2020 MLB PREVIEW

EASTERN DIVISION

New York Mets 35-25

Perhaps no team is better equipped to handle the universal designated hitter, as they have an American League style lineup that is deep, but with many players who do not have a set defensive position. This could be a negative as the Mets defense could be a weak spot, especially if they get too many players moving around the field. The rotation is fronted by two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, while the Mets hope the bullpen, which has the potential to be good, lives up to expectations with Edwin Diaz Jeurys Familia can bounce back from a terrible 2019 season.

Atlanta Braves 34-26 (Wild Card)

Perhaps no team has been hit harder by COVID-19 than the Braves who have seen Nick Markakis opt-out along with Felix Hernandez. The Braves considered signing Yasiel Puig until he tested positive for COVID. Freddie Freeman had a serve case of the virus, with a fever of 104.5F.  He has reported to camp, but will likely be behind when the season starts and in a 60-game season that could be costly. With just 60 games, there will be chaos throughout the season, and little things like Freddie Freeman needing a week to get his swing could be the difference.

Philadelphia Phillies 31-29 (Wild Card)

The Phillies made some important upgrades in the off-season signing Didi Gregarious to add some clutch leadership to the lineup and adding Zach Wheeler to the rotation. If both have significant years along with Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, the Phillies could make some noise, especially considering the addition of manager Joe Girardi. He will undoubtedly be better than Gable Kapler. The problem with Philadelphia could be depth as the Phillies bench is not very deep. In a year that is this screwy, depth is going to be critical, especially if anyone misses time due to illness or injury.

Washington Nationals 29-31

The Nationals come into the season as the reigning World Champions as their surprise run last year has them holding the crown. However, last year the Nationals struggled early as their bullpen was terrible in the first six weeks leading to a 19-31 start. In a 60-game season, a start that bad would finish them. It is easy to assume there will be a bit of World Series hangover, especially with key players like Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross opting out. Add in the loss of Anthony Rendon and the Nationals will be in for a struggle in the truncated season.

Miami Marlins 22-38

While every other team will have to adjust to playing in an empty stadium, the Marlins will not notice any difference when they play their home games, as their fans have been social distancing for years. There are a few prospects that could begin to work their way up and help them resemble a competitive team, but overall the Marlins will again be a non-factor in the playoff picture. Had it been a full season, the Marlins would have again made a run at 100 losses. The big question is, can they accumulate a few prospects before the August 31st trade deadline?

CENTRAL DIVISION

St. Louis Cardinals 34-26

Coming off a trip to the NLCS, the Cardinals had a quiet off-season. If things go right for the Cardinals, they could make a run in the playoffs again. The Central Division could be the most wide-open in baseball as there is little separating the top four teams. If Jack Flaherty can pick up from his outstanding second half, the Cardinals will have the edge to win the division, as their rotation is a strength. The offense will be led by Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter, who could see most of his at-bats as the Redbirds DH.

Chicago Cubs 33-27 (Wild Card)

The Joe Maddon era ended last year, as the Cubs had a late-season fade and missed the playoffs. The Cubs have brought back popular catcher David Ross to be the new manager. The hope is Ross can bring back the spirit of 2016 and make another run at a World Series. The Cubs do have the talent. They just have not all clicked at the same time since winning the World Series four years ago. The DH spot could help Kyle Schrawber, who had been one of the worst fielders in baseball, no longer needing to worry about his glove could free his bat for a big season.

Cincinnati Reds 32-28 (Wild Card)

The Reds are among the busiest teams in the off-season going on a $60 million free-agent spending spree. The signed players far and wide, like proven major leaguers Mike Moustakas, Freddy Galvis, and Nicholas Castellanos, along with Shogo Akiyama from Japan. The Reds shopping spree has left Artsides Aquino the last season sensation from 2019 off the roster as he was cut from the 30-man roster. Excitement is high in Cincinnati, but with just 60 games, the Reds may not have the time to gel. Had this been a regular 162 game season, they would have a better shot at the playoffs.

