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MLB preview: 2020 American League team capsules

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lineup:C Martin Maldonado1B Yuli Gurriel2B: Jose AltuveSS Carlos Correa3B Alex BregmanLF Michael BrantleyCF George SpringerRF: Josh ReddickDH: Yordan AlvarezFun Fact: Alvarez, 22, had 27 home runs in 87 games.Best Case: Rookie pitcher Forrest Whitley helps the rotation after a grisly 2018.Worst Case: Verlander and Alvarez don’t recover quickly from spring injuries.Prediction: First. They have a chip, a cause and no fan abuse.OAKLAND ATHLETICS2019 Record: 97-65Rank in AL Runs: 5thRuns allowed: 4thRun Differential: Plus-165Manager: Bob MelvinRotation: Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Jesus Luzardo, A.J. PukCloser: Liam HendriksBullpen: Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, J.B. Wendelken, T.J. McFarland, Burch Smith, Chris BassittLineup:C Sean Murphy/Austin Allen1B Matt Olson2B Franklin BarretoSS Marcus Simien3B Matt ChapmanLF Mark CanhaCF Ramon LaureanoRF Stephen PiscottyDH Khris DavisFun Fact: Manaea was 4-0 in five starts with a 1.21 ERA when healthy.Best Case: The Secret Service protects Fiers when he returns to Houston.Worst Case: Hendriks turns out to be a one-year wonder as a closer.Prediction: Second. This team has won 97 games each of the past two years.LOS ANGELES ANGELS2019 Record: 72-90Rank in AL Runs: 8thRuns Allowed: 10thRun Differential: Minus-99Manager: Joe MaddonRotation: Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, Griffin CanningCloser: Hansel RoblesBullpen: Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian, Kenyan Middleton, Noe Ramirez, Taylor Cole, Mike MayersLineup:C Jason Castro1B Albert Pujols2B Tommy La StellaSS Andrelton Simmons3B Anthony RendonLF Justin UptonCF Mike TroutRF Brian GoodwinDH Shohei OhtaniFun Fact: La Stella was hitting .300 on July 2. He played two games after that.Best Case: Jo Adell comes up at some point with Rookie of the Year stuff.Worst Case: None of the rotation remedies pans out.Prediction: Third. Anything higher depends on Ohtani.TEXAS RANGERS2019 Record: 78-84Rank in AL Runs: 6thRuns Allowed: 12thRun Differential: Minus-68Manager: Chris WoodwardRotation: Corey Kluber, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Jordan LylesBullpen: Rafael Montero, Luke Farrell, Nick Goody, Joely Rodriguez, Brett Martin, Yohander Mendez, Luis Garcia, Jesse ChavezCloser: Jose LeclercLineup:C Robinson Chirinos1B Todd Frazier2B Rougned OdorSS Elvis Andrus3B Nick SolakLF Willie CalhounCF Domingo SantanaRF Joey GalloDH Shin-Soo ChooFun Fact: Odor led the league with 178 strikeouts and hit .205 with 30 homers.Best Case: Kluber regains Cy Young form, takes the rotation with him.Worst Case: Calhoun doesn’t recover from spring training beaning.Prediction: Fourth. The new ballpark factor should propel them for a while.SEATTLE MARINERS2019 Record: 68-94Rank in AL Runs: 10thRuns Allowed: 13thRun Differential: Minus-135Manager: Scott ServaisRotation: Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, Justus Sheffield, Kendall GravemanCloser: Yoshihisa HiranoBullpen: Brandon Brennan, Carl Edwards, Sam Tuivailala, Dan Altavilla, Taylor Guilbeau, Nestor CortesLineup:C Tom Murphy1B Evan White2B Shed LongSS J.P. Crawford3B Kyle SeagerLF Jake FraleyCF Mallex SmithRF Kyle LewisDH Dan VogelbachFun Fact: Servais, in his fifth year, is the second-longest-tenured manager in club history, behind Lou Piniella.Best Case: The Mariners get more than 106 games out of Seager.Worst Case: This team is as bad as it looks on paper.Prediction: Fifth. It’s probably the most anonymous roster in the Mariners’ 43 years.