- The New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays are teams to keep an eye on when looking for a club to make the Fall Classic.
Just two seasons ago, the New York Mets swept the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series behind one of the best starting rotations in baseball.
While the Mets are not favored to win the NL East this year, they could return to form and challenge the Washington Nationals in the division and the Cubs for the pennant.
On a larger scale, New York is +1800 (bet $100 to win $1,800) on the odds to win the World Series at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, something the team fell just short of doing against the Kansas City Royals in 2015.
The Mets are hoping that starting pitchers Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard can stay healthy this season and put them into championship contention.
There are a few other teams that have enjoyed a lot of recent success but are not getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers heading into the 2017 campaign. They include the Toronto Blue Jays (+2000), St. Louis Cardinals (+2200) and Texas Rangers (+2800), each of whom, like New York, has won a division title within the last two years.
The Blue Jays may have lost slugger Edwin Encarnacion to the Cleveland Indians, making his new team one of the favorites to get back to the World Series, but Toronto still has a loaded offense that includes perennial standouts Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. The team's pitching staff also remains strong, especially with budding ace Aaron Sanchez on the verge of stardom.
The Cardinals signed free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler, who last year helped the rival Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. St. Louis, meanwhile, missed the postseason entirely, but it still won 86 games last year and has has been a playoff regular—making 12 appearances this century—so it is a good bet that the team will at least be a wild card contender again.
As for the Rangers, they have won the American League West each of the past two seasons, although they lost to Toronto in the Division Series both times. The Houston Astros are getting a lot of love from sportsbooks as the favorites to end Texas's divisional reign this year, but the Rangers have more experience and their solid pitching could make them a top contender to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history.