The MLB season is set to kick off on July 23rd, amid the COVID crisis in our country. Although this season is starting about four months late, there still is a ton of excitement surrounding the 60-game season. I know I’ll be especially hyped because this will be the first league I pay attention to that will reopen. So, to remind everybody of what to watch for this season, here are the top 10 most exciting teams in baseball.
Featured image credits: Wikipedia, The Crawfish Boxes, USA Today, Elite Sports NY, Federal Baseball
1. Houston Astros
In this case, “most hated” and “most exciting” are synonymous. After the Astros scandal that took place this offseason, everyone will be aiming for these guys. Couple that with the fact that they’re still a very good team and you have a hyped up season ahead. George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa will be back with a chip on their shoulder, so watch Houston this season.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
In any other year, the Dodgers would be an easy pick for the most exciting team, but this isn’t a regular season. They added 2018 MVP Mookie Betts and lost pretty much nobody. Betts and Cody Bellinger make for a spectacular duo in that outfield. Plus, they have so much depth with a solid group of pitchers led by Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. They’re the easy favorites to win the National League.
3. New York Yankees
Now here are the favorites to win the American League. Last season, the Yankees lacked elite starting pitchers. Then, they went out and got ace Gerrit Cole, arguably the best pitcher in the MLB. Also, they have one of the league’s best bullpens and too many great hitters to count. If they can stay healthy, they have a real chance at World Series title #28.
4. Washington Nationals
It was such a surprise to watch the Nats win a World Series title almost immediately after losing Bryce Harper, so this year they’re on everyone’s radars. Their strength has been starting pitchers, with Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin headlining their rotation. On top of that, they have one of the MLB’s most exciting youngsters in Juan Soto. Will they go back-to-back? That’s unlikely, but they’re still worth a watch.
5. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have been severely overhyped the past few seasons, but this is the best they’ve been in recent memory. Mike Trout is still widely regarded as baseball’s best, and they made one of the biggest splashes in free agency by signing 3B Anthony Rendon. Their main concern lies in their pitching, but Trout and Rendon will keep fans in the seats.
6. Minnesota Twins
The Twins shattered the MLB’s single-season home run record for a team in 2019, boasting a whopping 307 dingers. This offseason, they signed 3B Josh Donaldson to an already stacked lineup. They’ve got power and they’ve got an almost guaranteed AL Central title.
7. San Diego Padres
This might be a more personal selection, but I absolutely love the Padres’ tandem of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Those two are top Gold Glove candidates who also have elite bats. The Padres are a major sleeper team. I really think they could steal a wild card spot if they stay within 5-10 games of the Dodgers.
8. Philadelphia Phillies
You best believe the Phillies will have a chip on their shoulder going into this season. After being baseball’s most disappointing team and watching the rival Nationals win a World Series (also Bryce Harper’s old team), these guys will be hungry. That primarily goes for Harper himself. They’ll need him to be stellar along with J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and the newly-acquired Didi Gregorious. They have all the pieces to put together a playoff-caliber season, so will they in 2020?
9. Toronto Blue Jays
I highly doubt they’ll make the playoffs, but the Jays have some of the best youngsters in the MLB. More specifically, they boast three sons of former major leaguers. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a dinger machine and should be the face of Toronto for years to come. Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio will headline the middle infield. Those three have famous fathers, but they should make names for themselves this season. The addition of ace Hyun Jin-Ryu will also add some entertainment value to the Blue Jays.
10. Atlanta Braves
The Braves should be much higher on this list, but COVID has hit them hard. Their star 1B, Freddie Freeman, came down with a severe case of the virus and his future is uncertain for this season. On top of that, Nick Markakis and Felix Hernandez won’t be playing. Still, any team with Ronald Acuña is an exciting team. Anyway, watch the Braves as they attempt to overcome the effects of COVID.
Cheers to baseball! Stay safe!