2020 Oakland Athletics Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
There are plenty of teams - the Yankees and Dodgers come to mind - that have been victims of Houston's cheating scheme and scandal . But if anyone is primed to take advantage of the Astros' fall from grace moving forward, it would have to be the Oakland A's.
Oakland has won 97 games in back-to-back seasons and has a young core of exciting, versatile players intact. The A's have made the playoffs each of the past two seasons and five times in the last eight years. They haven't been able to advance in any of those five postseason appearances, but that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm around this group or the feeling around the league that this is a team on the rise.
Oakland Athletics 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Marcus Semien - SS
2. Brian Anderson - OF
3. Matt Chapman - 3B
4. Matt Olson - 1B
5. Khris Davis - DH
6. Mark Canha - OF
7. Robbie Grossman - OF
8. Sean Murphy - C
9. Anthony Kemp - 2B
Despite playing in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the Major Leagues, Oakland was all-in on the home run frenzy that marked 2019. The A's finished fifth in the league with 257 home runs while finishing in the Top 10 in runs, slugging percentage and OPS.
It starts at the corners with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman. As of April 1, both players are just 26 years old and entering their primes. Olson won the Rookie of the Year in 2017 and has earned a Gold Glove each of the past two seasons while contributing 65 home runs. Chapman, who has also won the Gold Glove each of the last two years, has finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting in 2018 and 2019 while slugging 60 home runs.
Marcus Semien and Khris Davis are two other regulars that can change the game with a single swing of the bat. And with Olson at first, Chapman at third, and Semien at shortstop, the A's may boast the best infield in baseball.
A key for the offense will be Ramon Laureano and Mark Canha. Both had breakout seasons and career years last season, combining for 50 home runs and 125 RBI while both hitting over .270. Can they do it again? If so, then don't expect much drop-off in production from this lineup.
Oakland Athletics 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Sean Manaea (L)
2. Mike Fiers (R)
3. Frankie Montas (R)
4. Jesus Luzardo (L)
5. Chris Bassitt (R)
Closer: Liam Hendricks (R)
If there is a weakness on this team, the lack of a true No. 1 starter with Cy Young potential would probably be it. That doesn't mean that pitching is a major issue for Oakland. To the contrary. The A's were No. 6 in team ERA last season and their starters were No. 8 in the Majors (and 4 in the American League) with a solid 4.02 starters ERA.
Sean Manaea missed the majority of last season due to injury. But when he is healthy he has serious potential. He went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his five regular season starts and he took the ball for the A's in their one-game playoff. He's not a big strikeout guy, but is tough to square up and is entering his prime.
Mike Fiers is a pitch-to-contact veteran that is coming off his best season as a pro. Fiers went 15-4 and threw his second career no-hitter. He also posted a sub-4.00 ERA for the third straight season. He chews up a lot of innings for this squad.
Perhaps the two biggest X-factors on this entire team are Frankie Montas and Jesus Luzardo. The two youngsters both have top-end talent and serious stuff. If they can break out then one could emerge as that staff ace the A's sorely need. They both have their issues though; Montas is coming back from a PED suspension and Luzardo has just three career starts (and 8.1 career innings) to his name.
Liam Hendricks emerged as a rock solid closer last season, striking out 124 batters in 85 innings while accumulating 25 saves. Yusmeiro Petit and Joakim Soria are two savvy veteran arms and youngsters like A.J. Puk and Lou Trivino will provide support. This is a solid group.
Oakland Athletics Odds To Win The World Series
Oakland's current pricing has them squarely in the position of dark horse. They are 30-to-1 to win the World Series this year and a juicy 14-to-1 to win the American League pennant. The A's are 3-to-1 to win the American League West despite the fact that I feel they have the best roster heading into the season.
Oakland Athletics 2020 Predictions
I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts on July 1. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB's plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
I have been driving the Oakland bandwagon each of the past two seasons. In 2018 my 8-Unit MLB Futures Play - my highest rated futures pick and one of my largest wagers in any sport for that entire year - was on the A's to go 'over' their season win total of 75.0. They won 97 games, and I have been on board with this crew ever since.
There is nothing not to like about them this year, either. There is no quantifying the amount of bad karma that weighs on the Astros right now. And I think that Houston is a team primed for a steep decline. Oakland is going the other way. They are young, talented, and well rounded, and I would have them as the favorites in this division.
For decades the A's have been a whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-part team and their current group is no exception. Assuming they can stay healthy, and that their young players can continue to ascend, I think that this is clearly the team to beat in the West and on the short list of teams that could win the pennant.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc's Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo's MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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