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Nationals-Red Sox World Series Forecast As 2015 Baseball Season Begins
Hard as it may be to believe, the 2015 baseball season begins Sunday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago when the Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals. It's certainly possible that either the Cubs or Cardinals win the World Series as St. Louis is +1200 at Bovada and Chicago +1600 -- no team has taken more action on World Series futures than the Cubs. However, the favored World Series matchup next October is Washington and Boston.
Nats Loaded In Rotation
The Nationals are the +600 favorites at Bovada to win the franchise's first World Series -- it has never even taken a pennant going back to the team's days in Montreal. The Nationals had the best overall team ERA and rotation ERA last season with an excellent rotation of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark, yet the Nats went out and spent $215 million on former Tigers Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, the best pitcher in the American League since 2013. Now Washington might have the best rotation since the 1972 Orioles had four 20-game winners. Despite 15 wins and an ERA under 3.00 last season, Roark is kicked to the bullpen.
Scherzer will start Monday's opener against the Mets as a -198 favorite against New York's Bartolo Colon. The Mets opted not to give young ace Matt Harvey the opening day nod. Washington will begin the season with three regulars on the disabled list: outfielders Denard Span and Jayson Werth and third baseman Anthony Rendon. Werth could return later this week but Span and Rendon (who was fifth in the NL MVP voting last season) perhaps out all month.
The second-favorite to win the NL is the Dodgers are +850. They are the two-time NL West champions who have lost in the postseason to St. Louis each of the past two years. L.A. still has the best pitcher on the planet in Clayton Kershaw and has four new regulars in the starting lineup in catcher Yasmani Grandal, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, second baseman Howie Kendrick and center fielder Joc Pederson.
Sox Have Pitching Questions
Boston has the shortest World Series odds of any American League team at 10/1, followed closely by Seattle (12/1). The Sox and Mariners are actually co-11/2 favorites to win the pennant. The Red Sox added the two top free-agent bats on the market in former Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who will play left field now) and Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
The question is the pitching staff, which doesn't have a true ace with the loss of Jon Lester. The Sox will have three new starters in the rotation: Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson and Wade Miley. Don't rule out Boston pursing a trade for Phillies ace Cole Hamels if the rotation does struggle. The Sox have the young prospects to make a deal, although they lost touted young catcher Christian Vazquez to season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Interestingly, Boston opens the season at Philadelphia and against Hamels. The Phillies are -119 favorites with Boston at +109 behind Clay Buchholz, who had his worst season in 2014. The Sox also begin the season without closer Koji Uehara, who is on the disabled list.
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