2020 MLB Predictions Part Two: A.L. Central
Chapter two of the MLB prediction series and I couldn't be more excited. As a White Sox fan, it's taking everything within me to not put them in first place. And while it's not way out there, the Twins are just the much more dominant team and it would be disrespectful to them to not be labeled as the preseason winners.
This division really only has three teams competing between the White Sox, Indians, and Twins for the top spot. And then there is a huge drop off with the Royals and Indians, and quite honestly both of these ball teams are bad, like really bad. Well, enough with the small talk! Heres my prediction of the AL Central division for the upcoming 2020 season.
American Central Standings
1. Minnesota Twins
91 - 71
This Minnesota team a year ago absolutely RAKED, hitting a league leading 307 home runs and 906 RBIs. This offensive prowess was able to lead them to a division title, eventually seeing their season end against a very good Yankee team. This year? expect them to continue their dominance. They are bringing back almost their entire team and are looking to shine even brighter than they did last year. Probably one of the more impressive aspects of the team this year is bringing back Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, while adding starters Homer Bailey and Kenta Maeda.
Both of these additions are great pieces to add to what already was a solid starting lineup. If they don't miss a beat, they will be one of the top teams in the AL while they look to make a deeper run in the playoffs.
2. Chicago White Sox
89 - 73
Ok, all bias aside, this team is going to be EXCITING. There isn't a team with more hype around them in the entire MLB. The White Sox have so much hope around the entire organization, whether it's the pitching staff or the fielders, they have an absurd amount of young talent. Amongst players like Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert*, and Nick Madrigal the future is bright. Get used to all of these names because they will be good for a long time. And then you factor in offseason signing Yasmani Grandal and it's obvious just exactly why people are so excited to see what this team can do. Of course there are some people that may disagree with me and you may be thinking that I am being generous with the win total but they seriously have a chance to win 90 games.
This teams believes in themselves and are expecting big things. Expect them to finally put the pieces together and show the league what they are about. If all goes well this roster has the chance to make some noise for the next 5-10 years. Big things are happening on the south side, it's not too late to hop on the bandwagon.
3. Cleveland Indians
82 - 80
The Cleveland Indians are going to be a very interesting team this year, some of their moves indicate looking towards a rebuild but they still have a lot of good players on their roster. Last year, they traded away pitcher Trevor Bauer and while he wasn't a Cy Young esk pitcher, he did give the Indians a lot of production. Along with that, all offseason their had been rumors around the Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor being traded away and then they ended up losing Jason Kipnis to free agency. So again, like I said the direction of this team is a bit confusing but still they should be pretty solid this year. Keeping Lindor was huge and the biggest indicator of success for this team, they also still have two-time All-Star Jose Ramirez, one-time All-Star Carlos Santana, and the young slugger Franmil Reyes to lead this team.
So yes, this team will still be fairly good but like I said the direction of this team is concerning and it doesn't seem as if they are gearing up to go win a World Series which is why I am a bit lower on them than most people. Depending on the success in the first half of the season I can also see a situation where they become sellers at the trade deadline. This is a .500 team at best, the Indians near future does not look great.
4. Kansas City Royals
59 - 103
Another interesting team will be the Kansas City Royals. As far as fielding players go, they really aren't all that bad. With players like Whit Merrifeld, Adalberto Mondesi, and Jorge Soler, the future does show some promise. The real problem here is the starting pitching. Last year, this group struggled and didn't post a single pitcher with less than a 4.00 ERA. While making no upgrades to this staff during the off-season it's hard to imagine the Royals doing much better than they did last year.
For them to win games anytime soon, they will have to majorly improve this area. I'll keep this one short cause well there's not much to say, this Royals team will not be very good for yet another season and it will take awhile for them regain their dominance from their 2015 World Series run.
5. Detroit Tigers
51 - 111
This one will be eerily similar to the Orioles recap: short, simple, and full of shit. The Tigers will be competing with the Orioles for the worst team in baseball. Quite honestly I don't know if there is a single good thing to say about this team, their fielders are bad and their pitching is even worse. I would expect them to be sellers come this trade deadline and it would not surprise me to see Miguel Cabrera on the move to a team that needs some offensive fire power, as the 36 year old slugger's time in the league is expiring.
I really don't know what else to say other than the Tigers organization needs to hit a hard rebuild and figure out the direction of this team. For now, it should be another long and disappointing season for Detroit Tiger fans.