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OC Register: MLB preview: 2020 American League team capsules

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2019 Record: 107-55

Rank in AL Runs: 3rd

Runs Allowed: 1st

Run Differential: Plus-280

Manager: Dusty Baker

Rotation: Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers, Jose Urquidy, Josh James

Closer: Roberto Osuna

Bullpen: Ryan Pressly, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, Joe Smith, Joe Biagini, Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor


C Martin Maldonado

1B Yuli Gurriel

2B: Jose Altuve

SS Carlos Correa

3B Alex Bregman

LF Michael Brantley

CF George Springer

RF: Josh Reddick

DH: Yordan Alvarez

Fun Fact: Alvarez, 22, had 27 home runs in 87 games.

Best Case: Rookie pitcher Forrest Whitley helps the rotation after a grisly 2018.

Worst Case: Verlander and Alvarez don’t recover quickly from spring injuries.

Prediction: First. They have a chip, a cause and no fan abuse.


2019 Record: 97-65

Rank in AL Runs: 5th

Runs allowed: 4th

Run Differential: Plus-165

Manager: Bob Melvin

Rotation: Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk

Closer: Liam Hendriks

Bullpen: Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, J.B. Wendelken, T.J. McFarland, Burch Smith, Chris Bassitt


C Sean Murphy/Austin Allen

1B Matt Olson

2B Franklin Barreto

SS Marcus Simien

3B Matt Chapman

LF Mark Canha

CF Ramon Laureano

RF Stephen Piscotty

DH Khris Davis

Fun Fact: Manaea was 4-0 in five starts with a 1.21 ERA when healthy.

Best Case: The Secret Service protects Fiers when he returns to Houston.

Worst Case: Hendriks turns out to be a one-year wonder as a closer.

Prediction: Second. This team has won 97 games each of the past two years.


2019 Record: 72-90

Rank in AL Runs: 8th

Runs Allowed: 10th

Run Differential: Minus-99

Manager: Joe Maddon

Rotation: Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning

Closer: Hansel Robles

Bullpen: Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian, Kenyan Middleton, Noe Ramirez, Taylor Cole, Mike Mayers


C Jason Castro

1B Albert Pujols

2B Tommy La Stella

SS Andrelton Simmons

3B Anthony Rendon

LF Justin Upton

CF Mike Trout

RF Brian Goodwin

DH Shohei Ohtani

Fun Fact: La Stella was hitting .300 on July 2. He played two games after that.

Best Case: Jo Adell comes up at some point with Rookie of the Year stuff.

Worst Case: None of the rotation remedies pans out.

Prediction: Third. Anything higher depends on Ohtani.


2019 Record: 78-84

Rank in AL Runs: 6th

Runs Allowed: 12th

Run Differential: Minus-68

Manager: Chris Woodward

Rotation: Corey Kluber, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles

Bullpen: Rafael Montero, Luke Farrell, Nick Goody, Joely Rodriguez, Brett Martin, Yohander Mendez, Luis Garcia, Jesse Chavez

Closer: Jose Leclerc


C Robinson Chirinos

1B Todd Frazier

2B Rougned Odor

SS Elvis Andrus

3B Nick Solak

LF Willie Calhoun

CF Domingo Santana

RF Joey Gallo

DH Shin-Soo Choo

Fun Fact: Odor led the league with 178 strikeouts and hit .205 with 30 homers.

Best Case: Kluber regains Cy Young form, takes the rotation with him.

Worst Case: Calhoun doesn’t recover from spring training beaning.

Prediction: Fourth. The new ballpark factor should propel them for a while.


2019 Record: 68-94

Rank in AL Runs: 10th

Runs Allowed: 13th

Run Differential: Minus-135

Manager: Scott Servais

Rotation: Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, Justus Sheffield, Kendall Graveman

Closer: Yoshihisa Hirano

Bullpen: Brandon Brennan, Carl Edwards, Sam Tuivailala, Dan Altavilla, Taylor Guilbeau, Nestor Cortes


C Tom Murphy

1B Evan White

2B Shed Long

SS J.P. Crawford

3B Kyle Seager

LF Jake Fraley

CF Mallex Smith

RF Kyle Lewis

DH Dan Vogelbach

Fun Fact: Servais, in his fifth year, is the second-longest-tenured manager in club history, behind Lou Piniella.

Best Case: The Mariners get more than 106 games out of Seager.

Worst Case: This team is as bad as it looks on paper.

Prediction: Fifth. It’s probably the most anonymous roster in the Mariners’ 43 years.




