Five teams that could win the World Series in 2019

LOS ANGELES — The Boston Red Sox are covered in champagne and the parade hasn't even happened yet, but it won’t stop us for looking ahead to the 2019 season.

So, who’s going to be the next World Series champion? 

Come on – we know it can’t be the Red Sox again, right?  We haven’t had a repeat champion since the New York Yankees almost two decades ago. 

Then again, the 1998 Yankees were the last team to win at least 119 games, and they won three consecutive World Series – so maybe the Red Sox do have a chance. 

Well, with the scent of the 2018 season still in the air, mixed in with the LA smog, let’s take a look at the top five World Series championship contenders in 2019: 

Boston Red Sox

Sure, they’re bucking history, and are in the torturous AL East, but there’s no reason they can’t repeat. They were the best team in baseball from start to finish, and will have virtually their entire championship team back. Their only notable free agents are closer Craig Kimbrel, reliever Joe Kelly and starter Nathan Eovaldi. Considering the Red Sox just spent $240 million on this year’s team, they certainly won’t be shy about spending even more for a chance to win it all again. 

New York Yankees

This is the winter the Yankees have been waiting for the past two seasons. They wanted to make sure they would get under the $197 million luxury tax, to assure they can be big-time spenders in a winter with free-agent stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. They don’t need Harper with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but they could sure use Machado. The Yankees will be without shortstop Didi Gregorius for half the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and they’ve got the perfect $300 million replacement, who has dreamed of being a Yankee. The Yankees aren’t about to sit back and idly watch the Red Sox start a dynasty. They’ll be aggressive this winter to make their World Series championship drought doesn’t extend for an entire decade. 

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs, who ended their 108-year drought in 2016, realize their window is closing quicker than they envisioned. They need to take advantage of this mega-talented team while they can. They’ll be awfully aggressive this winter, will have Yu Darvish returning, and, of course, still have ace Jon Lester along with Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. They’ve been to the postseason four consecutive years, and they’ll be knocking on the door once again. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

You can’t never count out the heavy champs of the National League. They have won six consecutive NL West titles, back-to-back NL pennants, and will be back again. They have the deepest and most talented team in the league, and they’ll make sure Clayton Kershaw isn’t going anywhere, who’ll be flanked by young stud pitchers Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Manny Machado probably won’t be back, but the Dodgers look forward to the return of shortstop Corey Seager.

Houston Astros

The Astros were favored to go back-to-back this season, but ran into a buzz-saw in the ALCS with the Red Sox. They will be back. Again and again. Simply, they’re too talented, and have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole once again atop their rotation, along with a kid by the name of Forrest Whitley, who happens to be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball. They’re the American League’s version of the Cubs, a team that tanked, with the strategy paying off brilliantly. It won’t be a surprise to anyone if the Astros and Cubs wind up playing one another this time a year from now.  

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