Latest Win-Loss Predictions for Every MLB Team One-Third of the Way into 2020

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterAugust 13, 2020

Latest Win-Loss Predictions for Every MLB Team One-Third of the Way into 2020

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    Can the San Diego Padres keep it up?
    Can the San Diego Padres keep it up?Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Though there are exceptions here, there and everywhere, many teams around Major League Baseball are now a third of the way into their 60-game schedules.

    Let's use what they've done so far to predict what they'll do next.

    Ahead are our latest projections for what teams' records will be at the end of the 2020 season. This required considering each team's strengths and weaknesses, both now and in the not-too-distant future. Crucially, it also involved weighing their remaining strength of schedule.

    We'll proceed in alphabetical order by city.


    Note: Stats and records are current through Wednesday, August 12.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Record: 8-11

    The Arizona Diamondbacks had better shape up because the road ahead isn't much easier than the one they've already traveled.

    Per Baseball Reference, only the San Francisco Giants have played as tough a schedule as the Diamondbacks. While it's good for them that they're mostly done with the San Diego Padres, they still have 17 games left against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics.

    Provided that stragglers like Eduardo Escobar and Carson Kelly get going, Arizona's offense should improve on its lowly .697 OPS. Yet there isn't quite juggernaut potential, which is a problem relative to a pitching staff beset by an injured Madison Bumgarner and a malfunctioning Robbie Ray.

    Barring any unforeseen developments, Arizona's struggle will likely continue.

    Projected Record: 26-34


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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Record: 11-9

    Though Atlanta would have a playoff spot in hand if the season ended today, the club's starting rotation is a threat to undo that advantage.

    Brian Snitker's rotation has been decimated by injuries (Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels), poor performances (Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb) and an opt-out (Felix Hernandez). If anything, the 5.72 ERA it currently bears may only get worse.

    Fortunately, Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr.-led offense is doing just fine with an MLB-high 104 runs scored. Its bullpen is also doing its bit with a 3.22 ERA.

    Atlanta's schedule is still another advantage. The National League East is a bit of a mess, and Atlanta has only two games left against the best (i.e., the New York Yankees) in the American League East.

    Projected Record: 33-27

Baltimore Orioles

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    Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

    Record: 9-7

    Of all the wacky developments that have unfolded in 2020, that the Baltimore Orioles are competitive might be the wackiest.

    Above all, these Orioles can hit. They're scoring five runs per game, and they're doing so with rate stats that qualify them as a well-above-average offensive club.

    The Orioles will only need their arms to be good enough as long as the hits keep coming. And so far, they have been to the tune of a non-terrible 4.41 ERA.

    One catch is that the Orioles still have to play the dreaded Yankees—who won 17 of the clubs' 19 meetings in 2019—eight more times. Their schedule otherwise isn't that scary, so the O's might at least finish within range of the .500 mark.

    Projected Record: 28-32

Boston Red Sox

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Record: 6-12

    If we must be optimistic about one aspect of the Boston Red Sox, it's that their offense is surely better than its .723 OPS and 4.3 runs per game would lead one to believe.

    Even still, Boston's offense probably can't get hot enough to make up for the club's pitching on a daily basis. To wit, the 5.24 ERA attached to Red Sox hurlers oversells their capabilities. They're a volatile bunch with virtually no upside beyond what they've shown so far.

    At this point, the big question is whether the Red Sox will sell at the Aug. 31 trade deadline. If they do, J.D. Martinez, Brandon Workman, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Nathan Eovaldi could be out the door.

    If anyone is expecting a Red Sox turnaround, well, don't.

    Projected Record: 22-38

Chicago Cubs

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Record: 12-3

    Why worry about the Chicago Cubs?

    Well, for one thing, their no-good-very-bad-terrible bullpen has a 6.56 ERA. For another, they've played one of the softest schedules in the majors to this point.

    However, it ought to comfort them that they only have five games left against the top two teams in the AL Central: Cleveland and the Minnesota Twins. Likewise, they should be comforted by the reality that they're the only team in the NL Central that has played like a functional contender.

    Despite their bullpen's issues, that should remain the case as long as the Cubs keep getting more than five runs per game from their offense and a sub-3.00 ERA from their starters. Both are real possibilities.

