Astros 2020 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2020 Houston Astros predictions? No team will be more squarely under the microscope in 2020 than the Astros in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal. Is Dusty Baker the man to lead Houston out of its mess and right back to the World Series?
MLB Astros Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Houston finds itself in a unique position. It has one of the best and most complete rosters in the game but a new manager and a serious challenge of overcoming tons of negative attention after getting caught cheating.
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How much of all of the Astros’ recent success was a result of sign-stealing? That will be most players’ primary motivation to come out and have a big 2020 season.
2020 MLB Team Previews – Houston Astros
- Houston Astros 2020 American League West Odds: -275
- Houston Astros 2020 American League Odds: +350
- Houston Astros 2020 World Series Odds: +800
Houston was quiet in the transaction logs this season. The lineup will remain the same as last season’s with a little more Kyle Tucker, who came up to the big leagues last season to put up a 118 OPS+ in 72 plate appearances (he actually had 72 plate appearances in 2018 too).
- Gerrit Cole
Cole won 35 games with just 10 losses in two seasons as an Astro; he finished in the top five of the American League Cy Young both seasons and stuck out over 600 batters.
Houston’s plan is to replace Cole from within with younger pitchers and some returning from injury expected to make larger contributions in 2020. Not even the accumulation of such guys will fill the gaping hole Cole leaves in Houston’s rotation.
2020 Houston Astros Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- George Springer OF
- Jose Altuve 2B
- Michael Brantley OF
- Alex Bregman 3B
- Yuli Gurriel 1B
- Yordan Alvarez DH
- Carlos Correa SS
- Josh Reddick OF
- Martin Maldonado C
Yordan Alvarez was just 21 when he debuted last season and he finished with 27 home runs in 87 games. He walked a bunch too (52 times) but struck out nearly twice as many times (94).
What he does in 2020 will go a long way in determining how the Astros’ lineup fares but even if he isn’t a consistent power threat (if he is, watch out), Houston has enough to make up for a sophomore slump.
Carlos Correa looked better in 2019 than he did at the end of 2018, which was slightly encouraging. But will he ever return to 2017 stardom? Back then it would have been tough to envisage him hitting down toward the bottom of the order on a nightly basis.
2020 Houston Astros Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- Zack Greinke
- Lance McCullers
- Jose Urquidy
- Josh James
- Justin Verlander
Verlander has a problem in his side and said he wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day before the possibility of it being pushed back became so likely. Houston may benefit from a couple weeks delay in the start of the season if it means getting Verlander back on time to start the first game of the season.
McCullers returning from Tommy John will be key for this rotation, considering it may seriously lack depth if Verlander doesn’t prove to be a workhorse again. He didn’t pitch at all in 2019, though, and should be ready to hit the ground running in his return, which the advantage of getting the procedure done soon after the 2018 season, rather than delaying it.
2020 Houston Astros Predictions: Projected Closer:
- Roberto Osuna
Osuna has been one of the best closers in the game for the last couple seasons. He saved 38 in 2019 and looked even better in the postseason.
Houston’s cohort of quality relievers in front of Osuna returns in 2020 and youngsters like Bryan Abreu and Forrest Whitley may be on their way.
2020 Houston Astros Predictions: 87 wins and 3rd in the AL West (Bet Now at any of our reviewed MLB Sportsbooks!)
The Verlander news to start the season can’t have many feeling good. He’s been such a workhorse over the years that whatever team he is pitching for has come to rely on him being there winning every fifth day.
The Astros are certainly banking on him doing more of the same in 2020. He if he can’t, though, Houston could struggle a bit in a tough division. Oakland is going to be highly motivated to pass the ‘Stros this time and the Angels are no slouch.
Let’s see what the bats can do with all the pressure from the fans and the full focus and effort from opposing pitchers. It could be a down year in Houston.
What do you think of our 2020 Houston Astros predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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