Improved depth within their respective divisions, significant free-agent losses (Gerrit Cole for the Astros, Anthony Rendon for the Nationals) and, yes, the 'ol hangover that comes from so much being asked of the arms to get to Game 7 will, I’m afraid, take a toll on these two teams.
At year’s end, the Indians will get whatever they can for Lindor in his final year of arbitration rather than risk losing him as a free agent the following winter and only getting Draft pick compensation. Kevin Kiermaier and Cody Bellinger were tied for third among all players in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric. Make league champ.
We can quibble about their offense not being robust enough to fit the mold of a traditional World Series-caliber team, but if their pitching is strong enough -- and it is -- they can squeeze by in low-scoring games. A committee of Asdrúbal Cabrera, Howie Kendrick and Starlin Castro won’t make up for the loss of star third baseman Anthony Rendon, who signed a splashy $245m deal with the Angels in December, but the Nationals should have enough to eke past the Braves for the division crown. Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, who turns 29 next month, has finished either first or second in the American League’s MVP voting in every full season he’s played, winning the sport’s highest individual honor for a third time last year. And of course, you can rarely go wrong betting on Max Scherzer, though there’s no telling if the effects of the deep October run and pitching through injury issues in 2019 will get the best of him. Maybe not.The Rays have gotten this far despite hitting just .209 in the postseason and averaging 4.1 runs per game. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have gotten into the swing of things in the postseason by going five-for-five in 12 games. ALWC winners: TB, NYY, CHW, MINNLWC winners: LAD, SD, MIA, CINALDS: TB-NYY -- Yankees in 5ALDS: CHW-MIN -- Twins in 4NLDS: LAD-SD -- Dodgers in 4NLDS: MIA-CIN -- Reds in 4NLCS: LAD-CIN -- Dodgers in 6ALCS: NYY-MIN -- Yankees in 6WS: LAD-NYY -- Dodgers in 7.
I am so sorry, Twins fans.
• Ranking every playoff team's lineup, pitching, ALWC winners: TB, NYY, CHW, MINNLWC winners: LAD, SD, MIA, CINALDS: TB-NYY -- Rays in 5ALDS: CHW-MIN -- Twins in 5NLDS: LAD-SD -- Dodgers in 5NLDS: MIA-CIN -- Reds in 5NLCS: LAD-CIN -- Dodgers in 5ALCS: TB-MIN -- Rays in 6WS: LAD-TB -- Dodgers in 6. So on the whole, the rule is not likely to meaningfully alter the course of the season.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the long ball will bite Gerrit Cole in the Bronx just enough to take some of the shine off his Cy Young case. The Rays have been the best team in the American League all season despite their low payroll, so it would be appropriate for Tampa Bay to knock off the big-spending Yankees en route to their first AL pennant since 2008. Relievers have thrown 49.2 percent of the Rays' innings, and 52 percent of the Dodgers' innings, this postseason. The deep-pocketed, talent-stacked Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished with a franchise-record 106 wins and won the division by 21 games last season, were runaway favorites to win an eighth straight division title even before February’s blockbuster trade with the Red Sox for the veteran left-hander Price and Betts, who’s been the second-best player in the majors over the past few years.
In short, the World Series we deserve. Hindsight is 20/20, but my foresight is 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has shortened baseball’s familiar 162-game, six-month marathon to a 60-game, 67-day sprint, auguring the most unusual season in MLB history, Thu 23 Jul 2020 09.15 BST But when we went late, particularly in the World Series, I couldn’t do it. fourth in AL MVP voting, it’s an annual tradition for Trout to finish first or second.
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, but the Rays are the most prepared, and they’re the least likely of my two projected pennant winners to make poor decisions on the fly. Last offseason, the Red Sox traded Betts, and the Cardinals dealt Arozarena, in deals that involved prospects.
Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. Come to think of it, the Rays have already had a Rookie of the Year in three of their 22 seasons, which is a pretty good track record. Washington’s aging Max Scherzer will benefit from the shorter season to enter an elite class of hurlers with four or more Cy Young baubles, joining Roger Clemens (seven), Randy Johnson (five), Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux (four apiece). He was the missing piece of what is now, arguably or perhaps unarguably, the most complete team in MLB. OK, even I am uncomfortable with that sentence. The three-batter minimum won’t be that big of a deal. 2020 MLB World Series predictions, Rays-Dodgers expert picks: Is this the year Los Angeles snaps its drought? But given the way the dominoes have fallen in free agency thus far, this scenario makes an increasing amount of sense.
Got a little tight there at the end, didn’t it, fellas? Do not @ us. Baseball’s decision to expand the designated hitter rule to National League parks in a move intended to alleviate players’ workloads dealt a blow to purists everywhere, but will represent a strategic wrinkle on the senior circuit where pitchers have always batted their turn in the order. (Thanks to the indefatigable Ryan Thibodaux’s tracker, you can see the latest polling here). The Dodgers were my pick entering Spring Training, entering Summer Camp, before Opening Day, and thus it would be wildly inconsistent to change my position after watching them finish with the best winning percentage in franchise history.
