The American League East and National League East divisions will be facing off against each other in this shortened 2020 season. They limited the schedule for these divisions to only east coast teams due to concerns over the coronavirus. There are plenty of stellar players in other divisions, but there is reason to believe that the teams on the eastern side of the U.S are the best in the game today.
The AL East has been considered to be the best division in the MLB for most of this century. The New York Yankees have had the one of the best teams in the American League for a while now. They also may have assembled one of the best lineups in recent years for the 2020 campaign. With young stars like Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge, elite pitching in Gerrit Cole and James Paxton, and strong veteran leadership in DJ Lemahieu and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are going to be a very tough team to beat this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays have finally earned the respect they deserve in the AL East. They have arguably the best pitching staff in the league for this season and their offense has consistently gotten better in the last few seasons. With the acquisitions of Hunter Renfroe, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and Jose Martinez, there will be no shortage of power in the Rays lineup. Also, returners like Austin Meadows and Brandon Lowe are hungry to show the world that last season was no fluke.
Coming off of a World Series victory just a couple seasons ago, the Red Sox are no team to scoff at in 2020. Despite losing star RF, Mookie Betts, they still have strong offensive contributors in Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and JD Martinez on their roster.
The Blue Jays are a huge sleeper candidate in this shortened season. They have arguably the most talented young squad in the American League with players such as Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Cavan Biggio. If these young studs can get hot at the right time, then you could definitely see Toronto make a bid for a wild card spot.
In the NL East, you have teams like the Braves and the Mets that have loads of young talent with great players such as Jeff McNeil and Ronald Acuna Jr. The pitching in the NL East is also gonna be tough to scratch runs against. The New York Mets have Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman. All 3 of those hurlers could be the ace of a few other NL teams. Of course you can’t forget the reigning champs in the Washington Nationals. They probably have the best pitching staff in the MLB right now with Scherzer, Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin sharing the rubber. Even though Ryan Zimmerman has decided to opt out of the season, their offense is still very respectable as well; highlighted by 21-year old phenom, Juan Soto. I still haven’t even mentioned the solid team that the Philadelphia Phillies have put together with key pieces in Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorious. The NL East is up for grabs between those 4 teams and it just depends on which one of them gets off to the hottest start.
Despite the Orioles and Marlins being major disappointments for their respective divisions, I would still take the teams in the East over the West and Central divisions any day of the week.