Off the top of your head, see if you can name the teams that won the World Series every year of the last decade, in order. You ready? No peeking. The answers are, of course:
2011: Cardinals over Rangers
2012: Giants over Tigers
2013: Red Sox over Cardinals
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
If you thought that was hard, today 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 last year and absolutely did not get 2020 right.
OK, let’s give it a shot. If I do not get 2030 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.
2021: Dodgers over Yankees
Now that the Dodgers have finally gotten one, it feels more likely that they’re going to win more titles, not less. After the last decade they’ve had, they probably should have won more than one; their luck is due to turn, especially since they’re still pretty clearly the best team in baseball. Los Angeles has been too powerful for the last few years to just go down as a one-title team. The Dodgers are primed to get at least one more. The Yankees are the pick from the American League, almost as a default. Is it possible there are four better teams (Dodgers, Padres, Braves and maybe even Mets) in the National League than in the AL?
2022: Dodgers over Angels
Yeah, might as well make it a three-peat, right? There’s no reason to think the Dodgers won’t just keep getting better, but the real leap here is the Angels, obviously. The hope here? They find themselves a couple of pitchers, Shohei Ohtani finally stays healthy for a whole season, Mike Trout has another MVP Award-winning year and then he hits a walk-off homer to win the AL Championship Series. A Southern California series sounds like a blast, actually.
2023: White Sox over Padres
It's the Padres' ill fortune to be in the same division as the Dodgers, but it’s also to their eternal credit that this reality is pushing them to press the gas harder rather than hitting the brakes. Here’s guessing they’re rewarded in 2023, when all the young stars are peaking, with their first World Series appearance of the new century. Unfortunately, they run into a team with just as much young talent peaking. They’re the two most exciting teams in baseball in '21, imagine what they’ll be in '23.
2024: Padres over Red Sox
It’s difficult to imagine the Red Sox staying down too much longer, though it may take them this long to get all the way back. Meanwhile, the Padres, hungry after just missing the year before, get a Reggie-esque World Series from Fernando Tatis Jr., who will only be 25 years old.
2025: Braves over Blue Jays
Atlanta only got one title out of the Maddux-Smoltz-Glavine years, and it turns out to be 30 years until its next one, in case you didn’t feel old enough already. It would be incredibly frustrating for Braves fans if they don’t make the World Series in the next four seasons, but this year, against a soon-to-hit-free-agency Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Jays, is the year that makes up for all of it. And Ronald Acuña Jr. at last becomes the Atlanta legend we all know he’s going to be.
2026: Mets over Yankees
Speaking of anniversaries … how about 40 years? The nice thing about Steve Cohen’s aggressive moves as the new owner of the Mets is that it doesn’t appear to have a time limit on it. He’s not just trying to win the next couple of years, in any sort of window: He’s just trying to win. If he’s able to extend Francisco Lindor, this could be the year when the Mets finally get over that hump. They’re going to keep trying until they get there. Do you realize that the only teams who were in the NL when the Mets last won the World Series who haven’t won one since are the Pirates and Padres? Is it a race to see who gets one first? And if the Mets do it, wouldn’t it have to be over the Yankees?
2027: Orioles over Giants
It feels like it’ll be about this time when both of these teams are peaking, right? Two smart front offices, with passionate fan bases deeply invested in them winning. Each will have surely shown progress in the years before this one. This is the one they finally break through.
2028: Dodgers over Tigers
The Dodgers haven’t been mentioned in a while, but there’s no doubt they’ll be good every year this decade. We don’t know many players who will for sure still be on the roster by then, but we know Mookie Betts (signed through 2032) will, which means they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The Tigers are too proud a franchise who will have turned it around by this point behind all the young pitching they are cultivating now.
2029: A’s over Giants
It would be cool to have another Bay Bridge Series 40 years after the last one. Presumably the natural world elements would be a bit more kind this time around.
2030: Yankees over Cardinals
The new decade begins with a throwback matchup between the franchise that has won the most World Series in the AL against the one that has won the most World Series in the NL.