By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
The 2020 Major League Baseball season will be a completely new experience and hopefully one we will never have to go through again.
But though the season is cut to a miniscule 60 games compared to a 162-game season, fewer games make each one that much more valuable, almost feeling like every contest is playoff baseball – even with no fans in attendance for any games.
How a truncated season will play out durin a time when the country is still reeling from a pandemic still at full strength, is impossible to predict, but here are my picks for the postseason,
The New York Yankees are the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series and they should win the division by a fair margin, but anything can happen with the shortened season. The Bronx Bombers’ nearly unstoppable lineup matched with their dominant pitching does make them the most complete team in the AL. The big bats in the Yankees’ lineup reminds me of CSUDH’s Pierson Loska’s big bat, which gives me another reason to pick the Yanks for the World Series appearance.
The Minnesota Twins will likely retain their AL Central crown from last season, going back-to-back for the first time in a decade. Twins and Toros both start with the letter T, which is secretly the reason why I favor them in this division. Their only competition might be the Cleveland Indians, but even with the explosive pop of Franciso Lindor and Carlos Santana, the team will fail to catch up to the Twins in the final stretch.
Coming off a historic cheating scandal, the Houston Astros will prove they’re still loaded with talent and win the AL West crown, narrowly edging the surging Los Angeles Angels. The addition of Anthony Rendon isn’t enough to vault the Angels into the postseason and they miss out for a sixth straight season. (For a more in-depth look at the Angels 2020 season, click here).
Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies finally put it all together and barely beat out the World Series champion Washington Nationals to the division title. The NL East could turn out to be the tightest division in the majors with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets producing fairly competitive rosters for the 2020 season. My prediction is the two NL wild-card spots will come from this division.
In a surprising turn of events, the Cincinnati Reds nab their first NL Central crown in eight years and reach the postseason for the first time since 2013. Newly appointed Chicago Cubs manager David Ross will struggle to maintain the top spot in the division and will ultimately lose it to the Reds. The Cardinals failed to address their inconsistent offense in the offseason and will underachieve in the division and Christian Yelich can’t carry the entire Milwaukee Brewers into the postseason.
After signing their prized offseason acquisition Mookie Betts to a 12-year, $365 million contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers cruise to an eighth straight division title and finish with the best record in the majors. The Dodgers will meet the Yankees in the World Series in a clash of superpowers. The other teams in the division remain in the wild-card race but fade late to the NL East teams. (For a more in-depth look at the Dodgers 2020 season, click here).