This is the time of year where hope springs eternal and everyone has a chance at a new beginning, except maybe in baseball. While a determined mind can create endless possibilities, there can be a limit to what certain minds can accomplish. The same goes with Major League Baseball teams.
It's all well and good to say, "It's a new year, anything can happen!" But, the truth is, that's only a cliche so some team doesn't give up on a season before they ever hear an umpire scream, "Play ball!"
Lets face it, surprise teams don't come out of nowhere to win the World Series. In the last 20 seasons, only the Florida Marlins, they weren't named Miami yet, in 2003 won the World Series in unsuspecting fashion. And even though they weren't in the top half of the Baseball odds to win it all at the onset of the season, looking back on the roster, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they won the title. Players like Josh becket, Brad Penny, Miguel Cabrera, Ivan Rodriguez, Dontrelle Willis, Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre make up a championship caliber core.
So, even though all 30 MLB teams aren't on this list, these are the only teams that have a shot at the 2016 World Series championship. There won't be an omission of a team possibly built to win in all this year on this list.
And now, in descending order, the teams with a shot at the 2016 World Series, their odds and why they're there. All odds are from a Las Vegas composite of all MLB future odds.
16 Detroit Tigers - 30 to 1
15 Los Angeles Angels - 30 to 1
14 Arizona Diamondbacks - 25 to 1
13 Texas Rangers - 20 to 1
12 New York Yankees - 20 to 1
11 Washington Nationals - 18 to 1
10 Toronto Blue Jays - 18 to 1
9 Pittsburgh Pirates - 18 to 1
8 St Louis Cardinals - 15 to 1
7 Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) 1st NL West - 14 to 1
6 Houston Astros - 14 to 1
5 Boston Red Sox - 14 to 1
4 Kansas City Royals - 14 to 1
3 New York Mets - 12 to 1
2 San Francisco Giants - 10 to 1
1 Chicago Cubs (97-65) - 4 to 1
You read those odds, right? Not only are the Chicago Cubs the favorites to win the 2016 World Series title, they're prohibitive favorites. This number may be too high because of so many people throwing money at the Cubs in hopes that they can claim a winning ticket when they finally end the championship-less streak that's been around since 1908. But, even though the number is too low, there's legitimate reasons to see the Cubs as the odds on favorite. Right now they're the best team on paper in baseball. There were no significant losses, unless you consider losing Starlin Castro in a trade with the Yankees for Adam Warren as significant, and there have been bountiful additions. They signed Ben Zobrist to take over second base and lengthen the lineup. They strengthened their outfield defense and added pop and base running to the lineup with Jason Heyward, not to mention weakening the Cardinals. Speaking of the Cardinals, they also snatched John Lackey from their division rivals to give them a formidable starting rotation. They'll have 2015 NL Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta, and can pair Jon Lester with his 2013 World Series winning Red Sox teammate, John Lackey, to give them a playoff ready rotation. Plus, adding Lackey pushes back Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks to their more appropriate slots of #4 and #5 starters. The young lineup should only be better with another year of experience and the additions of Heyward and Zobrist, which could be a wicked combination with the pitching staff. The Cubs have the lineup, the defense and the pitching to win it all, now they only have to overcome mental hurdles. Joe Maddon will need to keep his team loose and not worried about ending 108 years of ineptitude with each game.
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