Why Each Team Could Win the World Series (AL)

A look at why each AL team could win the World Series.

Today we’re taking a look at why each team in the American League could win the World Series. As a new season gets underway, some teams are looking for a fresh start, while others may want to build off of progress made last year. Regardless of where a team finished in the standings last year, the ultimate goal of every MLB club is to become World Series champions. Let’s consider the reasons why each team could be a legitimate contender.


American League East


Baltimore Orioles


The Baltimore Orioles won 101 games last year and finished first in the AL East. With the addition of Corbin Burnes this season and their wealth of young talent, the Orioles look to remain a threat not just in their division, but in the league. Young players like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson are coming into this season with more major league experience and should benefit from that growth and be able to display a more refined, mature game. Prospect Jackson Holliday could become a lineup option as the season carries on. The Orioles’ depth of youth offers them options and the ability to foster players’ development before calling them up. Baltimore’s offseason moves and development make them a valid World Series contender.


Boston Red Sox


The Boston Red Sox didn’t finish last season with much optimism, their second consecutive last-place finish in the AL East. But as the Orioles have demonstrated, things can turn around quickly in the MLB. The Red Sox parted ways with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and brought on Craig Breslow who has expressed a desire to take the club in a better direction. Breslow and team had a relatively quiet offseason. They added Tyler O’Neill to the outfield, some additional bullpen depth, and brought back Vaughn Grissom at second base. The upside for the Red Sox is that there’s still time to make roster moves. As they start the regular season, management can see just what the team needs to be competitive and attempt to fill those voids. If the Sox can make some moves and gel together as a team and with new leadership personnel, they can once again, be a playoff contender and potentially take it all the way to the World Series.


New York Yankees


The New York Yankees are coming into the season looking for redemption after missing the postseason. They’ll begin the season without ace Gerrit Cole, but with the addition of Marcus Stroman and a healthy Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodón, the rotation should be able to handle things while Cole recovers. Their offense will be bolstered by Juan Soto, and players like Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Volpe will look to have more productive offensive numbers this year. The team’s defense will be assisted by having a healthy Anthony Rizzo at first and a new outfield addition Alex Verdugo. If the Yankees can stay healthy and motivated, there’s no reason why they should miss the playoffs. And if the Yankees are playing postseason baseball again, they’ll be doing everything in their power to go all the way.


Toronto Blue Jays


The Toronto Blue Jays have lost six straight postseason games over their last three playoff appearances. The team will be seeking nothing less than a more substantial postseason run this year. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is looking to have a comeback season and inject some offensive life into the lineup. The offseason saw the Blue Jays add Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Justin Turner as roster depth and retain their rotation who have previously seen success. This season, the starting rotation, especially Alek Manoah will want to show that they can compete in the tough AL East and will be looking to contain opponents. Should the pitching and offensive pieces come together for the Jays, they will have their opportunity to break their postseason losing streak and fight for the chance to secure their first World Series title since 1993.


Tampa Bay Rays


The Tampa Bay Rays have been successful in developing young talent and continuing to put together solid rosters. This season, they once again have a solid offensive lineup that can put up numbers against even challenging rotations. They also have promising young prospects that offer options. Players like Yandy Díaz and Brandon Lowe are set on staying healthy this year and regularly contributing offense. In the wake of Wander Francos absence, the Rays added José Caballero from the Seattle Mariners to bolster their defense at shortstop. Their rotation will be tested with the loss of Tyler Glasnow and several injuries, but the Rays also possess pitching depth and will see what Shane Baz, Jake Odorizzi, and Jacob Waguespack can produce. If Tampa’s depth proves itself, the team is a real threat in their division and will be a serious playoff and potential World Series contender.


American League Central


Chicago White Sox


The Chicago White Sox are in the process of a rebuild and are coming off a season in which neither their young prospects nor their veterans performed particularly well. New additions Edgar Quero and Dominic Fletcher look to make a difference offensively, while seasoned players like Yoán Moncada and Eloy Jiménez will seek to bounce back this season and help lead the team with solid performances. The White Sox traded pitcher Dylan Cease on March 13th to the San Diego Padres in exchange for three of the Padres’ top prospects and Steven Wilson. One of the pitching prospects, Drew Thorpe, elicits a lot of anticipation and has the potential to be a weapon on the mound. Pitcher Garrett Crochet has been named the Opening Day starter and has had an excellent spring. He’s set to make history as the ninth pitcher in 110 years to make his first career start on Opening Day. Chicago’s rotation could be dangerous this season and if offense makes strides from last year, the team could place themselves in a much better position. And if the team can make the playoffs, anything is possible.


