As the first week of Major League Baseball’s summer camp takes off, and before the highly concentrated burst of an abbreviated yet frenetic nothing-but-a-long-winded-playoff-push-of-a-baseball-season gets underway, I’ve found I feel most wise when—because this has never been more true—I repeat the classically overblown and over-used phrase, “Anything can happen.”
Therefore, in that light, I hope most, if not everyone, can indulge my wish to become today’s Nostradamus. For Major League Baseball’s 2020 regular season, here are twenty ridiculous—although perhaps, in time, exuberantly clairvoyant—predictions on all the forthcoming action.
1. The Atlanta Braves will win the World Series.
2. Bryce Harper will win MVP awards for the regular season and the NLCS, but the Phillies will not reach the World Series.
3. Mookie Betts will not hit above .225.
4. Felix Hernandez will become a Jamie Moyer-esque multi-inning set-up man and reliever for the Atlanta Braves during an unforeseen resurgence of a season in which he begrudgingly learns to capitalize on the strong, late life of a new, and devastatingly nasty pitch – the circle change up.
5. Mike Trout will do nothing spectacular this season, apart from the occasional web gem.
6. The Seattle Mariners playoff drought will end.
7. The New York Yankees will lose the World Series in seven games with a starting roster featuring names of young stars I can’t tell you about right now because five of the nine have never played in an MLB regular-season game.
8. The Rays will once again revolutionize the defensive shift.
9. Through their first twenty five games, the Rays will challenge the classic notion that a stellar starting pitcher must feature on any team, ever, at all, because they will not allow a single one of their starting pitchers, not even Blake Snell, to go for longer than five innings.
10. Joe Buck and John Smoltz will get and sound noticeably trite, livid and flat-out sick of each other, on air, during four out of seven of the World Series broadcasts.
11. Joe Maddon will take the Angels into the playoffs by sweeping the Astros during their last home series of the regular season.
12. More than ten Houston Astros hitters will get plunked with deliberately errant fastballs through the first thirty games of the season. José Altuve will take the most heat/beatings. He will charge the mound after four of these.
13. The American League’s regular season MVP is hiding deep in the Seattle Mariners’ 60-man player pool right now.
14. Trevor Bauer’s ERA will not climb above 2.00.
15. The New York Yankees will sign free agent Yasiel Puig.
16. The new extra innings rule—starting the inning with a man on second base—will prevent fewer than five regular season games from going past the tenth inning.
17. The Los Angeles Dodgers will miss the playoffs.
18. Josh Hader will finish second in NL Cy Young Award voting tallies.
19. Gerrit Cole will win the AL Cy Young.
20. After this season, all of Major League Baseball will implement a permanent, universal DH.