2020 Major League Baseball Predictions
2020 Major League Baseball Division Breakdowns
With a shortened Major League Baseball season expected to start in July, here is a breakdown of the six divisions in the league, capped off by predictions on who will win each division along with picks on player awards.
The American League East division has been owned by the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees the last few years. The Yankees captured the division title in 2019 and are favored once again, just ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are expected to finish with losing records as they are each in rebuild mode.
Aaron Judge and the Yankees are listed as the odds-on favorite to win the AL East title for the second straight season. (AP)
The American League Central looks to be a two-horse race this season between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. The Indians took a step back last season due to injuries as the Twins won 101 games to grab the division title. The Chicago White Sox made several free-agent moves in the offseason to improve their chances at a Wild Card spot, while the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers are predicted to struggle with young squads.
Josh Donaldson looks to bolster an already strong Twins' lineup as Minnesota seeks another AL Central division championship. (AP)
The Houston Astros have ruled the American League West division the last three seasons by winning at least 101 games each year from 2017 through 2019. It's Houston's division to lose again in 2020 in spite of their sign-stealing controversy as the Oakland Athletics are coming off a Wild Card berth last season. The Los Angeles Angels return three-time Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, while the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners will try to avoid losing seasons.
The Oakland Athletics clinched a Wild Card berth last season as it looks to dethrone the defending division champion Houston Astros. (AP)
There are four teams in the National League East that have a legitimate shot to win the division title. The Atlanta Braves picked up a division title last season before losing in five games of the NLDS to St. Louis. The Washington Nationals overcame a slow start to grab a Wild Card berth and eventually take home the franchise's first World Series championship against Houston. The Philadelphia Phillies fell below expectations, while the New York Mets had several great individual performances and won 86 games. The Miami Marlins aren't expected to be much of a factor after winning only 57 games in 2019.
Following a disappointing 2019 season with high expectations, the Phillies look to rebound and make it to the top of the NL East. (AP)
Along with the NL East, the National League Central division looks to be a solid race this season. In spite of getting swept in the NLCS by Washington, the St. Louis Cardinals will be seeking their seventh playoff berth in the last 10 seasons. The Chicago Cubs are also one of the favorites to win the division title after having their four-year playoff run end in 2019. The Cincinnati Reds have a young roster looking to take the next step, while the Milwaukee Brewers will try to bounce back in spite of losing several key players in the offseason. The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off four consecutive years of missing the postseason.
The Chicago Cubs missed the playoffs in 2019 as third baseman Kris Bryant looks to lead the North Siders back to the postseason. (AP)
This division has been owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who has been crowned the National League West champion seven straight seasons. The Dodgers are expected to roll to first place once again, as the upstart San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks will be fighting for Wild Card berths. The Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants will be looking up in the division standings for most of 2020.
The upstart Padres led by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis, Jr. look to make some noise for a playoff berth this season. (AP)
Last season, a pair of stars from Los Angeles teams captured the Most Valuable Player award as Mike Trout of the Angels and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers were honored in each league. Newly acquired Dodgers' outfielder Mookie Betts is the favorite to win the National League award, while Trout once again is the odds-on favorite in the American League.
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is widely considered the best player in baseball and is always a MVP contender. (AP)
The Cy Young Award is the top honor for the best pitcher in both the American and National Leagues. Mets' ace Jacob deGrom claimed the hardware the last two years in the National League, while Astros' veteran Justin Verlander is coming off another Cy Young win in the American League.
The ace of the New York Mets, Jacob deGrom, has claimed the last two National League Cy Young awards and he's favored again in 2020. (AP)