Spring Training is underway and the 2020 MLB season is rapidly approaching. There's been no shortage of drama this offseason, and baseball fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that we have games to focus on, and the on-field product is once again the center of attention.
The 2020 World Series race is wide open, but some early favorites stand out in the field: the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. Before anyone sets their sights on the World Series, though, teams need to focus on the regular season and take care of their division.
With that in mind, here is how industry experts see the American League West shaping up in 2020.
Picks to Win the American League West
Predictions from USA Today come from their panel of six experts, PECOTA projections come from Baseball Prospectus, and Clay Davenport (who co-founded Baseball Prospectus) projections come from his personal website. FanDuel Sportsbook win totals and odds to win the division are as of Feb. 27, 2020.
USA Today: Houston Astros
PECOTA: Houston Astros
Clay Davenport: Houston Astros
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: Houston Astros
The AL West is being projected as a one-horse race, with the Houston Astros sitting as sizable betting favorites and being picked by each source. This division could very well house one of the 2020 AL Wild Card teams, though, so it's not quite so cut-and-dry.
Houston Astros Predictions 2020
USA Today: 95-67
Clay Davenport: 97-95
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 94.5
Odds to Win the AL West: (-280)
Not many surprises here, everyone's unanimous on the Astros turning in an excellent season, sign-stealing scandal or not. Interestingly, the betting markets may not quite be high enough on Houston, as all three sources like the over to hit on the Astros' win total.
Los Angeles Angels Predictions 2020
USA Today: 84-78
Clay Davenport: 85-77
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 85.5
Odds to Win the AL West: (+750)
This is where things start to get interesting. USA Today and the betting markets are in agreement that the Los Angeles Angels are the just the No. 3 team in the AL West, preferring the Oakland Athletics. PECOTA and Davenport, though, both have the Angels coming in at No. 2. The difference in win projections is a small one, spanning from 84 to 87, and the difference for these sources is mostly rooted in how many games they think the A's win.
Oakland Athletics Predictions 2020
USA Today: 92-70
Clay Davenport: 83-79
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 89.5
Odds to Win the AL West: (+350)
That 92-win projection from USA Today explains why the Angels are third in their esteem. Davenport and PECOTA aren't nearly as high on the A's, projecting them for the eighth (Davenport) and seventh (PECOTA) most wins in the American League. The sources are also all split on whether the over or under on Oakland's win total is the side that holds value.
Texas Rangers Predictions 2020
USA Today: 79-83
Clay Davenport: 75-87
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 78.5
Odds to Win the AL West: (+2000)
All three sources expect this to be the Texas Rangers' fourth consecutive season below .500, and the betting markets are in agreement. USA Today does have them hitting the over on the win total, but PECOTA and Davenport also have them clearing the under, and both have it happening by a bigger gap than USA Today projects on the over.
Seattle Mariners Predictions 2020
USA Today: 67-95
Clay Davenport: 69-93
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 66.5
Odds to Win the NL Central: (+10000)
Rebuilding can be a slow process, and the Seattle Mariners are expected to suffer their second straight season in the basement of the AL West. If it's any saving grace for Mariners' fans, Davenport and USA Today do both project the Mariners to finish with the best record among the bottom-feeders in the three AL divisions. Both also have the over hitting on Seattle's win total, while PECOTA has them falling half a game below that mark.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.