The 2020 MLB season will be like no other. Teams will only be playing 60 games. There'll be a DH in the National League. A runner will start on second with none out if a game goes into extras and there'll also be no fans in the stadium. Due to the season only consisting of 60 games, anything could happen including potentially having a .400 hitter, a pitcher with a ridiculously good E.R.A., or even a surprise team making the playoffs. Here are predictions for what might happen in a weird baseball season.

Someone hits over 20 HR

Many sports betting books have the over/under for home runs at 20. With power playing such a big part in today's game, someone will surpass 20 HR and finish with 22-24 homers.

Powerful guys like Pete Alonso, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Khris Davis, Nelson Cruz, and a handful of others will compete for the home run lead. We could very well see multiple players surpass the 20 HR mark.

No one hits .400

In baseball, if you have an average of .300+, you're considered a very good player. With the 2020 season only being 60 games, some are speculating that there could be a player that hits for a .400 or better. That won't happen.

In the twenty-first century, only one player has batted .400 or better through the first 60 games of the season. That player was Chipper Jones who batted .409 through the first 60 games of the 2008 season. With hitting for a good average not as important anymore due to teams shifting more focus on power, no one will come close to putting up an average of .400.

The highest average that we could see from a player could be something like .370 from a guy like Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, or perhaps even Whit Merrifield or Luis Arraez who's known for his superb contact hitting abilities and not striking out often.

Tight AL ROY race

The AL Rookie of the Year award will be one to watch closely.

Luis Robert is the favorite to win it but he could struggle and will also have competition from other American League rookies. It was just announced that Nate Pearson will be making his debut on July 29 and his triple-digit fastball while striking out batters could win him the hardware. Jo Adell of the Los Angeles Angels also can't be counted out either as he is a top prospect himself that should see playing time early on in the season.

Jesus Luzardo will be an important factor for the Athletics from the start and if he carries on his success from his short time in the big leagues last season, he could win the award. While a long shot, Brady Singer of the Kansas City Royals has made the team out of summer camp and could do well in his rookie season due to teams not having any notes on him. Guys like Nick Madrigal, Casey Mize, Brendan McKay, and a few others can't be counted out in the running for the award either.

Braun and Schwarber benefit from DH

As mentioned before, there will be a DH slot in National League games which will allow teams to have an extra hitter in their lineup and prevent them from having their pitchers hit.

Two players that stand to benefit from this change the most is Ryan Braun and Kyle Schwarber.

The thirty-five-year-old Braun doesn't have a place to play in the field for the Brewers as they have Avisail Garcia, Lorenzo Cain, and Christian Yelich manning the outfield from left to right while Justin Smoak covers first base duties. While he may not be an effective defensive player, he's still a good hitter as he slashed .285/.343/.505 with 22 HR last season. The designated hitter slot allows the Brewers to use him in the lineup and Braun can just focus strictly on hitting. Due to these conditions, Braun will elevate his offensive game and hit near 15 home runs with a good batting average

Meanwhile, Schwarber and the Cubs really benefit from this move as it will prevent him from having to play the field.

In past seasons, the Cubs hid Schwarber, in left field, simply so they could get his powerful bat in the lineup. While he rewarded the Cubs offensively, defensively it was disastrous. Schwarber can now focus on hitting and could possibly surpass the 20 HR mark.

Brewers miss the playoffs

The Brewers have gotten substantially worse from last season. They lost two of their key offensive hitters in Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal and replaced them with names that aren't going to help the team much. While they still have Christian Yelich and sophomore Keston Hiura on the roster, the real problem for the team is on the mound which they haven't upgraded in years. Brandon Woodruff is their only solid starting pitcher but the rest of the rotation comes with question marks.

They do still have a strong bullpen but they won't be able to carry them the whole way. Making things worse, they play in a tough division that consists of three other teams vying for a playoff spot and will need to take on the Indians, White Sox, and Twins at various points throughout the season.

Mets have strong bullpen

Last season, the Mets were expected to have a strong back-end of the bullpen as they traded for 2018 saves leader Edwin Diaz and brought back Jeurys Familia. Both of them struggled which prompted general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to seek bullpen upgrades. He signed Dellin Betances who only pitched in one game in 2019 but from 2014-2018, he recorded 100+ strikeouts each season.

Diaz will have a good bounceback campaign and so will Brad Brach. The bullpen also still has Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Justin Wilson who were all key relievers for the team last season.

Padres and Diamondbacks make the playoffs

MLB just announced that they will be expanding the playoffs from 10 to 16 teams. With the expansion, the top two teams in each division make it while the next two teams with the best record in their league make the playoffs as well. With their young core, the Padres will finish second in the NL West and arrive a year ahead of schedule. Making the playoffs also saves general manager A.J. Preller his job as ownership gave him a playoff or bust mentality.