ALWC winners: TB, NYY, CWS, MINNLWC winners: LAD, SD, MIA, CINALDS: NYY-TB -- Yankees in 5ALDS: CWS-MIN -- Twins in 4NLDS: SD-LAD -- Dodgers in 4NLDS: CIN-MIA -- Reds in 3NLCS: CIN-LAD -- Dodgers in 6ALCS: NYY-MIN -- Yankees in 7WS: NYY-LAD -- Dodgers in 6. MLB 2020 predictions: Dodgers poised to dominate in weirdest season ever The coronavirus pandemic has shortened baseball’s familiar 162-game, six-month marathon to a … How this works: Elo ratings are a measure of team strength based on head-to-head results, margin of victory and quality of opponent.
That definitely didn't always appear to be the case. After all the schedule changes, the Summer Camp, the 100-plus pages of health and safety protocols, the adjustments, the empty stands and the upset specials that dot the early rounds of this expanded postseason tournament, we will still somehow get the World Series matchup so many expected before 2020 went off the rails. Series League champ. Where would you get such an idea?). 14. Additionally, arguments and bench-clearing altercations will be more harshly penalized in an effort to curtail unnecessary physical contact as much as possible. And that’s putting aside the empty ballparks (for now), cardboard cutouts in lieu of fans, artificial crowd noise, expanded rosters and revamped rule book, all of which promises a season both tactically and aesthetically unlike any we’ve seen. 9. The Cincinnati Reds are coming off a fourth-place finish and a sixth straight losing season, but David Bell’s group have emerged as a trendy pick in baseball’s most competitive division thanks to an already formidable rotation (Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani), the addition of power hitters Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos in free agency and no glaring weaknesses.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Dodgers.
How will the postseason play out?
1 seeds? Defense: It’s what the cool kids are doing, and it’s going to define this World Series.Sure, great defense has always had the ability to thrill. If you want proof, you need look no further than my past predictions (trust me, no need to Google them). Misery index: Cardinals fans vs. Red Sox fans.Remember what they say about trades involving prospects being impossible to evaluate for, say, two or three years? • Power rankings: Top teams rolling into October, ALWC winners: TB, NYY, MIN, OAKNLWC winners: SD, LAD, CIN, MIAALDS: Twins-A’s -- Twins in 4ALDS: Rays-Yankees -- Rays in 5NLDS: Dodgers-Padres -- Dodgers in 5NLDS: Marlins-Reds -- Reds in 4NLCS: Dodgers-Reds -- Dodgers in 6ALCS: Twins-Rays -- Rays in 6WS: Rays in 7. Maybe this strange, unprecedented year is the one when Clayton Kershaw and company -- now featuring Mookie Betts -- finally get the job done in October.
*As always, I reserve the right to replace these erroneous postseason predictions with a different set of erroneous predictions near the end of Spring Training. Not for the Dodgers.Remember you heard it here first: The Dodgers are going to win World Series games because they’ve played 10 of 12 postseason games at new Globe Life Field, where the Rays have never played. And the Braves will need to pivot to another source of offense when Donaldson heads back to the AL and won’t pay the prospect price for Kris Bryant.
Walker Buehler will win the NL Cy Young.
World Series Make W.S. We’ll see what all the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. fuss was about. Rick Renteria and David Bell will be the Managers of the Year. 2.
And if there’s any team who stands to gain from a season with no spectators, surely it’s an Astros side that’s overtaken the Yankees as the sport’s biggest villains and will be spared the hostile reception that awaited them in every visiting park.
7. ALWC winners: TB, NYY, MIN, CHWNLWC winners: STL, LAD, ATL, CHCALDS: TB-NYY -- Rays in 4ALDS: CHW-MIN -- Twins in 5NLDS: LAD-STL -- Dodgers in 4NLDS: CHC-ATL -- Braves in 5NLCS: LAD-ATL -- Dodgers in 7ALCS: TB-MIN -- Rays in 6WS: LAD-TB -- Dodgers in 7. 2020 MLB Predictions Updated after every game.
No, I promise you, this is not just wishful thinking on the part of the guy who spends the entirety of each September writing about tiebreaker scenarios that don’t end up happening. Right-handed fireballer Gerrit Cole, who joined the Yankees from the Houston Astros on a record nine-year, $324m contract in free agency, finished a close second to teammate Justin Verlander for the top pitching honor last year, posting a 20-5 record, a 2.50 earned run average and an MLB-high 326 strikeouts. How will the postseason play out? Look for the Rays to spend lots of time taking balls in the outfield before Game 1. Who will win the 2020 World Series?
This may just be Tampa Bay’s advantage and the reason they’ll win. ALWC winners: TB, CLE, CWS, MINNLWC winners: LAD, STL, CHC, ATLALDS: TB-CLE -- Indians in 4ALDS: CWS-MIN -- Twins in 5NLDS: LAD-STL -- Dodgers in 3NLDS: CHC-ATL -- Braves in 4ALCS: CLE-MIN -- Indians in 6NLCS: LAD-ATL -- Dodgers in 5WS: LAD-CLE -- Indians in 7, My general rule in NCAA Tournament brackets -- which, amazingly, is what this all looks like -- is to pick upsets early but go chalk late. And while Price has opted to sit out the season due to the pandemic, Betts gives the Dodgers a third MVP alongside 24-year-old Cody Bellinger (last year’s winner) and star left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Which is why I surprised myself by essentially doing the opposite here: I have two Wild Card Series upsets (the White Sox, who don’t really feel like an upset over the A’s, and the Cardinals, who get to face a team whose top two starters are either out or questionable because of injury), but otherwise I went with the higher seed.
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