Could the Washington Nationals stun everyone in baseball as they look to win back-to-back World Series titles? What will happen with the now, perennially-powerful Houston Astros following their immense offseason cheating scandal that cost them their manager, GM a bunch of money and draft picks? Will the New York Yankees and their roster of high-priced stars live up to their World Series hopes or could the improved Los Angeles Angels challenge after their addition of widely-respected manager Joe Maddon?
With the 2020 MLB regular season getting underway earlier this season than ever, now is a great time to look at what could lie ahead for several players and teams for really early MLB odds as they get set for the March 28 start of the regular season.
- New York Yankees +300
- Houston Astros +850
- Minnesota Twins +1500
- Cleveland Indians +2400
- Boston Red Sox +3500
Cleveland has won at least 91 games in each of the last four seasons and they have one of baseball’s best managers in Terry Francona. However, the Tribe are short on quality arms and that just won’t cut it in an American League that is loaded with monster hitters. Oh, and Boston blew it big-time by moving 2018 AL MVP winner Mookie Betts. Boston has an eye toward the future and that means the BoSox will be good in 2020, but definitely not great.
DYK No. 1
Did You Know the Minnesota Twins have just one postseason series victory in the wild-card era?
It’s World Series or bust for the Yankees after they signed former Astros ace Gerrit Cole to a massive deal this offseason. New York has a ton of talent in the forms of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres, but I’m not real fond of New York’s back end of the starting rotation or their bullpen. Despite all of the excitement surrounding the Yankees, I believe the pressure in the Bronx will be too much for the World series contenders and remember, pressure busts pipes.
DYK No. 2
Did You Know the Twins have lost a mind-boggling 16 straight playoff games, including 13 straight against the Yankees?
While Houston is mired in the midst of one of baseball’s biggest cheating-related scandals, the fact of the matter is that the Astros still have a ton of talent, both on the mound and in the field, starting with core stars, Justin Verlander, Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa among others. More importantly, I love Houston’s hiring of widely-respected manager Dusty Baker and I believe his smooth approach will help the Astros move past their embarrassing debacle. Scandal or not, I expect Houston to challenge for the AL pennant in 2020.
AL Pennant Prediction
- Los Angeles Dodgers +325
- Atlanta Braves +1000
- St. Louis Cardinals +1500
- Washington Nationals +2000
- Philadelphia Phillies +2400
Washington had a magical year and a date with destiny that they won’t be able to duplicate in 2020, especially not after losing sweet-swinging Anthony Rendon. Philadelphia added manager Joe Girardi, but I’m not overly fond of the move and I don’t believe the Phillies have nearly enough pitching to compete with the more elite teams in the NL in 2020. St. Louis is seemingly good every year no matter who’s on their roster, but I’m thinking the cardinals’ failure to secure a big bopper in the offseason is going to leave them scratching for runs more often than not in 2020.
I picked the Braves to win the NL Pennant a year ago and although they came up short, Atlanta looks like a team that will challenge for the NL Pennant for the next few years at the very least. The Braves have won two straight NL East division titles and won 97 games last season. After adding Cole Hamels, Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud as free agents to go along with sweet-swinging Freddie Freeman and MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. I love Atlanta’s chances of winning the NL pennant in 2020.
However, with the Dodgers adding former AL MVP winner Mookie Betts and hard-throwing left-hander David Price in a huge monster trade to go along with MVP contender Cody Bellinger, I think it’s quite possible LA could come out of the National League. Still, I’m going with the Braves at a value-packed +670 to get it done based on their postseason progress the last couple of seasons and their offseason additions.
NL Pennant Prediction