The Houston Astros have won the AL pennant two of the past three seasons but are the +400 second-favorites in 2020 at +400 via Mybookie. The favorites are the New York Yankees at +150 even though they already have lost All-Star pitcher Luis Severino to season-ending Tommy John surgery. Let’s check the Odds to Win the AL Pennant.
American League Pennant Predictions & Odds
Severino went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 2018 and was given a $40 million, four-year contract. He was scratched from his first scheduled spring training appearance on March 5 last year because of rotator cuff inflammation in his right shoulder. He wouldn’t make his first appearance for the Yankees until Sept. 17. Severino was 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA over 12 innings in three regular-season starts for New York, then was 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA over 8⅓ innings in a pair of postseason outings.
The 26-year-old has proven to be a high-grade starter when healthy. In 99 career appearances, he’s accumulated a 3.46 ERA (125 ERA+) and 3.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Fellow starter Domingo German will miss 63 games due to a suspension stemming from his violation of the league’s domestic violence policy. German went 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 games (24 starts) last year.
The Yankees secured their 27th consecutive winning season last year (1993-2019). It marks the second-longest such streak among Major League teams all time, trailing only the Yankees’ run of 39 straight winning seasons from 1926-64. The team also secured its 28th consecutive winning season at home (went 57-24 at home in 2019), extending its run since 1992. It is the second-longest such streak in Major League history, trailing only the Yankees’ 47-year home winning streak from 1918-64.
Aaron Boone trails only Ralph Houk (205 wins with the Yankees from 1961-62) for most wins by any manager over his first two seasons at the helm. Boone is the first manager in baseball history to guide his team to at least 100 wins in each of his first two seasons as skipper.
Houston fell just short of their second championship in franchise history, dropping the World Series in seven games to the Washington Nationals. It marked the Astros third trip to the World Series in franchise history (also, 2005, 2017). The Astros homered in their final 25 regular season games and in the 2019 postseason, giving them a franchise record 30-game streak. It was the second-longest streak in MLB history, trailing only a 31-game streak set by the Yankees from May 26-June 30, 2019.
The Minnesota Twins are +600 third-favorites for the pennant. They were swept in the 2019 ALDS by the Yankees, becoming the first 100-win team in baseball history to be swept in the Division Series (finished 101-61). They also were the first 100-win team to be swept in the first round of the postseason since the 1980 Royals swept the Yankees in the ALCS.
Overall, Minnesota is on an unthinkable 16-game postseason losing streak dating back to Game One of the ALDS in 2004. That’s tied the Chicago Blackhawks (1975-79) of the NHL for the longest postseason losing streak ever among the four major sports.
The 2019 Twins hit 307 home runs, setting a new major league record, and surpassing their previous club record of 225, set in 1963. They scored 939 runs, also setting a new club record, passing their previous total of 877, set in 1996.
This offseason, the Twins added third baseman and former AL MVP Josh Donaldson in free agency. Donaldson is back in the American League after one season with the Braves. After an injury-marred 2018 season he bounced back to the tune of .259/.379/.521 with 37 bombs and 94 RBI last year.
The Tampa Bay Rays (+800) and Oakland A’s (+950) round out the American League pennant favorites. The Rays enter the 2020 season on the heels of a 96-66 (.593) record—their second straight season with 90-plus wins—and a trip to the AL Division Series. They welcome back all three of their 2019 All-Stars—RH Charlie Morton, OF Austin Meadows and 2B Brandon Lowe—as well as three-time Gold Glove Award winner Kevin Kiermaier and 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Since becoming the Rays in 2008, the Rays have seven 90-win seasons, a number matched by only three other teams in baseball: the Dodgers (8), Red Sox (7) and Yankees (7).
American League Pennant Predictions
Yankees over White Sox (+1200) in ALCS.