After successive division titles, the Atlanta Braves return for 2020 with most of their core still in place. Despite losing Josh Donaldson, they still have two of the National League’s finest hitters in Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña.
After a disappointing 81-81 season in 2019 which cost Gabe Kapler his job, the Philadelphia Phillies bring back the key parts of that team whilst adding potential stars for both their offence and pitching. However, in a competitive NL east, Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA projects them to win just 76.8 games.
Stephen Strasburg put himself in a position to opt out of the four years $100 million remaining on his seven-year $175 million contract by having a fully healthy and productive season. After averaging only 145 innings per year between 2015 and 2018, he pitched 209 innings and won World Series MVP, setting him up for another huge payday.
Washington DC has a World Series team for the first time in 86 years. Having not won a playoff series since their move from Montreal in 2004, the Nationals have managed to win two after sweeping the Cardinals. They will play either the Yankees or the Astros to win their first title.
The American League was thought to have four superteams at the start of 2019, you could have just played the playoffs then with the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Astros. One of these is eliminated and the Indians are still competing for a place with a week to go in the season.
Ultimately not many would turn down the chance to lead the Red Sox’s Baseball Operations. They have a huge market and are willing to spend and have some of the best young talent in the league on their roster who won it all less than a year ago. Big teams are often able to rebuild whilst still winning, and that is what the new GM will hope to achieve.
Rendon currently has the 9th best OPS in a season by a third baseman since 1902, everyone above him either current or future Hall of Famers (and A-Rod). He has had a historic 2019, just not quite at the level of Yelich or Bellinger.
Just 10 months since clinching the World Series title in Los Angeles, the Boston Red Sox are 5.5 games back of the wildcard. This is despite a breakout season from 22-year-old third-baseman Rafael Devers.
Cody Bellinger vs Christian Yelich for the National League MVP is going to be one of the most interesting storylines during the last six weeks of the season.
The Mets go into a crucial three game series in Atlanta with a deep line-up and rotation, which is what Brodie van Wagenen envisioned when trading for the best closer in baseball. It is time for the Edwin Diaz that the GM thought he was acquiring to make an appearance, or the Mets do not really have much of a chance to get to October.
If these moves alongside the return of Nimmo and Smith can get the Mets into the postseason, anything can happen in October with their rotation.