    Projected Record: 36-24

Chicago White Sox

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Record: 10-9

    The Chicago White Sox aren't soaring as high as they hoped they would after more or less ending their rebuild during the winter.

    On the plus side, their offense is almost certainly better than it's shown. It's indeed already trafficking in above-average numbers, so its modest output of 4.5 runs per game should be going up.

    On the negative side, the pitching on the South Side is more suspect. Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel are pitching well atop the club's rotation, but there's a lot of uncertainty between them and closer Alex Colome.

    Given that they still have to play the Twins and Cubs 13 times, the White Sox's schedule is still another thing that will make it difficult for them to break out of their .500 pace.

    Projected Record: 30-30

Cincinnati Reds

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Record: 8-10

    Much like the White Sox, the Cincinnati Reds were hoping for more in 2020 after loading up to contend during the winter. The difference, though, is that better things should be in the Reds' future.

    Their next six games are against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals. They're also done playing Cleveland, and they have to play the Twins only three times and the Cubs just seven more times.

    In the meantime, the Reds can continue to rely on a star-studded rotation that has posted a 2.56 ERA. They won't need that much offense as long as that remains the case, yet more will indeed come once Mike Moustakas gets healthy and Eugenio Suarez heats up.

    In short, the Reds are the team to beat for the NL Central's second playoff spot.

    Projected Record: 32-28


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    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    Record: 10-9

    The big question Cleveland faces right now is when, or if, the offense is going to come.

    Terry Francona's bats have fallen completely flat with an MLB-low .596 OPS and 3.3 runs per game. Based on their track records, though, Cleveland ought to eventually get more from Francisco Lindor, Domingo Santana and Franmil Reyes, who've so far combined for a .690 OPS.

    Otherwise, Cleveland doesn't need anything else from a pitching staff that already leads the American League with a 2.57 ERA. Well, except maybe for Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac to follow protocol from here on out.

    Cleveland's schedule could also look worse. In the days ahead, it features a total of only eight games against the Twins and Cubs.

    Projected Record: 34-26

Colorado Rockies

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    Louis DeLuca/Associated Press

    Record: 12-6

    Though many of the same parts are still in place, the Colorado Rockies otherwise look nothing like the team that lost 91 games in 2019.

    The biggest surprise has been a pitching staff that's cut through the challenges of Coors Field with a 3.99 ERA. German Marquez and Kyle Freeland are an ace duo once again, and a misfit-laden bullpen is keeping the ball in the yard.

    Led by Charlie Blackmon and his .472 average, the Rockies are also getting enough offense for now. More will be in order once Nolan Arenado starts hitting like, well, Nolan Arenado.

    The obligatory "yeah, but..." is that the Rockies still have 10 games left against the Dodgers, plus seven against the Padres and four against the Houston Astros. Nonetheless, a winning record is within reach.

    Projected Record: 34-26

Detroit Tigers

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Record: 9-7

    Are the Detroit Tigers actually good? Or is their early goodness too good to be true?

    We drift more toward the latter conclusion. Despite their winning record, these Tigers have allowed two more runs than they've scored. That largely comes down to a largely unimpressive pitching staff that's coughed up a 5.23 ERA so far.

    The Tigers also haven't really been challenged yet. Though they only have to play the Cubs three times, all 20 of their games against Cleveland and the Twins are still to come.

    All these things suggest that a humbling is in the Tigers' future. When it's over, their time above the .500 mark will be merely a nice memory.

    Projected Record: 25-35

Houston Astros

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Record: 8-10

    The Houston Astros have to be better than this, right?

    To one extent, yes. Houston's offense hasn't even been that bad in scoring 5.2 runs per game. Once Yordan Alvarez returns, it should look more like the unit that gave the 1927 Yankees a run for their money in 2019.

    However, it won't be as easy for the Astros' mound staff to improve on its modest 4.09 ERA. Though Zack Greinke has gotten decent support from a cast of no-names, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley are still gone, and Justin Verlander and Roberto Osuna are out with injuries.

    What's more, the Astros have sputtered despite playing an easy schedule to this point. The 16 games they have remaining against Oakland, Colorado, the Dodgers and San Diego will be wind in their face.

    Projected Record: 31-29

Kansas City Royals

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Record: 8-11

    There wasn't a whole lot to like about the Kansas City Royals as they were losing 103 games a year ago. But this year, they at least border on "interesting."

