Over the course of baseball history, there have been many different teams who have won pennants and who have world the World Series. These teams have been enshrined in history forever as the best in their year, on their way taking players from no names to superstars. There are, however, seven teams in Major League baseball who have yet to win on the biggest stage of them all. Two of those teams have never even played in it. Let’s take a look at those teams and which of them have the best chance to win it all in the next couple of years (in reverse order of likelihood to win one soon):
Note – I will not be adding farm systems into this article, partially because I am a Mets fan who has been hurt far too many times by promises of a great farm leading to years of success, but mostly because those farm systems are merely that, farm systems. There is no way to tell their impact, and I’d rather not speculate.
7th out of 7 – San Diego Padres
As I said in my season preview, the Padres “could get Jake Peavy in 2007 Cy Young Award form and still not make any noise in the wild card race.” Now in the preview, I didn’t just trash them, I also offered them advice, suggesting that “Someone call Billy Beane or Bill James.” Those two men, or someone of their stature, are the only people that could turn this team around in a reasonable amount of time. The Padres have some serious work to do, and the Commissioner’s Trophy will not be finding a home in Petco Park anytime soon. The Padres should reconsider a temporary name change to the “Niños” until they start playing like a respectable baseball team again.
6th out of 7 – Tampa Bay Rays
There are very few pieces of this Rays team that excite me. Chris Archer is Chris Archer, but his ERA hasn’t been under 4.00 since 2015. Mallex Smith (whose name sounds like some strange combination of Malik’s and my own) has an upside I am excited to see, but besides that the team is a bunch of prime-aged players who have never hit a prime that they were expected to, and the rotation and bullpen are not enough to make up for that. They are more than just one offseason away from a special team.
5th out of 7 – Texas Rangers
This year is very much a future meets past season for the Rangers. The Andrus-Beltre Era is coming to its close, mostly because Beltre will be 39 this season. Fear not Rangers fans, because the 6-to-3 will now be the combination leading the team for years to come, as Andrus is showing no signs of slowing down, recording a 20-20 season (his first) in 2017 while hitting .297/.337/.471. Joey Gallo is the future of the team, and a future household name. If Drew Robinson pans out, the Rangers could make some serious AL West noise in the near future, but the reason they are not higher on this list is because they place in a tough division, which will have four of its teams playing well very, very soon.
4th out of 7 – Seattle Mariners
The best way to describe this current Mariners team is as one that is almost there. James Paxton may be my favorite pitcher in the league right now, and will be heavily looked at for the Cy Young award by season’s end. Their bats are not quite incredible, and definitely not on par with their division rivals the Angels or the Astros, but the Mariners are a team that sums up the phrase “just a few pieces away.” They will be seeing October before the decade is out.
3rd out of 7 – Milwaukee Brewers
These next three teams were very tough to decipher between, but I will try to give you my thought process as deeply as I can. The Brewers have an incredible outfield, a solid infield, and an average pitching staff. That is not a recipe for late October success, and it is easier to add a bat or two than to add pitching to a team. Teams also can’t survive in the playoffs without an ace, or sometimes without two aces, and the Brewers really have none.
2nd out of 7 – Washington Nationals
I bet everyone reading this expected to see the Rockies in this spot, no? The Nationals have the best chance of making it (out of these teams) to the Series and getting a win this year, but the article is not about this year (even so, the best chance out of this group does not qualify them to beat the Cubs in October), it is in the near future, and the window in the nation’s capital is closing fast. Harper may be gone before 2020, who knows how long the pitching can hold up its incredible success? The lineup outside of Harper is a good one, but it does not qualify the Nationals to be a World Series champion, while they have a strong case for the best pitching staff in the country, they need to put it together and win a playoff series this year or they may kiss their chance in the next 10 years goodbye.
1st out of 7 – Colorado Rockies
The Rockies lineup is not only incredible, but also has some sort of on switch, and if the Rockies can sneak in the playoffs and flip that switch, they could be contending for the NL pennant this year. Their pitching staff is not great, but they have a steady upward trend of improvement, and a guy in Gray who can get it done. Their two rock solid players, Arenado at third and Blackmon in center, are not going anywhere and this team will continue to improve itself with offseason additions (see – Wade Davis). Three of the eight position players in their lineup are 26-years-old or younger, and three of the five pitchers in their rotation are also under-26, with none of their starters being over 28. Their new 32-year-old closer Wade Davis has seemingly aged like fine wine and improved himself year after year. This is a team built to win some now and win a lot soon.