The NL West will have a third team in the Diamondbacks make the playoffs as they will have a good enough of a record to get in.

The free-agent signing of Madison Bumgarner and the acquisition of Starling Marte will pay off as they will be big reasons why the D-Backs reach the postseason.

Trout gets to 300 career HR

Trout stands just 15 home runs from reaching the 300 mark and in a 60 game season, he may not be able to reach that mark but he will. Trout is the best player in baseball who can hit for both average and contact. Playing half his games in the hitter-friendly Angels stadium along with a four-game series in Houston and a trip to the very hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado, he'll get at least 15 homers and pass the 300 home run mark at the young age of 29, which he will turn on August 7.

No batter whiffs 100+ times

With power taking over offensive games these days, lots of strikeouts happen. Last season, Eugenio Suarez struck out the most going down on strikes 189 times. In 2018, it was Yoan Moncada who struck out 217 times. That was over the course of the 162 game season. With 102 fewer games, no batter will strike out more than 100 times. Not all pitchers in the league are strikeout pitchers and teams will also rest players as the season goes on. Injuries also occur and players may test positive for COVID-19 which will disallow them from participating in games. The most a batter will strikeout is probably in the range of 80-93 which could come from a player like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Khris Davis, and some others.

Someone finishes with more SB than HR

In the past two seasons, the home run leader got more homers than the stolen base leader got more swiped bags. In 2018, Khris Davis was the home run leader leaving the park 48 times while Whit Merrifield led the league in stolen bases with 45. Last season, Pete Alonso led the league with 53 homers while Mallex Smith stole the most bases with 46. With players potentially being rusty at the plate, stolen bases will play a big part in the game. Someone like Smith, Merrifield, or his teammate Raul Mondesi will be the league leader in stolen bases and will change the trend of power to speed for the shortened season.

4 new division winners

With a shortened campaign, anything can happen.

That being said, there will be no repeat division winners in four of the six divisions across the league. In the AL East, the Rays will take the division crown over the heavily favorited Yankees. For a shortened season, the Rays are suited better than most teams with a deep bullpen that manager Kevin Cash can mix and match with opponents lineups. Also, the Yankees are very injury prone and the Rays have more depth at every position than arguably any team in the league.

In the AL Central, the powerful Twins will have to settle for a second-place finish as the White Sox will be a year ahead of their rebuild and finish first in their division. The White Sox have an exciting young team with the likes of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Lucas Giolito, and others while combining that with veterans Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal should propel them to a division crown.

While their pitching isn't fantastic, they will seek a rotation upgrade at the trade deadline to help them stay afloat atop the AL Central.

Last season, the Braves took the NL East crown but this year it will go to the Mets. Every year, the Mets tend to get hot at the start of the season but cool down once the year progresses. With just 60 games to play over two months, the Mets will be able to ride a hot streak for a while.

Excluding the Pirates, any of the other four teams in the NL Central have a real shot to make the playoffs. The division winner will be the Reds though as they really improved their team with a big offseason. Their top of the rotation consists of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer which is paired with a decent bullpen and a solid offense that signed Nicholas Castellanos and Mike Moustakas in the offseason to pair with Eugenio Suarez.

Nationals miss playoffs

Last season, the Nationals made the playoffs as a wildcard team and went all the way to the World Series, winning it all. This year, they won't be returning to the playoffs. While the Nationals have arguably the league's best rotation, they still have their bullpen issues and they lost a huge member of their offense in Anthony Rendon. They also had three players opt out of the season which doesn't help their cause.

A tiebreaker game occurs

With just 60 games being played by each team, many teams will have identical records. With identical records, teams will have to play a tiebreaker game to determine which team goes to the playoffs and which team goes home. 60 games into the 2019 season, the Braves and Phillies had identical records of 33-27 in which if that were to occur this season, they would have to play a tiebreaker game in which the winner would take the division and the loser goes onto the wildcard game. In the NL Central, the Brewers and Cubs had records of 34-26 and would be in the same situation as the Phillies and Braves. Expect that to happen to at least one division or a game where it decides who goes to the wildcard game this season.

Dodgers/Yankees World Series

The powerhouse, historic teams in the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers will face off in the World Series in a matchup that will go down for a long time. The Yankees will be powered by their strong offense with Gerrit Cole being a force on the mound. Their bullpen will also be a huge reason why the Yankees make it all the way as they have the deepest bullpen in the league.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are stacked all around with a very solid offense, a formidable rotation, and a bullpen that will get reinforcements at the trade deadline. They made a huge move in the offseason acquiring Mookie Betts and just recently extending him. While it already paid off as he'll be in LA for 12 years after this, it will be just the beginning of a dynasty as the Dodgers will take their first of multiple World Series championships over the next decade.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, they'll have to get ring number 28 another year.

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