    In combining for 17 home runs, Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez and Maikel Franco have spearheaded an above-average offensive attack. While Kansas City's starters have little to brag about, its hard-throwing relievers have quietly put up a 3.32 ERA.

    Yet the Royals aren't through the rockiest terrain of their schedule. They still have 14 games remaining against Cleveland and Minnesota, the latter of whom remains the top dog in the AL Central despite a recent three-game sweep at Kansas City's hands.

    As such, don't expect the Royals to become any better than they already are.

    Projected Record: 24-36

Los Angeles Angels

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Record: 7-12

    From certain angles, the Los Angeles Angels look more than capable of awakening from their early nap.

    Their offense, in particular, is one of MLB's best now that Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and Jo Adell are sharing the everyday lineup. The 20 runs they scored in their last three games against Oakland are a sign of things to come.

    Despite its overall 4.54 ERA, the Angels' pitching staff is anchored by four solid starting pitchers. The best is certainly Dylan Bundy, who's breaking out with a 1.57 ERA.

    The catch, though, is that the Angels have had the softest schedule of any team to this point. It only gets harder from here, as they have 23 games left against the Rockies, Astros, Dodgers, A's and Padres.

    Projected Record: 30-30

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Record: 12-7

    The Los Angeles Dodgers are underachieving.

    Seriously, they deserve better based on their plus-42 run differential. If that was translating to the win-loss columns, they would be the best team in MLB right now.

    As it is, the Dodgers don't need any more from a stacked pitching staff that has excelled with an MLB-best 2.34 ERA. They could just use a little more offense, specifically from Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger. After winning the NL MVP in 2019, the latter only has a .499 OPS and two homers in 2020.

    The Dodgers do have some tough opponents remaining on their schedule, including 10 games against the Rockies. But if their pitching remains steady while their offense comes together like it should, they shouldn't have many (if any) problems.

    Projected Record: 37-23

Miami Marlins

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Record: 8-4

    It doesn't get much trickier than assessing the 2020 Miami Marlins.

    Their results, obviously, are quite good. The bulk of the credit for that belongs to a pitching staff that had a 3.61 ERA before getting roughed up for 11 runs by Toronto on Wednesday, though the Marlins are also getting clutch offensive performances out of Jesus Aguilar and the ever-underrated Brian Anderson.

    Yet the Marlins have also played fewer games than most because of a coronavirus outbreak that landed 13 players on the injured list. They've done well in the face of that, but the inevitable schedule crunch will test both their depth and their resolve.

    Because many of the same players are still around, there's also the nagging suspicion these Marlins can't be that much better than the club that lost 105 games in 2019.

    Projected Record: 29-31

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Record: 7-9

    After a painfully slow start, Christian Yelich has come around with five extra-base hits (including three home runs) over his last seven games.

    Despite that, the Milwaukee Brewers are struggling to escape their below-average purgatory on the offensive side. Not having Lorenzo Cain for the rest of the year won't make that process any easier, and he'll also be sorely missed on defense.

    Whether Milwaukee's pitching is up to carrying the team is debatable. There just isn't a great deal of reliability in between ace Brandon Woodruff and closer Josh Hader.

    Factoring in that the Brewers have 13 games remaining against the Cubs, Twins and Cleveland, there's a real chance their season won't ever come together.

    Projected Record: 29-31

Minnesota Twins

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Record: 12-7

    Weren't the Minnesota Twins supposed to hit their way to the playoffs?

    In the wake of their 307-homer explosion in 2019 and their subsequent signing of Josh Donaldson, one would have thought so. But Donaldson is dealing with another calf injury, and the rest of Minnesota's offense has been shockingly average to this point.

    Still, it's a safe guess that won't last. Even if Donaldson's return isn't nigh, the Twins can count on getting more from incumbents not named Nelson Cruz or Max Kepler. In the meantime, a pitching staff that's deeper than it was a year ago already has a 3.48 ERA.

    The Twins also have a light schedule working in their favor, as the NL Central component of it contains only three games against the Cubs.

    Projected Record: 37-23

New York Mets

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Record: 8-11

    Whatever hopes the New York Mets had of returning the playoffs in 2020 may have gone up in smoke.

