago has one of baseball’s best records through the second week of May.

With new additions like the versatile Jason Heyward and saavy starting pitcher John Lackey, Chicago has fixed some holes from last year to make themselves the bonafide favorite in 2016. One of the things to keep note of, however, is that Chicago surprised many teams last year and this season they will have a perpetual target on their back.

The Cubs are a safe pick as far as the usual run of favorites go, but if you are looking for a little bigger of a payoff then you should go for another option down the line. Nothing is certain in baseball, but if Chicago can stay healthy as a team throughout the year, then stud pitcher Jake Arrieta, manager Joe Maddon and the rest of the lineup will be in line to break a 100-plus year curse. 

Washington Nationals (+1000)

Anchored by perennial MVP candidate Bryce Harper, the Nationals are another team from the NL that could make a strong run at the World Series. Washington was bolstered this season by the addition of the New York Mets’ 2016 playoffs hero, Daniel Murphy. Murphy should provide more stability in the infield and will bolster their batting rotation.

Another key component of what makes the Nationals a strong pick to make a run in the playoffs is the pitching rotation of their first three starting pitchers — Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Joe Ross. After recovering from a major injury to his elbow, which required Tommy John surgery, Strasburg was named an All-Star in 2012 and also was the NL strikeout leader in 2014.

Scherzer might actually be the better of the two flamethrowers, a former Cy Young winner in 2013, he also set a new MLB record by notching 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game during May. Ross is the X-Factor of the group and could be the tipping point for the rotation if the 22-year-old can rise to the occasion. 

The Nats are loaded and have a track record of success in the regular season, but haven’t quite had the required championship pedigree. However, before Washington sets its sights on a World Series crown it will be fighting neck and neck this year for the NL East title with the New York Mets. 

New York Mets (+1000)

Given possibly the strongest starting lineup (above) in the major leagues, the Mets have a strong chance to return to the World Series for the second straight year. Though starter Matt Harvey struggled early on, the Dark Knight has regained his form to give New York a first place start to the season. 

The key component to the Mets is the same problem they had last year, a lack of a consistent hitting rotation. New York didn’t really address this problem in the offseason so it should shape up to be another battle this year with the Nationals. New York should benefit from the development of slugger Yoenis Cespedes in their system, but it remains to be seen if another big bat will take the place of playoff hero David Murphy.

Boston Red Sox (+1400)

The Red Sox are one of the more pecuilar cases on this list. On one hand, Boston still has a couple of crafty vets from their World Series runs (David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia) and also some new additons in 2012 Cy Young winner David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel. However, they haven’t been able to replace some of their most vital components of their last World Series champion in 2013. Nonetheless, Boston has the talent and bankroll to hang with the big dogs during any year. 

The Red Sox adding a solid new arm in their pitching rotation in the form of  Price should give them another advantage over their division rivals. Boston should be able to win the AL East and possibly make a run in the playoffs, but they’ll be in trouble once they hit the NL’s stacked lineups.

The Pretenders:

San Francisco Giants (+1400)

Though the Giants have won the last three Fall Classics that occurred during an even year (2010, 2012 and 2014), this year’s incarnation is somewhat different in scope. While the Giants return some vital pieces from years past (catcher Buster Posey and pitcher Madison Bumgarner), they still have some important pieces intact. With a mediocre start to the 2016, most San Francisco fans haven’t been worried, but the Giants don’t have the hitting depth to contend with the other NL big dogs. 

Kansas City Royals (+1800)

Last year’s World Series champion, the Royals somewhat shocked the baseball world with their run to the title last season. This year won’t be the same as they lost some big players from their squad last year and have to deal with a surging White Sox team along with a revamped Tigers squad. The Royals might be left out to dry this season. 

The Sleeper:

St. Louis Cardinals (+2500)

St. Louis has been consistently good for a very long time. This just might be the year they breakthrough before their other veteran stars decide to ride off into the sunset.

The Cards have a decent amount of depth and after winning a 100-plus games last year and could pull off a similiar run. With over five All-Stars returning from last season, the Cardinals would just need a solid run of health to keep it moving. However, one has to wonder when the aging Cards will lose their wings. 

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