With the Super Bowl over and Spring Training still on hold, it’s time for our 2020 World Series predictions. Hope we can start asap.
Our 2020 World Series predictions will take a lot of twists and turns throughout the season but let’s take a look at the five clubs with the greatest odds to take home the trophy in October along with one bonus team to win the World Series.
|Team||World Series odds|
|New York Yankees||+375|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+430|
|New York Mets||+2100|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2200|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2200|
|Boston Red Sox||+3300|
|Chicago White Sox||+3300|
|Los Angeles Angels||+3500|
|San Diego Padres||+4100|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000|
|San Francisco Giants||+10000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+10000|
New York Yankees (+375)
2019 record: 103-59
2019 finish: Lost ALCS to HOU in six games
The New York Yankees didn’t lose any significant pieces and added the top pitcher on the market in Gerrit Cole. New York gave Cole a nine-year contract for $324 million, the most money a pitcher has ever received.
The Yankees did get some bad news recently with left-hander James Paxton, who underwent back surgery on Feb. 5.
Paxton is expected to return to a pitching mound in three to four months. The Yankees’ rotation with or without Paxton is still elite, led by Cole, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
Keeping the three of them healthy is vital to the Yankees’ World Series odds.
The Yankees’ lineup is as lethal as any in Major League Baseball with young stars up and down the order. New York will be even better if they get a consistent season out of Gary Sanchez.
The 27-year-old catcher has hit just .211 over his last two seasons at the plate but with 52 HR and 130 RBI. The sky’s the limit for Sanchez and he could make this Yankees lineup even more dangerous if he could even hit .260 with his power.
The Yankees are one of the few contenders in Major League Baseball without any bullpen concerns either. This team will be judged by its performance in October, which can be a crapshoot, but the Yankees have as good a chance as any team to do right by us in our 2020 World Series predictions.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+430)
2019 record: 106-56
2019 finish: Lost NLDS to WSH in 5 games
The Dodgers have had as much regular season success as anyone for the better part of a decade. Los Angeles has won the NL West in seven consecutive seasons and made two World Series appearances in that span, but the club is looking for their first World Series championship since 1988.
After a few winters on the sidelines, the Dodgers went big game hunting this offseason, acquiring former MVP Mookie Betts in a megadeal with the Red Sox.
Betts will help form one of the better outfields in baseball with reigning MVP Cody Bellinger and veteran outfielder A.J. Pollock.
The starting pitching is fantastic in Los Angeles as well with Walker Buehler having emerged as an ace in 2019. Buehler will join Clayton Kershaw to form one of the better one-two punches in the entire game.
Perhaps the biggest concern with the Dodgers would be they got a lot from lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who finished as the runner-up in the NL Cy Young voting behind Jacob deGrom and lost him via free agency to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The team also traded veteran right-hander Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins.
Los Angeles acquired left-hander David Price in the Betts deal. Price will eat up some of the innings they lost this winter.
With that said, the Dodgers will miss both Ryu and Maeda.
It will be a group of talented youngsters such as Julio Urias and Dustin May who will have the first crack at filling the back of the rotation.
With their incredible resources, both in terms of prospects and cash, the Dodgers, like the Yankees, should be able to add starting pitching over the summer, should they need it.
The Dodgers’ biggest weakness is their bullpen. While the Dodgers finished the regular season with the fourth best bullpen ERA (3.78), closer Kenley Jansen has had his ERA increase significantly in each of the last three seasons as his velocity has dipped.
Jansen has a propensity to give up the long ball, allowing 22 home runs over his last two seasons (134.2 innings pitched). The team could use more relief help at the trade deadline.
While the Dodgers are the favorite to come out of the National League, as they should be, I don’t think they’re really much better than the rest of the field to take them at only +430. Let’s look elsewhere with our 2020 World Series predictions.
Houston Astros (+650)
2019 record: 107-55
2019 finish: Lost WS to WSH in 7 games
How does being blamed for one of the biggest cheating scandals in baseball history impact a team the following season?
That’s the million-dollar question for the Houston Astros. Gone are general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch as basically the fall guys for the sign-stealing scandal.
How the players respond to the adversity of being constantly asked about the scandal all year long will play a major role in how their season turns out.
A World Series hangover also must be considered as the 2015 Kansas City Royals are the only club since 1977 to lose a World Series and come back and win it all the next season.
The club kept their entire offense intact, but it remains to be seen how good this offense actually is without cheating.
Since 2017, the Astros are first in MLB in total bases (7,781) and OPS (.809). Houston is also second in runs per game (5.38) and hits (4,509).
This should still be a great offense, but it remains to be seen if it’ll stay all the way at the top.
The team is also hoping to replace AL Cy Young runner up Gerrit Cole internally, so while there is still a great baseball club, there are holes here. Let’s look elsewhere when making our 2020 World Series predictions.
Atlanta Braves (+1400)
2019 record: 97-65
2019 finish: Lost NLDS to STL in 5 games
Arguably the best division in baseball the last few years, the National League East has been won by the Atlanta Braves in each of the last two seasons.
