During the 2021 season, we have seen some surprise teams at the top of the standings, and we have seen some teams who have been a major disappointment.
For instance, the biggest surprise this season has arguably been the San Fransisco Giants. During the shortened season in 2020, the Giants finished with a record of 29-31, which was 3rd best in the NL West. Then during their last full season in 2019, the Giants finished with a record of 77-85 which was also 3rd best in the division. Considering the Dodgers and Padres bolstered their rosters in the offseason the year prior, for the Giants to lead the NL West for most of the season in 2021 is highly impressive.
The biggest disappointment by far has been the Minnesota Twins. During the last full season in 2019, the Twins finished with a record of 101-61. That was one of the best records in baseball in 2019. Then, in 2020, the Minnesota Twins finished with a record of 36-24. That was the 4th best record during the shortened season. So far in 2021, the Twins are currently 44-62 and last place in the AL Central. With multiple networks before the season projecting the Twins to have 90+ wins in 2021, to say that their season has been a disappointment is an understatement.
As we enter the last full month of the season, here’s a look at the five teams who have a realistic shot at winning a world series title in 2021 in no particular order.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The first team that makes the list is the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the statistics show quite well.
So far this season, the Dodgers are leading the league in overall pitching with an ERA of 2.99, 1,347 strike-outs, and have a WHIP of 1.10. Their offense currently, is 7th overall in offense with a batting average of .242, 188 home runs, and an OPS of .751.
The Dodgers took a huge hit in their starting rotation when Trevor Bauer started dealing with legal issues that forced the team to sideline him for the foreseeable future. They quickly recovered from that move when they traded for Nationals all-star pitcher Max Scherzer at the trade deadline. When the Dodgers get Clayton Kershaw back from the IL, they will have a true big three in Kershaw, Buehler, and Scherzer.
With additions like this bolstering an already competent team, the Dodgers will definitely be a tough out for anyone in a postseason series.
San Fransisco Giants
The San Fransisco Giants are arguably the biggest surprise of the 2021 MLB season. Like the Dodgers, the Giants have been near the top of the league in pitching and offense. Currently, they rank 6th in overall offense and they rank 2nd in overall pitching. So far this season, the Giants offense has a batting average of .243, 201 home runs, and an OPS of .753.
Their pitching has been remarkable as well. The Giants pitching staff currently has an ERA of 3.26, with 1,183 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.13.
Even with their incredible pitching and offense they still felt the need to acquire help at the trade deadline. Most notably, they acquired former NL MVP Kris Bryant from the Cubs.
The Giants definitely have a chance to cap off their Cinderella season with a world series title.
By far, the Milwaukee Brewers are probably the most intriguing and exciting team in baseball this year. They currently have a 10 game lead in the NL Central, have 80 wins entering September, have the number 3 overall pitching staff, and are ranked 19th overall in offense.
Even with their .235 batting average, they are still scoring 4.6 runs per game and only giving up 3.2 runs per game. The Brewer’s offense has been gaining strength and more consistency since trading for Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez, and acquiring Eduardo Escobar at the trade deadline. Not to mention, the Brewers are 53-27 in September the past 3 seasons.
With the Brew Crew having 3 aces in their rotation and a top 5 bullpen, there is no reason the Milwaukee Brewers can’t be champions in 2021 if they find their rhythm and consistency on offense this month.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays being on this list shouldn’t surprise anyone. I mean, they were just in the world series in 2020. The Rays are on a mission this season to prove that shortened 2020 season wasn’t a fluke and that they can get it done in a full season as well. They are currently on pace to do just that. The Rays are near the top in pitching at 6th overall with an ERA of 3.67, 1,275 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.18. Their offense is currently sitting at 10th overall with a batting average of .239, 186 home runs, 687 RBI, and an OPS of .742. Also, the Rays are currently scoring 5 runs per game and giving up 3.7 runs per game. Along with their run differential being at +168, they have all of the ingredients to back in the world series and possibly win it this time.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are one of the most exciting young teams in the league today. They have a very good offense and an even better pitching staff. The White Sox pitching staff is sitting at 7th overall with an ERA of 3.76, 1,338 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.20. Their offense is currently sitting at 5th in baseball with a batting average of .253, 645 RBI, 165 home runs, and an OPS of .756. It was tough trying to decide between the White Sox and the Astros. You could honestly put either team in. I’m just going off my gut feeling and I feel like the White Sox having a deeper pitching staff and a deeper offense. If I were you White Sox fans, I would be very excited for the remainder of this season and for seasons to come.
What Will End up Happening?
Ultimately, I believe this year’s World Series matchup will feature 2 young and exciting teams. The Chicago White Sox will represent the American League, and the Milwaukee Brewers will represent the National League.
Pitching will be the main factor in the Brewers getting there, and the White Sox balanced attack with their offense and pitching will be very tough to stop.
Either way, this year’s World Series will be one of the most exciting and electric World Series to date and the fans deserve every little bit of it.
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