We are a few short weeks away from the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. This offseason has revolved around the Houston Astros and their tainted 2017 World Championship, and rightfully so. It will be a massive storyline during the year as the Astros try to prove they can be as dominant without the aid of knowing which pitches are coming. It will also be interesting to see how many times Astros players get plunked in 2020 and how many times an on-field brawl ensues. With the All-Star game being at Dodger Stadium this year, Dodger fans will get their shot to ridicule the team that cheated their team out of a championship. In Chicago, the White Sox are getting a lot of hype and the Cubs have an uphill climb in a stacked NL Central.
I will be going division-by-division in this blog with my prediction for each MLB team’s record come September 28th. I will continue the predictions with awards, accolades, and how I think the MLB Postseason will pan out. Enjoy!
- Tampa Bay Rays (99-63)
- New York Yankees (98-64)
- Boston Red Sox (84-78)
- Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
- Baltimore Orioles (62-100)
This is probably the most shocking of the division winners in my predictions. The Yankees are not only the odds-on favorite to win the AL East, but they’re also favored to take the AL pennant. The Yankees have the most potent lineup in the AL, but they will be without Giancarlo Stanton to start the year. Even with the massive addition of Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ starting pitching has taken a hit this offseason. James Paxton will be lost for a good chunk of the year and Luis Severino looks to be lost for the whole season. The Yankees will still be one of the top teams in the American League, but with two key injuries to their starting rotation, I think the AL East will go to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays possess one of the better rotations in the AL along with several solid pieces on offense that should see Tampa Bay in the postseason once again.
- Minnesota Twins (96-66)
- Cleveland Indians (86-76)
- Chicago White Sox (82-80)
- Kansas City Royals (70-92)
- Detroit Tigers (59-103)
The AL Central is very interesting. The Twins will field almost the same lineup minus Jonathan Schoop, but with the addition of Josh Donaldson‘s lethal bat. Though for Minnesota, pitching improvement is the key to take the AL Central for the second straight year.
The Indians, on the other hand, are on the back end of their World Series contention window and are faced with the powerful Twins and the up-and-coming White Sox in the Central. The loss of starting pitcher Mike Clevinger until the latter part of May really hurts. A rotation that lost Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber to trades in the past year could not afford another loss. Even though Clevinger should be back before June, a more competitive division should give Cleveland troubles in making the 2020 postseason.
The White Sox have received a lot of hype for the several moves they have made this offseason. The main additions of Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, and Edwin Encarnacion along with prospects Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, and Nick Madrigal should make the White Sox a playoff contender in 2020. I still think they are a year away from the postseason, however, as the Indians and Twins should provide tough competition in the Central. I went with the Twins to take the division because of the power of their lineup and the potential to have a much better starting rotation than last season.
- Houston Astros (94-68)
- Oakland Athletics (90-72)
- Los Angeles Angels (84-78)
- Texas Rangers (74-88)
- Seattle Mariners (67-95)
The Houston Astros are hated by every single fanbase, and rightfully so. They took extensive measures to steal signs that has led to two AL Pennants and a World Series Championship. I still believe they have several star players on offense that will produce even without the help of a trashcan. This season will most likely give the Astros a lot of fuel to go out and quiet all of the noise that will surround them for 162 games. The one thing the Astros have is a great track record of producing pitching, and even without Gerrit Cole, I can see Houston once again having a top rotation in baseball. The Angels will have a top-five offense in all of baseball, but for Los Angeles, their starting pitching is a massive question mark. The Athletics will provide the toughest test for Houston in the West, but I still think the Astros prevail.
- Atlanta Braves (101-61)
- Philadelphia Phillies (92-70)
- Washington Nationals (87-75)
- New York Mets (81-81)
- Miami Marlins (58-104)
The NL East is arguably the toughest division in baseball. You have the World Series Champs, the powerful Braves, and the star-studded Phillies. I love what Washington did last year, and they have the best rotation in baseball, but the loss of Anthony Rendon will really hurt them this season. Being in such a difficult division does them zero favors either. I love the additions of Didi Gregorious and Zack Wheeler by Philadelphia. I think Bryce Harper will have a resurgent year, resulting in the Phillies finding their way into the postseason with an underrated rotation. The Braves, however, have a powerful lineup with young stars and even more young pieces on the way. They should continue their ascent into one of the best teams in baseball and take the division for the third straight season.
