World Series Predictions
David Ortiz’s decorated 20-year career is slowly winding down, but Big Papi may get the chance to leave the majors in style this fall.
The 40-year-old, who at the beginning of the season announced that the 2016 campaign would be his last, is having a career year and is one of the main reasons why the Red Sox are legitimate World Series contenders.
There’s no greater time to win the World Series then to do it in your retirement year. So will Big Papi ride off into the sunset on top?
Here are three favorites to win the 2016 World Series and a dark horse to keep a watchful eye on.
Chicago Cubs (+250)
More than a century has gone by since the last time the Cubs were World Series champions. Yet 108 years later, several sportsbook odds makers, including Bovada, which has a +250 line, consider the Cubbies favorites that Chicago will break the long-standing championship curse.
Having already clinched the National League Central Division title, the Cubs are cruising into the post-season where they hope they can keep the hot streak going. With ace Jake Arrieta leading a powerful rotation — which also includes Jon Lester, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks — the Cubs will ride their starting pitchers deep into the post-season. Chicago’s rock steady bullpen will also be heavily depended on in the playoffs.
Washington Nationals (+600)
The Cubs aren’t the only National League team favored to win the World Series with a potent starting rotation.
Stephen Strasburg has been dominant on the mound all season and will continue to be the centrepiece of a Washington Nationals rotation that is strong enough to make a deep playoff run. Bovada has the Nats as +600 favorites to win the World Series — another bet worth considering heading into the Fall Classic.
Bryce Harper — arguably the best player in Major League Baseball — has had an off year at the plate batting only .246, but the 23-year-old all-star outfielder and has all the tools to be a difference-maker come playoff time.
Texas Rangers (+800)
There were high expectations set on the Texas Rangers coming into the 2016 MLB season. Not as strong on paper as either the Cubs or Nationals, the Rangers still boast one of the deeper line-ups in the majors.
They have power in Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor as well as tremendous speed in Ian Desmond and Elvis Andrus, making them a legitimate World Series contender. They’re pitching is not too shabby, either. Cole Hamels leads a durable rotation that also features Yu Darvish and Derek Holland.
Boston Red Sox (+800)
The Red Sox, while other division leaders — especially in the National League — are garnering all the attention, are flying under the radar.
With Ortiz enjoying his farewell season, you can’t help but believe Boston will be in the thick of things come October.
Bovada has a +800 line that the Red Sox will win the 2016 World Series. Boston, slowly closing in on securing the AL East pennant, has a potent lineup most teams around the league fear.
Ortiz has clubbed a team-leading 33 home runs, while second basemen Dustin Pedroia is also quietly having a career year, enjoying a .329 batting average. The Red Sox shelled out big bucks in the off-season to bring in southpaw David Price and the move will pay off handsomely this fall.
World Series Pick: Boston Red Sox (+800)
National League Champion: Chicago Cubs (+250)