MLB preview: 2020 National League team capsules

first_imgNATIONAL LEAGUE WESTLOS ANGELES DODGERS2019 Record: 106-56Rank in NL Runs: 1stRuns Allowed: 1st Lineup:C Will Smith/Austin Barnes1B: Max Muncy2B Gavin LuxSS Corey Seager3B Justin TurnerLF A.J. Pollock/Joc PedersonCF Cody BellingerRF Mookie BettsDH Chris Taylor/Matt BeatyFun Fact: After 60 games last year, Bellinger was hitting .376.Best Case: The Dodgers head into the playoffs with a reasonably fresh bullpen.Worst Case:  The back of the rotation slips a notch.Prediction: First. Still the class of the National League.SAN DIEGO PADRES2019 Record: 70-92Rank in NL Runs: 13thRuns Allowed: 11thRun Differential: Minus-107Manager: Jayce TinglerRotation: Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Garrett Richards, Zach Davies, Joey Lucchesi/Cal QuantrillBullpen: Emilio Pagan, Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz, Matt Strahm, Pierce Johnson, Javy Guerra, Tim HillCloser: Kirby YatesLineup:C Austin Hedges/Francisco Meija1B Eric Hosmer2B Jurrickson ProfarSS Fernando Tatis Jr.3B Manny MachadoLF Tommy PhamCF Trent GrishamRF Wil MyersDH Ty FranceFun Fact: Padres were 39-43 when Tatis started.Best Case: Paddack, Lamet become a forceful 1-2 punch.Worst Case: Hosmer continues to struggle to find Kansas City form.Prediction: Second. A lot of upside here.ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS2019 Record: 85-77Rank in NL Runs: 5thRuns Allowed: 7thRun Differential: Plus-70Manager: Torey LovulloRotation: Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Luke Weaver, Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly/Alex YoungBullpen: Andrew Chafin, Yoan Lopez, Junior Guerra, Hector Rondon, Silvino Bracho, Stefan CrichtonCloser: Archie BradleyLineup:C Stephen Vogt/Carson Kelly1B Christian Walker2B Ketel MarteSS Nick Ahmed3B Eduardo EscobarLF David PeraltaCF Sterling MarteRF Kole CalhounDH Jake LambFun Fact: Opponents hit .191 with five extra-base hits off Bradley in the second half.Best Case: Bumgarner can adjust to an unfriendlier park than the one in San Francisco.Worst Case: Young starting pitchers don’t develop.Prediction: Third, with a reasonable chance at postseason.COLORADO ROCKIES2019 Record: 71-91Rank in NL Runs: 4thRuns Allowed: 15thRun Differential: Minus-123Manager: Bud BlackRotation: German Marquez, Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman/Chi Chi GonzalezBullpen: Jairo Diaz, Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg, Yancy Almonte, Bryan Shaw, James Pazos, Jake McGee, Daniel BardCloser: Wade DavisLineup:C Tony Wolters1B Daniel Murphy2B Ryan McMahonSS Trevor Story3B Nolan ArenadoLF Raimel TapiaCF David DahlRF Charlie BlackmonDH Sam Hilliard/Chris OwingsFun Fact: The oft-injured Dahl drove in 61 runs in 100 games.Best Case: Freeland transports himself back to 2018.Worst Case: Arenado’s problems with Rockies’ management get more intense.Prediction: Fourth. Few teams in sports have had a theme that has recurred more consistently than Colorado.SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS2019 Record: 77-85Rank in NL Runs: 14thRuns Allowed: 10thRun Differential: Minus-95Manager: Gabe KaplerRotation: Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Trevor Cahill/Andrew SuarezBullpen: Reyes Moronta, Trevor Gott, Wandy Peralta, Sam Coonrod, Tyler Rogers, Dany Jimenez, Dereck RodriguezCloser: Tony WatsonLineup:C Tyler Heineman/Joey Bart1B Brandon Belt2B Mauricio DubonSS Brandon Crawford3B Evan LongoriaLF Alex DickersonCF Michael YastrzemskiRF Hunter PenceDH Jaylin Davis/Darin RufFun Fact: Yastrzemski was the only starter who hit over .270 last season.Best Case: A decent-looking rotation keeps the Giants in games.Worst Case: The veteran position players continue their decline.Prediction: Fifth. The Giants were 13-3 in extra innings and 38-16 in one-run games, but manager Bruce Bochy is long gone.