MLB's Most Intriguing Teams in 2020
Perfectly trimmed grass. The aroma of hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks around stadiums. Loud cracks of the bat as it makes contact with the white ball with red seams. That can only mean one thing: it’s baseball season!
It’s a new decade in Major League Baseball, and the objective remains the same for all 30 teams: win a World Series and hoist that coveted trophy in October.
While many teams have made key improvements to their rosters, others have decided to stay put and keep their squads intact from last season.
Nonetheless, there are some teams that are going to be intriguing heading into the 2020 season:
HOUSTON ASTROS: After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Nationals in an entertaining seven-game World Series, there was no doubt that the Astros would be continue to be one of the best teams in the league. However, the luster of the team has been severely dimmed in light of the cheating scandal news.
There were harsh penalties handed down to the team, including a loss of first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and a $5 million fine. Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunhow were fired, and now veteran manager Dusty Baker is trying to lead a group that is going to be heavily scrutinized this season. The Astros have plenty of talent on their roster, such as Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander, but they are intriguing because of the attention they will receive from not only fans but also from other teams.
NEW YORK YANKEES: Despite having a MLB record number 30 players on the injured list at some point during the season, the Yankees finished with 103 wins and another trip to the postseason. They took care of business with a sweep against the Twins and lost the series 4-2 in the ALCS to the Astros.
The Bronx Bombers were loaded with offensive firepower, led by players such as Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Aaron Judge. Pitching was inconsistent for the Yankees, but they’re intriguing for this reason: they signed Gerrit Cole, who was the prized free agent among pitchers and arguably all of baseball. He brings his ace pedigree to a team that still has plenty of pitching talent in Domingo German and James Paxton. With the addition of Cole and some luck on their side regarding health, the Yankees will be an intriguing team to watch all year long.
ATLANTA BRAVES: Coming off a 2019 season that ended in tragic (and anticlimactic) fashion with a loss in Game 5 of the NLDS to St. Louis, the Braves know they blew a chance to really make a deep run in the playoffs. Reflecting on the season, there were plenty of bright spots and several young players blossomed, most notably Ronald Acuna Jr., who hit 41 home runs and stole 37 bases.
This season will be another big test for the team, as a platoon of Austin Riley and Johan Camargo will look to fill the void at third base that was left by Josh Donaldson, who signed with the Twins in free agency. The Braves were among the busiest teams in the offseason, and they bolstered their pitching by not only resigning Chris Martin and Darren O’Day, but by also adding veteran Cole Hamels to a talented young rotation. With Marcell Ozuna taking over as the power bat in the cleanup position, this team will have plenty of players to be intriguing enough to pay attention to this season.
CINCINNATI REDS: The NL Central was one of the most competitive divisions in all of baseball last season. The St. Louis Cardinals won the division with a two-game lead over Milwaukee Brewers but neither of teams are intriguing enough to make this list. This team about to be featured should be considered a dark horse to make the playoffs in 2020.
Cincinnati has had a couple of down years, but they have been one of the most active buyers during this offseason.
The Reds have already had the makings of a quality team with a nucleus that consisted of Eugenio Suarez, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray. They’ve added to that nucleus with some quality players such as Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos. With Joey Votto looking to rebound after an uncharacteristically down year, the Reds will be intriguing and really fun to watch this year.
#MLB #HoustonAstros #NewYorkYankees #CincinnatiReds #AtlantaBraves #SportsCall #JovanCutler #Baseball #RonaldAcunaJr #Braves #AustinRiley #JoshDonaldson #ColeHamels #DarrenODay #ChrisMartin #JoeyVotto #GerritCole #LuisCastillo #AaronJudge #AlexBregman #JoseAltuve #JustinVerlander #DustyBaker