Baseball in 2020, Why 2020 Will Be the Most Exciting Year in Baseball Ever.
2019 was one heck of a year for Major League Baseball. The Washington Nationals surprised the world with a display of hard-hitting and fast-pitching that electrified the post-season. The Astros were declared cheaters by all of Major League Baseball for actions of technologically stealing signs and Derek Jeter came one vote short of becoming the second unanimous Hall of Famer in the game's history. However 2020 will be the year of surprises and here are some predictions as to what could potentially happen in 2020.
World Series Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers
In recent hours the Los Angeles Dodgers surprised everyone with their blockbuster trade sending outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price out west and into the National League spotlight. Despite the popular prediction that the New York Yankees will capture World Series number twenty-eight this season I am skeptical to say that it will be the Yankees at the top of the mountain. I feel they have a strong case to play the Dodgers in the World Series but I think the Dodgers have enough firepower to finish the job in October. Clayton Kershaw and the All-Star pitching lineup that the Dodger's offer should be one of the best in baseball history and it is up to them to submit their legacy in the history books this year.
Team(s) to Watch: Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves
Ironically both of these teams have Native-American names which is not a coincidence at all. Instead, the baseball loving world should turn its attention to these two franchises whose offseason's have been quite timid in relation to the Dodgers and Angels. The Indians need to simply do one thing this year to keep their star at shortstop, they need to win. For a a throwback to the history books the last time the Indians made the playoffs they ended up making it to the World Series for the first time since 1948. In a year highlighted by Lebron's winning ways in Cleveland, the Indians fell one inning short of being the second team from Cleveland to win a world championship. That inning may have sparked something in Francisco Lindor who is quoted as saying that he "only wants to win." Lindor and the Indians have a bunch to look forward to as they are batting pretty well going into the 2020 season with Lindor and recent addition Yasiel Puig to back up the lineup. In addition, their pitching core featuring Mike Clevinger may need some work but all in all the Indians are primed for a big position amongst baseball royalty. On the oppoising end of the league the Atlanta Braves also make a strong case for being the team to watch. The Braves feature a lineup consisting of Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcel Ozuna (acquired from the Cardinals), Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies, amongst others. The Braves are the only team that rivals the Dodgers in the National League but getting to the World Series has proved to be a challenge as the Braves seem to not get far enough into the playoffs to stand a chance against baseball's best. The Braves will be in the playoffs and could very well be the team to watch in the National League.
Team with the Most Improvement: Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have had a tough road protecting their superstar firepower in the outfield as Mike Trout signed a long-term extension making him the highest paid athlete in all of sports. However, the Angels have not made a significant impact in baseball since their World Series in 2002 over Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. However, the Angels have made something of a change it seems finally for the better in signing Anthony Rendon from the Washington Nationals. Rendon was a key part of the Nationals World Series run in 2019 and his role on a struggling Angel's squad will most definitely make an impact. Mike Trout will not be alone for once and the Angels will improve in the W's column this season. A World Series championship is an unlikely possibility however a playoff birth is a reasonable assumption.
Team with the Most to Prove: New York Yankees
Yes, I said it. The New York Yankees have come within a series of the World Series several times in past five seasons and have yet to capture a crown in over a decade. In fact between 2010 and 2019, the Yankees did not make it to a World Series marking the first time in a century that they did not even appear in a World Series. Instead, the Yankees have come just short of glory and in the post-Jeter, post-A-Rod era they have not accomplished much other than re-signing their veteran core in Brett Gardner. The Yankees need to make a splash this year and complete the first year in this new decade with a World Series appearance at minimum. The Yankees need to have a successful 2020 campaign and all eyes are on them as they are the favorite in Las Vegas to win it all, but if you look at my first prediction this will not come true.