————————AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRALMINNESOTA TWINS2019 Record: 101-61Rank in AL Runs: 2ndRuns Allowed: 6thRun Differential: Plus-185Manager: Rocco BaldelliRotation: Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill/Randy Dobnak/Michael PinedaBullpen: Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, Cody Stashak, Devin Smeltzer, Matt Wisler, Fernando RomeroCloser: Taylor RogersLineup:C Mitch Garver/Alex Avila1B Miguel Sano2B Luis ArraezSS Jorge Polanco3B Josh DonaldsonLF Eddie RosarioCF Byron BuxtonRF Max KeplerDH Nelson CruzFun Fact: The Twins set an MLB record with 307 home runs, and over a quarter of Garver’s fly balls left the park.Best Case: Maeda makes the rotation deeper.Worst Case: The Twins miss batting coach Derek Shelton, now Pittsburgh’s manager.Prediction: First. They’ll go as far as an underrated bullpen takes them.CHICAGO WHITE SOX2019 Record: 72-89Rank in AL Runs: 13thRuns Allowed: 9thRun Differential: Minus-124Manager: Rich RenteriaRotation: Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo LopezBullpen: Steve Cishek, Kelvin Herrera, Jace Fry, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Jimmy Cordero, Carson FulmerCloser: Alex ColomeLineup:C Yasmani Grandal1B Jose Abreu2B Leury GarciaSS Tim Anderson3B Yoan MoncadaLF Eloy JimenezCF Luis RobertRF Nomar MazaraDH Edwin EncarnacionFun Fact: Anderson hit .240 in 2018 and won the 2019 batting title at .335, the third Chisox player to do so (Luke Appling, Frank Thomas).Best Case: Robert harnesses all of his oozing talent.Worst Case: Giolito again has to carry the rotation.Prediction: Second. Their future might not be now, but it’s soon.CLEVELAND INDIANS2019 Record: 93-69Rank in AL Runs: 7thRuns Allowed: 3rdRun Differential: Plus-112Manager: Terry FranconaRotation: Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Adam Plutko, Jefry RodriguezBullpen: Emmanuel Clase, Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, Hunter Wood, James Hoyt, Phil MatonCloser: Brad HandLineup:C Roberto Perez1B Carlos Santana2B Cesar HernandezSS Francisco Lindor3B Jose RamirezLF Jordan LuplowCF Oscar MercadoRF Franmil ReyesDH Domingo SantanaFun Fact: Lindor has 44, 42 and 40 doubles the past three seasons.Best Case: Carrasco, 32, can escape his injuries.Worst Case: Tribe goes another year without a 100-RBI man.Prediction: Third. Never underestimate their ability to find pitching.DETROIT TIGERS2019 Record: 47-114Rank in AL Runs: 15thRuns Allowed: 14thRun Differential: Minus-333Manager: Ron GardenhireRotation: Matthew Boyd, Jordan Zimmermann, Spencer Turnbull, Ivan Nova, Daniel Norris/Michael FulmerBullpen: Buck Farmer, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Gregory Soto, Jose Cisnero, David McKayCloser: Joe JimenezLineup:C Austin Romine1B C.J  Cron2B Jonathan SchoopSS Niko Goodrum3B Jeimer CandelarioLF Christin StewartCF JaCoby JonesRF Cameron MaybinDH Miguel CabreraFun Fact: Ex-Angel Cron goes to his third team in three years. His 25 homers in Minnesota would have made him the Tigers’ leader by 10.Best Case: Prospects like Spencer Torkelson and Casey Mize give fans some remote hope.Worst Case: Another sub-50 win season, which would be Detroit’s third in 18 seasons.Prediction: Fourth. They picked enough veterans to at least look presentable.KANSAS CITY ROYALS2019 Record: 59-103Rank in AL Runs: 14thRuns Allowed: 11thRun Differential: Minus-178Manager: Mike MathenyRotation: Brad Keller, Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Jakob Junis, Glenn SparkmanBullpen: Scott Barlow, Jorge Loopez, Jesse Hahn, Trevor Rosenthal, Chance Adams,  Randy Rosario, Jake NewberryCloser: Ian KennedyLineup:C Salvador Perez1B Ryan O’Hearn2B Nicky LopezSS Adalberto Mondesi3B Makiel FrancoLF Alex GordonCF Whit MerrifieldRF Hunter DozierDH Jorge SolerFun Fact: Since the Royals won the 2015 World Series, they are 92 games below .500.Best Case: Soler’s 48-homer season is just a harbinger.Worst Case: Royals again rank last in the league in OBP-against (.348).Prediction: Fifth. This isn’t a rebuild, it’s an excavation.