5. The Chicago Cubs will win the World Series.
Yup, you read that correctly. The lovable losers will end their 117-year World Series drought, Steve Bartman and the Billy Goat be damned. There has been a special energy surrounding Joe Maddon‘s club this season, and this feels like their year. The Cubs are 42-18 since the end of July. They have a 49-32 record at home and a 48-33 record on the road. They are 34-21 in one-run games and 13-5 in extra inning games. Maddon knows how to press all the right buttons for this team. The Cubs have the best pitcher on the planet right now — Arrieta (sorry Kershaw). They back him up with Jon Lester, who has already been a postseason hero in his career. The bullpen features a collection of power arms capable of neutralizing any threat with a strikeout. There are the aforementioned rookies, and how could you forget Anthony Rizzo. Starlin Castro, who was nearly kicked to the curb at the trade deadline, is red-hot and rejuvenated.
The Cardinals may have the most complete team in the National League, but things just don’t seem to be breaking their way right now. Expect the Cubs to gut out a hard fought win over St. Louis before getting by Kershaw and Zack Greinke, setting up a monumental clash with the Blue Jays. In the World Series, four starts from Arrieta and Lester should beat four starts from Price and Marcus Stroman.
Here’s my pick — Cubs in six.