Atlanta Braves and 5 Underdog Teams Who Could Win the World Series

Jonah P DAnalyst IJuly 21, 2011

Atlanta Braves and 5 Underdog Teams Who Could Win the World Series

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    Many unexpected events have occurred in the MLB this season.

    Namely, the Pirates and the Indians are competing in a division race.

    Along with these teams, there are a few others who would, upon making the playoffs, be considered underdogs in a World Series run.

    However unexpected, each of these five teams do have a good chance of winning it all.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    The Brewers are currently tied for first place in the fierce race for the NL Central.

    I did not expect them to still be competing at this point of the season, and I take it as a surprise that they have a record of 52-46.

    Their offense is led by Prince Fielder, who has 22 home runs and 73 RBI.

    Also an asset to their team is Ryan Braun, who is currently hitting .316.

    However, the great performance of both of these players was expected.

    And because their pitching is not much better than average, their success must be credited to multiple position players stepping up to perform better than expected.

    A few names that come to mind are Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks.

    If the Brewers continue to perform as they currently are, they will have a very good chance of making the playoffs, and possibly the World Series.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Another team that has been exceeding expectations this season is the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    They are 52-45, only 4.5 games back from the Giants.

    Justin Upton and Chris Young are leading the offense, and are assisted by Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra.

    Like the Brewers, their pitching is only average.

    If everyone on the team continues to perform as they are currently, the Diamondbacks will have a chance at winning the division, or at least the wild card.

    However, they are in a tough division, along with tough opponents for the wild card.

    Making the postseason may be a challenge for them.

Cleveland Indians

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    The Indians stand 0.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

    Considering their 2010 season in which they finished 25 games back from first place, I am thoroughly surprised by their current record.

    While they have been performing much better than expected, they have still been playing only about average.

    Their offense is led by Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley, who are hitting .292 and .281.

    Their top starting pitchers are Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin, who have ERA's of 2.64 and 4.03.

    While their team is not amazing, it is good enough to compete in the AL Central for a playoff spot.

Atlanta Braves

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    Out of the teams on this list, the Braves seem to have the best chance at a World Series title this season.

    While their hitting is not nearly as great as it should be, it is sufficient.

    Brian McCann leads the team for offense. He is hitting .313, with 16 home runs and 53 RBI.

    Also, Dan Uggla, while he is nowhere near meeting expectations, he leads the team in home runs, with 17.

    In my opinion, pitching is more valuable when it comes to winning games, and the Braves have one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB.

    Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are among the best pitchers in the game, and the Braves bullpen also makes a case for the best overall.

    I am expecting an impressive playoff run from the Braves.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    The Pirates are, in my opinion, the biggest surprise in baseball this season.

    They are currently tied for first place in the NL Central.

    They do not have the most impressive offense in the league. They are led by Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, who are hitting .277 and .275.

    Their pitching, on the other hand, is quite impressive.

    Their top starters are Jeff Karstens and Paul Maholm, with ERA's of 2.28 and 3.06. The team's overall ERA is 3.36.

    They also possess one of the best closers in the game with Joel Hanrahan, who has 28 saves and an ERA of 1.24.

    If the Pirates continue to perform as they currently are, they will have a very good chance of competing in the playoffs.