The New York Yankees and LA Dodgers head the betting to win the MLB title at the end of a shortened season. The former have the better prospects to win the World Series in 2020.
The finals come at the end of a 60-game regular season that has been scheduled due to the interruption of live sport in the United States. The Washington Nationals are tipped to represent the National League in a World Series that is played over the best of seven matches from October 20 to 28.
Major League Baseball announced how the 2020 season would pan out at the start of July. Each team will play 20 divisional home and away matches and 20 matches against teams in a division from the opposite league. The fixture list has been devised to minimize the amount of travel. Initially games will be played behind closed doors but this will be under review over the course of the truncated season. Training camps began at the start of July.
The Nationals beat the Houston Astros 4-3 in the 2019 World Series. The losing teams in the League Championship Series were the New York Yankees and St Louis Cardinals. The beaten teams in the Division Series were Tampa Bay, Minnesota, the LA Dodgers and Atlanta. If the Washington Nationals win the World Series this season, they will be the first back-to-back winners since the Yankees were the MLB champions in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The first-year player draft took place in June. The 30 MLB teams bid for a total of 160 college amateur players. The order depended on the reverse of the MLB 2019 season standings. The thinking behind this process is to allow the worst team from last season to make the first pick. The Detroit Tigers had the first pick because they had the poorest record last season. Spencer Torkelson, a third batsman from Arizona State, was the first draft selection.
His new team are still big underdogs with the prime stateside online bookies to win the World Series that they have only won four times and not since 1984. The New York Yankees are the most successful team in MLB history. They have 27 wins and 13 finals losses but have not been the MLB champions since 2009. The LA Dodgers won the last of their six titles in 1988. Since 2000, National League and American League teams have each won the World Series 10 times. Since 2010, five Series have gone to the seventh and deciding match.
The Yankees had a 105-57 win/loss record in the AL East in 2019. They then beat Minnesota 3-0 in the Division Series but lost 4-2 to Houston in the League Championship Series. The New York team suffered a number of key injuries and have kept mainly the same roster for the new season. The free agent signing of Gerrit Cole from the Astros could help to make the last four team from 2019 the MLB champions this time.
A successful defence of the World Series has been achieved 22 times since the first MLB season in 1903. The New York Yankees account for 11 of those successive titles. Washington had the 22nd pick in the first season draft and were well down the order in the competitive balance and compensatory rounds. Even though winning another title looks beyond the squad, they can carry forward the momentum from last season and win the National League.
So our MLB picks and World Series predictions are: