Of course, it’s far too early to be making 2019 World Series predictions or even divisional winners predictions, but teams can only change so much, and the experts have already released their predictions. After an emphatic 108 wins in the regular season and only three losses en route to the World Series, the Boston Red Sox are already the favorites to go all the way this year.
However, a team hasn’t been able to forge a dynasty and win back-to-back championships since the New York Yankees landed the three-peat in 2000. Since then, there have been 12 different winners in 18 campaigns – the Red Sox winning on four occasions – but after such a convincing season, and before the events of the offseason have occurred, Boston looks to be in the prime position to win it all again.
Keeping the core together
While many winners see a need to change a World Series-winning roster to keep them fresh and tackle the challenges of a new season, the Red Sox look to be keeping the vast majority of the team together. A few changes to the bullpen are to be expected, but overall, Red Sox fans are expected to be welcoming back their championship-winning heroes next season.
Boston was the strongest team in the MLB last season, and better still, there are plenty of young players for whom expectations are high. Alex Cora sees the likes of Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Benintendi, and Black Swihart all progressing to push the team forward.
The Boston Red Sox look to be in great shape to at least go to the World Series again, bar any long-term, ill-timed injuries. As it stands, the reigning champions are favored at +550 to repeat with www.MoPlay.co.uk, but it’s a heated field with the Houston Astros at +600, the New York Yankees at +650, and the back-to-back World Series-losing Los Angeles Dodgers at +700. There’s a lot of work to be done in the offseason, but if the Red Sox manage to improve the team further, they may enhance their rating as the favorites.
AL East to be even more competitive
Coming into last season, the New York Yankees were the favorites to challenge the Houston Astros for the World Series and even win the AL East. Of course, the Red Sox managed to burn out of sight with plenty of time remaining and then go on to win the championship. But, the young Yankees look to push Boston harder next season with their young stars continuing to improve; they may even add a big name in the offseason.
With a nice stack of cash to play with and a team that’s legitimately developing into a World Series contender, the Yankees are the hot favorites to land superstar Manny Machado. Doing so would certainly put them in a better position to try and close the eight-game gap in the AL East, but if they fail to land a big fish, they’ll still be there to push the Red Sox.
Bar the Baltimore Orioles, the other teams are set to improve and make the division even more competitive next season. The Tampa Bay Rays emerged as a strong team with buckets of potential in 2018, and if the Toronto Blue Jays have a strong offseason, they look primed to turn in a .500-plus in percentage in 2019.
The Red Sox find themselves in a great position to become the first team since the ’00 Yankees to repeat, but with an ever-improving division below them, they’ll be in for a tougher challenge in 2019.