    There was a time when they were expected to have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman atop their rotation. Now Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) and Stroman (opt-out) are out of the picture, which likely means the club's 5.20 ERA won't go down much.

    If so, the Mets' best hope at making the playoffs rests with their offense. With only three homers to his name, Pete Alonso must get hot and help significantly raise the team's .402 slugging percentage.

    Even if that happens, time's a-wasting. And while the Mets are mostly done with Atlanta, they still have six games against the Yankees to get through.

    Projected Record: 25-35

New York Yankees

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Record: 12-6

    The Yankees haven't looked so hot since getting out to an 8-1 start.

    It was only a matter of time before they started cracking with a rotation in which only Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka are consistently pitching well. More recently, even Aaron Judge's hot hitting can only cover so much for Gleyber Torres' slump and Giancarlo Stanton's latest injury.

    And yet the Yankees should remain safe atop the AL East. Despite all their issues, they boast baseball's best offense and a bullpen that will have five shutdown arms once Aroldis Chapman returns from his coronavirus-related absence.

    Further, the Yankees don't have a difficult schedule the rest of the way. Notably, the NL East portion of it contains only two games against Atlanta and six against the Mets.

    Projected Record: 37-23

Oakland Athletics

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Record: 13-6

    Want a reason to worry about the A's? Here it is: They've played one of baseball's easiest schedules.

    Despite the ominous implications of that statement, the reality isn't all that bad. The A's especially have it easy with the remainder of their NL West slate, as they have a total of eight games left against the Dodgers, Padres and Rockies.

    If there's a real threat to their dominance, it's an offense that has been exactly average. But that will change if Marcus Semien and Matt Olson find their respective grooves.

    In the meantime, the A's can keep coasting on a pitching staff with a 3.31 ERA. Keep an especially watchful eye on Jesus Luzardo, who's looked very sharp since moving into Oakland's rotation.

    Projected Record: 35-25

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Record: 5-8

    The Philadelphia Phillies have had at least two things go right for them to this point.

    One is their offense, which Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto have led to a .790 OPS and 5.2 runs per game. The other is the top portion of their starting rotation, where Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Jake Arrieta have a 2.76 ERA among them.

    Going forward, the Phillies can also rest a little easier knowing they're done with the Yankees and already four games into their 10-game slate with Atlanta. In other words, it should get easier.

    And yet, hopes for the Phillies can only go so high until they dramatically overhaul a bullpen that has flopped with a 9.63 ERA. Suffice it to say, carrying out such an operation won't be easy.

    Projected Record: 30-30

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Record: 3-13

    In a season littered with favorites, dark horses and long shots, only the Pittsburgh Pirates have a truly hopeless playoff outlook.

    One source of their doom is their lack of offense. Even if Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds get going, that will only mean so much to a bottom line that includes an NL-low .601 OPS.

    The Pirates aren't all that great at run prevention either. Specifically, Trevor Williams has been the only effective starter in a rotation that bears a 5.16 ERA.

    Of course, this wasn't entirely unexpected. The Pirates did lose 93 games in 2019, after all, and the roster they carried into this season largely consisted of the same cast of characters.

    Projected Record: 22-38

San Diego Padres

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    Derrick Tuskan/Associated Press

    Record: 11-8

    The San Diego Padres have won more than they've lost even though they've played one of the toughest schedules in baseball.

    They mostly have their offense to thank for that. Though nobody has stood out more than MVP favorite Fernando Tatis Jr., all sorts of Padres have chipped in to form the club's .775 OPS and 4.9 runs per game.

    Further, the Padres' 4.13 ERA undersells the potential of their pitching. The main issue is with a bullpen that's gotten off to a slow start, and improvement on that front comes down to whether Kirby Yates and Emilio Pagan pitch more like they did in 2019.

    Factoring in how the Padres only have 11 games left against the Rockies and Dodgers, their first postseason berth since 2006 is as good as theirs.

    Projected Record: 35-25

San Francisco Giants

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Record: 8-12

    As we previously mentioned, the Giants are right there with the Diamondbacks in terms of schedule difficulty to this point.

    Seven of their first 17 games were against the Dodgers. They've also played the Rockies four times and the Padres three times. If anything, it's impressive they're so close to .500.

    Trouble is, 19 more games against Colorado, San Diego and Oakland still loom for the Giants. Then there's the matter of their actual talent level, which, to put it mildly, isn't great even if Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano keep lighting things up offensively.