2019 Record: 101-61

Rank in AL Runs: 2nd

Runs Allowed: 6th

Run Differential: Plus-185

Manager: Rocco Baldelli

Rotation: Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill/Randy Dobnak/Michael Pineda

Bullpen: Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, Cody Stashak, Devin Smeltzer, Matt Wisler, Fernando Romero

Closer: Taylor Rogers


C Mitch Garver/Alex Avila

1B Miguel Sano

2B Luis Arraez

SS Jorge Polanco

3B Josh Donaldson

LF Eddie Rosario

CF Byron Buxton

RF Max Kepler

DH Nelson Cruz

Fun Fact: The Twins set an MLB record with 307 home runs, and over a quarter of Garver’s fly balls left the park.

Best Case: Maeda makes the rotation deeper.

Worst Case: The Twins miss batting coach Derek Shelton, now Pittsburgh’s manager.

Prediction: First. They’ll go as far as an underrated bullpen takes them.


2019 Record: 72-89

Rank in AL Runs: 13th

Runs Allowed: 9th

Run Differential: Minus-124

Manager: Rich Renteria

Rotation: Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez

Bullpen: Steve Cishek, Kelvin Herrera, Jace Fry, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Jimmy Cordero, Carson Fulmer

Closer: Alex Colome


C Yasmani Grandal

1B Jose Abreu

2B Leury Garcia

SS Tim Anderson

3B Yoan Moncada

LF Eloy Jimenez

CF Luis Robert

RF Nomar Mazara

DH Edwin Encarnacion

Fun Fact: Anderson hit .240 in 2018 and won the 2019 batting title at .335, the third Chisox player to do so (Luke Appling, Frank Thomas).

Best Case: Robert harnesses all of his oozing talent.

Worst Case: Giolito again has to carry the rotation.

Prediction: Second. Their future might not be now, but it’s soon.


2019 Record: 93-69

Rank in AL Runs: 7th

Runs Allowed: 3rd

Run Differential: Plus-112

Manager: Terry Francona

Rotation: Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Adam Plutko, Jefry Rodriguez

Bullpen: Emmanuel Clase, Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, Hunter Wood, James Hoyt, Phil Maton

Closer: Brad Hand


C Roberto Perez

1B Carlos Santana

2B Cesar Hernandez

SS Francisco Lindor

3B Jose Ramirez

LF Jordan Luplow

CF Oscar Mercado

RF Franmil Reyes

DH Domingo Santana

Fun Fact: Lindor has 44, 42 and 40 doubles the past three seasons.

Best Case: Carrasco, 32, can escape his injuries.

Worst Case: Tribe goes another year without a 100-RBI man.

Prediction: Third. Never underestimate their ability to find pitching.


2019 Record: 47-114

Rank in AL Runs: 15th

Runs Allowed: 14th

Run Differential: Minus-333

Manager: Ron Gardenhire

Rotation: Matthew Boyd, Jordan Zimmermann, Spencer Turnbull, Ivan Nova, Daniel Norris/Michael Fulmer

Bullpen: Buck Farmer, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Gregory Soto, Jose Cisnero, David McKay

Closer: Joe Jimenez


C Austin Romine

1B C.J  Cron

2B Jonathan Schoop

SS Niko Goodrum

3B Jeimer Candelario

LF Christin Stewart

CF JaCoby Jones

RF Cameron Maybin

DH Miguel Cabrera

Fun Fact: Ex-Angel Cron goes to his third team in three years. His 25 homers in Minnesota would have made him the Tigers’ leader by 10.

Best Case: Prospects like Spencer Torkelson and Casey Mize give fans some remote hope.

Worst Case: Another sub-50 win season, which would be Detroit’s third in 18 seasons.

Prediction: Fourth. They picked enough veterans to at least look presentable.


2019 Record: 59-103

Rank in AL Runs: 14th

Runs Allowed: 11th

Run Differential: Minus-178

Manager: Mike Matheny

Rotation: Brad Keller, Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Jakob Junis, Glenn Sparkman

Bullpen: Scott Barlow, Jorge Loopez, Jesse Hahn, Trevor Rosenthal, Chance Adams,  Randy Rosario, Jake Newberry

Closer: Ian Kennedy


C Salvador Perez

1B Ryan O’Hearn

2B Nicky Lopez

SS Adalberto Mondesi

3B Makiel Franco

LF Alex Gordon

CF Whit Merrifield

RF Hunter Dozier

DH Jorge Soler

Fun Fact: Since the Royals won the 2015 World Series, they are 92 games below .500.

Best Case: Soler’s 48-homer season is just a harbinger.

Worst Case: Royals again rank last in the league in OBP-against (.348).

Prediction: Fifth. This isn’t a rebuild, it’s an excavation.




