The 2020 MLB season will be something we've never experienced and hopefully will never have to again.
That being said, a 60-game sprint will make almost every contest feel like playoff baseball - even without fans in the stands. While this year is nearly impossible to predict, theScore's MLB editors took a stab at trying to guess how it all plays out.
The New York Yankees claim the AL East in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2011-12. The Bronx Bombers' elite lineup and dominant pitching make them the most complete team in the division and help them edge the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa grabs the first wild-card spot and hosts the one-game playoff. Boston's rotation struggles, leading the Red Sox to their first losing record since 2015. The Blue Jays see improvement despite finishing under .500, with Toronto recording its highest winning percentage (.466) in four years. Baltimore occupies the basement for a fourth consecutive season, though all that losing helps the Orioles secure the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft.
The Minnesota Twins claim consecutive AL Central crowns for the first time in a decade and secure the league's top record, setting up a postseason matchup with the wild-card winner. The Cleveland Indians hang with the Twins for most of the year but narrowly miss out on the postseason for a second straight season. The Chicago White Sox, boosted by an offseason spending spree, finish with a winning record for the first time since 2012. The Tigers and Kansas City Royals battle it out for last place, with Detroit finishing with the division's worst record in consecutive years.
On the heels of a historic cheating scandal, the Houston Astros prove they're still loaded with talent and win the AL West for a franchise-record fourth straight campaign. The Oakland Athletics keep things close but have to settle for a third straight wild-card game. Anthony Rendon's addition isn't enough to get Mike Trout into the postseason as the Los Angeles Angels fail to reach October baseball for the sixth year running. The Rangers' rotation keeps the club competitive, but the offense isn't strong enough to make Texas any real threat. The Seattle Mariners extend their MLB-leading playoff drought to 19 seasons.
The New York Mets claim the tightest divison in the majors after four teams finish within three games of each other. It's the Mets' first NL East crown since 2015 and second since 2006. The Atlanta Braves and defending World Series champion Washington Nationals settle for the wild-card spots. After watching his former team celebrate a championship, Bryce Harper and his Philadelphia Phillies miss out on the postseason by a single game. The Miami Marlins see some improvement from their young core but finish in last place for a third consecutive season.
The Cincinnati Reds return to the postseason for the first time since 2013 and claim their first NL Central in eight years. David Ross can't deliver a playoff appearance in his first season managing the Chicago Cubs, while the St. Louis Cardinals underachieve due to an inconsistent offense that wasn't upgraded during the offseason. The Milwaukee Brewers miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons despite another MVP-worthy campaign from Christian Yelich. After an offseason overhaul in the front office, the Pittsburgh Pirates finish with the worst record in the NL and land the second pick in next year's draft.
The Los Angeles Dodgers cruise to an eighth straight division title and finish with the best record in the majors. The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres stay in the wild-card race until fading late, as the latter misses the playoffs for a 14th straight year. The Colorado Rockies place fourth in back-to-back seasons, forcing Nolan Arenado to further question the long-term future of the organization. Plagued by injuries, the San Francisco Giants finish last for just the second time since 2007.
Dodgers over Yankees: For the first time since 1988, the Dodgers are World Series champions. Los Angeles takes down New York in seven games to win it all after coming excruciatingly close in recent years. Clayton Kershaw gets his first ring, while the trade for Mookie Betts pays off. The Yankees' loss extends their championship drought to 11 seasons.
Mike Trout, Angels: It's a fourth MVP honor for the superstar and second in as many years. Trout entered the 2020 campaign unsure if he would even play and misses time briefly for the birth of his first child but still manages to claim the award. Trout will enter his age-29 season in 2021 sitting three MVPs away from Barry Bonds' all-time record.
Also received votes: Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Bregman, Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez
Mookie Betts, Dodgers: What a first impression. The star outfielder joins Frank Robinson as the only players to win both AL and NL MVP.
Also received votes: Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Ronald Acuna Jr.
Gerrit Cole, Yankees: The right-hander wins his first Cy Young after narrowly losing out to Justin Verlander last season. He's the first Yankee to win the award since Roger Clemens in 2001 and just the fourth pitcher in franchise history.
Also received votes: Shane Bieber, Tyler Glasnow
Walker Buehler, Dodgers: For the first time in five seasons, someone not named Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom wins the NL Cy Young. The 25-year-old Buehler becomes the sixth different Dodger to win the award and first since Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
Also received votes: Jack Flaherty, Max Scherzer, Chris Paddack
Luis Robert, White Sox: The 22-year-old caps off an incredible 2020 with some hardware. Robert makes an immediate impact for the White Sox as he becomes the franchise's first Rookie of the Year winner since Jose Abreu in 2014. He's the third straight non-American to claim the award.
Also received votes: Jesus Luzardo, Brendan McKay, Jo Adell, Yoshi Tsutsugo
Carter Kieboom, Nationals: After preseason favorite Gavin Lux failed to make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, the door opens for Kieboom to run away with the award. While the 22-year-old isn't able to fully replace Anthony Rendon's production at third base, the Nationals couldn't ask for a better first impression. Kieboom's win makes it three straight years that the NL ROY comes from the NL East.
Also received votes: Dylan Carlson, Gavin Lux, Dustin May