After the World Series was over. When all the champagne was finished, and the clubhouse was all cleaned up, the baseball world started thinking about one thing; next season. It’s our job as sports fans to look towards next year. Pitchers and catchers will start reporting to Spring Training next month, so why not give our early predictions for the 2020 MLB season. Below you will see my division standings, complete with the team’s record, and how the difference from last years season.
- New York Yankees (107-55) (+4 Wins)
- Tampa Bay Rays (90-72) (-6 Wins)
- Boston Red Sox (80-82) (-4 Wins)
- Toronto Blue Jays (70-92) (+3 Wins)
- Baltimore Orioles (52-110) (-2 Wins)
- Minnesota Twins (99-63) (-2 Wins)
- Cleveland Indians (89-73) (-4 Wins)
- Kansas City Royals (65-97) (+6 Wins)
- Chicago White Sox (63-95) (-11 Wins)
- Detroit Tigers (59-103) (+12 Wins)
- Houston Astros (100-62) (-7 Wins)
- Oakland Athletics (94-62) (-3 Wins)
- Los Angeles Angels (80-82) (+8 Wins)
- Texas Rangers (75-87) (-3 Wins)
- Seattle Mariners (59-103) (-9 Wins)
- Atlanta Braves (99-63) (+2 Wins)
- Philadelphia Phillies (87-75) (+16 Wins)
- Washington Nationals (84-78) (-9 Wins)
- New York Mets (80-82) (-6 Wins)
- Miami Marlins (60-102) (+3 Wins)
- Milwaukee Brewers (95-67) (+6 Wins)
- St. Louis Cardinals (86-76) (-5 Wins)
- Cincinnati Reds (83-79) (+8 Wins)
- Chicago Cubs (79-83) (-5 Wins)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (70-92) (+1 Win)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (110-52) (+4 Wins)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (88-74) (+3 Win)
- San Francisco Giants (84-78) (+7 Wins)
- San Diego Padres (76-86) (+6 Wins)
- San Francisco Giants (80-82) (+3 Wins)
- Colorado Rockies (77-85) (+6 Wins)
My division winners may not be that surprising. The only change I see happening from last year is in the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers have had a semi-busy offseason, adding players such as Avisail Garcia, Justin Smoak, Eric Sogard, and Jace Peterson. They did, however, lose starting catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Mike Moustakas, but I still think their roster is full of talent that can fill in many spots.
As of writing this, the St. Louis Cardinals have yet to strike deals with Michael Wacha, Marcell Ozuna, and Matt Wieters. Assuming all 3 sign elsewhere, I don’t see the Cards winning that division. Also in that division are the Cincinnati Reds who added Japanese export Shoho Akiyama, Wade Miley and Mike Moustakas. Maybe it wont happen this year, but the Reds will be contenders within 3 years.
Some of the big movers I have for next year are the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Angels. The Phillies added star outfielder Bryce Harper last year but failed to make the playoffs. However, with the Phillies signing Didi Gregorious and Zach Wheeler, and with Bryce having a full year in the City of Brotherly Love under his belt, I see them having a bounce-back year.
The Angels made a big splash this offseason, adding World Series Champion Anthony Rendon, pairing him with the best player in baseball, Mike Trout. The Angels also made some moves to help their rotation, adding Julio Teheran and trading for Dylan Bundy who has yet to have the success some around the league think he’s capable of.
AL MVP – Mike Trout (LAA)
Whenever you talk about AL MVP, the conversation always starts with Mike Trout. With the Angels getting Trout some help this offseason, I see Trout winning his second straight, and 4th career MVP Award.
AL Cy Young – Gerrit Cole (NYY)
The Yankees haven’t had a Cy Young Award winner since Roger Clemens back in 2001. This year, with a bonafide ace that is coming off a career year, that could change. I also think being in New York will only help Gerrit Cole in bringing home his first Cy Young Award of his career.
AL Rookie of the Year – Luis Robert (CWS)
The 22-year-old Robert should spend the majority of the year in the majors, but his minor league career has been excellent. Last year, Robert went from the A+ league to the AA league, to the AAA league. In that time, Robert batted .328/.376/.624 with 32 home runs, 92 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Robert was third on the MLB Prospect list in 2019 and should be the favorite to win AL ROY.
Manager of the Year – Aaron Boone (NYY)
I am biased, but putting that aside, the AL Manager of the Year Award was stolen from Aaron Boone last year. The Yankees dealt with a Major League record 30 players spending time on the injured list. And it wasn’t small role players, it was key players such as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino. With (hopefully) an injury-free roster this year, I expect Boone to claim the award that was rightfully his last year.
NL MVP – Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)
Ronald Acuna Jr. won the 2018 Rookie of the Year Award. Last year, in just his second year, he was 5th in NL MVP voting. He is not a flash in the pan player. I see Acuna leading the Atlanta Braves to the postseason, and possibly the World Series if they get hot in the playoffs. I expect Acuna to continue his success and capture his first of multiple MVP awards.
NL Cy Young – Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
For the past 4 years, the NL Cy Young Award has been hoarded by Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. In 2020, I see Scherzer’s teammate Stephen Strasburg finally winning his first Cy Young. The 2019 World Series MVP was 5th in NL Cy Young voting last year with an 18-6 record. I do see Washington taking a step back this year, but I also believe Strasburg will be a 20-game winner and earn the award.
NL Rookie of the Year – Gavin Lux (LAD)
Little known fact, the Dodgers have had the most Rookie of the Year Award winners with 18, and I think they’ll add number 19 here. In the minors last year, between AA and AAA Lux hit .347/.421/.607 while hitting 26 home runs. Lux is a versatile player that has all the tools to play shortstop as well as second. He should get a lot of playing time in the Dodger’s infield on way to win the NL Rookie of the Year.
NL Manager of the Year – Craig Counsell (MIL)
Earlier I said I believe the Brewers will win the NL Central, and I also believe Craig Counsell will win Manager of the Year. Counsell finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting last year but received 3 more first-place votes than the winner Mike Shildt. I see Counsell having a terrific year in Milwaukee and winning the award.
Baseball is a 6 month, 162 game marathon. Anything can happen, and obviously, these are just predictions. Trades, injuries, and slumps can cause even the best looking team to falter, but these are the predictions that I will be sticking with!
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