The Boston Red Sox didnt make the postseason, meaning were guaranteed a new World Series champion. We break down the final eight contenders
The wildcard games have been decided and the business end of the season is now upon us. Nothing is guaranteed in the postseason but weve ranked the teams in rough order of strength as the battle hots up.
8) Atlanta Braves (regular season record: 97-65)
Current form: The Braves built on an upstart 2018 playoff berth with an outstanding 2019 season. Their 97 wins were the most for the team since 2003.
How they can win: This is a more balanced unit than the team that entered the 2018 postseason. Ronald Acua Jr hit 40 homers and stole 37 bases. Mike Soroka at 22, just a year older than Acua lost just four of his 29 starts. With veterans like first baseman Freddie Freeman, third baseman Josh Donaldson and pitcher Dallas Keuchel, the Braves are a pennant contender.
How they can lose: The Braves traded for two relievers Mark Melancon and Shane Greene to fortify a shaky bullpen, and neither of them were very consistent. Melancon improved in September and didnt allow a run over his final seven appearances, but its not a trustworthy collection.
Player to watch: Ronald Acua Jr. Hes a generational talent and is one of the most thrilling players to watch hit, run the bases and play centerfield since Ken Griffey Jr.
Why should you care? They are a young, exciting team that plays with the kind of flair once dismissed as arrogant by traditionalists. Theyre exciting, theyre talented and they always appear to be having fun.
7) Washington Nationals (regular-season record: 93-69)
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