2019 Record: 103-59

Rank in AL Runs: 1st

Runs Allowed: 5th

Run Differential: Plus-204

Manager: Aaron Boone

Rotation: Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, James Paxton, J.A. Happ/Jordan Montgomery

Bullpen: Zack Britton, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Holder, Adam Ottavino, Tyler Lyons

Closer: Aroldis Chapman


C Gary Sanchez.

1B Luke Voit

2B DJ LeMahieu

SS Gleyber Torres

3B Gio Urshela

LF Giancarlo Stanton

CF Brett Gardner

RF Aaron Judge

DH Miguel Andujar

Fun Fact: Fourteen Yankees hit 10 home runs or more, and the team hit 306, one off Minnesota’s MLB record.

Best Case: Torres, the 22-year-old who hit 38 home runs, becomes a serious MVP candidate.

Worst Case: Effects of COVID-19 hamper LeMahieu and Chapman.

Prediction: First. Cole tips the AL balance between the Yankees and Houston.


2019 Record: 96-66

Rank in AL Runs: 9th

Runs Allowed: 2nd

Run Differential: Plus-113

Manager: Kevin Cash

Rotation: Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, Ryan Yarbrough

Bullpen: Diego Castillo, Colin Poche, Oliver Drake, Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe, Peter Fairbanks, Jalen Beeks

Closer: Nick Anderson


C  Mike Zunino

1B Ji-Man Choi

2B Brandon Lowe

SS Willy Adames

3B Yandy Diaz

LF Hunter Renfroe

CF Kevin Kiermaier

RF Austin Meadows

DH Jose Martinez/Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

Fun Facts: Rays’ pitchers gave up 17 fewer homers than any other AL staff.

Best Case: Shortstop Wander Franco comes up and spreads wonder.

Worst Case: Renfroe, from San Diego, has trouble switching leagues.

Prediction: Second. Pushing Houston to Game 5 of the AL Division Series will be a benefit.


2019 Record: 84-78

Rank in AL Runs: 4th

Runs Allowed: 8th

Run Differential: Plus-73

Manager: Ron Roenicke

Rotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Collin McHugh, Zach Godley, Martin Perez/Ryan Weber

Bullpen: Matt Barnes, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, Ryan Brasier, Marcus Walden, Heath Hembree, Austin Brice, Brian Johnson

Closer: Brandon Workman


C Christian Vazquez

1B Mitch Moreland

2B Jose Peraza

SS Xander Bogaerts

3B Rafael Devers

LF Andrew Benintendi

CF Jackie Bradley

RF Alex Verdugo

DH J.D. Martinez

Fun Fact: Workman gave up only 29 hits and one home run in 71 ⅔ innings.

Best Case: Rodriguez overcomes COVID-19 with few aftereffects.

Worst Case: Sox find it tough to fill slots vacated by Chris Sale (injured), David Price, Rick Porcello.

Prediction: Third. Higher if they can win a lot of 7-5 games.


2019 Record: 67-95

Rank in AL Runs: 12th

Runs Allowed: 7th

Run Differential: Minus-102

Manager: Charlie Montoyo

Rotation: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Matt Shoemaker, Trent Thornton

Bullpen: Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, Sam Gaviglio, Jordan Romano, Thomas Pannone, A.J. Cole, Wilmer Font, Hector Perez

Closer: Ken Giles


C Danny Jansen.

1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

2B Cavan Biggio

SS Bo Bichette

3B Travis Shaw

LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

CF Randal Grichuk

RF Derek Fisher

DH Teoscar Hernandez

Fun Fact: The dads of Guerrero, Biggio, Bichette and Shaw were successful major-leaguers, and Gurriel’s dad was a gold medalist for the Cuban nationals.

Best Case: Ryu and Roark give leadership to rotation.

Worst Case: Grichuk is able to lead the Jays with only 80 RBIs.

Prediction: Fourth. Their youth might be a plus in a short season.


2019 Record: 54-108

Rank in AL Runs: 11th

Runs Allowed: 15th

Run Differential: Minus-252

Manager: Brandon Hyde

Rotation: John Means, Alex Cobb, Wade LeBlanc, Asher Wojciechowski, Kohl Stewart

Bullpen: Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Shawn Armstrong, Cody Carroll, Dillon Tate, Cole Sulser

Closer: Hunter Harvey/Mychal Givens


C Pedro Severino

1B Chris Davis

2B Hanser Alberto

SS Jose Iglesias

3B Rio Ruiz

LF D.J. Stewart

CF Austin Hays

RF Anthony Santander

DH Renato Nunez

Fun Fact: Nunez had 90 RBIs and slugged .570 with men in scoring position.

Best Case: Means can somehow squeeze out another winning season with this crew.

Worst Case: Orioles play .333 baseball again, which would make them 20-game winners.

Prediction: Fifth. The tunnel is still dark.

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