——————————NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRALCINCINNATI REDS2019 Record: 75-87Rank in NL Runs: 12thRuns Allowed: 3rdRun Differential: Minus-10Manager: David BellRotation: Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, Wade Miley/Tyler MahleBullpen: Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, Pedro Strop, Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Lucas Sims, Nate Jones, Tyler ThornbergCloser: Raisel IglesiasLineup:C Tucker Barnhart1B Joey Votto2B Mike MoustakasSS Freddy Galvis3B Eugenio SuarezLF Shogo AkiyamaCF Nick SenzelRF Nick CastellanosDH Jesse WinkerFun Fact: Votto’s on-base percentage (.357) and OPS (.768) were career lows.Best Case: Senzel makes a leap in his second year.Worst Case: Suarez doesn’t get more help in the power department.Prediction: First. Strong rotation, and a roster so deep that Aristedes Aquino (.891 OPS) must fight to get on the field.ST. LOUIS CARDINALS2019 Record: 91-71Rank in NL Runs: 10thRuns Allowed: 2ndRun Differential: Plus-102Manager: Mike SchildtRotation: Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, Kwang Hyun Kim/Carlos MartinezBullpen: Andrew Miller, Ryan Helsley, John Brebbia, Tyler Webb, John Gant, Brett Cecil, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Austin GomberCloser: Martinez/Giovany GallegosLineup:C Yadier Molina1B Paul Goldschmidt2B Kolten WongSS Paul DeJong3B Tommy EdmanLF Tyler O’NeillCF Harrison BaderRF Dexter FowlerDH Matt CarpenterFun Fact: Edman had a .500 slugging percentage in 92 games and struck out only 61 times.Best Case: Cardinals find more power sources.Worst Case: The 36-year-old Molina begins acting his age.Prediction: Second. Top wild-card candidate in the league, at least.CHICAGO CUBS2019 Record: 84-78Rank in NL Runs: 5thRuns Allowed: 4thRun Differential: Plus-97Manager: David RossRotation: Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood/Alec MillsBullpen: Jeremy Jeffress, Dan Winkler, Rowan Wick, Brad Wieck, Duane Underwood, Trevor Megill, Casey Sadler, Ryan TeperaCloser: Craig KimbrelLineup:C Willson Contreras1B Anthony Rizzo2B Nico HoernerSS Javier Baez3B Kris BryantLF Ian HappCF Albert AlmoraRF Jason HeywardDH Kyle SchwarberFun Fact: Kimbrel gave up nine homers in 20 ⅔ innings after he came to the Cubs.Best Case: The bullpen renovation works out.Worst Case: Cubs’ leadoff men don’t improve on their .294 on-base percentage.Prediction: Third, but there’s potential for a meltdown.MILWAUKEE BREWERS2019 Record: 89-73Rank in NL Runs: 9thRuns Allowed: 9thRun Differential: Plus-3Manager: Craig CounsellRotation: Brandon Woodruff, Brett Anderson, Josh Lindblom, Adrian House, Eric Lauer/Brent SuterBullpen: Freddy Peralta, Corey Knebel, Alex Claudio, Corbin Burnes, Ray Black, Devin Williams, Jake Faria, David PhelpsCloser: Josh HaderLineup:C Omar Narvarez/Manny Pina1B Justin Smoak2B Keston HiuraSS Orlando Arcia3B Eric Sogard/Jedd GyorkoLF Christian YelichCF Lorenzo CainRF Avisail GarciaDH Ryan BraunFun Fact: Ex-Dodger Lindblom was the 2019 MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization with a 20-3 record and 2.50 ERA.Best Case: Ex-UC Irvine star Hiura takes a major sophomore step.Worst Case: Hader, as brilliant as he is, doesn’t cut down on the homers (15).Prediction: Fourth. This isn’t anywhere close to the team that took the Dodgers to Game 7 two years ago.PITTSBURGH PIRATES2019 Record: 69-93Rank in NL Runs: 11thRuns Allowed: 11thRun Differential: Minus-153Manager: Derek SheltonRotation: Joe Musgrove, Trevor Williams, Mitch Keller, Derek Holland, Chad Kuhl/Steven Brault, Jameson TaillonBullpen: Kyle Crick, Richard Rodriguez, Robbie Erlin, Chris Stratton, Michael Feliz, Clay Holmes, Nick Burdi, Dovydas NeverauskasCloser: Keone KelaLineup:C Jacob Stallings1B Jose Osuna/Will Craig2B Adam FrazierSS Kevin Newman3B Colin MoranLF Bryan ReynoldsCF Jarrod DysonRF Gregory PolancoDH Josh BellFun Fact: Since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season, the Pirates have not won their division.Best Case: Newman, Reynolds and Moran continue developing.Worst Case: The bullpen is as dicey as it looks.Prediction: Fifth. Ah, the freedom of low expectations.