Cleveland Guardians


The Cleveland Guardians are under new leadership this year with the addition of Stephen Vogt as manager after Terry Francona exited. Cleveland has had strong defense but has struggled to generate offense. They’ve been able to utilize small ball tactics to get balls in play and put runners in scoring position, but this season they’ll look to add some power hitting to their repertoire. Shane Bieber leads the rotation for Cleveland and has had a solid spring. Cleveland has relied on pitching to be solid to help bail out their offense. Despite injuries, the depth of pitching for Cleveland has afforded them options this spring. Prospects Kyle Manzardo and Chase DeLauter are promising options for the Guardians lineup but will begin the season in the minors. If the Guardians can avoid injuries and allow their prospects to shine, the team can be a contender in the weaker AL Central division. Should the offense get going and the defense stay solid, Cleveland has the chance to redeem themselves in the playoffs and show that they have what it takes to be a serious contending team.


Detroit Tigers


The Detroit Tigers have been considered a non-threat in the AL Central by many, but the team will look to prove low expectations wrong. The Tigers are relying on their farm system to provide some positional depth and made several moves to add to their pitching roster including Kenta Maeda, Jack Flaherty, Andrew Chafin, and Shelby Miller. The addition of outfielder Mark Canha provides a veteran presence and solid hitter. Prospect Colt Keith is looking to become a defensive staple at second base and generate offense as he makes his Major League debut. Outfielder Riley Greene and first baseman Spencer Torkelson also look to inject youth and energy into the Tigers lineup. The Tigers possess several great pieces that, if and when they come together, could make this team considerably better than they have been in recent years. If their veteran additions mesh well with the team, their youth develop well, and returning players like Javier Báez put together solid seasons, there’s no reason why this team can’t be a playoff contender.


Kansas City Royals


The Kansas City Royals have been a struggling team with some exciting players. This year they’ll seek to finish with a winning record. The positive for the Royals is that they have Bobby Witt Jr. one of the most dynamic shortstops in the league. Entering his third season, it’s expected that Witt will only continue to get better as he enters his prime. First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino looks to bounce back from injury and be a regular contributor to the Royals’ offense. Third baseman Maikel Garcia along with Witt are solid defenders on the left side of the infield and should lead the Royals’ defensive effort. Cole Ragans leads the rotation and shows promise to be one of the best starters in the league this year. If the Royals’ additions can provide needed depth that fits with their playing system the team should be in good shape within their division. To be a league threat they’ll need their pitching to be solid and consistent, their bats to get hot, and their defense to hold up.


Minnesota Twins


The Minnesota Twins finished first in the AL Central last year and won their first playoff game since 2004. They’ll want to build on that momentum this season. While the team didn’t make any blockbuster moves this offseason, they have acquired several pitching pieces, outfielder Manuel Margot, and first baseman Carlos Santana. Catcher Ryan Jeffers is coming off of a solid defensive season and looks to man the backstop regularly this year. Shortstop Carlos Correa has recovered from an injury-plagued season last year and has had a healthy spring. The Twins’ shrunken payroll provides limitations for what they can do down the stretch, but they have a solid roster intact. If they can avoid injuries and maintain momentum, their payroll limitations may not be a difference maker. If the Twins can reach the playoffs, they’ll be hungry to prove they can do more than just win their division.


