3 World Series Contenders Nobody is Talking About

The road to the 2019 World Series seems pretty cut and dry. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins have risen up the rankings to give us something to talk about.

 But when the dust settles, we’re probably just getting a rematch between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, aren’t we?

 It’s been two years since we got that series, but both sides look like the best teams in baseball. The crazy part is that they're not even 100% healthy.

 Of course, as obvious as some things often look, sports fans are routinely amazed by how things play out. Just when you left them for dead, the Patriots win it all. Even though the Warriors could never be beaten, they crumble under injuries and the Raptors get their first ever title.

 Weird things happen in sports all the time. As obvious as the 2019 World Series seems on paper, there are some sneaky teams’ experts, fans and sports bettors alike need to consider.

 No matter what MLB betting resource you rely on, keep in mind these three teams before making any final wagers or definitive declarations this year:

 Cleveland Indians

 They’re not the best team in their own division. The Tribe rest 10 games behind the first place Minnesota Twins in the race for the AL Central and there’s a chance they never catch up.

 Realistically, Cleveland may require a wild card win to enter the 2019 MLB playoffs, but I’m not ready to stick a fork in them just yet.

 That’s still a possibility, while Minnesota could always collapse. The main reason to buy into the Indians, though, is their immense talent and the fact that to this point they just haven’t been healthy.

 Mike Clevinger just returned from injury, while arms like Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber and even Danny Salazar could be back in the mix at some point this season. If healthy, the Indians have one of the nastiest pitching staffs in all of baseball, while their bats remain underrated.

 Cleveland has work to do, but they’re above .500 and fighting for a playoff spot. If they find a way in, they could end up being a super sneaky World Series bet.

 

Colorado Rockies

 The Rockies were awful to start the 2019 MLB season, so I can see why anyone may roll their eyes here. Since coming out of the gates so sluggishly, they’ve been quite good, largely dominating at home and showing off their ever-explosive offense.

 It’s true that Colorado is typically only trustworthy at Coors Field, but they are still positively loaded on offense. Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story head a stacked offense that could be getting better as the year goes on as young guys like Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers try to prove themselves.

 Road woes continue to be an issue, but the long running hiccup for the Rockies is their pitching. German Marquez and Jon Gray give them two solid starting pitchers to hang their hat on, however, while Colorado could be 1-2 big moves from cementing a perfectly viable pitching rotation.

 It’s never going to be easy to dominate on the mound at Coors, but Colorado can improve their pitching enough to give themselves a chance when their offense stalls on the road.

 Whether they make a move or not, the Rockies are above .500 and once again in the race for a wild card spot. Getting past the likes of the Cubs and Braves won’t be easy, but Colorado will be an interesting World Series value if that does happen.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

 One other team floating under the radar is the Cardinals, who have not yet lived up to their lofty preseason expectations. St. Louis has title-winning pedigree and are loaded offensively, but thus far simply haven’t delivered consistent results.

 Despite being loaded on offense, the Cardinals have been inefficient in 2019 and rank near the bottom-10 in runs and home runs. That could easily change in a hurry thanks to the presence of mashers like Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna, however.

 I’m truly not worried about the offense when it comes to the Cardinals. Busch Stadium does suppress their power a bit, but in time the talent will shine through.

 The issue is the pitching. Jack Flaherty is probably the best arm the Cards have right now (and he’s a good one), but St. Louis won’t get far if they’re relying too much on the likes of Adam, Wainwright and Michael Wacha.

 Throw in the under-performing Miles Mikolas, and it’s clear the Cardinals need to make a power move on the mound.

 Flaherty is a solid ace and their other arms aren’t bad rotational pieces. But the Cardinals have the makings of a true title contender if they can just beef up their starting pitching. Bringing in someone like Madison Bumgarner - especially in Busch Stadium - could give St. Louis a lift from ringe playoff contender to legit World Series threat.

 If I’m picking someone to win it all in 2019, I still can’t get away from the Los Angeles Dodgers. If bettors want value, though, they may want to consider some World Series sleepers like I’ve touched on here.

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