- Chicago Cubs (90-72)
- St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)
- Milwaukee Brewers (84-78)
- Cincinnati Reds (83-79)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (63-99)
The NL Central is the other division in baseball that can be considered the toughest. Trying to pick a winner here was the toughest decision for me by far. The Cubs still possess a lineup of an All-Star team with a rotation that can be lights out. The Cardinals continue to produce high-level prospects both in the field and on the mound. The Brewers have a sneaky tough lineup with a top-three player in baseball. Lastly, the Reds have arguably made the biggest improvement in the division this offseason, and they tout one of the best pitchers in the NL in Luis Castillo. The Brewers’ pitching really scares me away from picking them this year and the Reds, like the White Sox, are still a year away from a postseason birth. The Cardinals may be the favorite, but I see the Cubs retaking the NL Central for the first time since 2017. I think people overlook the rotation of Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana to go along with a pretty special offense. The key for the Cubs will be their bullpen, but I believe right now, they’re the best team in the Central.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (109-53)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (87-75)
- San Diego Padres (85-77)
- Colorado Rockies (75-87)
- San Francisco Giants (72-90)
The Dodgers should run away with the NL West. If they do post 109 wins in 2020, that would be the seventh-best win total in MLB history. The addition of Mookie Betts gives the Dodgers one of the scariest lineups ever assembled. I also think David Price will have a resurgent campaign in the NL. Like the Astros and Rays, the Dodgers have a great track record with pitching. The up-and-coming Padres and underrated Diamondbacks should have nice seasons, but I can’t see them dethroning the Dodgers in the West.
AL MVP – Mike Trout
Mike Trout should continue his historic MVP collection, but unfortunately, I’m not sure we get to see him in the postseason yet again.
NL MVP – Ronald Acuna Jr.
Acuña is one of the rising stars in Major League Baseball. His speed and power is something of legends. He’s only going to get better, and being able to play in the league opposite Mike Trout gives him a great shot at taking home the MVP award.
AL Cy Young – Shane Bieber
The Indians will have to rely on Bieber to be their ace to start the season, and I think he will be up for the task and some, leading to a Cy Young award.
NL Cy Young – Walker Buehler
Buehler, like Acuña, is a rising star in baseball. He only continues to get better in an organization that knows what they are doing when it comes to development. Buehler should find himself in the running once again for the Cy Young award and I think he takes it home.
AL Rookie of the Year – Luis Robert
The White Sox young slugger Luis Robert will have his struggles in 2020, but he posses many tools that can make him an elite player. He’ll display speed, power, and well above-average defense to earn ROY.
NL Rookie of the Year – Carter Kieboom
With Anthony Rendon gone from the Nationals, Washington will need someone to step up. I believe it will be the young infielder, Carter Kieboom. It will be a tough task if he is asked to play third base, but Kieboom has already gone through some growing pains and is destined to be the next All-Star Nationals prospect.
AL Manager of the Year – Kevin Cash
If the Rays can take the AL East instead of the AL Pennant-favorite Yankees, Cash would be a shoo-in to win Manager of the Year.
NL Manager of the Year – Brian Snitker
Snitker has been tremendous for the Braves the past two seasons. He has bolstered a 187-137 record with two postseason berths. If the Braves can make it three straight postseason births and a triple-digit win total, Snitker will take home this award.
AL Breakout Player – Yoshi Tsutsugo
The switch-hitting Tsutsugo finds himself in the perfect organization. The Rays just seem to get the best out of their players, and Tsutsugo’s versatility should be on display throughout the year in Tampa Bay.
NL Breakout Player – Zac Gallen
Zac Gallen was traded to the Diamondbacks last season after a great start to his career with the Marlins. He is not a well-known name, but after this year I believe he will be.
AL Comeback Player – Carlos Carrasco
Carlos Carrasco came back from fighting Leukemia after only a couple of months last season. The heart of Carrasco was on display, and I believe he’ll come back even stronger this season and help Bieber hold down the Indians’ rotation.
NL Comeback Player – David Price
David Price has had a rough go of things lately due to injuries. I think going to the Dodgers and the NL may be able to help him. The Dodgers will be able to limit his innings and help keep Price uninjured. If he can stay healthy, I predict a classic David Price season in 2020.
2020 MLB Postseason
Predicted winners are in bold.
5 Oakland vs. 4 New York , 5 St. Louis vs. 4 Philadelphia
1 Tampa Bay vs. 4 New York , 2 Minnesota vs. 3 Houston
1 Los Angeles vs. 4 Philadelphia , 2 Atlanta vs. 3 Chicago
3 Houston vs. 4 New York , 1 Los Angeles vs. 2 Atlanta
Los Angeles vs. Houston
Going through my predictions, I believe the 2020 World Series will be a rematch of the 2017 World Series. How perfect would this be? The Astros are the villain and I expect that to light a fire under them. To me, the Dodgers are the best team in baseball by far, and they will have a chance to take what should have been theirs in 2017. I see the Dodgers taking care of the Astros in six games to get their revenge as they have the other 28 teams behind them. A storybook ending to the 2020 season just feels right after what has transpired this offseason.
We are only a few weeks away from baseball. If you are excited as I am, go ahead and drop your postseason predictions in the comments below or in the Twitter replies!