It’s that time of year again; snow is melting, the summer sun will bring with it longer days, and every MLB team is in first place, shooting for the glory of October. Predicting the winners is part and parcel of being a sportsfan, even if it’s in the form of educated guessing. In the end, you’ll earn bragging rights among your friends, and appear much wiser. If you’re cut from the risk-taking cloth, you could make some extra money on top of it. Las Vegas oddsmakers had the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays pegged as World Series Champions; living proof that predicting shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Below is a list of teams which have the best shot at guiding you towards being the king of bragging rights by the end of the Fall Classic.
Despite their ace Kris Medlen and consistent back end starter Brandon Beachy requiring Tommy John surgery this spring, Atlanta is in decent shape considering their division, back up plans, & lineup. The signing of Ervin Santana helps immensely. He’s no ace, but provides solid security, with Mike Minor back in action by late April to help. This is good news for a rotation that would have been hanging by a thread for the first 4-6 weeks. Julio Teheran and Alex Wood may not be household names in Georgia quite yet, but these two are primed to become a very solid one-two punch for the foundation of the pitching staff going forward. The offense last season was very much all-or-nothing, leading the National League in both strikeouts and home runs: the result was 96 wins. BJ Upton and Dan Uggla have nowhere to go but up after the 2013 season. Combine that with a solid bullpen and young steady hitting throughout the rest of the lineup, there is a chance of emerging talent taking over and lifting the Braves all the way.