Just when we thought that Baltimore was going to be the proud new owner of a new Trophy (the Lombardi) the unthinkable happens, the Ravens collapse and lose to the Titans. It seemed like a sure thing … Lamar Jackson and Purple Reign looked unbeatable. But the sports gods can be fickle creatures. So, bring on the MLB season!
When we check the MLB Picks at SBR, we see the Baltimore Orioles are super long-shots at +100,000 to win the World Series in 2020. Now, I must say, even though those seem like impossible odds, it’s better than playing the lottery. A $10 bet would net you $10,000.00 if the Orioles made it through the postseason and won it all. I mean, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, the Washington Nationals just won the whole thing from the NL wild card seat!
A Look at the AL East
Well, the New York Yankees are the favorites to win the AL East and the World Series in 2020. They have continued to load up their roster because well … they can. They are the Evil Empire and the have the money to do so.
The Yanks have strengthened their starting rotation with a 9-year 324 million dollar signing of Gerrit Cole. So why is this scary? Because the Yanks had the third-best record in the Bigs last season and they just added a guy who had a 2.50 ERA with 326 strikeouts on 212 innings pitched. The Yanks managed their 103-59 record even without Giancarlo Stanton for most of the season and Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez missing 96 games together as well.
If the Yankees stay healthy, they could prove to be Bird-Bane for the Orioles in 2020. I hate to wish ill-will on anyone, but we need to hope for another injury-riddled season on the part of the Yanks if the Os want a chance of competing against this ridiculously stacked roster.
The Rays have been sitting on their highly-rated farm players for a while, but they just unloaded to add some depth to their MLB roster. They haven’t loaded up like the Yanks, but the Rays have been pretty busy over the offseason. They picked up Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for their top-rated pitching and catching prospects.
Tampa Bay had a solid season, just seven games behind the Yanks last year. And they are hoping that a bit of extra depth in the dugout will close the depth between the Rays and the AL East winners.
The Blue Jays have made moves as well. They paid big to steal Hyun-Jin Ryu and also added Chase Anderson in November. So, the Jays have worked pretty hard to garner an elite pitching staff on top of all their other moves.
The Red Sox are a full 20 million dollars over the luxury tax line … so there are a handful of stars on their roster that could hit the bricks in trade. This would not exclude David Price, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Nathan Eovaldi, and Chris Sale. But because of this, there are some prospects such as Josh Ockimey who might get their shot in 2020. That said, the Sox are going to have to unload, and this will cause a massive dynamic shift. I do not think they will be an 80-win team in 2020.
So, where does this leave the Orioles? Are they still going to be on the bottom of the division?
Well, unfortunately, it may be. But there could be a three-way race between the Os, the Jays, and the Sox for the middle of the division. The Orioles are starting to look pretty good defensively, as far as their infield is concerned. Jose Iglesias rounds out a solid infield and if Chris Davis can finally shake the gremlins off his bat, they might not only be good on defense but productive at the plate as well.
We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the offseason shakes out, and who ends up where. But the O’s have a good shot to climb off the bottom of the AL East in 2020.