By: Lamonte Thomas
Headline Photo Courtesy: MLB Press Box
Here’s a breakdown of the teams that cover entering the 2020 MLB season. Despite it being a shorter MLB season this should be a fun one. Enjoy my preview and thanks for following the LegacyMaker Sports Network.
BOSTON RED SOX
Photo Credit: NY Post
Two years ago Boston was on top of the baseball world. Since then, they have fallen further from the MLB’s grace than the league itself. The team joins the long list of cheating and PED scandals after an investigation into Boston’s use of the video replay monitor to decode opposing teams’ signals led to penalties against them. Since then, the identity of the team has changed drastically: Alex Cora is gone, as is Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations. The Los Angeles Dodgers who fell to Boston in the World Series, have acquired former Red Sox David Price and Mookie Betts in a trade. That still leaves Boston with J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi on offense, but pitching is a major issue. Rick Porcello is in New York as a Met and Chris Sale is out for Tommy John Surgery. To top it all off eBoston has luxury tax penalties in a shortened 60-game regular season, which could extend to 2021 if Covid shuts baseball down this year. Fourth in the division would be an accomplishment at this point.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Photo Credit: NGSCSports.com
Pitching problems part two. The offense however, has a large upside. Mike Trout has been the most consistent, strongest bat in baseball, and perhaps the Anthony Rendon signing will take some of the pressure off. The possibility that Shohei Othani may be limited fresh from injury means that the Angels will need a breakout performance from somewhere in the bullpen. The AL West is no slouch with the Houston Astros picking up steam but LA’s bats could lead them to some high-run wins– in a shortened season don’t be surprised to see them win the Wild Card.
Photo Cred: ballparksofbaseball.com
The last place World Series odds for the Marlins do not exactly spell out success; but CEO Derek Jeter and Manager Don Mattingly know a thing or two about succeeding. Culture change is the name of the game here- from top to bottom. The coaching staff is in place as Miami named James Rowson the hitting coach, who previously turned the Minnesota Twins around. Veteran infielder Jonathan Villar, who played all 162 games last year, comes to Miami with numerous All-Stars. Corey Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Aguilar and Matt Joyce will join the Marlins while shortstop Miguel Rojas signed a two-year $10 million deal to stay in Miami. Pitching hopeful Sixto Sanchez is hoping to add consistency with his fastball, though the bullpen will be a Wild Card if Miami ever hopes to win one. Thirty games in the W column would be a huge turnaround for the Marlins in a short season.
Photo Credit: AZsnakepit.com
Arizona pulled a fast one this offseason by landing Pitcher Madison Bumgarner from division foe San Francisco, and the Giants responded by grabbing Wilmer Flores. Other key signings for the Diamondbacks include Stephen Vogt, Kole Calhoun, Junior Guerra, Hector Rondon, and oh yeah- Starling Marte. The division will be a tough go this year as the Padres, Rockies and Giants will all be chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers as potential contenders. Having the AL West on the schedule doesn’t help, either. To have a chance, Arizona will need a hot streak to spread faster than– well, the state, nation and the MLB don’t need to be reminded.