This team has young, already established hitters all over the lineup and some great young pitching, led by second-year big league starter Mike Soroka.
The only problem is this club has had a lot of issues moving on in the MLB playoffs.
Atlanta has not been out of the National League Divisional Round of the MLB playoffs since 2001, when they lost four games to one to the eventual World Series champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Braves are at the point where they’ll be judged by what they do in the MLB postseason, but it won’t be a simple task of even getting back there. The Braves have the World Series champion Washington Nationals in the same division along with the competitive New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, both looking to make a splash.
The team that beats up on the last-place Miami Marlins the most could be the NL East champion.
Perhaps the biggest question for the Braves is how does this starting rotation look after Soroka?
After an All-Star 2018 season, right-hander Mike Foltynewicz regressed to a 4.54 ERA in 21 starts in 2019.
The team lost veterans Dallas Keuchel and Julio Teheran via free agency. To replace those innings, Atlanta brought in veteran left-hander Cole Hamels on a one-year, $18 million-dollar contract.
Hamels has plenty of experience pitching in the NL East but at 36-years old, how much does he have left in the tank?
The starting pitching here along with the fact that I question whether the Braves are willing to spend the money needed to bring in more pitching near July’s Trade Deadline make me hesitant to pick them for my 2020 World Series predictions.
Washington Nationals (+1500)
2019 record: 93-69
2019 finish: Won WS over HOU in 7 games
The 2019 World Series champions are making a case for my 2020 World Series predictions as the Washington Nationals enter the season nearly as loaded as before.
The Nats were able to re-sign right-hander Stephen Strasburg to continue one of the better front threes in Major League Baseball with Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin.
The Nationals did lose star third baseman Anthony Rendon, who took a mega deal to go to the Los Angeles Angels.
Rendon will be missed, and the team is looking at the trio of Starlin Castro, Asdrubal Cabrera and Carter Kieboom as potential fill-in replacements.
While none of those players are the MVP candidate Rendon is, even if they’re just serviceable, the Nationals should have enough offense to get by.
The biggest question mark around this team is seemingly the same every season, the bullpen. The Nationals bullpen didn’t really stabilize until a midseason trade of Daniel Hudson from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hudson had the best stretch of his career after coming over to the Nationals and signed a multi-year deal to stay in Washington this winter.
If Hudson can repeat his 2019 performance, this bullpen should hold up. The Nationals look as good as any team in the National League and I would be very comfortable picking them in my 2020 World Series predictions.
Bonus team: New York Mets (+2100)
2019 record: 86-76
2019 finish: Missed playoffs
While the Mets have just the seventh best odds of winning the 2020 World Series (tied with the Phillies at the moment), their team is interesting enough to take a closer look as part of our 2020 World Series predictions.
If the Mets were to make the playoffs, they have two dominant starters in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, who could give the Mets a huge advantage most nights in the MLB postseason.
The problem will be getting there in the strong NL East division.
Unsurprisingly, the Mets have several holes that they didn’t address this winter as the club is often known for cutting corners as a way to save a few bucks.
The team let Zack Wheeler walk to the division rival Phillies and replaced him with veteran right-handers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.
Both starters are coming off dismal 2019 seasons and will need to be better if they aim to contribute to the Mets 2020 season. The team will also need more out of starters Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz.
The Mets lineup has been their weakness for most of the last decade but it was above average in 2019 thanks to young hitters Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto.
These three young middle of the order bats should be able to repeat their strong 2019 seasons. If the team can get more out of veteran second baseman Robinson Cano, this can be one of the better offenses in the National League.
The team is also hoping outfielder Yoenis Cespedes can contribute. Cespedes missed all of 2019 and is entering a contract year.
The Mets are banking on bounce-back efforts from a few relievers in their bullpen.
Closer Edwin Diaz had a dismal season after coming over in a trade from the Seattle Mariners.
Set-up men Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson had trouble staying on the field and throwing strikes.
The team also brought in long-time New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. If the Mets can get at least two of Diaz, Familia, Wilson and Betances to be back to their pre-2019 selves, this bullpen can be good.
The Mets have more “ifs” than the rest of the teams on this list but if those “ifs” work out, this could be a team that pays out nicely with your 2020 World Series predictions.
2020 World Series predictions: New York Yankees over Washington Nationals
Injuries are a big part of the sport, but I don’t see how the Yankees aren’t the overwhelming favorite to take home the 2020 World Series.
The Yankees have a great starting rotation, arguably the best bullpen in the sport and an elite lineup. If any of those parts don’t perform well in 2019, general manager Brian Cashman can use the Yankees’ vast resources, both in terms of financially and their treasure chest of prospects to go buy pieces that can help make them World Series champions.
I think the Nationals are the best team in the National League and have now proven they can get to the World Series.
Trea Turner and Juan Soto at the top of the lineup should continue to be special and the Nationals pitching staff would make for a highly entertaining 2020 World Series with the Yankees.
2020 World Series prediction: Yankees (+375)