Why Betts will outperform Trout: Unusual schedule
No matter how you break it down, the 2020 MLB season will be different than any we have witnessed before. Instead of a 162-game marathon, it will be a 60-game sprint to the finish.
Baseball is a funny sport. Over a large sample of games, players usually find their performance meets the back of their baseball cards. But over a shorter sample, there is room for variance, anything can happen.
Mookie Betts has already proven that he can compete toe-to-toe with Mike Trout just two seasons ago. Who will be better in 2020? It could come down to who stays healthy and who gets hot at the right time. Whether Trout is one notch ahead of Betts as an overall player, we can argue another time. Over a compressed schedule, that difference might not manifest itself in the numbers.
Both players will probably have great seasons. Trout is projected by FanGraphs to produce 3.3 wins, while Betts is targeted for 2.2. That’s based on historical numbers and a projection model that wasn’t designed to account for the uncertainty created from a once-in-a-generation playing environment.
We will find out who is better soon enough, but don’t count me surprised if Betts outperforms Trout when all is said and done.