New Arena senior writers Dylan Fraychineaud, Harris Ahmadzai, and Jason Fray will offer their divisional and World Series predictions — as well as major awards predictions — for the upcoming 2020 season.
American League West
DF: Oakland Athletics
Thanks to the lack of punishment handed down by the Commissioner, the Houston Astros have a great chance to retain the AL West crown. Aside from the lowly Mariners, each team in the division will enter the season with high expectations. The Angels employ the best player in the world (Mike Trout) and two more elite talents in Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. Texas has a sneaky-good pitching staff and could push for a Wild Card berth. And then there is Oakland. The A’s have won 97 games two years in a row. The left side of their infield is hard to top, and the A’s pitching staff has the potential to be amongst the league’s best. Plus, karma will work its magic this season…one would hope.
HA: Oakland Athletics
Houston’s three-year reign of dominance over the American League West will come to end — just like their covert sign-stealing operation allegedly did. The A’s enter 2020 with two key advantages: a deep pitching staff and arguably the best infield in baseball. Led by Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Matt Olson, Oakland’s infield accounted for over 22 WAR in 2019.
JF: Houston Astros
Whether you’re a believer in karma or not, the baseball Gods may have a vendetta with the Astros. This could derail their season completely. When looking at their team as a whole, the ‘Stros are still the most talented team in the AL West (even without Gerrit Cole). Barring the rotation completely falling apart, Houston should win the division (even without banging on trash cans).
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