Milwaukee Brewers 31-29

After making the playoffs the last two seasons, the Brewers could be in for a rough season. The Brewers were able to resign Christian Yelich after winning two consecutive batting titles. Though to keep Yelich, the Brewers lost several key players, including Mike Moustakas, Jeremy Jeffries, and Yasmani Grandal. These losses will make any run at the postseason, nearly impossible. Yelich is among the best players in baseball and should be able to keep Milwaukee in contention, but the lack of a reliable rotation will be the Brewers undoing. In the past, they have been carried by their bullpen, but in a 60-game season, that could be a herculean task to repeat.

Pittsburgh Pirates 18-42

The bright spot in Pittsburgh is that the season will be just 60 games, as the Pirates will be among the worst teams in baseball. The Pirates had a fire sale trading away Starling Marte and are starting from scratch with new manager Derek Shelton. The Pirates will be without Chris Archer for the season after surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome. The Pirates were going to be bad with Archer, add in Hector Noesi opting out, and the Pirates pitching staff looks like a ship taking on water fast. With a limited lineup, the losses will pile up quickly in Pittsburgh.

 

 

WESTERN DIVISION

Los Angeles Dodgers 42-18

The Dodgers have won the National League West the last seven seasons.  They have played in two World Series in that period and have made four NLCS appearances. However, they have yet to win the World Series. Last year’s loss in the Division Series was especially stinging. The Dodgers had one of the best lineups in baseball last year and added Mookie Betts. Betts in a walk year could be that final cog the Dodgers need to finally capture the crown they have been seeking as they are the clear favorite in the National League once again.

San Diego Padres 32-28 (Wild Card)

After signing Manny Machado last season, the Padres were a disappointing team as they managed to post a record of 70-92. The Padres have some young talent and have blamed much of their failures in 2019 on former manager Andy Green. With Machado now settled in San Diego, the hope is the Padres can make a run at the playoffs. A key will be the health for Fernando Tatis Jr., who missed most of the second half. If Tatis can make it through the 60-game season, the Padres could be a dangerous team. The only question is, can their pitching hold up?

Arizona Diamondbacks 30-30

The Diamondbacks have rolled the dice signing Madison Bumgarner to a five-year contract. Bumgarner struggled in the last few years and is past his prime. The also added Starling Marte to help boost the lineup. However, with Mike Leake opting out, the Diamondbacks have the odds stacked against them. The goal would seem to make a run at the wild card, which the can in a truncated 60-game season. The question is with a crowded field where can Arizona find those extra wins? That is the crux of their troubles, as the Diamondbacks appear to be little more than a .500 team.

Colorado Rockies 25-35

The Rockies are a team at a crossroads as they have to seriously consider rebuilding as there is little hope in the farm system. They did manage to sign Nolan Arenado to a long term contract but may still trade him as a long term deal could bring a cache of much-needed prospects that could well serve Colorado. The Rockies would undoubtedly be a team that could be busy at the trade deadline in a typical season, as Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are the lone stars in an otherwise barren lineup, with a severely lacking pitching staff.

San Francisco Giants 21-39

Despite three straight losing seasons, it was a fantastic decade for the Giants in the 2010s as they won the World Series three times. Those glory days came to a close in 2019 as manager Buster Posey retired, and Madison Bumgarner left for Arizona. Add in Buster Posey’s decision to opt-out, and the Giants are a far cry from the team that would rise up to greatness in even-numbered seasons. The Giant have decided to replace their Hall of Fame manager with Gabe Kapler, who was run out on a rail by fans in Philadelphia. Expect a long year by the bay.