——————————————————-.NATIONAL LEAGUE EASTNEW YORK METS2019 Record: 86-76Rank in NL Runs: 7thRuns Allowed: 6thRun Differential: Plus-54Manager: Luis RojasRotation: Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz, Michael WachaBullpen: Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, Dillon Betances, Robert Gsellman, Hunter Strickland, Paul Sewald, Daniel Zamora, Erasmo RamirezCloser: Edwin DiazLineup:C Wilson Ramos1B Peter Alonso2B Robinson CanoSS Amed Rosario3B Jeff McNeilLF J.D. DavisCF Brandon NimmoRF Michael ConfortoDH Yoenis CespedesFun Fact: Lugo (0.900), not deGrom (0.971), had the best WHIP on the staff.Best Case: Davis somehow rides last year’s momentum.Worst Case: They find it tough to replace pitcher Noah Syndergaard.Prediction: First. They loaded up for the long haul, but the short run is fine, too.ATLANTA BRAVES2019 Record: 97-65Rank in NL Runs: 3rdRuns Allowed: 7thRun Differential: Plus-112Manager: Brian SnitkerRotation: Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Cole Hamels, Mike Foltynewicz, Sean NewcombBullpen: Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, Darren O’Day, Luke Jackson, Chris Martin, Bryse WilsonCloser: Will SmithLineup:C Travis d’Arnaud/Tyler Flowers1B Freddie Freeman2B Ozzie AlbiesSS Dansby Swanson3B Austin RileyLF Ronald AcuñaCF Ender InciarteRF Adam DuvallDH Marcell OzunaFun Fact: Acuña has 302 hits in his first 267 major-league games.Best Case: Newcomb can find his footing in the rotation.Worst Case: COVID-19 hangover is tough for Freeman to overcome.Prediction: Second, in the best pennant race in baseball, and then an ominous wild-card threat.WASHINGTON NATIONALS2019 Record: 93-69Rank in NL Runs: SecondRuns Allowed: FifthRun Differential: Plus-149Manager: Dave MartinezRotation: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez, Erick FeddeBullpen: Tanner Rainey, Will Harris, Javy Guerra, Ryne Harper, Williams Suero, Roenis Elias, Aaron BarrettCloser: Sean Doolittle/Daniel HudsonLineup:C  Yan Gomes/Kurt Suzuki1B Eric Thames2B Starlin CastroSS Trea Turner3B Carter KieboomLF Juan SotoCF Victor RoblesRF Adam EatonDH Howie KendrickFun Fact: Kieboom, Anthony Rendon’s replacement, was 5 for 43 for Nationals after he hit .306 at Triple-A Fresno.Best Case: Rainey and Harris take over the setup relief.Worst Case: The championship run takes its toll on Scherzer and Strasburg.Prediction: Third. They can’t survive a slow start this year.PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES2019 Record: 81-81Rank in NL Runs: 8thRuns Allowed: 12thRun Differential: Minus-20Manager: Joe GirardiRotation: Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Zack Wheeler/Zach EflinBullpen: Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, Tommy Hunter, Victor Arano, Enyel De Los Santos, Deolis Guerra, Bud NorrisCloser: Hector NerisLineup:C J.T. Realmuto1B Rhys Hoskins2B Scott KingerySS Didi Gregorius3B Jean SeguraLF Andrew McCutchenCF Adam HaseleyRF Bryce HarperDH Jay BruceFun Fact: Hoskins either walked, struck out or homered in 45.1% of his plate appearances.Best Case: Girardi, an obvious upgrade as a manager, makes a difference.Worst Case: The bullpen pitches as uncertainly as it looks.Prediction: Fourth. Another team built for slugfests.MIAMI MARLINS2019 Record: 57-105Rank in NL Runs: 15thRuns Allowed: 13thRun Differential: Minus-193Manager: Don MattinglyRotation: Caleb Smith, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Jordan Yamamoto, Jose UrenaBullpen: Yimi Garcia, Ryan Stanek, Adam Conley, Brad Boxberger, Drew Steckenrider, Stephen Tarpley, Sterling Sharp, Jeff BrighamCloser: Brandon KintzlerLineup:C Jorge Alfaro1B Jesus Aguilar2B Isan DiazSS Miguel Rojas3B Brian AndersonLF Cory DickersonCF Jonathan VillarRF Matt JoyceDH Garrett CooperFun Fact: Marlins have not been over .500 since Aug. 29, 2017.Best Case: Alcantara, who logged 197 innings last year, gives them a competitive No. 1 starter.Worst Case: Diaz, who hit .179 last year, can’t handle second base.Prediction: Fifth. An oasis for the rest of this tough division. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Run Differential: Plus-273Manager: Dave RobertsRotation: Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Alex Wood, Ross StriplingBullpen: Tony Gonsolin, Joe Kelly, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, Adam Kolarek, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Brusdar GraterolCloser: Kenley Jansenlast_img

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