2020 AL East Preview

I am going to proceed with the view that there will be a 2020 season.  Thus, I will post preview articles for each division for your reading pleasure and/or heckling.  The order in which I list the teams is my prediction of their finish.  One caveat is that a shortened season will actually make things more unpredictable—hot and cold streaks will have a greater impact on the final standings.

New York Yankees.  They, of course, landed the biggest free agent fish in pitcher Gerritt Cole.  Even with losing Luis Severino for the year due to TJS, they will have a good pitching staff.  They have tremendous depth as evidenced by winning the division last year despite setting a record for the number of IL stints by one team.  Speaking of injuries…James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton should all be back from theirs by the time the season starts.

Tampa Bay Rays.  The largest talking point about them this offseason has been their having the consensus top farm system and the consensus number one prospect in SS Wander Franco, and whether he reaches the bigs this year.  At the big league level expect elite defense and excellent pitching.  They traded Tommy Pham to the Padres and received Hunter Renfroe; we will see how that works out.  The big “get,” though, was Yoshimoto Tsutsugo.  The Japanese left fielder should be in his prime at 28; he was a NPB all star each of the last 5 seasons, is a career .285 hitter with 205 homers.  If the Rays  both produce runs as well as prevent them as well as expected, they could challenge the Yankees.

Toronto Blue Jays.  They’ve bolstered their pitching staff with the signings on Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, and Shun Yamaguchi.  Yamaguchi is a 32-year-old pitcher coming over from Japan where he made 4 all star teams and carried a career 3.35 ERA in the NPB.  They of course hope for further development of the 3 “Juniors”—Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.  They’ll be a more competitive team and fun to watch, but not yet contenders.

Boston Red Sox.  I’ve actually seen some writers who get paid to do this predict the Red Sox to come in second in the division, and most seem to have them in third.  I believe they will all be disappointed.  Nobody gets better by losing Mookie Betts.  That alone should have kept any sane writer from predicting they’d overtake the Rays for second place.  They’ve also lost David Price—one can debate how good he is, but he is better than what’s left of the Red Sox rotation after Chris Sale went down for the year due to needing TJS.  Last week I described the rotation as a tire fire—I’ll stick with that description and posit that the batters will have them in a lot of high scoring games but lose most of them.

Baltimore Orioles.  Apparently the tear down phase of their tear down and rebuild plan is still ongoing.  They will one of the 2-3 worst teams in baseball.  Chris Davis, at  least, was having a (small sample size alert) hot spring…cannot count on that continuing for long though.  Camden Yards is my favorite MLB ballpark among the 13 I’ve been to; having a nice home has to count for something.

5 thoughts on “2020 AL East Preview

  1. It’s outrageous that the Yankees are both rich and good at player evaluation and development. Let’s think about something else.

    there are 15 x 162 regular season games = 2430
    outs per season 54 x 2430 = 131220 (yes a significant number games go extra innings but a greater number of games end up with the home team not needing their last at bat, so i’m assuming they mostly cancel each other out)
    The Twins payroll is about 140 million and I think it rates 16th in the league so considering it be the mean MLB payroll (i’m too lazy to find out if it’s the average) 140000000 x 30 = $4,200,000,000
    The finale $4,200,000,000 / 131220 = 32,007.32 per out

    Maybe I should go for a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just realized I failed to mention that the Red Sox are still awaiting their punishment for their part of the sign stealing scandal. It won’t be forgotten by the fans. It will be a distraction once the teams start playing in front of fans.

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      1. I don’t think so…but if this season gets played, but not in front of live crowds—at least to start, it won’t really be much of a distraction.

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  3. The Orioles are in a bad place because they only have two players who are major league ready and no, I’m not including Chris Davis in that. And one of those players is recovering from cancer, so that just leaves one guy, a pitcher.

    Whew, I remember when the Braves sucked like that, but even then we had Freddie Freeman going above and beyond on the regular.

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