If the 2020 MLB season gets underway, it will look much different than we are used to as fans. But how would that impact the Yankees?
The New York Yankees won the AL East in 2019 for the first time since 2012, but in 2020 they might not have the opportunity to reclaim their throne in the conventional way. The reason for this is due to the fact that if the 2020 season ever starts up, there will likely be altered divisions.
Here is what each division would look like:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Miami Marlins
- New York Mets
- New York Yankees
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Washington Nationals
- Atlanta Braves
- Milwaukee Brewers
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Chicago Cubs
- Cleveland Indians
- Cincinnati Reds
- Kansas City Royals
- Detroit Tigers
- Minnesota Twins
- Chicago White Sox
- Oakland Athletics
- San Francisco Giants
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- San Diego Padres
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Colorado Rockies
- Texas Rangers
- Houston Astros
- Seattle Mariners
If this does wind up being the case, the Yankees played only one team outside of the AL East that would be in their division in 2020. Against the teams they did play in the East in the Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays, and Mets, the Yankees went a combined 56-24.
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The nine other teams that would be in the Yankees’ modified conference finished with an average record of 76.33-85.67. However, one of those nine teams, the Washington Nationals, ended up winning the World Series after winning the Wild Card game against the Rockies.
The Nationals did lose one of their best players in Anthony Rendon though, which will undoubtedly hurt them.
One team that will be trending up is the Phillies who in the offseason added Didi Gregorius from the Yankees, and a new manager in former Yankees manager Joe Girardi. In addition to these two, it will be their second season with Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, two of the best players at their respective positions in the MLB.
That being said, the Phillies will likely be a good bit better in 2020 than they were in 2019. Aside from the Phillies and Nationals, the Yankees will also have more games against the Pirates and Mets than they have in previous years.
The Pirates and Mets are two teams the Yankees probably don’t have to worry about as they won’t field that great of teams in 2020.
All that being said, if anything the modified divisions might actually help the Yankees rather than hurting them (if they can stay healthy of course). If the season does wind up being only 82 games, I would expect the Yankees to fare very well against their new division opponents.