2020 PREDICTIONS

An asterisk denotes a Wild Card team and I listed teams in order of how I think that they’ll finish.

AL

AL EAST

1. NEW YORK YANKEES

2. TAMPA BAY RAYS*

3. BOSTON RED SOX

4. TORONTO BLUE JAYS

5. BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Baltimore looks really bad, as in they’re contenders for the worst team in the game. Toronto have a lot of question marks: which of their young hitters will step up? Which will have sophomore slumps? The rotation is below average and I don’t expect new ace Hyun-Jin Ryu to do well in the AL or at all with his declining fastball velocity and with him constantly getting injured. Boston’s rotation looks pretty bad with Chris Sale out for the season and Eduardo Rodriguez coming back from a serious case of COVID-19. If Rodriguez’s production suffers, their rotation will be in deep trouble. The lineup is still good and will need to carry the team, though losing RF Mookie Betts will hurt. If LF Andrew Benintendi bounces back and new RF Alex Verdugo breaks out, they might have a legitimate shot at finishing second.

New York and Tampa Bay are the clear favorites, but Tampa May be getting overrated. They have 3 great starting pitchers in Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton, but Snell and Glasnow are coming back from serious injuries and may not be as effective as some expect. Their lineup is also full of question marks: will RF Austin Meadows even play this year? He has a serious case of COVID-19 and isn’t cleared to start the season. He also happens to be their best hitter. The rest of their lineup is hitters who may or may not break out or improve. The Bronx Bombers have the best lineup in the game and one that is finally healthy, a strong rotation and a deep bullpen. I don’t think they will have much trouble winning the division.

AL CENTRAL

1. CLEVELAND INDIANS

2. CHICAGO WHITE SOX

3. MINNESOTA TWINS

4. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

5. DETROIT TIGERS

Cleveland is being criminally overlooked. They have the best lineup and rotation in the division and won the division from 2016-2018. People seem to be overly concerned with them barely missing the playoffs last season. They lost SS Francisco Lindor for the start of the season, key Starting Pitchers Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco for most of the season and 3B Jose Ramirez for the stretch run. All of those players minus the departed Kluber are now healthy. Minnesota overachieved last year and I don’t see how they can even make the playoffs. C Mitch Garver almost certainly won’t repeat his video game numbers from last season, 3B Josh Donaldson is in decline and DH Nelson Cruz ant keep producing going deeper into his 40’s. They also still lack an ace. Chicago has a solid team, but their young players need to get consistent and others (CF Luis Robert). Add to that their shaky pitching and a lot has to go right for them to win the division. Kansas City and Detroit are really bad and will be competing for last place.

AL WEST

1. OAKLAND ATHLETICS

2. HOUSTON ASTROS*

3. TEXAS RANGERS

4. LOS ANGELES ANGELS

5. SEATTLE MARINERS

Seattle is terrible but the rest have a chance. Oakland has the best lineup in the division and the best closer. The question is can their high upside rotation deliver? Texas depends on a shaky lineup and a rotation dependent on a Kluber bounce back. The Angels have no ace (Shohei Ohtani is coming back from Tommy John surgery and will have ups and downs) and have a shaky bullpen. Houston has a terrible new manager and a COVID-19 ravaged bullpen. If the bullpen recovers in time however and their starting pitching stays solid, they can win the division. Their rotation however has serious age, health and production questions.

NL

NL EAST

1. ATLANTA BRAVES

2. NEW YORK METS*

3. WASHINGTON NATIONALS

4. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

5. MIAMI MARLINS

Philadelphia’s already weak bullpen has been ravaged by COVID-19 and their rotation hangs on Aaron Nola bouncing back and Zack Wheeler taking a step forward. Their lineup is just average. Miami is just terrible. The Mets have a strong bullpen, good lineup and a solid rotation… that is if Jacob DeGrom is healthy. Atlanta has the best lineup in the division, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen. It comes down to the fact that I’m not sure that the Mets can stay healthy or or productive. Washington has the best rotation in the game, but a bad bullpen and an average at best lineup. If 3B Carter Kieboom doesn’t break out and their starters don’t pitch deep into games, they’re going to be competing with the Mets more than Atlanta. Making things even worse, their best hitter LF Juan Soto now has COVID-19 and is likely to miss weeks of not more.

NL CENTRAL

1. CINCINNATI REDS

2. CHICAGO CUBS*

3. MILWAUKEE BREWERS

4. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

5. PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Cincinnati has the best rotation in the division and a solid lineup. Their Achilles’ heel is their bullpen and defense. Chicago has a solid rotation and a good lineup, but their bullpen is horrible if Closer Craig Kimbrel doesn’t bounce back. Pittsburgh is terrible, St. Louis has a shaky bullpen, weak lineup and a rotation that becomes below average if ace Jack Flaherty doesn’t overachieve again.

NL WEST

1. LOS ANGELES DODGERS

2. SAN DIEGO PADRES

3. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

4. COLORADO ROCKIES

5. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

LA is so far ahead of the rest of the division that barring San Diego’s young players all breaking out at the same time or Arizona going on a major hot streak, they’re winning their seventh straight division crown.

AL WILD CARD PLAYOFF GAME

TAMPA BAY RAYS (AWAY) OVER HOUSTON ASTROS (HOME)

NL WILD CARD PLAYOFF GAME

CHICAGO CUBS (HOME) OVER NEW YORK KETS (AWAY)

AL DIVISION SERIES

NEW YORK YANKEES 3

TAMPA BAY RAYS 1

CLEVELAND INDIANS 3

OAKLAND ATHLETICS 2

NL DIVISION SERIES

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 3

CHICAGO CUBS 1

CINCINNATI REDS 3

ATLANTA BRAVES 2

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

NEW YORK YANKEES 4

CLEVELAND INDIANS 1

NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 4

CINCINNATI REDS 2

WORLD SERIES

NEW YORK YANKEES 4

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 2

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