Fri. Apr 3rd, 2020

A Fan Anticipates The 2020 MLB Season

After an eventful off-season, it is time to look ahead at the upcoming year in professional baseball

AL East: 

New York Yankees: 97-65

Tampa Bay Rays: 90-72

Boston Red Sox: 84-78

Toronto Blue Jays: 70-92

Baltimore Orioles: 60-102

The AL East standings should remain similar compared to last year. The Yankees finally decided to improve their rotation and did so in a big way by signing ace Gerrit Cole. The Rays front office couldn’t help but play around with what was already a formidable lineup. However, considering how effective their unconventional tactics usually are, Tampa Bay will most likely find themselves in the playoffs yet again. Perhaps the most notable move of the off-season was made by the Red Sox who traded away one of the best players in baseball in Mookie Betts. It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to find a spot in the playoffs without his starpower. 

AL Central: 

Minnesota Twins: 97-65

Chicago White Sox: 85-77

Cleveland Indians: 75-87

Kansas City Royals: 68-94

Detroit Tigers: 55-107

The AL Central looks to be one of the worst divisions in baseball. I do not love the Twins rotation considering they lost two of the best starters in Kyle Gibson and Martín Pérez. However, they still have about five guys in their lineup, including newcomer Josh Donaldson, who can reasonably hit 40 or more home runs this year. Their biggest competitor will be the Chicago White Sox who added a key piece to their pitching staff in Dallas Keuchel, and bring back an explosive young hitter in Tim Anderson. 

AL West: 

Los Angeles Angels: 98-64

Houston Astros: 95-67

Oakland Athletics: 88-74

Texas Rangers: 75-87

Seattle Mariners: 64-102

Mike Trout’s moment has come. With the addition of superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon and manager Joe Maddon, the best player in baseball will get his time in the postseason spotlight. While Houston may be the betting odds favorite to win the division, they will have to deal with an immense amount of self-inflicted pressure and adversity throughout the entire season and I have a lot of trouble picking a cheater to win. They will make the playoffs but the division seems unlikely. The A’s are always a tough out but won’t have the firepower to top Houston. 

NL East:

Atlanta Braves: 97-65

New York Mets: 88-74

Philadelphia Phillies: 84-78

Washington Nationals: 76-86

Miami Marlins: 65-97

The NL East will once again be one of the more competitive divisions in baseball. Although their pitching is still questionable, the Braves retain most of their elite talent and should have enough to win the division again. The Mets had a quieter off-season but have Jacob Degrom and a surprisingly solid lineup this season. The Phillies, who hired Joe Girardi and acquired Didi Gregorious, did not improve enough to squeeze past NY. 

NL Central: 

St. Louis Cardinals: 102-60

Cincinnati Reds: 86-76

Milwaukee Brewers: 84-78

Chicago Cubs: 79-83

Pittsburgh Pirates: 62-100

While the NL Central always seems to be decided in the last week of the season, the Cardinals should be able to pull away earlier this year. Considering they won it last season despite a down year from Paul Goldschmidt, I like their chances to repeat. Otherwise, I see the Reds surprising some people, especially considering the acquisitions of previous division rivals Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos. The Brewers, who did not do much to improve the weakness of the bottom-half of their lineup, will miss the postseason. 

NL West: 

Dodgers: 104-58

Diamondbacks: 85-77

Rockies: 77-85

Padres: 74-88

Giants: 66-96

It’s finally the Dodgers’ year. As if they needed any more star power, the Dodgers added Mookie Betts to an already loaded lineup. Assuming they don’t choke again in the playoffs, they will be World Series champions. Elsewhere in the division, the Diamondbacks signed Madison Bumgarner and Starling Marte, making them a tough team to beat. 

World Series:

Dodgers beat Yankees 4-3

Despite the acquisition of Gerrit Cole to the rotation and a stacked lineup, the Yankees will fall short once again. The Dodgers have the best team in baseball and one of the best lineups in recent memory. Although the rotation falls off considerably after Buehler, especially considering Kershaw’s struggles in October, the Dodgers will find a way to get it done behind their offense. For a team that many have said were cheated out of a ring in 2017, the Dodgers will get what they deserve and break a 32-year World Series drought in the process.