Predicting an unpredictable MLB season: Who's winning the 2020 World Series?

Yahoo Sports Staff

Who's ready for a wild sprint to October?

Over the next two months and 60 games, Major League Baseball will attempt to do what before required a full six-month,162-game schedule. That is: Determine which 10 teams are best equipped to compete for a spot in the World Series.

Is 60 games enough to truly determine that? Time will tell. We just know that with a smaller sample size, stranger things are more apt to happen. When you factor in the new rules and the general uncertainty — we are still playing baseball through a pandemic, after all — this season has the potential to be the most unpredictable in recent memory.

[More MLB 2020 predictions: MVPs | Cy Youngs]

So naturally, we're here now to do exactly that: Predict the unpredictable. From the most improved teams to which team will emerge as World Series champions, we cover it all. Just go easy on us when they all fall apart.

(Paul Rosales / Yahoo Sports)
(Paul Rosales / Yahoo Sports)

Which team improves its winning percentage the most from 2019 to 2020?

Mo Castillo: Going with two here: The Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets.

Hannah Keyser: Padres, they’ll have to if they’re gonna win a wild card.

Tim Brown: Padres. With competition from Reds, White Sox and Angels.

Nick Ostiller: The Phillies have too much talent to face plant again.

Mark Townsend: White Sox. This team is poised to take a huge step forward.

Jack Baer: White Sox. Don’t think they catch the Twins, but there’s plenty of room for improvement from 72-89.

Mike Oz: White Sox. Lots of young talent and a division with lots of winnable games.

Chris Cwik: White Sox. Edwin Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal will be huge additions to the lineup. Their ability to work counts is underrated, but will play a big role in the team’s offense wrecking pitchers.

More strikeouts: Shohei Ohtani the batter or Shohei Ohtani the pitcher?

Ohtani the batter: 6 votes

Why? Gut-instinct was to pick the pitcher, but because I expect he won’t be used as a regular starting pitcher this season, instead going once a week, let’s play it safe and say the batter (who will eventually win an MVP) will get more Ks. - Mo Castillo

Recovered from Tommy John surgery, Angels star Shohei Ohtani will again attempt to be a two-way player in 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Recovered from Tommy John surgery, Angels star Shohei Ohtani will again attempt to be a two-way player in 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Ohtani the pitcher: 4 votes

Why? I hope this is right. Baseball really needs the full Ohtani experience this season. - Mark Townsend

Who’s going to the postseason?

Tim Brown

AL division winners: Rays, Twins, A’s

NL division winners: Mets, Cubs, Dodgers

Wild cards: Yankees, Astros, Braves, Padres

Hannah Keyser

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Cubs, Dodgers

Wild cards: Rangers, Rays, Padres, Nationals

Mike Oz

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Cubs, Dodgers

Wild cards: White Sox, Rays, Nationals, Reds

Mark Townsend

AL division winners: Rays, White Sox, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Cubs, Dodgers

Wild cards: Yankees, Twins, Nationals, Reds

Chris Cwik

AL division winners: Yankees, White Sox, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Reds, Dodgers

Wild cards: Twins, A’s, Nationals, Cubs

Liz Roscher

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Brewers, Dodgers

Wild cards: Rays, White Sox, Phillies, Reds

Are the White Sox ready to crash the postseason party after an active offseason? (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Are the White Sox ready to crash the postseason party after an active offseason? (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Zach Crizer

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL division winners: Nationals, Reds, Dodgers

Wild cards: A’s, White Sox, Cubs, Diamondbacks

Jack Baer

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, A’s

NL division winners: Nationals, Reds, Dodgers

Wild cards: Astros, Rays, Braves, Cardinals

Mo Castillo

AL division winners: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL division winners: Braves, Brewers, Dodgers

Wild cards: Rays, A’s, Mets, Padres

Nick Ostiller

AL division winners: Rays, Indians, Astros

NL division winners: Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers

Wild cards: Yankees, White Sox, Braves, Cubs

Who wins the World Series?

The five favorites to take home the title, per BetMGM odds, are:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers, +375

  • New York Yankees, +375

  • Houston Astros, +800

  • Atlanta Braves, +1400

  • Minnesota Twins, +1600

Our picks:

Tim Brown: Los Angeles Dodgers. This point, they’ll take it.

Hannah Keyser: Braves. It’s tempting to lean into seeming guarantee that the Yankees or Dodgers are going to parlay their star-studded lineups — punctuated by headline-making acquisitions — into World Series appearances, at the very least. And an NL East pick is uniquely risky given how well-matched many of teams in the division are (and because they’ll be playing the Yankees a whole bunch!) But ultimately, I’m banking on something a little unexpected, but underlaid by the level of young talent on the team, happening in this weirdest of all baseball seasons. 

Mike Oz: The Yankees, and since the Astros are the biggest villains in baseball now, we won’t even hate them for it.

The Dodgers have a terrifying, stacked lineup. Is this the year they finally win the World Series? (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The Dodgers have a terrifying, stacked lineup. Is this the year they finally win the World Series? (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Mo Castillo: The Los Angeles Dodgers will do their best LeBron James impression and bring the ship back to the city after years of unmet expectations … only to be flooded with, “Should the Dodgers championship even count?” headlines once the celebrating ends.

Zach Crizer: Give me the Twins. They could well enter the postseason with the best record in the AL, if not baseball, thanks to the divisional scheduling. I think Josh Donaldson has a lot of miles left in the tank — Minnesota could be to him what Texas was for Adrián Beltré — and the pitching staff was improved mightily this offseason.

Chris Cwik: The Astros. This year sucks and there’s no end in sight for our misery. So, yeah, this feels apt.

Nick Ostiller: What better way for the Dodgers to turn the page on a decade of October disappointment than by claiming a short-season title that will immediately be discredited?

Mark Townsend: Tampa Bay Rays. Empty stadium jokes aside, the Rays’ pitching depth will help them navigate the compact regular season and make them dangerous in October.

Jack Baer: The Dodgers going from back-to-back World Series heartbreak and The Revenge of Howie Kendrick to winning a ring, only for it to come in a season that will be easy to disregard for those who want to disregard it, that sounds about right.

Liz Roscher: Dodgers. I think every fan, player, employee, and owner will simultaneously combust if they experience another postseason of heartbreak. For the good of the city, it’s gotta be them.

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