The 2011 MLB season keeps chugging along, and many teams have had a very up and down season thus far.
One of the biggest surprises out of the American League has got to be the Cleveland Indians, but does that mean they are bound for the World Series?
Let’s take a fun look at the odds of each actually making it to the World Series this year at the current point in the season.
Philly keeps swinging, and the pitching is red hot with Cole Hamels being the brightest spot on the staff.
The Phils will need to remain healthy, get a productive Blanton back in the lineup and fix the current woes of Roy Oswalt if they are to continue being the favorite.
Talk about red hot, the Red Sox are on fire, and if they keep this torrent up, they are certainly going to be in the World Series.
The Red Sox are currently on a nine-game winning streak with a two-game lead in the AL East over the New York Yankees.
The Yanks are going to have to come up with a bit more consistency if they are to be one of two teams in the World Series this year.
Both inconsistency in pitching and hitting has them currently struggling to keep up with the Red Sox.
Last year’s champs pretty much picked up where they last left off and are clinging to a one-game lead in the west.
I don’t think Arizona will be a full-term threat to the Giants, but getting past the Phillies this year could prove more difficult than 2010.
They have the talent, but it’ll be hard to fend off the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies.
Still the Brew Crew is doing just enough to make us believe they will at least see the postseason, and that's a good thing.
But again, anything is possible.
Another highly talented team that has had some hard luck and up and down performances.
Injuries really started this whole thing, and they’ve been struggling ever since, but even with the amount of injuries they have had to deal with, they are still right in the thick of things.
They still lead the division, but the Angels are creeping up slowly.
The Rangers just don’t seem the same without Cliff Lee, but those youngsters are doing an admirable job nonetheless.
The start of the season was about as bad as it could get for a team, but things are starting to turn around for the Twins.
If the pitching could get just a little better and the hitting a little better and the outfield defense better, they might have a shot.
We won’t even get into last month because that was just as embarrassing as things can get for a team.
They have a chance, but it is a slim one at best considering the other levels of competition in the AL right now.
But stranger things have happened.
The Rays have hung in tight all season long, and they do have a legitimate chance, but the divisional race should be the nail in the coffin for the Rays.
The further the Yanks and Red Sox pull away and the closer to .500 the Rays stay, the more they hurt their chances of even making the playoffs, let alone the World Series.
Toronto, despite where I have them, has the potential to be a dark horse, but the likelihood is not very high.
The pitching is slightly above average, but at least they have the current home run leader in Bautista, right?
The Reds showed so much promise entering this year, but it has been the pitching that has been their undoing.
I wouldn’t just yet rule them out, but the World Series is now getting further and further away.
The Rockies have the potential, but they are missing a few elements that would make their odds a bit better.
They simply have to hit better and score more runs if they are to even think about winning the division, let alone competing for the World Series.
The Tigers can certainly hit with the best of them, and they can even score the runs, but the pitching is their current Achilles' heel.
Plain and simple, their current team 4.19 ERA just won’t cut it in a playoff environment.
And it certainly isn’t strong enough to make it to the World Series.
The Angels are holding pace with the Rangers, but that’s not the problem.
The entire American League race is the real problem, and I think the Angels are two years or so away from flirting with the World Series.
Think I’m nuts? Look at the season and look at the team as a whole.
They are the No. 1 pitching team in the league but are curiously pedestrian offensively and can’t seem to even put consistent pressure on the Phillies.
At this rate, they’ll be lucky to even make the playoffs.
The Dodgers better be coming up with alternative plans, because they are too middle of the road to flirt with a World Series appearance.
There’s some nice crops growing on the farm right now, so perhaps another two years or so and my tune will change.
I know, I know. They have been a red hot team since opening day, have exciting youthful talent and even have a nice rotation.
But how much of this is going to last, or for an even better question, how good would they have been in Minnesota and Chicago didn’t falter early?
I just don’t see it happening.
Florida has issues, let’s face it.
They are a subpar pitching team and a below-average hitting team at best, that is starting to decline.
The Marlins have a lot of rebuilding to do, and they would be better off giving some prospects some additional looks after the All-Star break.
Talk about issues.
The Cubs are years away from even building a solid World Series caliber team let alone actually getting there.
The pitching is a mess, the hitting is way too inconsistent and the fielding is hot and cold and about the only bright spot is the young prospects who are currently playing are seasoning down on the farm.
Wasn’t this team supposed to be one of the best pitching teams in the American League?
Come to think of it, they were also a huge projected sleeper team and certainly looked at as a team that could give everyone in the division a run for their money.
And here we are.
This is a team with huge potential and probably one of the brightest futures in all of baseball.
But the team is too young, too inexperienced and strikeout more than any other team in the majors, which is indicative of their youth.
2011 is not their time.
I’ll admit, I thought the Orioles were going to do a lot better than they have been thus far, but YOU have to admit, they are doing better than perhaps we all thought they were going to, right?
They have a lot of building blocks in the right places, but it will be years before we see this team as a World Series contender.
The Astros are a very old team in regard to overall team age, but their youth brigade shows a lot of long-term promise.
If I had to guess, the Astros could begin to compete for a postseason run as early as 2013, but the World Series is much further away than that.
To some, the Nationals are a huge disappointment right now, but the rest of the folk in baseball will simply say “told ya so.”
The Nats are simply not living up to expectations right now and have dealt with some key injuries that messed things up out of the gate.
But the future does look bright for them.
Just not going to happen.
The Mets have too many issues right now, and they play in one of the hardest divisions in all of baseball.
But players aren’t the only thing the Mets organization will have to think about at the end of this year, they probably should have a total overhaul.
Boy these scrappy little guys came out of nowhere for a while there, didn’t they?
Too bad that’s all they’re going to do, because this team does not have the hitting or pitching to entertain a World Series run.
Another team with a lot of potential but itty-bitty chance of getting to the World Series.
Expect Seattle to go into a huge rebuilding phase after the 2011 season, which is a very good idea, considering just how much young talent this team has.
Money is a little scarce though, so that could be an issue.
It almost looked as if the Royals were going to be another surprise team, but reality caught up with them and baseball, and well, here we are.
But the thing is, this team has a lot of short-term potential that could start paying dividends as early as next year.
Sorry Pirates fans, but you knew this was coming.
The good news is, the Pirates are not that far away from being a pretty good team. If they were to add a quality power bat and perhaps a true staff ace, this team would be well on their way.
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