The Washington Nationals won the 2019 title as the first in franchise history. They went the distance against the heavily-favored Houston Astros with the road team winning each of the seven games. TheLines looked at the Nationals’ 2019 betting timeline which began with the loss of former franchise player Bryce Harper to free agency. Washington was priced at +5500 as recently as June amid a lackluster start.
2020 World Series Picks: Values and longshots
The Padres project to have the 14th-highest payroll in baseball next year at a just-below-average $119.35 million. They showed last offseason they’re willing to make a big splash, signing 3B Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract. Helping them allocate that much cash to Machado is the amount of top-end young talent with which they’ll be able to surround their 2019 offseason prize.
Infielders Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias should be ready for full-time roles in the middle infield in 2020. Slugging catcher Francisco Mejia brings the offense to a timeshare with defensive star Austin Hedges. Franchy Cordero will compete for an outfield spot alongside Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
Garrett Richards, finally healthy, should lead a young rotation featuring Joey Lucchesi, Chris Paddack and Cal Quantrill. The Padres could then spend up to land one (or more) front-line starter(s) in free agency as their No. 1 need. Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner are all names that should be on San Diego’s radar.
The Twins rode a record-breaking offensive season to a surprise AL Central title in 2019. It ended in misery with a quick three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees in the ALDS.
Now, the Twins are at risk of losing SP Jake Odorizzi to free agency, as well as Michael Pineda, Martin Perez and Kyle Gibson. The loss of all four would leave ace Jose Berrios fronting a barren position group. Postseason starter – and former Uber driver – Randy Dobnak seems like the best in-house option for 2020.
Add the Twins to the list of teams that will be attempting to address pitching in free agency. They should be in the market for one of the top names while plugging the remaining holes with undervalued vets, as they did last year. Then, they’ll just need the offense to replicate the record year at the plate.
2020 World Series Picks: Our best bet to win
The Brewers share the highest 2020 World Series odds among last year’s playoff teams with the Oakland Athletics. They made the postseason as the NL’s second wild-card team before losing to the Nats in one game.
What could have been if the Brewers hadn’t lost MVP-candidate outfielder Christian Yelich to injury mere weeks before the postseason? C Yasmani Grandal is expected to test free agency, but INF Keston Hiura and OF Trent Grisham should both land full-time roles after graduating from the minors last year.
The rotation will need to be healthier this year, as only one 2019 starter (Zach Davis) topped 140 innings. Both Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser took big steps last season and Jimmy Nelson can hopefully return to his 2017 form after missing most of the last two years due to injury.