Who Will Knock it Out of the Park This Year in the A. L.?

Who Will Knock it Out of the  Park This Year in the A. L.?

With the 2020 MLB season about to commence, there have been numerous teams that have traded off star players. With many of the teams having new faces on their rosters, they look to bring home a title. 

The Baltimore Orioles had a very disappointing 2019 season. With star outfielder Adam Jones leaving to join the Nippon Professional Baseball League, it will be interesting to see how the team will be able to fill that spot. The good news for the Orioles is that they are rebuilding and are not expected to make any noise this season because of the rebuild.

With Alex Cora being fired in the offseason for being a part of the 2017 Astros cheating scandal, the Red Sox look to rebound after having a disappointing campaign. Star right fielder Mookie Betts left to join the L. A. Dodgers. There are many questions on how Boston will perform this year with a new manager and many new players joining the team in the spring.

For the Blue Jays, not many people have big expectations for them. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has proven to be a young talent that can benefit the team moving forward. Guerrero’s bat has proven to give a spark to the team but it was not enough last season. 

The Tampa Bay Rays had a very good season in 2019. Their pitching staff is very explosive with Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow. Austin Meadows has emerged as a huge superstar on the roster. The Rays are a small market team so losing to the Astros in five games in the ALDS was not a huge disappointment to the baseball world.

Both the Rays and the Yankees can make arguments regarding last year’s postseason due to the Astros cheating. The New York Yankees are predicted to win the A. L. East this year. With the pickup of star pitcher Gerrit Cole from Houston, the Yankees add a much needed arm to the roster. Gleyber Torres and D. J. LeMahieu broke out in 2019. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can keep the majority of their roster healthy this season because the 2019 campaign was filled with injuries to star players.

The White Sox had a very mediocre 2019 season. Tim Anderson has become the team’s most valuable player. Though not as potent as in the past, Jose Abreu still brings a powerful bat to the plate. The pickup of catcher Yasmani Grandal from the Milwaukee Brewers was an excellent move.

Cleveland made a couple changes to their roster in the offseason. The most notable was the trading of star pitcher Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. The Indians fell just short of the postseason last year and are looking to get back to their full potential.

The Detroit Tigers had the worst record in Major League Baseball in 2019. Miguel Cabrera’s days in Detroit are numbered. Since the team is going through a rebuilding process, it is highly unlikely to see them in the postseason this year.

The Royals are another team that is going through a rebuilding process. There are very little expectations for them for the 2020 season due to the fact that they have released or traded the majority of their star ball players for cap space.

The Twins had a very suprising season in 2019 leading the league in home runs hit and the most in a single season in MLB history. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz had an incredible season in 2019 demolishing baseballs left and right. Along with Miguel Sano, Josh Donaldson will provide another very good power bat on the team. 

The Los Angeles Angels made a very bold move this offseason by picking up 2019 World Series champion and former Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon had an outstanding year with the Nationals, leading them to the World Series. The Angels problem continues to be pitching. With Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani carrying the majority of the load, the Angels pitching needs to step up their game if they want to compete for the A. L. West title this season. 

The Oakland Athletics are the definition of a small market baseball team. The team has very little money compared to organizations like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox. With a disappointing Wild Card Game performance last year resulting in a 5-1 loss to the Rays, the team looks to rebound with a strong squad to try to take back the A. L. West division from the Astros.

The Seattle Mariners are a team that is undergoing the process of rebuilding. With “King” Felix Hernandez leaving and joining the Braves, the pitching rotation is in need of help. Dee Gordon, Kyle Seager, and Mitch Haniger are exceptional talents. For this team to be successful, the pitching staff needs to get better as well as a more consistent offensive game.

One team that seems to have all of the talent needed to make a playoff run is the Texas Rangers. Over the past two seasons the Rangers have started out the season very well but faded after the All Star break. The addition of former Indians pitcher Corey Kluber was a good move that will help keep the pitching rotation in order.

The Astros were definitely the team that was the most talked about during the offseason. This was not because of key trades but for cheating during the past three seasons. With manager A. J. Hinch being fired, the Astros look to show all of the haters that they can still win the title without help from technology. Houston has become the most hated team in baseball. The team will be receiving lots of hate throughout the season at various stadiums especially the Dodger and the Yankees.

The American League division over the past two years has been more dominant than the National League. Last year three teams that reached the playoffs had over 100 wins while only one from the National League did. It will be interesting to see if any teams will be a surprise this year and make a deep playoff run or if it will be the same few teams being dominant.