————————AMERICAN LEAGUE EASTNEW YORK YANKEES2019 Record: 103-59Rank in AL Runs: 1stRuns Allowed: 5thRun Differential: Plus-204Manager: Aaron BooneRotation: Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, James Paxton, J.A. Happ/Jordan MontgomeryBullpen: Zack Britton, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Holder, Adam Ottavino, Tyler LyonsCloser: Aroldis ChapmanLineup:C Gary Sanchez.1B Luke Voit2B DJ LeMahieuSS Gleyber Torres3B Gio UrshelaLF Giancarlo StantonCF Brett GardnerRF Aaron JudgeDH Miguel AndujarFun Fact: Fourteen Yankees hit 10 home runs or more, and the team hit 306, one off Minnesota’s MLB record.Best Case: Torres, the 22-year-old who hit 38 home runs, becomes a serious MVP candidate.Worst Case: Effects of COVID-19 hamper LeMahieu and Chapman.Prediction: First. Cole tips the AL balance between the Yankees and Houston.TAMPA BAY RAYS2019 Record: 96-66Rank in AL Runs: 9thRuns Allowed: 2ndRun Differential: Plus-113Manager: Kevin CashRotation: Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, Ryan YarbroughBullpen: Diego Castillo, Colin Poche, Oliver Drake, Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe, Peter Fairbanks, Jalen BeeksCloser: Nick AndersonLineup:C  Mike Zunino1B Ji-Man Choi2B Brandon LoweSS Willy Adames3B Yandy DiazLF Hunter RenfroeCF Kevin KiermaierRF Austin MeadowsDH Jose Martinez/Yoshitomo TsutsugoFun Facts: Rays’ pitchers gave up 17 fewer homers than any other AL staff.Best Case: Shortstop Wander Franco comes up and spreads wonder.Worst Case: Renfroe, from San Diego, has trouble switching leagues.Prediction: Second. Pushing Houston to Game 5 of the AL Division Series will be a benefit.BOSTON RED SOX2019 Record: 84-78Rank in AL Runs: 4thRuns Allowed: 8thRun Differential: Plus-73Manager: Ron RoenickeRotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Collin McHugh, Zach Godley, Martin Perez/Ryan WeberBullpen: Matt Barnes, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, Ryan Brasier, Marcus Walden, Heath Hembree, Austin Brice, Brian JohnsonCloser: Brandon WorkmanLineup:C Christian Vazquez1B Mitch Moreland2B Jose PerazaSS Xander Bogaerts3B Rafael DeversLF Andrew BenintendiCF Jackie BradleyRF Alex VerdugoDH J.D. MartinezFun Fact: Workman gave up only 29 hits and one home run in 71 ⅔ innings.Best Case: Rodriguez overcomes COVID-19 with few aftereffects.Worst Case: Sox find it tough to fill slots vacated by Chris Sale (injured), David Price, Rick Porcello.Prediction: Third. Higher if they can win a lot of 7-5 games.TORONTO BLUE JAYS2019 Record: 67-95Rank in AL Runs: 12thRuns Allowed: 7thRun Differential: Minus-102Manager: Charlie MontoyoRotation: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Matt Shoemaker, Trent ThorntonBullpen: Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, Sam Gaviglio, Jordan Romano, Thomas Pannone, A.J. Cole, Wilmer Font, Hector PerezCloser: Ken GilesLineup:C Danny Jansen.1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.2B Cavan BiggioSS Bo Bichette3B Travis ShawLF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.CF Randal GrichukRF Derek FisherDH Teoscar HernandezFun Fact: The dads of Guerrero, Biggio, Bichette and Shaw were successful major-leaguers, and Gurriel’s dad was a gold medalist for the Cuban nationals.Best Case: Ryu and Roark give leadership to rotation.Worst Case: Grichuk is able to lead the Jays with only 80 RBIs.Prediction: Fourth. Their youth might be a plus in a short season.BALTIMORE ORIOLES2019 Record: 54-108Rank in AL Runs: 11thRuns Allowed: 15thRun Differential: Minus-252Manager: Brandon HydeRotation: John Means, Alex Cobb, Wade LeBlanc, Asher Wojciechowski, Kohl StewartBullpen: Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Shawn Armstrong, Cody Carroll, Dillon Tate, Cole SulserCloser: Hunter Harvey/Mychal GivensLineup:C Pedro Severino1B Chris Davis2B Hanser AlbertoSS Jose Iglesias3B Rio RuizLF D.J. StewartCF Austin HaysRF Anthony SantanderDH Renato NunezFun Fact: Nunez had 90 RBIs and slugged .570 with men in scoring position.Best Case: Means can somehow squeeze out another winning season with this crew.Worst Case: Orioles play .333 baseball again, which would make them 20-game winners.Prediction: Fifth. The tunnel is still dark. Run Differential: Plus-280Manager: Dusty BakerRotation: Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers, Jose Urquidy, Josh JamesCloser: Roberto OsunaBullpen: Ryan Pressly, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, Joe Smith, Joe Biagini, Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylorcenter_img AMERICAN LEAGUE WESTHOUSTON ASTROS2019 Record: 107-55Rank in AL Runs: 3rdRuns Allowed: 1stlast_img read more

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