Six perennially strong MLB teams who could face a downturn, and possibly even collapse, if things don’t go exactly as planned in 2020.
Projecting favorites for 2020 inevitably focuses on many of the usual suspects. The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, Cubs, Braves and defending champion Nationals all draw recurring support … as most of them have for years now.
But 2020, however, may be shaping up as a season of turmoil and even collapse for several of the usual favorites. At least a half dozen have had challenging off-seasons, either due to personnel losses, off-field issues, financial strictures or natural aging.
Combine that with the apparent rise of some of the game’s recent downtrodden – we’re thinking here of the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Oakland Athletics – and this coming season might upend the standard for divisional hierarchy we have become used to.
In fact, several perennial front-runners could be in for a big collapse in 2020.
Below we consider the potential fates of a half dozen MLB teams who each fit that description. Between them they have won 57 percent of their games, 16 division titles, and four World Series in the past five years. In almost every case, expectations remain high in 2020.
Yet a closer look reveals potential cracks in each team’s façade that could fracture the pattern of success in 2020.
This doesn’t mean all of these MLB teams will collapse. Yet the reality, especially for playoff teams, is always perilous. Since 2010, 45 of the game’s 94 post-season qualifiers failed to return to post-season play one season later. Of the ten 2018 playoff teams, four—the defending champion Red Sox the Cubs, the Rockies and the Indians — went home at the conclusion of the 2019 regular season.
So it’s not only reasonable to look for flaws among perennial contenders, it’s required. Here, then, is a look at the potential problems that could undermine some of the game’s royalty in 2020.