Phillies

Breaking down the new “East” under the proposed format

Sure nobody knows if this is actually going to work, but a proposal from Major League Baseball to the players union has been proposed. With it, comes a format that is both intriguing and quite frankly, weird. Three divisions, ten teams to each division. an East, Central, and a Western division under an 82 game format. So far we have seen mostly negative reviews from players comments on both social media as well as documented interviews. But for arguments sake, let’s just say we start a season under this proposal. A ten team East, filled with competition that is equally laughable as it is daunting. If this were the situation last season, the standing would have looked like this:

  1. Yankees (103-59)
  2. Braves (97-65)
  3. Rays (96-66)
  4. Nationals (93-69)
  5. Mets (86-76)
  6. Red Sox (84-78)
  7. Phillies (81-81)
  8. Blue Jays (67-95)
  9. Marlins (57-105)
  10. Orioles (54-108)

It’s hard to judge based on half of a season how much this list could change. A slow start for any one team could put them far enough behind the eight ball that they won’t have time to catch up. Who’s to say a team like the Yankees don’t have a few injuries early like they did last season and now don’t have 4 months to figure it out and run away with it? Just as easily, a fast start for one of these teams in the middle of the pack from last year could very well not give any other team enough time to catch up. But based on how these teams looked last year and the off seasons they had, I’ll give an educated guess on the 2020 standings from 10-1.

10) Baltimore Orioles

With the Orioles being the worst team in baseball a season prior, this is an easy choice. O’s fans are basically only excited about Adely Rutschman and how quickly the young catcher can make his way to the big leagues. Sorry Oriole’s fans, your 82 game season will feel like 162 when it’s all said and done.

9) Miami Marlins

The Marlins actually went out and signed players this offseason. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Jesus Aguilar and Corey Dickerson just time make a few. They already have a couple of young players to watch including a talented pitcher in Sandy Alcantera, but the veterans will only be able to make them respectable, not relevant.

8) Toronto Blue Jays

This is going to be a team to watch in the coming season. A young nucleus of Vlad Jr, Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio make for an exciting lineup for years to come. They very easily could be a bit higher in the 2020 season to come with the addition of Hyun-jin Ryu to the rotation and Ken Giles in the bullpen. But for now, this young bunch might have trouble getting into a rhythm during a shortened season. But Blue Jays fans have a lot to loo forward to the next 5-7 years.

7) Boston Red Sox

My friends who are Sox fans are gonna be “Wicked Angry” with this placement. It’s simple though, lots of tough competition to face coupled with losing Mookie Betts in a trade and Chris Sale to injury. Rafael Devers and company will still make this a competitive team, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that a team that only won 84 games a season ago with one of the best outfielders in baseball in there lineup, probably won’t be making any huge leaps forward this season.

6) New York Mets

Ranking teams 7-3 are basically interchangeable if we are being honest. But I’ll go with the Mets at 6. Degrom and Syndergard front a very solid rotation. The emergence of Pete Alonso adds legit pop to the middle of the lineup, but it’s safe to assume a sophomore slump of sorts could be on its way without any serious protection around him. They will put themselves in a position to be as high as 3 if it all goes right, but I’ll stick with them here at 6 in a very tight race between the next few teams selected ahead of them.

5) Tampa Bay Rays

They have a legit ace at the top of the rotation in Blake Snell. The addition of Charlie Morton to it with Tyler Glasnow slapped in the middle makes for a solid three man front. The lineup just doesn’t quite have enough for me to go higher than five. Like the Mets, they will compete as they proved last year, but a lineup centered around Austin Meadows and Hunter Renfroe only have so high of a ceiling in this division.

4) Washington Nationals

The Cinderella story won’t have a repeat. A top of the rotation as good as any with the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer will obviously make them legit competition for everyone they face. Juan Soto is a star in the making and Victor Robles is also legit, but the loss of Anthony Rendon at the hot corner is going to be a hole they won’t be able to fill. I expect another solid campaign from the defending champs, but they don’t have quite enough juice to make it back to the promise land.

3) Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies fans and haters alike might not be too fond of this placement. But before Andrew McCutchen went down the Phillies were a top NL team going into June last year. Adding Zach Wheeler to the front of the rotation with the likes of Aaron Nola is going to match up nicely again many the rest of the division. The lineup was already well suited to face good pitching and they added Didi Gregorious. The Phillies don’t have enough to take the division, and could easily be sixth by seasons end instead of three. But they have what it takes to make a run for a playoff spot.

2) Atlanta Braves

Freddie Freeman and company are primed to come back to make a serious run at not only a division title, but should be in the top five on Vegas’s radar for World Series odds. Adding a veteran arm to the rotation with Cole Hamels (as long as his shoulder injury wasn’t too serious) and Will Smith solidifying an already strong bullpen will give them a big edge on most of the division. Also, as much as I hate to admit it with his terrible attitude, Ronald Acuna Jr. is on the doorstep of being added to the short list of best player in baseball. They have a chance to really make some noise and contend to hoist the Commisioner’s Trophy at seasons end.

  1. New York Yankees

It’s hard to remember a team who went through as many injuries as the Yankees did in 2019. How they still managed to win an astonishing 103 games is almost mind boggling. Aaron Boone and company is ready to come back healthy and add another World Series pennant to Yankee Stadium. A lineup as strong as any in the game top to bottom with Aaron Judge hoping to be back at full strength. Oh, can’t forget arguably the best pitcher in the game Gerrit Cole is now leading the rotation. Unless they are bombarded with injuries like a year prior, they have to be considered one of the best teams in the game and in this case, the best team in the East.

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