EASTERN DIVISION

New York Yankees 43-17

Last season the Yankees topped 100 wins and had nearly 100 injuries. An incredible next man up culture was created as every player that was slotted in from the bench or Scranton seemed to do well and boost the Yankees. The one thing the Yankees last season was a certified number one starter. This offseason they added Gerrit Cole to fill that hole. Depth is the Yankees strength the lineup is powerful, the bullpen is among the best in baseball, anything less than a trip to the World Series is a failure. The Yankees are clearly the team to beat.

Tampa Bay Rays 36-24 (Wild Card)

The Rays are a team that needs more appreciation from their fan base. A solid pitching rotation, they took the Astros to five games in the Division Series. Fans will not be allowed in any stadium any time soon, and for the Rays, that means no change as Tropicana Field has often is empty despite the success of Tampa. The Rays could be among the biggest obstacles for the Yankees in October as pitchers like Charlie Morton, and Blake Snell could be in for a big year in the truncated season. If the Rays could only find more offense, they could win it all.

Boston Red Sox 28-32

Two years removed from the World Series, the Red Sox have decided to get their soaring payroll under control and take a step backward by trading away Mookie Betts.  The Red Sox still posses a deep lineup that can cause damage, but their pitching staff is a shell of its former self, with Chris Sale out after Tommy John surgery the departure of Rick Porcello and David Price. Add in Eduardo Rodriguez dealing with COVID, and you have a pitching staff that is thin as the toilet paper in Fenway’s bathroom. Expect the Sox to take their lumps this season.

Toronto Blue Jays 27-33

The Toronto Blue Jays are going to be baseball’s vagabonds in 2020 after Canada refused to allow them to use Rogers Centre due to strict quarantine rules for anybody entering Canada during the COVID Pandemic. It is yet to be determined where the Blue Jays will nest for home games, but the team that does take the field will have some of the top prospects in the game. A veteran team would struggle with the circumstances handed them, the young Jays could be exciting, but they are still raw and at least a year away from contending.

Baltimore Orioles 14-46

Rome was not built in a day, and the Orioles feel like they are a million miles away from anything resembling a major league team. Trey Mancini, a player who could be a bright spot, is battling colon cancer while the rest of the team resembles an independent minor league team. The only player that is known is Chris Davis, who has had two of the worst offensive seasons in baseball history in 2018 and 2019 and is still locked into a long term contract that the Orioles could not beg to get rid of. Had this been a 162 game season, they would have a legitimate shot at 120 losses.

CENTRAL DIVISION

Minnesota Twins 37-23

Last season the Twins set a record for most home runs in a season with 307. In the offseason, they added even more power by signing Josh Donaldson. Pitching wise, the Twins added Kenta Maeda, who should help them win another division title. The question for Minnesota will be how they will hold up in the postseason. The Twins currently possess a 16-game postseason losing streak, equaling the longest among any of the four major sports. Look for more of the same in Minnesota as they are poised for success in the 60-game season, but October is a different story.

Cleveland Indians 34-26 (Wild Card)

In the last 12 months, the Indians have traded away Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, but hope to still have enough pitching to get into the playoffs. The Tribe won more than 90 games but fell short of the second Wild Card in a top-heavy American League. With a 60-game season, pitching will be a key. If Carlos Carrasco can successfully bounce back from leukemia, Cleveland could be a factor in the chase for the pennant. They may not have the weapons the Twins possess to win the division, but they can snag a Wild Card spot.

Chicago White Sox 30-30 (Wild Card)

The White Sox are on the precipice of becoming a genuine threat in the American League. A lineup stacked with young rising stars like reigning batting champion, Tim Anderson. In summer camp, Luis Robert has created some buzz with monster home runs. Hoping to get some veteran leadership, the White Sox added Dalla Kuchel for the rotation and Edwin Encarnacion for the lineup. The pieces are falling into place, but the White Sox are likely one year away from being able to make their run. There are holes that need to be filled, but the team should thrill fans on the Southside for years to come.

