MLB Predictions 2020



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Predictions for Major League Baseball 2020

 

By David A. Avila

Tampa Bay will win the whole thing in 2020.

With the usually long 162-game season sliced down to a mere 60 games this season, the marathon has become a sprint. For more than 150 years Major League Baseball teams have prepared for six months of wear and tear and pitching rotations with the long season in mind.

Not this year.

A pandemic has wrecked that world everyone knew before. Throw out the past and adapt to the new.

This year the oldest of American professional team sports will be forced to adapt as well. It’s a primary reason to pick Tampa Bay Rays as this year’s eventual winner, especially with no fans present.

Tampa Bay has played in front of empty stadiums for years.

For this year many of the heavy-loaded teams may start out of the gate slowly and be forced to catch up.

Last year the Seattle Mariners sprinted out and seemed to be unbeatable. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals slipped and fell and looked to be a last place team after 60 games in 2019. Of course, we know now that Washington stopped their skid and zoomed past everyone in winning their first National League pennant and eventually the 2019 World Series.

What will happen this year?

 

National League West

Los Angeles Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks

San Diego Padres

Colorado Rockies

San Francisco Giants

 

Favorite

The Dodgers are loaded offensively especially with the arrival of Mookie Betts to their lineup and the designated hitter rule. Add rookie Gavin Lux and suddenly on paper it looks like the Brooklyn Dodger offensive juggernaut team of the 1950s. Pitching will be slightly less reliable. The departure of Kenta Maeda, Hyun Jin Ryu and Rich Hill will be sorely missed. Though the Los Angeles team has Julio Urias, Alex Wood and Ross Stripling to replace the departed, they have not been war tested like those that are now gone. They do, however, have Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May ready to toe the rubber if needed. They also have an extremely loaded bullpen that is not too dependent on Kenley Jansen. Their starting pitching will be the question. Luckily, it’s only a 60-game season.

 

National League Central

St. Louis

Cincinnati

Chicago Cubs

Milwaukee

Pittsburgh

 

Favorite

St. Louis won last year unexpectedly. This year behind a solid pitching staff the Cardinals are expected to jump out in front and stay there. Jack Flaherty surprised many with his dominant performance in 2019. He was able to win the big games but this year they will be without Michael Wacha who departed for New York. The Cardinals did pick up a pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim from South Korea and if he proves as successful as other Korean pitchers in the past, they might have an able replacement. Probably the main reason St. Louis won in 2019 was the addition of Paul Goldschmidt who despite a slow start roared down the stretch offensively. If all goes right, the Cardinals will win a neck and neck battle with the others.

 

National League East

Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

Florida Marlins

 

Favorite

With a new manager in Joe Girardi, new shortstop in Didi Gregorius and new starter in Zack Wheeler the Phillies reloaded in the right places. Offensively they were already potent, but the new addition of Gregorius adds even more force. Wheeler’s pitching numbers of total innings pitched and WHIP would have made him number two behind Aaron Nola in innings pitched and number one in WHIP. This just might be the right combination to win the super tight NL East division.

 

American League 2020

 

Several powerfully stacked teams exist in the American League and none stronger than the New York Yankees. However, this is a strange year and even the strongest can slip and fall before regaining their footing.

Welcome to Major League Baseball 2020.

 

American League East

Tampa Bay Rays

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles

 

Favorite

Tampa Bay has always found a way to be competitive despite having one of the worse markets in all of baseball. The Rays are accustomed to playing in front of sparse crowds on a daily basis. Each year they enter a pennant race with fewer hitting stars but always manage to contend for a division title or Wild Card spot. They do it every year with smart pitching and superior defense. They do not give wins away and this year in a shortened season they will show the entire Major League how to win in 60 games. Led by its powerful pitching staff featuring Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton and Blake Snell and guided by manager Kevin Cash, expect the Florida team to win not just their division and the American League pennant, expect them to win it all in 2020.

 

American League Central

Minnesota Twins

Cleveland Indians

Chicago White Sox

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

 

Favorite

The Minnesota Twins will repeat and if you think last year was a fluke, wait until this season is over. Although the team won 101 games in 2019 expect equal or better in 2020. The already powerful Twins picked up Josh Donaldson to add to their prodigious hitting attack and now they added former Dodger pitchers Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill to their starting rotation. They are like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. One drawback is their age. They are a team rife with 30-year-olds and with that comes injuries. Still, this team is loaded and should win the division once again.

 

American League West

Houston Astros

Oakland Athletics

Los Angeles Angels

Texas Rangers

Seattle Mariners

 

Favorite

Unless the Houston Astros pitching suddenly gets old, they are the frontrunners in the Western Division. Justin Verlander showed signs of slowing down but still fires in the upper 90s and knows what to do with it. They also have Zack Greinke and though he is no Gerrit Cole, he knows how to pitch. The Astros have a powerful hitting attack and that is their greatest strength. No other team except the Angels can match their hitting. But they cannot match their pitching. Astros are looking for vengeance against every team in baseball. But every team in baseball is looking to beat them too.

  

 

   

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