    Come the end of the year, the Giants will be lucky to avoid landing in the NL West basement.

    Projected Record: 25-35

Seattle Mariners

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Record: 7-13

    Even though the Seattle Mariners didn't start rebuilding until after the 2018 season, the end is already in sight.

    They have at least one keeper in Kyle Lewis, who's put up a .904 OPS and 10 home runs in 37 games since he debuted late in 2019. J.P. Crawford and Dylan Moore are two more talented 20-something hitters for the Mariners to build around.

    But apart from these silver linings, the Mariners have already sunk to the bottom of the AL West. There just isn't enough depth in their offense, and their 5.66 ERA speaks to how their pitching is even worse off.

    To cap things off, Seattle also has a punishing schedule that still has games left against the A's, Astros, Dodgers and Padres.

    Projected Record: 23-37

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Record: 2-3

    On July 29, the St. Louis Cardinals lost a 3-0 decision to the Twins. More than two weeks later, they're still waiting to play their next game.

    This is the price of their coronavirus outbreak, and the charges will keep coming even after they return to action. Assuming they play a full 60-game slate, they'll have to squeeze in 55 games through the end of the season Sept. 27.

    A team with the depth of, say, the Dodgers might be capable of handling that. But the Cardinals don't have that kind of depth, particularly not in an offense that struggled in 2019 and scored only 18 runs out of the gate this year.

    In other words, we're not counting on the Cardinals to pull any miracles.

    Projected Record: 27-33

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Record: 11-8

    The Tampa Bay Rays ought to be better than this.

    Their pitching hasn't let them down in posting a 3.75 ERA, and it's noteworthy this is despite an injury to Charlie Morton and a slow start from Tyler Glasnow. If the two of them find their footing, even better pitching awaits the Rays.

    What they need in the meantime is more from an offense in which too many regulars are off to below-average starts. Yet things are already looking up, as the Rays have scored 38 runs in the process of winning five out of their last six games.

    Also looking good is Tampa Bay's schedule, which has no games left against Atlanta and only six remaining against the Yankees.

    Projected Record: 35-25

Texas Rangers

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Record: 8-9

    There's a vacuum behind the A's in the AL West, and the Texas Rangers have pushed to fill it with five wins in their last six games.

    If the Rangers keep this up, it'll probably be because of their pitching. Even without Corey Kluber, their rotation looks plenty solid with Lance Lynn, Mike Minor and Kyle Gibson pitching well.

    But if you want an explanation for the club's minus-14 run differential, look no further than the offense. Joey Gallo, Todd Frazier and Shin-Soo Choo are doing their best to carry Texas' lineup, yet the offense as a whole is still scoring only 3.6 runs per game.

    With seven games against the A's and 10 against the Astros still remaining, the Rangers' schedule is still another hurdle that could stall their playoff push.

    Projected Record: 27-33

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Record: 6-9

    The Toronto Blue Jays might be ready to make a move.

    After bouncing around four different cities through their first 13 games, they finally returned "home" to Buffalo on Tuesday. They'll play most of their remaining games there, including seven of the 10 contests they've yet to play against the Yankees.

    Up until the Marlins spoiled it with a 14-run outburst, the Blue Jays must have been thrilled that their reworked pitching staff carried a 3.77 ERA into Wednesday's game. With solid starters in each of their rotation's five slots, more of that could be in order.

    The big question is if the Blue Jays can do much better than their 3.7 runs per game. If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. snap out of early slumps, they will.

    Projected Record: 30-30

Washington Nationals

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Record: 6-8

    It hasn't been smooth sailing for the Washington Nationals, but the waters ahead of the defending World Series champions look a little more inviting.

    This isn't necessarily because of their schedule. The Nats may be done with the Yankees, but they're still staring down 10 games apiece against Atlanta and Philadelphia.

    But while the Nationals are still missing Anthony Rendon, they at least have Juan Soto back in their lineup and Stephen Strasburg back in their rotation. The latter is now back together with co-aces Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, while the former is already charging a previously slumping offense with a 1.444 OPS.

    Washington probably won't take off like it did after May 23 last year. But with everything in its right place, the club should nonetheless play better going forward.

    Projected Record: 32-28