The condensed MLB 2020 regular season has come to an end, with 60 games played per team (or most of the teams) and more than half the clubs entering the post season. Eight teams from both leagues will participate in the historical MLB 2020 Playoffs, taking place in various grounds all over the States. First round, also known as wild card round, is played the best out of three, while the divisional round is best out of five. The remaining two rounds, the league championship and then the World Series are still best out of seven - so there is plenty of baseball to be played and the winner should be clear by the end of October.
The schedule for the regular season was tight, with some 47 games postponed and most of them then played as 7-inning doubleheaders. The fixture list remains packed, as there’s no rest for the teams between the games of the series, as would usually be the case. The first round will be played entirely in the home ground of the higher seeded team, so there’s some home advantage – if there ever was one. For the rest of the playoffs the MLB will enter the infamous bubble and the games will be played in seven separate locations.
While the new playoff-format might allow lower seeded teams a tad higher chance to overcome the odds, there are still clear favorites based on the performance in the regular season. But as is usual, Accuscore’s simulations have predicted some surprising results heading into the MLB 2020 Postseason, most likely against the public opinion.
Accuscore’s American League 2020 Playoffs Predictions
Here are the simulated, most probable results in the American League Wild Card and ALDS rounds.
The series in the AL are fairly evenly matched, which was to be expected. New York Yankees seemed dominant at times during the regular season, but had a torrid final chapter which pushed them down to sixth seed. In simulations, those hard times are over and the Yankees overcome Cleveland, who did enjoy a good final run, winning eight of their last 10 games. In a short series, the Yankees have enough firepower to take the win, but Cleveland will not go down easy.
With the favorites Tampa Bay and Minnesota holding the fort, if only narrowly, it comes down to Chicago White Sox to provide another shock in the AL Wild Card round of 2020. While Oakland might not be amongst the favorites to win the World Series, they had a remarkably good season and climbed all the way to third in the AL – but White Sox were only one win behind. It will be an intriguing matchup and no surprise if it takes all three games to settle the score.
In the divisional round, Yankees are still favored by a hair over the Rays, but it is as close as it’ll get. It might come down to the depth in the pitching department, especially if the series go long. Not much rest for those heavy arms, so the relievers and spotters need to be at their best at all times. The same goes in the other ALDS game between the Twins and White Sox: we are most likely to see a 5-game-series of all-even-fixtures. Keep an eye out on the pro gambler's MLB picks to find the best values throughout the playoffs.
Accuscore’s National League 2020 Playoffs Predictions
Here’s how the simulations predict the National League Wild Card and NLDS rounds.
If in the AL it was all even-steven, in the NL it goes the other way: the only even remotely close matchup is played between the Cubs and the Marlins, who were hugely underrated before the season. Cubs are favored in that matchup as well, so it seems all the top seeds are likely to progress to the next round. The Dodgers are by far the most impressive team in the simulations so far and give Brewers no chance in the Wild Card round, but also demolish San Diego Padres in the NLDS series. It bodes well to remember, though, that a lot can happen between here and the next round and even the Dodgers are vulnerable to injuries or lack of form from certain key players (yes, we are staring at you Clayton Kershaw). That being said, there’s not much that can go wrong for the Dodgers and they are the number one horse going forward.
Atlanta Braves was picked by Accuscore as one of the dark horses early on the season and they have delivered. Overcoming the Reds should not prove too problematic and the Cubs seem to pose no threat either. Cubs should be able to beat Miami rather easily, but Marlins have stood their ground after being undermined by everyone. Look for some statements coming from Florida. The Padres were impressive during the regular season and might hop into the shoes of the Dodgers if they fall from grace once again. Cardinals, on the other hand were not exactly impressive after barely managing a winning record – and playing two games less than any other playoff-team.