The Bottom Tier
9. Seattle Mariners
As we examined in our AL West preview, the Mariners simply lack talent. They lost 94 games despite starting out 13-2, and they aren’t noticeably better this year. The rotation is full of question marks behind Marco Gonzales, and the bullpen is even more of a mystery.
There’s some potential in the lineup if Mitch Haniger can bounce back and veterans Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager can improve, but otherwise it’s just tough to see this team hanging around. Even in a season as short as 60 games, I’d be surprised if they don’t finish at the bottom of the standings.
8. San Francisco Giants
In short, the Giants are rebuilding. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner is now in another uniform, as are closer Will Smith and outfielder Kevin Pillar. Primary backstop Buster Posey is coming off a disappointing year and seems to be leaving the door open to opting out of the season. An infield containing Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria would’ve been really nice five years ago, but not so much now.
Jeff Samardzija is the team’s ace, and they’ll hope Johnny Cueto can return to form after two injury-marred years. The remaining veterans will likely be trade candidates this year as well, though some will need to turn back the clock to generate trade value. This is a team that’ll probably get worse before it gets better.
7. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are coming off a 91-loss season, and it’s hard to see where they’ve improved. They still have a solid offensive core of Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon, while Daniel Murphy and David Dahl could add some solid production as well. They’ll have to replace Ian Desmond, who’s opting out this season.
The pitching side is an issue, though. There’s a lot of young talent, starting with Jon Gray and German Marquez, but the rest of their young arms are coming off bad seasons. The bullpen is an even bigger question as closer Wade Davis was awful in 2019, and veterans Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw weren’t much help either. This is a team that might be able to contend in a short season if a lot of things break right, but I wouldn’t count on it.