Kansas City Royals 24-36

The Royals should benefit from the return of Salvador Perez, who missed all of 2019 after Tommy John surgery. Jorge Soler had a big season, leading the American League in home runs, but the rest of the team is rather thin especially the team’s pitching staff. The Royals have plummeted into the abyss since winning the 2015 World Series, losing 100 games the last two seasons. The best-case scenario is the Royals get big seasons from Perez and Soler that can help them land more prospects after the season. The Royals will again be among the worst teams in the American League.

Detroit Tigers 21-39

The Tigers have been trapped by bad contracts for five years as the team that was a World Series contender never quite replenished the farm system even in the trades they made. Miguel Cabrera is a shell of the player he once was and is symbolic of the Tigers who were the worst team in baseball at 47-114 in 2019. Hard to imagine them being worse in the 60-game sprint, but it is hard to see them climbing out of last place, as the Tigers are just hoping their recent number one picks Casey Mize and Spencer Torkelson can begin making an impact in the next two or three years.

 

 

WESTERN DIVISION

Houston Astros 36-24

Perhaps no team is happier with the truncated empty stadium season than the Houston Astros. Before the COVID shutdown, the Astros cheating scandal was the talk of baseball as fans in every park was letting their player have it during spring training. Without fans, the Astros will be sparred the heckling a vitriol of fans from the other 29 teams. The Astros, despite the loss of Gerrit Cole, are among the best teams in the American League and will be battling in October once again as they have a talented team that never needed to cheat to succeed.

Oakland Athletics 33-27 (Wild Card)

The Athletics are the little team that could, as Billy Beane’s money ball ways continue to bring limited success. Though quietly, they have put together a strong team of players that just know how to win and play baseball. This includes Marcus Semien, who received serious MVP consideration last season. Sean Manaea is also a strong starter at the front end of the rotation, but the lack of depth is what keeps Oakland from taking another step forward. Expect the Athletics to make a push for October again, but falling just short as money ball can only go so far.

Los Angeles Angels 31-29 (Wild Card)

The Angels have the best player currently in the game, as Mike Trout won his third MVP in 2019. They have a legendary slugger in his sunset years in Albert Pujols is one of a few players with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. They even added Anthony Rendon, who could have been considered the Nationals MVP in 2019. They just have nobody with any semblance of ability to win a crucial game on the mound. Maybe one day, they will realize pitching matters in Anaheim as Shohei Ohtani listed as the number one starter is returning from Tommy John and better off in the lineup.

Texas Rangers 27-33

No team is more frustrated with the 2020 season than the Texas Rangers. The team is moving into a new stadium in Globe Life Park. The new stadium will help on those torturous hot summer nights in Texas as the Rangers finally have a roof. The Rangers have upgraded their pitching with the addition of Corey Kluber, but is he enough to make a difference in a short season? The bullpen is a weak spot, and if they were to contend in the West, they would need another starter and another bat to compete with the Astros and the Athletics.

Seattle Mariners 24-36

The Mariners are in the second year of a complete rebuild. They are doing an excellent job of building up the farm team with prospects like Jarred Kelenic in the Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz trade. After the Nationals World Series run in 2019, the Mariners are the only team that has never played in the Fall Classic. They are also the team with the longest postseason drought in the four major sports. It is unlikely those droughts will end in 2020, as the Mariners will likely again sink in the AL West, but better days could be on the horizon in Seattle.

LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS

National League

  • Jeff McNeil Mets
  • Pete Alonso Mets
  • Cody Bellinger Dodgers
  • Trea Turner Nationals
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. Braves
  • Cody Bellinger Dodgers
  • Jacob deGrom Mets
  • Jacob deGrom Mets
  • Max Scherzer Nationals
  • San Diego Padres
  • Washington Nationals
  • Yoenis Cespedes Mets
  • Edwin Diaz Mets
  • Mookie Betts Dodgers
  • Edwin Diaz Mets
  • Carter Kieboom Nationals
  • David Ross Cubs
  • Pete Alonso Mets
  • Jacob deGrom Mets
  • Cody Bellinger Dodgers
  • Batting Crown
  • HR Leader
  • RBI Leader
  • SB Leader
  • Runs Leader
  • OPS
  • Win Leader
  • ERA Leader
  • K Leader
  • Surprise Team
  • Disappointing Team
  • Comeback Hitter
  • Comeback Pitcher
  • Best Acquisition
  • Reliever Award
  • Rookie of The Year
  • Manager of The Year
  • Hank Aaron Award
  • Cy Young
  • MVP

