A couple of weeks ago, we looked at which teams have the best bullpens entering 2020. Today, we’ll look at which teams have the best outfields in the game today, and we’ll start with the defending American League Champions.
Despite the cheating scandal that engulfed the Houston Astros this offseason, the defending AL Champions still have a powerful team. Last season, Astros outfielders finished ninth in MLB in wOBA (.342), fourth in wRC+ (117), and second in fWAR (15.1). Houston has two terrific veteran outfielders in George Springer, who smashed 39 home runs and recorded an OPS of .974 last season, and Michael Brantley, who hit 22 home runs last season while batting .311. In addition to Springer and Brantley, Josh Reddick (.275/.319/.409 in 2019) provides some pop, and don’t forget about Kyle Tucker, the talented young Astros outfielder who may become a full-time starter this season.
The Yankees have a strong chance this season of taking home their first World Series crown since 2009, and that’s thanks in part to their deep outfield. Last season, Yankees’ outfielders finished 2019 third in fWAR (14.2), second in wRC+ (121), and tied for first with the Brewers and Angels in wOBA (.352). And the Yankees outfield was able to accomplish this despite losing Aaron Judge for two months last season, and Giancarlo Stanton for the entire year sans 18 games. Brett Gardner had yet another career season (28 HR, .829 OPS) at the age of 35, while Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin proved to be valuable commodities for the Bronx Bombers last season.
While Judge and Stanton are still injured at the moment, the current layoff does buy those two some time at the moment. But even if those two aren’t ready by the time the league is ready to start up, the Yankees’ depth at the position (Gardner, Tauchman, Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier) does give them a luxury that not many teams have.
The Brewers return most of their outfield from last season, an outfield that finished 2019 sixth in wRC+ (112), fourth in OPS (.840), and second in wOBA (.352). Christian Yelich may have missed the final month of last season, but he still finished 2019 with 44 home runs, 97 runs batted in, and recorded a 1.100 OPS in 130 games. It was another dominant season for the former NL MVP, and Milwaukee will also return Ryan Braun (22 HR, .849 OPS) and Lorenzo Cain for 2020. The Brewers padded their outfield depth this past offseason, as Avisail Garcia heads to Milwaukee after a strong 2019 campaign (20 HR, 111 OPS+) with the Rays, and don’t forget about top prospect Corey Ray.
As long as the Brewers’ outfielders stay healthy, Milwaukee has a chance to make the MLB Postseason for the third consecutive year. If that doesn’t happen though, the Brewers do have some depth in the pipeline.
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The Dodgers had a ton of firepower in their lineup last season, and their outfield played a major role in their regular season success. In 2019, Dodgers’ outfielders led all of the Majors in home runs (153) and fWAR (17.7), while finishing fourth in wOBA (.349) and third in wRC+ (119). Cody Bellinger was crowned the NL MVP after an outstanding 2019 (47 HR, 115 RBI, 1.035 OPS), while Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo, A.J. Pollock, and Chris Taylor contributed to the NL West Champions. If you thought LA’s outfield was good last year, the Dodgers look even better in 2020, as superstar outfielder Mookie Betts heads to Chavez Ravine via a trade. With two former Most Valuable Players in the Dodgers outfield, as well as some depth to go along with, Big Blue has arguably the best outfield in the game right now.
Yes, the Angels have more outfielders on their squad than Mike Trout. But last season, Angels’ outfielders finished first in wRC+ (122) and OPS (.845) and tied for first in wOBA. You can thank a lot of that to none other than Mike Trout, who finished last season with 45 home runs, 104 runs batted in, and ended 2019 with an astounding 180 wRC+. There may not be a one-man outfield in the game today, but Mike Trout is the closest thing to it.
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