2016 MLB Preview: Early World Series Outlook

World Series - St Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox - Game Six

Parity is an interesting thing in major sports as there are differing opinions on the effect it can have on a professional league.

For some having dominant teams is not a bad thing as it provides a rallying point for different sets of fans.

There are the supporters who get to see their team at the top of their game while the team wins and brings in more fans throughout their strong years.

It is also a rallying point for fans of every other team as everyone else has someone to cheer against regardless of how well their team does.

Another big positive is watching a team pursue greatness as they look to break records and set the bar higher every year.

Those are positive outlooks on having a dominant team but they are far outweighed by the negatives.

Chief among the negatives is the fact that interest in multiple cities dips if their team doesn’t win and if they have less of a chance due to a dominant team interest can dip dangerously low.

In that respect, having multiple teams in contention every year brings fans out with the possibility of their team taking home the title.

Interest climbs in cities and everyone else watches to see what might happen as stars are made throughout the league and more people want to watch.

There is nothing better in selling a league than multiple teams have a good shot at the championship and in the MLB that is exactly what the league is in the middle of right now.

There is one team that stands out of course as the Giants could be considered the dominant team of the era but they haven’t put together back-to-back titles.

In fact, in some years, they have missed the postseason in between championships so they haven’t been as dominant as some teams have been.baseball-sidebar

When the Giants don’t win though there are no other repeat champions as the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Kansas City Royals have all won titles since 2010.

This year the MLB will hope that the era of parity continues and as fun as it would be to see the Giants win another title on an even year, more champions makes things a lot more interesting.

Last year there were a number of teams breaking droughts to find their way to the postseason while others were looking to break their own droughts in the postseason.

More teams were involved in the fight for postseason spots and the second season had a number of big games with big moments.

It seemed to take on a different feeling last year and that included a number of cities who were brought back into the fold of the top fan bases in the league.

This year more teams look better and although not all will actually play better there are more potential contenders than ever before.

That could make for a very interesting run into the postseason and a postseason that could be more unpredictable than ever before.

There are teams that got a taste of the postseason a year ago and want to take it one step further this year.

Teams that have been in the postseason for years but have yet to take that final step to win the title.

Then, of course, teams that have been to the top recently and are looking to get back and very well might.

It is a difficult season to predict but there are a few teams that will start the season with more hope than the rest.

American-League

The American League is rarely an easy route to the World Series and last year it was much the same as the unexpected was no longer seen that way. Once they entered the postseason it was game on for teams with more fight from everyone than in years past. The first timers like the Astros and Blue Jays were not going to go out without some type of fight while the old guard was fending them off with little success. In the end, the Royals, who were a team with some experience, found their way to the top of the heap and fought off battles from other teams to win the World Series. This year there will be a few teams looking to do exactly what the Royals did as they hope to take their second year in the postseason to the championship. The Blue Jays and Astros are two of the most exciting teams in baseball right now as they are teams that put up points. They will continue to do so and will find their way to the top of their divisions even if it won’t be easy for either one. Their time in the postseason last year will be extremely valuable this time around as both teams will be better prepared for another run. They will have their work cut out for them though as the rest of the group is going to be tough to beat. The Royals will take their division for a second straight year and are well-prepared to make another deep run towards the World Series. It is easy to forget the wild card teams but plenty have made their impact and this year in the AL two experienced teams seem to be ready to continue a reputation of wild card success. The Boston Red Sox are reloaded and only a few years removed from winning a World Series title while the Rangers seem poised to make another run. There will be no easy path in the American League as nobody who makes the postseason will make it because there was no other option. They will all have to fight their way into the postseason and as a result will be battle tested when they get to the second season. Don’t expect a lot of series sweeps as no team is going too far without a fight in some type of series. When all the dust settles though it will be the Astros that come out on top as a team with improving pitching and a great offence. As good as many of the other teams are the Astros are just more explosive and will take that explosiveness into the World Series.

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American League Champion:
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National-League

In the National League, the old is new again as teams that have long had a big following will populate the entire postseason pool. It all started last year as the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets were once again postseason teams. They have been teams known for making their fans suffer but finally, there seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel. They had put together young talent after years of sitting at the bottom of their divisions and were ready to rise up and compete. They took their division titles and made sure that everyone was watching them throughout the postseason. It was another example of young teams rising up like in the AL but this time, it was loyal groups with little to be loyal about finally getting a taste of success. The motor was started for both and although the Cubs fell short of breaking their century-long World Series drought, the Mets moved into the World Series. Although the Mets couldn’t win this was a massive sign that teams of the past were finally ready to get back to competing. They will continue that pattern this year as for many the Mets and Cubs are favourites to take it all and they very well might do it. Both teams are one year older and one year wiser giving them a good chance to make a deep run and get to the World Series this year. They will need to get by some tough teams to do that though as the San Francisco Giants are reloaded and in an even year which is usually good news. They are sure to make some noise in the postseason while the wild cards will make their own noise. The Dodgers and Nationals are both trying to finally get over that hump after years of appearing as favourites and never achieving the final goal. The Dodgers have won multiple division titles but have never been able to get to the World Series. The Nationals have gone into seasons as World Series favourites for years and yet have never moved past their first round. Both will be looking to stop that reputation and move on to the World Series after successful years. Just like the American League, there won’t be an easy path to the World Series and it is going to be a fight for anyone. But the teams that are making the most noise will be the ones to watch as it will be the Cubs this year pushing to the World Series. Their young group is getting better and the addition of some key veterans will make that final difference.

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National League Champion:
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2015 World Series:
It is going to be an interesting World Series where two teams that are not used to this spot will get their chance. The Cubs are a rebuilt team that will get their chance to break the longest championship drought in sports. The Astros will be there one year earlier than what most had predicted when they began building a great farm system. One way or another it will be history as the Astros could win their first ever or the Cubs their first in over 100 years making it one to watch. It will be two young teams facing off with great pitching going back and forth the entire series. What will make the difference is the offences that these two teams will put on the field. Both are good but the Astros have an offence that can put up a lot of runs more often than the Cubs offence. It won’t be easy for the Astros to continue that as they will take on a strong pitching staff but they will break through when they need to take their first ever World Series titles while the Cubs continue their drought for at least one more year.

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