After weeks of tense negotiations, Major League Baseball and its players' union have agreed to a shortened, 60-game season set to begin in late July. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said players will report to "spring" training on July 1st, with real games beginning around July 23rd. So now, instead of counter proposals dominating the headlines, the focus is back on the field - much to the delight of many.
Expected win totals have been released in advance of the upcoming season, and the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals find themselves with one of the league's highest numbers. The over/under for Nats wins in 2020 is set at 33 ½, which is tied for the fifth-highest total in the league. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles win total is set at 21 ½, tied for the lowest with the Detroit Tigers.
The Dodgers and Yankees are tied for the highest expected win total at 38 ½, followed by the Astros at 35 ½ and the Twins at 34 ½. An exact schedule has yet to be released, but reportedly could feature mostly games against divisional rivals, with the rest of the slate to be filled with regional opponents.
Last season, the Nationals finished with 93 wins, tied for eighth-best overall before going on a postseason run that culminated in the franchise's first World Series title. Washington spent most of the offseason keeping their team intact, re-signing Stephen Strasburg to a new 7-year contract while keeping players like Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes around on shorter deals.
The key will be replacing the production of Anthony Rendon, who inked a 7-year, $245 million deal with the Angels.
The Orioles find themselves in the early stages of a rebuild, finishing with 54 wins in 2019, a total that ranked 29th in all of baseball. Baltimore's focus is clearly on the future, but a few O's prospects could make their way to the Major Leagues in 2020. That includes Adley Rutschman, the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft.
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