It’s no question that the Los Angeles Dodgers will run away with the NL West this season. But, is there any team that could give them a run for their money?
The Houston Astros have won the last three AL West Division Titles. But, our TWSN analysts both agree on the fact that there won’t be a fourth consecutive division crown going to Houston. Where will it end up?
Our 2020 Western Division Predictions:
National League West:
Seipp: After somewhat over performing in 2019, the Diamondbacks went out and made some offseason acquisitions that included Madison Bumgarner, Starling Marte, and Kole Calhoun. With the schedule the Diamondbacks play, they may be able to rack up wins against bottom-feeders, but expect them to sit around .500 yet again in 2020. Record Prediction: 29-31.
Seitz: The Diamondbacks added Starling Marte through an off-season move with Pittsburgh, but is he really enough of a difference for the D-Backs to make it to October? Arizona has been the definition of mediocrity the past two years and I see this continuing in 2020. Record Prediction: 32-28.
Seipp: The middle of the Rockies lineup, which consists of Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Daniel Murphy, may be more dangerous than any other team in baseball. The problem? That’s all they have. Colorado has a nice young rotation, but no bullpen to show for it. A major x-factor for the Rockies this year is hometown kid Kyle Freeland. If he could bounce back in 2020, it would be a huge plus for the Rockies pitching staff. Record Prediction: 29-31.
Seitz: The only positive thing going for Colorado is they get to play 30 games at Coors Field. It’s going to be a tough year for the Rockies as they should struggle to get anything going with a schedule that has them playing the Dodgers, Astros, A’s and other western opponents. Record Prediction: 21-39.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Seipp: The Dodgers are easily the best team in the National League. The question isn’t “Will they win the division?”, it’s “Will they finally win the pennant?”. They have the reigning MVP Cody Bellinger and a prime candidate for the Cy Young in Walker Buehler. The Dodgers are set to win the NL West for the 8th consecutive season. Record Prediction: 43-17.
Seitz: The Dodgers are going to win a lot of games. I think there is a chance Walker Buehler, Cody Belenger, and Mookie Betts propel LA to a single-digit loss season. The Dodgers should be the favorite to come out of the National League. Record Prediction: 48-12.
San Diego Padres:
Seipp: After an electrifying 84 games last season, Fernando Tatis Jr. could be a major spark plug for the Padres; he’s a potential MVP candidate in the shortened season. The Padres have a complete lineup top to bottom, the only questions arise when it comes to their starting pitching behind Chris Paddack. If Dinelson Lamet breaks out, expect the Padres to finish over .500 for the first time since 2010. Record Prediction: 31-29.
Seitz: The Padres are once again an odd team coming into the season. The pieces are there for San Diego to contend for a playoff spot, but they will need solid years from some of their role players to help Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. The Padres’ pitching staff also raises questions when it comes to success this season. Record Prediction: 29-31.
San Francisco Giants:
Seipp: It’s an even year, but it’s most definitely not the Giants’ year. Mike Yastrzemski is the only bright spot for the Giants this season as the team continues to not move on from some of their long standing players. Bumgarner finally left, but the Giants still have Pablo Sandavol and Johnny Cueto under contract while bringing back Hunter Pence this year. It’s time to move on, San Francisco. Record Prediction: 18-42.
Seitz: The Giants will be joining the Rockies at the bottom of the NL West when it’s all set and done this season. The Giants just don’t have the pieces to do anything special this season. Look to see what kind of year Johnny Cueto has coming off of an injury in 2019. Record Prediction: 22-38
Seipp: Division: Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17).
Seitz: Division: Los Angeles Dodgers (48-12).
American League West:
Seipp: While the Houston Astros lineup is still intact for the most part, their pitching is a major concern after Justin Verlander. Zack Greinke is entering his age-37 season while Lance McCullers is just coming back from injury. The bullpen looks weaker than ever this season in Houston, while no team wants to see them winning again. Also, Dusty Baker it’s at the helm; don’t expect them to over perform this season. Record Prediction: 33-27.
Seitz: The Houston Astros dodged a bullet. There will be no fans to heckle them and only 60 games to be hit by pitches. All joking aside, I expect Houston to contend for the AL West once again in 2020. I expect the Houston lineup to tick down slightly in production, but should still put up good numbers. A completely healthy Justin Verlander also helps Houston’s cause. If the Astros want to go back to the Fall Classic they need a pitcher like Lance McCullers to step up. Record Prediction: 36-24.
Los Angeles Angels:
Seipp: If Mike Trout wasn’t going to have a child in August, which means there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding how many games he will play, the Angels would be easily my pick for the AL West. But, the more you look down the roster, the more you realize, for the first time since 2014, the team isn’t just Mike Trout. The Angels lineup looks complete while their bullpen looks more solidified than it has in years under new pitching coach Mickey Callaway. Their only questions come when looking at their starting rotation; but, Shoehi Ohtani is fully healthy to pitch again and Griffin Canning is a prime candidate to break out after his injury-riddled 2019 season. For the first time since 2014, Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels will be returning to the postseason. Record Prediction: 35-25.
Seitz: Mike Trout may actually have a shot at the Postseason, but only if the Angels pitching can step up. Los Angeles went out and added star third baseman Anthony Rendon from Washington and hired new manager Joe Maddon this winter, yet failed to add pitching. LA is gaining Shohei Ohtani back after losing most of 2019 to Tommy John surgery, but that may not be enough to get the Halos back to October. Record Prediction: 32-28.
Seipp: The A’s may be the first team out of a playoff spot this season. This lineup continues to look like it has no holes while their pitching core only seems to be strengthening. With their tough schedule, the A’s might have their challenges. But, there is no team in the American League that gets as hot as Oakland when they get going. Unfortunately, that normally doesn’t happen until the second half for the A’s, so they’ll have to get things ramped up sooner than later. Record Prediction: 34-26.
Seitz: The A’s keep finding themselves losing in the American League Wild Card game. 2020 is the year the A’s finally are able to topple the big bad Houston Astros. The A’s have the ability to get hot and ride that wave over a 60-game stretch. The A’s also have the most underrated player in MLB in Marcus Semien as well as stud third baseman Matt Chapman. Record Prediction: 38-22.
Seipp: With Mitch Haniger still sidelined, there are no bright spots in Seattle’s lineup. It’ll be another tough season for the Mariners in 2020. Hopefully Jerry Dipoto brings up his young prospects early, such as Jarred Kelenic. Record Prediction: 15-45.
Seitz: Seattle is yet again going to be a bottom feeder in the American League. The long playoff drought will unfortunately continue in the Pacific Northwest as the Mariners could struggle to win 25 games. Record Prediction: 24-36.
Seipp: A Lance Lynn – Mike Minor – Corey Kluber starting rotation just screams mediocre. The Rangers lineup is led by 38-year-old Shin-Soo Choo and 32-year-old Elvis Andrus and is rounded out by Todd Frazier (34-year-old) and Robinson Chirinos (36-year-old). It’ll be interesting to see how Joey Gallo embarks on his 2019 campaign and keep an eye out for Nick Solak, a player who could easily make his way into the top half of this Texas lineup. Record Prediction: 25-35.
Seitz: Texas made a splash this offseason making a few moves to better themselves. The biggest name being that of Corey Kluber. In an 162-game season, Texas would have hovered around .500 almost the entire year. In a 60-game season, the Rangers have the potential to fall on either side of .500 with one winning or losing streak. Record Prediction: 29-31.
Seipp: Division: Los Angeles Angels (35-25).
Seitz: Division: Oakland A’s (38-22).