Assuming the 2020 MLB season happens, it will likely involve a truncated regular season and possibly feature remade divisions that mix the American League and National League to create more geographic alignment.
Add the temporary and possibly permanent implementation of a universal designated hitter rule, and the lines between the AL and NL are blurring.
Still, it's worth asking: As things stand now, which of the two leagues is superior?
To answer that question, we analyzed three categories:
This involves ample subjectivity, obviously, and the final call was tough. But here's our take on the current states of the Junior and Senior Circuits.
Overall depth: Which league has more clubs with at least a decent chance of contending?
Championship hopefuls: How many AL and NL teams have legitimate title odds?
Star power: Based on stats, popularity and marketability, which league boasts the most top-tier players?
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According to FanGraphs' 2020 preseason projections, the following teams have a better-than-15-percent chance of making the playoffs:
Houston Astros (92.4 percent)
New York Yankees (87.7 percent)
Minnesota Twins (68.9 percent)
Tampa Bay Rays (68.6 percent)
Oakland Athletics (47.0 percent)
Cleveland Indians (43.6 percent)
Boston Red Sox (35.3 percent)
Chicago White Sox (29.0 percent)
Los Angeles Angels (18.4 percent)
Los Angeles Dodgers (97.4 percent)
Washington Nationals (66.8 percent)
Atlanta Braves (58.6 percent)
Chicago Cubs (52.9 percent)
New York Mets (42.6 percent)
San Diego Padres (41.4 percent)
Cincinnati Reds (35.4 percent)
Milwaukee Brewers (32.5 percent)
St. Louis Cardinals (28.2 percent)
Philadelphia Phillies (19.0 percent)
Arizona Diamondbacks (16.3 percent)
That's 11 NL teams and nine AL teams with a realistic shot at the postseason. Obviously, the possibility of reconfigured leagues changes the calculus.
But assuming the divisions are traditionally constructed, the NL East and NL Central are easily the deepest and most wide-open in baseball. And the National League, overall, has more clubs that will be trying to win as opposed to rebuilding.