With the 2020 Major League Baseball season over and the offseason getting rolling, I thought now would be a great time to take a look back at our predictions for this strange year in baseball.
Before the MLB season got underway, Trey and I made our predictions for who would win each division, the major awards and the World Series. We also predicted which teams would earn a Wild Card spot from each league, but this was before MLB decided to expand the playoffs to 16 teams, so we won't even bother taking a look at those predictions.
Before we start things off, let's go over the scoring to see who did better when it comes to predictions this year. Trey and I will receive one point for each division winner we pick correctly, two points for each league winner, and three points if we pick the World Series champion correctly.
Now, let's get started with the American League.
Trey and I had the same pick for the winner of the AL East, and we were both ultimately wrong. The Yankees looked strong at times throughout the season, but they couldn't stay consistent long enough to fend off the surging Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay ultimately finished the season with a 40-20 record, best overall in the American League. The Yankees finished second in the division, so it wasn't a terrible pick, but not the right one.
Trey and I differed on the winner of the AL Central. He went with the offensive powerhouse Minnesota Twins, while I chose to throw my support behind the up-and-coming Chicago White Sox.
It looked like I might be right for a while, but the White Sox' poor play late in the season cost them their first-place position and they wound up in third place at the end of the season (but still earned a playoff spot, due to the absurd number of teams that made the postseason this year). The Twins did in fact win the division, so good job on this one Trey.
This might have been Trey's boldest prediction, but we all thought anything could happen going into the season, so why not go big? Trey chose the Los Angeles Angels to win the AL West, mostly because he thought Mike Trout would lead them there. He didn't, and the Angels finished in fourth place with a 26-34 record.
I, meanwhile, chose the Oakland Athletics to overtake the Houston Astros and win their first division title since 2013. Behind a strong bullpen and a powerful lineup, the A's did just that, finishing the season 36-24, seven games ahead of Houston.
We knew we couldn't go wrong with picking the Braves to win their third-straight division title, and they didn't disappoint us. Despite barely being able to put together a rotation this season, Atlanta won the NL East with a 35-25 record, four games ahead of the....Marlins? Yeah, 2020 was weird.
Another division where Trey and I differed on our predictions, and Trey ended up being right this time. The Cubs won the NL Central with a 34-26 record, finishing three games ahead of both the Cardinals and my pick, the Cincinnati Reds, who still earned a postseason berth thanks to the expanded playoffs.
You couldn't go wrong in the NL West this year. You'd have to try really hard to get this pick wrong. The Los Angeles Dodgers repeated again, winning their eighth-straight division title. The Padres challenged them at times, but ultimately LA ended up with a 43-17 record, best in baseball and six games ahead of San Diego.
Trey and I picked the same American League team to make it to the Fall Classic this year, and neither of us were right. We both thought the Yankees would finally get it done, but a very good Tampa Bay team knocked them out in the ALDS in five games. It was an entertaining series, but the Rays just ended up being the better team, and they would ultimately represent the AL in the World Series.
The NL is a different story. Trey picked the Atlanta Braves to make it to the World Series, and while I would have loved it had that actually happened, they were eliminated in the NLCS against the Dodgers. They took it to Game 7, but after being up 3-1 early in the series, they really should have been able to close it out, but that's another story.
I chose the Dodgers to not only make it to the World Series, but they were my predicted winner at the beginning of the season. I knew this Dodgers team was too good to keep failing in the postseason, and this was the year they finally got over the hump and brought a World Series championship back to LA.
After looking at all of our predictions and adding up the points, the final tally is:
Matt: 8 (three division winners, NL winner, WS Champion)
Trey: 4 (4 division winners)
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.