MLB Power Rankings: Baltimore Orioles well-placed for glory

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The first two steps on the path to the World Series have been taken, with the regular season’s best-record holders, the biggest bankrolled side and the club with the best starting-pitcher rotation all knocked out.

As the Championship Series fast approaches we rank the chances of all four remaining sides to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy:

1. Baltimore Orioles – 9/4

In order to claim World Series victory, a baseball club needs to find momentum at the right time, have strength in depth and steer clear of injury.

Heading into the sport’s penultimate hurdle, the O’s meet those criteria.

They don’t have one pitching superstar like some others, or the most glamorous set of hitters, but they do have a strong all-round ballclub that is greater than the sum of its parts.

2. St Louis Cardinals – 12/5

The Cards have reached the playoffs for the fourth straight term and reached the World Series twice in their previous three postseason appearances.

Having dealt with the LA Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw – the league’s best pitcher – last time out, St Louis should rightly feel quite confident about things.

They have a solid pitching rotation and a form batter in the shape of Matt Carpenter, who had a .375 average and three homers against the Dodgers.

3. Kansas City Royals – 10/3

The Royals are rated as the outsiders for World Series glory by Ladbrokes, but rank third in our list.

Written off at the season’s outset, they have been proving doubters wrong with every win they’ve notched to this point.

Seeing off the LA Angels to reach the Championship Series is enough to convince us that their price is a little too long.

4. San Francisco Giants – 3/1

Placing a team that’s won two of the last four World Series titles at the bottom of the tree seems erroneous, but the Giants quite simply haven’t played great baseball to get this far.

Relying heavily on their pitching to win them games, their slacking offence is likely to get found out against the Cards.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.