The Tuesday Discussion: 2020 Predictions
This week we asked our writers to share their upcoming predictions for the 2020 season.
We each went about this a little differently which makes this post fun to really examine and consider…
1. New York Yankees
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. Baltimore Orioles
It’s gonna be a two horse race between the New York bats and Tampa Bay pitching, but with Gerrit Cole in the Yankee corner, the bombers win it as long as they stay healthy. Boston’s lineup will do damage but the entire pitching staff is in shambles. Toronto will continue to progress but I don’t think Hyun-Jin Ryu is enough to get this team over the hump, at least not yet. The Orioles are still a few years from the end of their rebuild.
Postseason Predictions –
AL Wild Card: #4 Tampa Bay over #5 Oakland (Tampa’s pitching is just too good for the A’s)
#4 Tampa Bay over #1 Houston (The Astros do enough to show they can win without cheating (hopefully) but ultimately Tampa’s superior pitching carries the day in 5 games.)
#2 New York over #3 Minnesota (The addition of Josh Donaldson is still not enough for the twins to break the curse as the Bombers out hit the Bomba Squad thanks to a weaker Minnesota staff.)
#2 New York over #4 Tampa Bay (Ultimately the Rays lineup can’t handle Gerrit Cole once again and fall to the Yankees in 6 games.)
NL Wild Card – #4 New York over #5 Cincinnati (The Reds run back to the postseason comes to a close as Jacob deGrom shuts their revamped lineup out.)
#1 Los Angeles over #4 New York (The Dodger star power is too much for the Amazin’s as the quality of pitching behind deGrom shows.)
#2 Atlanta over #3 Chicago (David Ross squeezes enough out of this lineup to get the Cubbies back in the mix, but the young Bravos simply outhit a Cubs team that may officially have missed its window.)
#1 Los Angeles over #2 Atlanta (It goes 6 games but the young Braves staff simply can’t handle the deep and balanced Los Angeles lineup.)
World Series –
New York Yankees over Los Angeles Dodgers (This time Gerrit Cole makes an appearance in Game 7 and silences the Dodger bats, while the Yankees do enough off of Walker Buehler and company to finally get ring number 28 in this long awaited World Series rematch, extending Los Angeles’ streak of years without a title to 32 years and leaving Dodger fans guessing about the status of Mookie Betts.)
I think the AL East will be more competitive than others believe, with a strong push from a young and talented Blue Jays team. However, my World Series pick is Your New York Yankees so obviously I expect them to be better.
1. Yankees 41-19
2. Blue Jays 35-25
3. Rays 33-27
4. Red Sox 29-31
5. Orioles 21-39
ALE 59-41 vs NLE
The Yankees in 5 over the Atlanta Braves in a rematch of the ‘96 & ‘99 World Series.
60 Games makes it tough and not knowing who or if any players will have to go through quarantine protocol makes it even tougher to predict.
But, all things remaining equal to the potential opening day rosters, I can see the following not being to unrealistic.
AL – Yankees (#1 seed) , Astros (#2 seed) and Indians (#3 seed) win their divisions. Wild Cards are A’s (#1) and Rays (#2).
· Rays beat the A’s in the AL Wild Card Game.
· Astros beat the Indians in ALDS.
· Yankees beat Rays in ALDS.
· Yankees beat Astros in ALCS.
NL – Dodgers (#1 seed), Braves (#2 seed) and Brewers (#3 seed) win their divisions. Wild Cards are Nationals (#1) and Reds (#2).
· Nationals beat the Reds in NL Wild Card Game.
· Braves beat the Brewers in NLDS.
· Dodgers beat the Nationals in NLDS
· Dodgers beat the Braves in NLCS
World Series: · Yankees in 6.
The Yankees will run away with the division winning more than 40 games. Everything (finally) comes together for the Yankees making us all wish we had 102 more game to enjoy this juggernaut.
The AL Wild Card will see the Twins defeating the Tampa Bay Rays
The ALDS will see the Yankees defeating the Twins and the A’s defeating the White Sox.
In the ALCS, the Yankees will sweep the A’s.
In the National League, the Dodgers prevail and then lose to the Yankees giving the New Yorkers Championship #28.
AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Indians AL West: Astros Wildcard 1: Twins Wildcard 2: Athletics
Twins Beat Athletics
Yankees Beat Twins Astros Beat Indians
Yankees Beat Astros
NL East: Nationals NL Central: Cardinals NL West: Dodgers Wildcard 1: Braves Wildcard 2: Mets
Braves Beat Mets
Dodgers Beat Braves Nationals Beat Cardinals
Dodgers Beat Nationals
Dodgers Beat Yankees
For the record, I’m not a fan of preseason predictions. There’s just so much that can go wrong during a major league season, and especially with everything going on this year, when the season could end in the blink of an eye. With that said, here are my thoughts on what I think will happen this season. First, my AL East:
Earlier this year, I wrote a column for Pinstripe City about the AL East. My thoughts on the Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles are the same. The Red Sox have dropped a bit mainly because Eduardo Rodriguez’s unfortunate bought with coronavirus has damaged Boston’s already thin rotation. With a weak bullpen behind them and even some more questions in their lineup (is Christian Vazquez going to post a.477 slugging percentage again? Can Andrew Benintendi make the next step? Is Rafael Devers going to hit at an elite level again?) has made me reconsider their position. I still feel like the Blue Jays are a year away, but they still have youth and made attempts to improve their roster by adding Hyun-jin Ryu and Tanner Roark. Even if they cannot play in Toronto, I think that the Blue Jays will surprise some people and at least be better than Boston.
As for the playoffs:
Yes, I’m picking the same five teams in the AL as last season. I feel like the Yankees, Astros, Twins, and Rays are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. The A’s could easily lose the fifth spot to an upstart White Sox or an overachieving Angels unit, but I’m a big fan of their young pitching staff and Khris Davis having a bounceback year.
The NL has a lot more intrigue. Behind the Dodgers atop the NL, the rest of the league is a tightly knit group of teams, with several potential playoff contenders. The Braves have been rocked by injuries and COVID-19, but they have enough talent to at least make it to the Wild Card spot. The Cubs have been moving in the wrong direction the past few seasons, but Maddon getting fired should be the lighting rod that nudges the Cubbies in the right direction. The Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers will give Chicago a fight, and in the end, Cincinnati and their revamped core will find a way back into the playoffs.
As for as playoffs go, I’m going with the Bombers in the AL. This just feels like their year, with Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, and Paxton all going from starting the year on the IL to ready to go after the COVID-19 related pause. The Reds are going to shock the world, push through the gauntlet, and meet the Yankees in the World Series. In a thrilling Fall Classic, the Yankees exact their revenge for the 1976 thrashing and win their 28th World Title.
I predict the Yankees will win the American League East Division. Even with possible COVID losses as the short season moves on, their depth will keep them at the top. I see them winning the ALCS over Houston in a bitter series, with the difference being Gerrit Cole. Capping this untraditional season will be a traditional Yankee-Dodger World Series, with the Yanks taking the championship.
The Yankees should win the East. It shouldn’t be close. Tampa Bay has great pitching. The Red Sox always find a way, but these Yankees just look so strong.
I see the Yankees and the Twins ending up in a huge slugfest for the ALCS. The difference in that series will be Gerrit Cole. He will be the only pitcher who can keep the Twins from crushing the Yankees. Cole will win two games in the series including Game #7.
Back in April, I was thinking the Yankees would play the Nationals in the World Series. I also saw the Phillies as a possibility. But, at this moment, I see the Yankees battling the Braves or the Reds. It matters not – the Yankees will win in five games!