6 MLB teams on the brink of collapse in the 2020 season

WASHINGTON, DC NOVEMBER 02:Confetti is sprayed in the air as thousands of Washington Nationals fans cheer with jubilation as they celebrate the Nationals winning its first World Series on November, 02, 2019.(Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC NOVEMBER 02:Confetti is sprayed in the air as thousands of Washington Nationals fans cheer with jubilation as they celebrate the Nationals winning its first World Series on November, 02, 2019.(Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

6 MLB teams on the brink of collapse

Boston Red Sox

Given that the Sox were barely better than a .500 team in 2019, a big fall probably isn’t likely. After, all, they lost 24 games in the standings just last season. But since expectations are always high in Boston, the likelihood of this particular team falling short of reaching those expectations has to be factored in.

Begin with the pitching. David Price and Chris Sale were a combined 13-16 with a combined 4.36 ERA in 2019, so even if they improve in 2020 that improvement isn’t likely to lift them out of mediocrity.

Boston’s also counting on Nathan Eovaldi, whose 2019 work was limited to 68 innings by elbow problems.  In the 47 innings that followed his post-All Star break activation, Eovaldi made just eight starts, never going more than six innings and producing a 6.22 ERA in that capacity. Do you find that encouraging?

At this point, the mere stability of the Red Sox core remains at issue. Will Mookie Betts even be in a Boston uniform on opening day? And what of Jackie Bradley Jr., a quality defender but – based on his most recent three seasons – a confirmed .235 hitter. Is it possible to win a championship with that kind of non-production in center.

Lastly, as of this week, the Red Sox find themselves enmeshed in a version of the Houston sign-stealing scandal. That can’t be helpful.