We’re now less than a week away from the start of a 60-game season, with the Astros scheduled to open the season at home against the Mariners this upcoming Friday. The shortened season is going to obviously feel very weird and it is hard to envision anyone being terribly excited under the current set of circumstances. Heck, it is even difficult to see how Major League Baseball actually makes it through the season even with it shortened to just 60 games.
That said, the Astros are still in the mix to make another run deep into the postseason this year. While the offseason was particularly rough with the fallout of the sign-stealing scandal and the loss of Gerrit Cole to the Yankees, the overall talent level on the roster remains high. If there is an area to stress about, it would have to be the potential strain on the pitching depth, especially if Joe Smith opts out and the various ailments affecting Brad Peacock and Austin Pruitt doesn’t subside soon. And, for some reason, Roberto Osuna has yet to throw off a mound.
Nearly 50 percent of the fans who voted expect the Astros to take a fourth consecutive AL West title in 2020. Interestingly enough, the Angels come in second in the poll with the A’s coming in as a close third. The Rangers and Mariners are both below 10 percent, although the former ought to have an above-average starting staff this season.
AL Pennant Prediction
The Yankees come in at a smidge above 40 percent as the favorite to win the AL Pennant in 2020. Not a surprise to be honest as New York did sign Cole and they do boast one of the best lineups in baseball. The Rays are an up-and-coming team in the AL and took the Astros to five games in their ALDS last fall. The Twins come in at third with the Astros and A’s finishing fourth and fifth in the voting, respectively.
World Series Prediction
To no great surprise, the Dodgers and Yankees are the presumed favorites to win the World Series in 2020. The Braves are third with the Rays and Cubs rounding out the top five. Out of the five, the Cubs is the most surprising pick of the bunch. And I thank the fallout of the sign-stealing scandal as the key reason why the Astros were not featured in the World Series poll. C’est la vie.
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