Who are the National League World Series Contenders?
Los Angeles Dodgers
Not a whole lot to say here. The best lineup on the planet got better when it gained Mookie Betts, who was locked up to a 12 year deal and is performing like an MVP. On the mound, Dustin May looks like the next big thing, Julio Urias is finally living up to the hype, oh and Clayton Kershaw is having a monster season. There’s nothing this team hasn’t done yet except win the World Series. Maybe this will finally be the year.
San Diego Padres
This is my kind of team. AJ Preller gutted this farm system then rebuilt it again, and he built a core that’s going to win for many, many years. Fernando Tatis Jr. has entered the conversation for best player in baseball and remains in the MVP conversation despite a prolonged slump. Eric Hosmer started hitting the ball in the air before he fractured his finger. Manny Machado could be the MVP and Wil Myers is having a big year. Jake Cronenworth, who I considered to be a throw in to the Tommy Pham-Hunter Renfroe trade, is probably a lock for Rookie of the Year. Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies are having breakout years. Oh and the team just acquired Mike Clevenger who they will have under control through 2022 and we should see MacKenzie Gore soon. A few years back I proclaimed the Padres the 2021 World Champions, but don’t be surprised to see them in the World Series this year.
When Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles at the beginning of August, I wondered if they would have enough pitching to be a legit World Series contender. Max Fried picked up the slack by posting a 1.98 ERA in nine starts before going on the injured list with back spasms. The pitching is going to be the key because the offense is lethal. Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall all have double digit home runs with Travis d’Arnaud having a big year himself. Cole Hamels came back to make one start before going back on the injured list so he can’t be counted on but their bullpen has been excellent and that’s going to be a big weapon in the postseason because they’re going to have leads to protect.
National League seeding predictions: 1-Dodgers, 2-Braves, 3-Cubs, 4-Padres, 5-Marlins, 6-Reds, 7-Cardinals, 8-Phillies.
(Cover Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)