One-on-One: Who is going to win the World Series?

Nationals

Picking a World Series champion in at the beginning of March is just asking for your prediction to crash and burn.

But I feel confident the Washington Nationals will be winning their first title in franchise history.

After their tremendous offseason, the Nationals are absolutely stacked.

A lineup consisting of Denard Span, Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth would be enough to keep pitchers up at night. That’s not even including Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, who are one of the best hitting middle infields in baseball.

Throw in Ryan Zimmerman who hit 25 homeruns and had 95 RBI last season and the lineup is ridiculous from top to bottom.

But the offense isn’t even the best part of the team. The Washington pitching staff is unbelievable.

There’s not another team in baseball who can throw out there four guys like Steven Strasberg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Dan Haren.

Then in the bullpen the Nationals can throw at you three guys who are capable of being closers on other teams in Drew Storen, Rafael Soriano and Tyler Clippard.

Washington is the most talented team in baseball and are definitely the favorite to win the NL East this season. They truly don’t have a weakness on their ball club.

So don’t be surprised when they run through the playoffs and win the World Series as well.

 -Alex Ross

 

Blue Jays

At no point over the last 10 years has the American League East been so wide open. All teams have a legitimate shot at winning the division and making a deep playoff run.

The Baltimore Orioles should continue to play well after last year’s surprise. The Tampa Bay Rays are always in contention these days, and even with all their injuries, the New York Yankees still have a formidable lineup to deal with.

But none of those teams have as good of a chance to win the World Series as the Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto had a disappointing season last year after their pitching staff sustained multiple injuries, but their offseason was the best in baseball.

The team added pitchers Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and 38-year-old Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.

For the lineup and bench, the Blue Jays added Jose Reyes, John Buck, Melky Cabrera, and Emilio Bonifacio. Outside of Cabrera’s 50-game suspension for PEDs last season, there is next to no downside from these acquisitions.

Given the AL East’s usual powerhouses experiencing relative down periods, the Blue Jays must pounce early.

If Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays pitching staff remain healthy, the team has more than enough to contend with any team in baseball.

Now, it is up to John Gibbons and his managerial staff to bring the Blue Jays to their rightful place in October – the World Series.

  -David Israel