2020 MLB National League predictions: Mets squeak into playoffs, Dodgers take flag

Dodgers stars Cody Bellinger (left) and Mookie Betts (right). (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

While the Yankees are considered to be head and shoulders above the rest of the American League, the same can’t be said for the National League. 

Heading into the 2020 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to continue their stronghold on the NL as they look for a third NL pennant in four years. 

With the addition of Mookie Betts for not just this season — but possibly the next 13 years as the two sides inch toward a massive extension — the odds that they make it back to the World Series are good. 

Yet, there are a number of budding teams in the National League that will certainly give the Dodgers a run for their money. 

The defending World Series-champion Washington Nationals come back without Anthony Rendon, but arguably one of the best one-two pitching punches in baseball with Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg. 

Meanwhile, the defending NL East-winning Atlanta Braves will remain in the conversation based solely off the trio of Freddie Freeman — who recovered from coronavirus — Ronald Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Albies. 

But the New York Mets are expected to be a threat, and are a trendy pick upon many, to take the NL East crown and make the postseason for the first time since 2016. It won’t be easy considering a fourth imposing team in the division is a Bryce Harper-led Philadelphia Phillies side that has a lot to prove following a disappointing 2019. 

Elsewhere, the Cincinnati Reds restocked the pantry this offseason, most notably nabbing Nick Castellanos and highly-touted Japanese star Shogo Akiyama. Adding them to a core that includes Eugenio Suarez, who came off a 49-home-run season, and a pitching staff headlined by Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo. 

While the NL East is looked on as the toughest division in baseball, the NL Central that features the Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers isn’t too far behind. 

Here is how we see the National League playing out this season:

2020 NL East Predictions

  1. Washington Nationals: 34-26 (.567 Winning %)
  2. New York Mets: 33-27 (.550 W%)
  3. Atlanta Braves: 32-28 (.533 W%)
  4. Philadelphia Phillies: 29-31 (.483 W%)
  5. Miami Marlins: 20-40 (.357 W%)

2020 NL Central Predictions

  1. Cincinnati Reds: 33-27 (.550 W%)
  2. Chicago Cubs: 32-28 (.533 W%)
  3. Milwaukee Brewers: 31-29 (.517%)
  4. St. Louis Cardinals: 29-31 (.483 W%)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 24-36 (.400 W%)

 2020 NL West Predictions

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 39-21 (.650 W%)
  2. Arizona Diamondbacks: 31-29 (.517%)
  3. San Diego Padres: 30-30 (.500 W%)
  4. Colorado Rockies: 28-32 (.467 W%)
  5. San Francisco Giants: 24-36 (.400 W%)

NL Wild Card Game: Mets def. Cubs

NLDS 1: Nationals def. Reds

NLDS 2: Dodgers def. Mets

NLCS: Dodgers def. Nationals

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