Which 2019 Division Winner Has The Most Downside In 2020?
This is one of 10 burning questions in our 2020 MLB season preview. To see all of our bold predictions, click here. All answers to the question are from Baseball America’s editorial team.
Ben Badler: Braves. They’re still good, but the level of competition between them and the rest of the NL East is greater relative to what the other 2019 division winners face.
Carlos Collazo: None. It’s hard to talk myself out of any of the division winners from a year ago. The Braves have more competition than most of the division winners, but I like their depth and I think the Twins will bring enough firepower back in 2020.
JJ Cooper: Braves. Atlanta could be a better team than the ones that won the NL East in 2018 and 2019 and still fall back because the division is so competitive.
Matt Eddy: Twins. Adding Josh Donaldson was a boon to a deep and excellent lineup, but failing to add a durable rotation anchor leaves the club in a similar spot as 2019, when the Twins’ starting corps ranked ninth in the AL in ERA. The issue could be magnified by the improvements made by other AL teams, including the Angels and White Sox as well as the up-and-coming Blue Jays lineup.
Kyle Glaser: Twins. The Bomba Squad can still mash, and the addition of Kenta Maeda helps, but the back of that rotation is awfully scary with its reliance on injury-riddled veterans (Homer Bailey, Rich Hill, Michael Pineda) and unproven late-bloomers (Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer).
Joe Healy: Astros. I still have them projected to win their division, but it’s not difficult to see the 2020 season going in a different direction altogether.
Josh Norris: Astros. Losing Gerrit Cole and the expected dimming of the dark arts should add up to a bit of a drop in Houston.
Chris Trenkle: Astros. Many variables at play here. They lost one of the best pitchers in baseball and one of the best managers in the sport and now have a huge target on their backs.