With opening night and day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season behind us, we finally have an in-depth look into what this brand-new season will look like. With news of the brand new expanded playoffs, it’s time to finally make predictions on not only team results, but also which players will take home the awards in a shortened season.
American League Predictions
Before this year, nobody has ever had to put so much thought into a third-place finisher in their division. But this year, two third-place finishers will be seen in the playoff race. For me, those two teams will be the Angels and the White Sox. Although I think that the White Sox are the better team, the Angels will finish on top because they have an easier schedule, as the two central divisions are more competitive than the two west ones. I think the White Sox do have a chance to finish as the runner up, but the Indians are more established and that will pay off.
The AL East was the easiest division to decide for me, as I will see it tough for the Yankees to lose the top spot with their star-studded lineup. The Rays are also easily the second-best team in the division, and I think they will also have playoff success. Toronto is a team that will compete for the wildcard, but are not on the same level as the exciting Angels. The Twins will see similar success to last year’s power-driven team. Unfortunately, they are also the team with the highest chance of getting upset in the playoffs. The Yankees and Astros will finish top two and play the wildcard teams, so the Twins might get knocked off.
OF | Yankees
SP | Yankees
SP | Tigers
Manager | Rays
The MVP award is one of the hardest to project in any sport — That task seems impossible with such a short glimpse of the season. Despite that, I decided to go with Aaron Judge. Judge played an injury plagued campaign in 2020 that still saw him crush 27 homeruns. I think that Judge will be a big part of the Yankees success this season, and the Yankees star-studded lineup will help him drive in a ton of runs. Trout will put up fantastic numbers, but if Judge can stay healthy, and keep his average high, he will take the crown.
Cole and Verlander competed for Cy Young last year, with Verlander just edging him out. This year will be the opposite, with Verlander, Cole, Glasnow, and my dark horse Shane Bieber competing for the honor. I have Cole winning it, which isn’t an exciting pick, but is one that is hard to bet against.
Rookie of the Year is even harder to project, but Casey Mize, the Tigers’ top prospect will dominate. If he can stay healthy, the RHP will be a lone bright spot in the Tigers’ rotation. Kevin Cash will lead a strong Rays team to regular-season success with a pretty tough schedule. That will give him the award over Boone, who may have a better record, but also has more talent.
National League Predictions
In 2020 the National League is going to be the most exciting thing in baseball in a while. The NL East and Central are the two most competitive divisions in baseball. The Braves are going to be fantastic and exciting, and will just edge out their rival Mets. The Nationals will also be good and take wildcard 2, but they really need their offense to back up the pitching staff. As mentioned in Baseball’s Most Competitive Division, the Central has four competitors gunning for the top spot. I still think it will be the Cardinals, with the Cubs backing them up, but the Reds are growing on me. My wildcard playoff run team is the Cubs, as they do have playoff experience.
My crazy pick for the National League is the Padres, who is the worst team that will make the playoffs. Both wildcard teams are better than the Padres, but they will still sneak in. The Dodgers will be the best team in the National League, and for good reason, it won’t be close. Predictions are supposed to be exciting, but the Dodgers are too good to bet against.
Ronald Acuña Jr
OF | Braves
SP | Cardinals
INF | Dodgers
Manager | Braves
The most exciting player in baseball for the 2020 MLB season will take home MVP in Acuña. The Braves outfielder chased a 40/40 season last year, therefore it would not surprise me to see him go for 20/20 this season. Atlanta should succeed, and the 22-year-old might dominate in his third year in the league. If the reigning NL East champion does taste consistent success, don’t be surprised to see skipper Brian Snitker gather an award from this season. Flaherty had the best second half in all of baseball last season, and I expect him to pick up right where he left off with another Cy Young-level campaign. He will lead the Cardinals right into the playoffs. And after short-stint success with the Dodgers last year, nobody will be surprised to see Lux take the next big leap into Rookie of the Year.
Los Angeles Dodgers
|Atlanta Braves |
New York Yankees
|Tampa Bay Rays|
New York Yankees
World Series Winner
New York Yankees, 4-1
MVP: Gleyber Torres
I know what you are thinking, the Rays? The Astros are definitely the more popular pick, but if the Astros face off with the Rays head to head, the Rays will take it. If the playoff format doesn’t have the Yankees and Rays matching up before this, then I think the Rays will get by the Astros. They won’t be able to pull off two upsets, as the American League favorites will still take it home, but the Rays will be a surprise playoff team to the entire league. I also think that there will be an upset in the National League as the Braves will defeat the National League favorites. The Braves need to outpitch the Dodgers because a slugfest will not tilt in their direction.
The Fall Classic will be a highly anticipated one, but the preseason World Series favorites in the Yankees will take it home behind the clutch hitting of shortstop Gleyber Torres. I think the Braves will steal one at home, but ultimately the Yankees take it 4-1.
Click here to see other predictions: The Biggest Games of the 2020 Season