American League

  • J.D. Martinez Red Sox
  • Aaron Judge Yankees
  • Aaron Judge Yankees
  • Adalberto Mondesi Royals
  • Francisco Lindor Indians
  • Mike Trout Angels
  • Gerrit Cole Yankees
  • Gerrit Cole Yankees
  • Gerrit Cole Yankees
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Giancarlo Stanton Yankees
  • Corey Kluber Rangers
  • Gerrit Cole Yankees
  • Brad Hand Indians
  • Luis Robert White Sox
  • Terry Francona Indians
  • Aaron Judge Yankees
  • Gerrit Cole Yankees
  • Aaron Judge Yankees

National League

  • Jeff McNeil MetsBatting Crown
  • Pete Alonso MetsHR Leader
  • Cody Bellinger DodgersRBI Leader
  • Trea Turner NationalsSB Leader
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. BravesRuns Leader
  • Cody Bellinger DodgersOPS
  • Jacob deGrom MetsWin Leader
  • Jacob deGrom MetsERA Leader
  • Max Scherzer NationalsK Leader
  • San Diego PadresSurprise Team
  • Washington NationalsDisappointing Team
  • Yoenis Cespedes MetsComeback Hitter
  • Edwin Diaz MetsComeback Pitcher
  • Mookie Betts DodgersBest Acquisition
  • Edwin Diaz MetsReliever Award
  • Carter Kieboom NationalsRookie of The Year
  • David Ross CubsManager of The Year
  • Pete Alonso MetsHank Aaron Award
  • Jacob deGrom MetsCy Young
  • Cody Bellinger DodgersMVP

American League

  • J.D. Martinez Red SoxBatting Crown
  • Aaron Judge YankeesHR Leader
  • Aaron Judge YankeesRBI Leader
  • Adalberto Mondesi RoyalsSB Leader
  • Francisco Lindor IndiansRuns Leader
  • Mike Trout AngelsOPS
  • Gerrit Cole YankeesWin Leader
  • Gerrit Cole YankeesERA Leader
  • Gerrit Cole YankeesK Leader
  • Chicago White SoxSurprise Team
  • Boston Red SoxDisappointing Team
  • Giancarlo Stanton YankeesComeback Hitter
  • Corey Kluber RangersComeback Pitcher
  • Gerrit Cole YankeesBest Acquisition
  • Brad Hand IndiansReliever Award
  • Luis Robert White SoxRookie of The Year
  • Terry Francona Indians Manager of The Year
  • Aaron Judge YankeesHank Aaron Award
  • Gerrit Cole YankeesCy Young
  • Aaron Judge YankeesMVP

POSTSEASON

NL First Round
2
0
2
1
2
1
2
1
AL First Round
2
0
2
1
2
1
2
1
NLDS
3
1
3
1
ALDS
3
1
3
1
NLCS
4
2
ALCS
4
2

Managerial Changes

  • Ron Roenicke Red Sox

World Series


4

2
2020 World Champions New York Yankees

LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS

Predictions Made on 7/22/20 at 1:00 AM ET.
Revised 7/23 for expanded postseason

2 Comments

  • Julio Solano says:

    Not surprising you east-coast-biased-morons picked the Yankees to win the WS. Then again your predictions have never been completely spot on, so go ahead and keeping jinxing the Yanks.

  • Sarah Murguia says:

    Picking the Yankees to win the World Series for the third year in a row!!?? Smdh

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