AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
The Astros have lost their GM, manager, and Gerrit Cole, but they still have a potential best-team-in-baseball core. The A’s will push them every step of the way. They’re not the only hopefuls. Los Angeles added Rendon to Trout and Ohtani while Kluber will strengthen the Texas rotation. Seattle might finish in the basement but the prospect hype is justified. – Darius Austin
The Astros Are Great Because the World Is Unfair
By Dan Epstein
The Astros are a bunch of smelly jerks who cheat and win a lot, and win a lot because they cheat. Okay, that’s not true. Some of them are good people and almost all of them are great players. Come to think of it, that’s probably the reason why they win a lot. They’ll continue winning a lot in 2020.
Now playing: The Shields – You Cheated, You Lied
Win total prediction: 41
False Hope, Perhaps
By Matthew Kilmartin
For the A’s to make it to the playoffs this year, they’re going to have to realize it’s the end of the season already and not have their traditionally slow start. Khris Davis will have to produce his .247 average, and the Matts will need to produce too. Health will determine how well the pitching rotation turns out to be.
Now playing: TOOL – Invincible
Win total prediction: 36
Can 2020 Be More Than Just the “Penultimate Pujols” Season?
By Ken Maeda
Trout’s a dad in early August. Jo Adell’s maybe not up till September. Smooth Simmons and surprising La Stella could split in November. Big bat Rendon plays third. David Fletcher plays everywhere. Ohtani pitches Sundays. Ohtani hits Tuesdays-Fridays. Injury-prone starter Andrew Heaney hopes to stay up front. Griffin Canning’s up and coming. Team figures to again just be “all right.”
Now playing: Jimmy Eat World- The Middle
Angels win prediction: 32 wins
Cool Stadium, Hot Pitchers
By Emily Thompson
The Rangers have Kluber, Minor, Lynn, and a new air-conditioned stadium. They won’t face Houston until day 40. Texas should get a good start, but ten games versus the Astros in September will be brutal. Globe Life Field announced that it will host its first fan-attended game next April. Until then, its partially subterranean VIP suites will have to wait.
Now playing: Metric – Stadium Love
Rangers win total prediction: 28
A Strategic Reset (coughTEARDOWNcough)
By Simon Gutierrez
I remember a simpler time, when the biggest news about the Mariners’ 2020 season was Mitch Haniger’s grotesque testicle injury. Yeah, you read that right. Did you forget, too? Well, poor Mitch still isn’t playing baseball, but the Mariners are! No, they’re not going to win much, but Jarred Kelenic and Kyle Lewis have apparently been scalding the ball and there might be something to dream on at least.
Now playing: Bouncing Souls – Kid
Mariners win total prediction: 25
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
The NL West is where the opt-out action is, with Posey, Price, and Desmond all opting out this season. Mookie and the Dodgers’ depth still look like the favorites here, but don’t sleep on the Padres arriving sooner than we thought, or the Diamondbacks successfully retooling on the fly. As for the Giants and Rockies, well…it could get ugly. – Brandon Lee
* – before the season is called off
Place Your (Mookie) Betts
By Mike Carlucci
I’m not just writing Mookie Betts thirty times, although the thought did cross my mind. Where do the Dodgers stand? Well, they added Betts, traded Alex Verdugo, had David Price opt out, and get a short season of Kershaw. Is this Kershaw without a leash? That could be big. This team is smart and ruthless: Dodgers 40-20 and World Series.
Now playing: Mighty, Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get
Dodgers win total prediction: 40
Be Like Mike (Stay Home)
By Nick Strangis
Mike Leake decided that his life, and that of his family, friends, and potential strangers was not worth the $5.5M. We find it reassuring that some players put a high price on health and wish Leake luck in the future. According to MLB.com depth charts, Merrill Kelly is slated to take the fifth rotation spot at this moment.
Now playing: Be Like Mike (Gatorade commercial)
Diamondbacks win total prediction: 33
Padres Down, but Back in Brown
By Dan McMenamin
The Padres brought back the brown unis for 2020. They dug their usual hole into last place in the NL West in 2019. But down in the brown dirt is the rumbling of hot talent lava, a collection of good young players, maybe even a few great ones. Who knows how high it’ll erupt? Or COVID cancels everything. We’ll see!
Now playing: Thin Lizzy – The Boys are Back in Town
Padres win total prediction: 33
Rockies on the Rocks
By Dan Freedman
Ian Desmond leaves more money on the table – this time it’s $5.5 million. Matt Kemp, 1.7 bWAR (total) over the past seven seasons, is being given another chance. Daniel Bard, he of one major league inning since 2012, is being given another chance. Sam Hilliard may hit some bombs. Brendan Rodgers may flash some leather. Eat the Rocky Mountain Po’boy.
Now playing: Bob Seger – Get Out of Denver
Rockies win total prediction: 28 wins
2020 Don’t Stay
By Patty Gallinger O’Connor
60 games you say? No way.
“Sports are the reward for a functional society,” Sean Doolittle.
Buster opts out.
Cardboard fans wear masks.
Take a knee. Tragedy.
Welcome in the brothers MLB
Build the missing ballparks.
So much strife. Next year’s strike.
It’s gonna be alright.
But only if you
Take up the fight.
Now playing: The Beatles – Revolution
Giants win total prediction: 5
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