- The addition of Gerrit Cole and a healthier roster should have the New York Yankees primed for success
- Another year of seasoning for the young Toronto Blue Jays, plus the addition of Hyun-Jin Ryu, might give their faithful new hope
- The Angels might finally have put some pieces around Mike Trout to contend in the postseason
While the Houston Astros have certainly dominated the headlines during this MLB offseason, other teams have been somewhat quietly trying to build on their 2019 campaigns.
Only one team can win the World Series, but there are reasons for optimism in many of the cities throughout major-league baseball, even if neighboring teams in those same cities might not be quite so cheerful.
Consequently, here are some of the best bets for teams that will either improve or regress in their 2020 MLB win totals.
New York Yankees 2020 Win Total Odds
|Over 101.5 wins||-115|
|Under 101.5 wins||-115|
All odds taken on January 23.
The 27-time World Series champions did not take their second American League Championship Series loss to the Astros in three seasons lightly. The team almost immediately upped the ante, handing the 2019 AL strikeout and ERA leader, Gerrit Cole, a record-breaking deal that will see him pitch in the Bronx for the foreseeable future.
Gerrit Cole signed the richest contract ever for an MLB pitcher … and it's not even close ? pic.twitter.com/ZQLG5pIF6j
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 11, 2019
The team’s new ace doesn’t have to do it all though. This team has registered back-to-back 100-win seasons under the stewardship of manager Aaron Boone, and managed to put up 103 wins last year with a roster that was decimated by injuries. Chief among those were the ailments that limited former MVP Giancarlo Stanton to just 18 games, while right-hander Luis Severino, a 19-game winner in 2018, was reduced to just three starts last year.
2020 will be a big year for Giancarlo Stanton. pic.twitter.com/CGOsrZqf85
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) December 23, 2019
On top of that, New York will be hoping for better years from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, as both played just 102 and 106 games, respectively, while youngster Gleyber Torres is only getting better.
For a team that scored a major-league-leading 943 runs last year, the prospects for 2019 are truly mouthwatering.
Pick: Over 101.5 (-115)
Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Win Total Odds
|Over 75.5 wins||-115|
|Under 75.5 wins||-115|
While the Blue Jays didn’t set the AL East on fire in the same way that their counterparts in the Bronx did, Toronto did undergo something of a metamorphosis in 2019.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the 3rd youngest AL player EVER with 10+ total bases in a game (Buddy Lewis in 1936 & Al Kaline in 1955). pic.twitter.com/S2NF8dA8is
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 2, 2019
The team got younger – much younger – with the additions of what agent Scott Boras called “MLB royalty” in the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, all sons of former major-leaguers.
All three fared decently in their rookie campaigns – with Guerrero’s 69 RBIs and Bichette’s .930 OPS standing out – but the trio should take a big step forward in 2020, along with fellow youngster Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Hyun-Jin Ryu's Changeup and Cutter (home plate view). pic.twitter.com/TVIpVxogSo
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 28, 2019
On the pitching front, the team made a bold statement of intent with the signing of 2019 major-league ERA champ, Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Korean hurler will now anchor a staff that includes Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson, and that trio, along with holdover Trent Thornton, should help improve on the team ERA of 4.79.
For a team that lost 95 games in 2019, look for a considerable improvement in the new season.
Pick: Over 75.5 (-115)
Los Angeles Angels 2020 Win Total Odds
|Over 85.5 wins||-115|
|Under 85.5 wins||-115|
The 2019 season was a case of the same old story for the Los Angeles Angels. A team that began the season full of hope of contending for a wild card quickly fell by the wayside as the starting pitching failed to take control of games. The Angels ultimately ended up falling to a 72-90 record and finished 24 games back of said wild card.
But with skipper Joe Maddon back with the Angels (he was on staff for the 2002 title-winning season), the new year should bring a whole new perspective.
Anthony Rendon is very good.
Anthony Rendon is very clutch.
— MLB (@MLB) July 30, 2019
The most notable thing the Angels did in the offseason was to sign all-star third baseman Anthony Rendon to a monster contract that will give the team the ability to pair him with Mike Trout in a formidable one-two punch in the middle of the order.
The return to full health of two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who didn’t pitch in 2019 following Tommy John surgery, should also help a team that had a -99 run differential.
ICYMI: Shohei Ohtani has been cleared to throw off a mound.
Here is a reminder of what he can do. ? pic.twitter.com/hvNRWe2DgD
— MLB (@MLB) December 3, 2019
In addition to the return of Ohtani to the rotation, the team also picked up Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran, and they should help the team improve on last year’s 5.12 team ERA.
Going up against the Astros in the AL West will not be easy, as disgraced or not, Houston still possesses a formidable team, but the Angels should improve enough to push past their expected wins total.
Pick: Over 85.5 (-115)
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