American League West


Texas Rangers


The Texas Rangers are reigning World Series champions and will be looking for nothing less than defending their title. Going deep into the postseason means there’s not as much recovery time during the offseason, so fatigue and injury are a concern going into this year. The team starts the season without Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, or Tyler Mahle in the rotation. While that certainly puts a strain on the pitching depth, the Rangers hope to hold it together until they get their regular rotation back. Corey Seager should be ready for Opening Day after undergoing sports hernia surgery and Josh Jung has returned from a muscle strain that had sidelined him for the majority of spring training. Marcus Semien will look to continue to be a star for the Rangers and hold his own at second base while providing offense and veteran leadership. The Rangers finished the season strong last year but didn’t always look so dominant. This season may have a similar feel as the team starts with some deficits due to injury and looks to overcome that as the season progresses. They’ve proven they can get hot when it counts and keep it rolling, so there’s a real possibility the Rangers can do it again this year.


Houston Astros


The Houston Astros are all too familiar with the postseason at this point and have had six consecutive trips to the ALCS. Their entire starting lineup from last year returns as well as their starting rotation. The bullpen has lacked depth and was a reason for Houston falling short last year. The team signed closer Josh Hader to be a difference-maker this season. Players like Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez show no sign of slowing down offensively. Pitchers Justin Verlander and José Urquidy are currently out with injuries but should return during the first half of the season. Framber Valdez will help carry the workload and shows promise of having a solid year. Houston’s offense should continue to be hot and if they can avoid further injuries to their pitching, they’ll continue to be a top team in the American League. If they get their full rotation back and possibly make some moves for more bullpen depth as the season plays out, they will be a valid contender for the World Series.


Los Angeles Angels


The Los Angeles Angels are notably without Shohei Ohtani this season. Led by Mike Trout, the team seeks to put together a winning season, something they couldn’t do with Ohtani last year. A big motivation for the Angels this year could be the fact that expectations are not high. No one expects the team to be a threat, but young players Nolan Schanuel and Zach Neto are looking to prove the naysayers wrong. Schanuel, a first baseman, and Neto, a shortstop, are athletic, offensively skilled, and eager to see decent playing time. If Trout can stay healthy this year, he’s a huge bolster to the Angels offense. The Angels will want more consistency from their starting pitchers this year and Reid Detmers will look to lead the charge with more consistent outings. The Angels have the chance to show that their young talent may be enough to get them over the hump of losing records. If the team finds success and consistency, they can be a threat in their division. If they can maintain powerhouse offense and solid pitching, they could be a playoff-caliber team, and who knows just how far that could take them.


Oakland Athletics


The Oakland Athletics were the worst team in baseball last season. That fact alone is motivation to have a better year this time around. There are many questions surrounding the Athletics future and where this team will be playing in the coming season. This can be a demoralizing situation for players and teams, but Oakland management has the opportunity to turn this into motivation. If the future of the franchise is unclear, why not try to bring success to Oakland fans while in Oakland? The team has the opportunity to surprise everyone and breathe some life into the franchise. Their offense will be led by Zack Gelof who played well after receiving the call-up in July of last year. The team’s rotation has promise in Joe Boyle, JP Sears, and Paul Blackburn. The team has promising bullpen prospect Mason Miller who should see time as a reliever and closer this season. The Athletics have several promising pieces that can come together to create a team that wins games. Seeking a winning record would be an admirable goal for this team, but since this could be their final season in Oakland why not shoot for the moon? This team should do all they can to push for the postseason.


Seattle Mariners


The Seattle Mariners finished their 2023 season just out of the Wild Card spot and will be seeking a playoff run this year. They’re supported by a strong pitching staff bolstered by Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert. Adding Jorge Polanco at second base and Mitch Garver as DH fills in holes in the roster. Seattle’s defense looks to be solid with catcher Cal Raleigh leading the way. The offense will want to improve its production this season and if the team can score consistently, with their pitching and defensive abilities, they should be in good shape within their division. This team will want to fight for a playoff spot, having come so close last year and missing out. Should they make the playoffs, they have the ability to control offenses and limit scoring chances for their opponents. Seattle is a real contender to be a dark horse in the postseason and could find themselves on a deep run.

Madison Hutchinson

Madison is a passionate NY area sports fan with a knack for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. She brings insight to her writing and a commitment to honest and engaging content.

One response to “Why Each Team Could Win the World Series (AL)”

  1. Luke says:

    John Fisher ends up agreeing to sell the team, MLB gives Oakland the World Series simply because their fans deserve something nice.

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