Cubs: Standings prediction for the 2020 MLB season
Many wonder if the defending champions can make a run to repeat.
1st place: Atlanta Braves
On paper, this team is one of the most talented young teams in baseball. Freddie Freeman is returning from a fierce battle with COVID-19, but he hopes to be fully ready to play. Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuna Jr. (hit 41 homers .883 OPS in 2019) will make up core along with Freeman. Nick Markakis opted out of the season, but they did add former Cardinals slugger Marcell Ozuna to the mix. The bullpen looks pretty good with Will Smith and Mark Melancon and the rotation can be solid as well with Max Fried and former Cub Cole Hamels (if he is healthy).
2nd place: New York Mets
Here is a team that can make some noise in 2020. Adding Marcus Stroman to pitch alongside Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom can make the top of the rotation deadly. Hopefully, deGrom can be healthy for the season. Young slugger Pete Alonso is joined by veteran Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and finally Yoenis Cespedes, who has not played since 2018. On paper, this team can be outstanding, and somewhat of a dark horse this year. Health will play a significant factor.
3rd place: Washington Nationals
The defending World Series champions quest to repeat will not be easy. They have tough competition in the division and lost Anthony Rendon, but they still have a good of a squad. Sensation Juan Soto will continue to grow, and there is a lot of hope for infielder Carter Kieboom. They have added former Cub infielder Starlin Castro and former Brewer slugger, Eric Thames, as well. The pitching staff should still be good with superstars Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the rotation and Sean Doolittle in the pen.
4th place: Philadelphia Phillies
It will be interesting to see what Bryce Harper does in these 60 games. He has looked good in spring training 2.0 so far. The Phillies lineup also features J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. There are some excellent hitters on the squad, and the rotation added former Mets starter Zack Wheeler to pitch alongside 2018 All-Star Aaron Nola and former Cub ace Jake Arrieta. However, they still need to get over the elusive .500 hump with this core. Talent is there, but they have to prove it as a team first. Depth is going to have to step up.
5th place: Miami Marlins
Mr. November’s team is in the middle of a major rebuilding phase. MLB.com has ranked their farm system fourth in baseball. The MLB team itself will still not be outstanding. However, they did add some veteran pieces, including Jesus Aguilar, Corey Dickerson and reliever Brandon Kintzler. It will be interesting to watch pitcher Sandy Alcantara who made 32 starts with a 3.88 ERA at age 23. They still have a long way to go to contention, but they are looking to climb further.