Off the top of your head, see if you can name the teams that won the World Series every year of the last 10 seasons, in order. You ready? No peeking. The answers are, of course:
2014: Giants over Royals
2015: Royals over Mets
2016: Cubs over Indians
2017: Astros over Dodgers
2018: Red Sox over Dodgers
2019: Nationals over Astros
2020: Dodgers over Rays
2021: Braves over Astros
2022: Astros over Phillies
2023: Rangers over Diamondbacks
If you thought that was hard, I’m going to try something even more difficult: I’m going to guess the next 10 World Series winners. It is worth noting that I did this exercise three years ago and absolutely did not get any of the last three years right.
OK, let’s give it a shot. If I do not get 2033 correct, please do not come back in 10 years to mock me for it. I will be old and feeble and not up for all the fuss and tussle.
2024: Braves over Orioles
It is reasonable, after everything we’ve seen this offseason, if you have come to the conclusion that the Dodgers currently employ every player in baseball. But for all the (incredible) additions the Dodgers have made, it is my humble duty to remind you that we spent most of 2023 in awe of the Atlanta Braves, who had one of the best offenses in baseball history and had some pretty terrific pitching as well. Even with the Dodgers adding Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and Teoscar Hernández, the Braves, to these eyes, still look like the best team in baseball.
The Chris Sale move is exactly the sort of smart tactical move a team with an eye more on October than the regular season makes, and considering October has been the only month anything has gone wrong for the Braves the last couple of years, that seems to be quite sensible thinking. So they’re the clubhouse faves.
As for the American League, well, the Orioles certainly understand October pain after an ALDS sweep at the hands of the Rangers. But not only is all their young talent a year older and more experienced, they’re bringing in Jackson Holliday at some point this year … who might just be the best player of all of them. The pitching is a work in progress, but it is progressing. This is a very logical bet.
2025: Dodgers over Blue Jays
Hey, so how about having to navigate a Dodgers lineup that features Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith, along with promising prospects who are poised to make an impact, such as Michael Busch, Andy Pages, heck, maybe even Dalton Rushing (plus whoever else they’ve added between now and then), while knowing that you’re also facing Yamamoto, Walker Buehler, Glasnow and Ohtani in the rotation. If you thought the Dodgers were good in 2024, wait until 2025. Goodness gracious. I’m sure they’ll lose a few games that year, though I’m not entirely sure how. The Blue Jays are a hunch. By then, it will be the last year before Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s free agency. They’ll be due for some postseason luck, right?
It does seem to be lining up this way for the Mets, doesn’t it? This should be the year that the farm system the Mets have rebuilt is ready to truly bear fruit, at the same time they are ready to be back all in on free agents. I mean, what better year to get the World Series trophy Mets fans have been so desperate for than the 40th anniversary of that legendary 1986 team. Why the Yankees? Because wouldn’t it just be that much more perfect if it were the Yankees?
2027: Orioles over Dodgers
How far away from now is this? Well, this is Adley Rutschman’s contract year, assuming the Orioles haven’t extended him by then. This should be the absolute peak of the Orioles offensive era, with all the young players maturing (and under team control) at the same time. When you look at what the Orioles are building, this is the year they should be their absolute best. They’re going to score so many runs. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani will turn 33 years old and we’ll assume be back on top of his game as a two-way force.
2028: Mariners over D-backs
You didn’t think I was going to have the Mariners in their first World Series and not have them win it, right? However unsettled the Mariners might seem right now, in 2028, well, they’ll have Julio Rodríguez at the center of everything they’re doing, at 27 years old, the best possible version of Julio Rodríguez. How can that team not be good? While we’re at it: How do you feel about a just-four-months-older Corbin Carroll taking his team to its second World Series in six years?
2029: Pirates over Orioles
For the record, the Pirates would absolutely have to wear these uniforms. It would be the 50th anniversary of the Pirates’ last World Series title — hence the uniforms, though I’d also be OK if the Pirates just made those their full-time uniforms anyway. And in my scenario, they’d play the team they defeated in seven games in 1979. This isn’t a crazy notion, by the way. According to MLB Pipeline, these are the two teams who currently have the top two farm systems in baseball, which tracks to 2029 being an ideal time for them to battle in the Fall Classic. Let’s all sing “We Are Family” together.
2030: Phillies over Tigers
After signing his seven-year, $172 million deal this offseason, Aaron Nola bonded himself not just to the Phillies for the rest of this decade, but also Bryce Harper (signed through 2031) and Trea Turner (2033). You would certainly imagine the Phillies are winning at least one World Series by then, so hey: Why not the last season the triumvirate is likely to be together? As for the Tigers, hey, they’re building something interesting, all told, and I’m just going to assume, for the sake of Tigers fans, that they’ve extended both Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson by then so they’re both on the team for this season.
It will have been 113 years since the 1918 World Series in which these teams played, which isn’t the most symmetrical number, I’ll grant you, but you’ll still see countless black and white photos during this one regardless. If either one of these teams signs someone to a seven-year contract next offseason — and since neither has done all that much this year, maybe that lines up a couple next year for these hungry fanbases — this will be the final year. It’s instructive to write these predictions, by the way: It lets you know just how far into the future these contracts really go.
This will be one year after Aaron Judge’s contract ends with the Yankees. But it shouldn’t be too unreasonable to ask the Yankees to sign him for one more year (at least) so, on the 100th anniversary of the 1932 Yankees-Cubs World Series, he can call his shot.
2033: Rockies over Angels
How old have you gotten? Here’s how old you’ve gotten: The Rockies franchise (as well as the Marlins franchise) will turn 40 years old this year. That’s how old the Mets and Astros were in 2002! The Rockies have only made one World Series in their existence, and they haven’t won a single World Series game. This might be the most bold prediction on this board, but hey, it’s gonna be the Rockies’ time at some point.