Baseball season will be here before we know it. Pitchers and catchers have begun to report to their team’s spring training facilities and position players will be joining them in the following days. After a shortened 2020 season, MLB fans are excited for a longer look at their favorite teams and players. It has been an incredibly eventful offseason, with several premier players switching teams. Nolan Arenado, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Baur, Blake Snell, George Springer, and Yu Darvish all joined new ball clubs in the past few months. The 2021 MLB season looks to be a competitive one, with several teams in contention for a World Series trophy. Here’s a look at the five teams I believe have the best chances of winning it all.
San Diego Padres
The Padres got even better this off-season, adding Blake Snell and Yu Darvish to their core of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. They also bolstered their bullpen signing veteran reliever, Mark Melancon. If Chris Paddack can take the next step and become a top-tier starter, the Padres will have one of the best pitching rotations to go with one of the best lineups in baseball. The Padres are fun to watch and have a legitimate shot of competing for the World Series, but possibly their biggest competition, the Dodgers, plays in their division.
Los Angeles Dodgers
I’m excited to watch the NL West rivalry between the Dodgers and Padres playout over the course of the season. The Padres are the underdogs looking to win their first division crown in several years, while the Dodgers are not only the reigning NL West champion but also the reigning World Series champion. The Dodgers also improved this offseason, adding Trevor Baur to their already stacked roster of Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Beuhler. They also resigned their longtime third baseman, Justin Turner. The Dodgers are the favorite to win this year’s World Series trophy.
New York Yankees
Adding Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon to a rotation headed by Gerrit Cole puts the Yankees in a position to finally make the deep playoff run their fans have been expecting. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit lead New York’s outstanding lineup. If Giancarlo Stanton can remain healthy the Yankees would have arguably the best lineup in baseball. They also boast one of the best bullpens in the game, so if the starting pitching can remain solid expect to see them winning at least the American League if not the Word Series.
New York Mets
After an offseason full of storylines, some good and some bad, the Mets expect to be one of the best teams in baseball for the upcoming 2021 season. Having to fire newly hired GM Jared Porter was a bad look for the organization, but adding Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, James McCann definitely pleased the New York fanbase. If Noah Syndergaard can remain healthy and join the already stacked rotation of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Carlos Carrasco the Mets might have the most starting pitching depth in the game. Lindor and McCann join an impressive lineup of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto to provide an offensive unit Mets fans haven’t seen in years. If the bullpen can hold up, expect to see a deep playoff run from the Mets.
Chicago White Sox
The Yankees are the clear favorite to win the AL since the defending league champion Rays lost two of their top starting pitchers, but the Chicago White Sox are not far behind them. Certainly the biggest threat to the Bronx Bombers, their lineup consists of reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu as well as Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jiminez. Their rotation headed by Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance Lynn is a very formidable opponent for any opposing team’s lineup. Similar to the Padres, the White Sox are young and exciting to watch. I expect them to compete for the American League championship and possibly the World Series.