Pitchers and catchers have already begun their first workouts of spring training which means that baseball is officially back, so why not give my A.L. East Predictions (again)! This time I give my final record projections too.
- Boston Red Sox 95-67
- New York Yankees 94-68
- Toronto Blue Jays 85-77
- Baltimore Orioles 77-85
- Tampa Bay Rays 70-92
Why the Red Sox will win the A.L. East again.
It’s never been done before in Red Sox history, win 3 straight division titles. Until now. So why so confident? First, we have a manager that I actually trust. I don’t think Alex Cora will lose you many games like Farrell did. Also, Cora will have a stronger relationship with these players than Farrell so they’ll most likely respond to him better. Secondly, I don’t think he’ll mismanage Chris Sale, especially in April and May. It was so frustrating watching Sale throw 100+ in April and May! The guy throws 50 pitches in spring training games and now you throw him out there for 100+!? No wonder why he had nothing at the end of the year.
As for the offense, I know they haven’t got that power bat yet and they were slightly hoping to get J.D. Martinez. However; you have a Mookie Betts that is out to prove he’s worth the money, an Andrew Benintendi that is no longer the rookie sensation and now has to step up, a Xander Bogaerts that is also ready to prove he’s finally going to end the short stop curse for the Red Sox. Finally, that bullpen is finally fully stacked with Carson Smith fully back, and how can you not like Kimbrell coming off of an All-Star season? I think this division is going back to Boston.
The New York Yankees are right there though.
The New York Yankees are right behind the Red Sox by just one game. The Yankees shot for the moon this year after they got reigning N.L. MVP Giancarlo Stanton. This Yankees lineup is legit, Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge right in the middle, that’ll give pitchers nightmares. Granted they play in a small wind tunnel of a stadium but the home runs these guys hit aren’t cheap.
They also come into the year with new skipper Aaron Boone. He has zero managerial experience, heck he hasn’t even coached in the MLB at all. Now he has to manage a bullpen that has many question marks. They have a 37 year old C.C. Sabathia and you know time will eventually catch up, although it appears it wont’ be anytime soon. Masahiro Tanaka who is an excellent pitcher but can be rocked around a bit, and Luis Severino who is looking to be one of the young studs of the league. I just don’t trust the Yankees pitching enough to give the A.L. East to them. Although that offense will definitely make up for most of what the pitching can’t do.
One Last Ride for Toronto
This is it for the Blue Jays. One last push with it’s core including Josh Donaldson instead of trying to deal him. If they can get healthy seasons from Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ that starting rotation could give lineups fits. The Jays are in a much better in the position player department after getting Yangervis Solarte, Aledmys Diaz, Curtis Granderson and Randal Grichuk. I still don’t think they did enough though, but they should be able to at least keep the wild card race interesting if they can keep guys off the DL for extended periods of time.
Baltimore Looking to Improve On Last Year
The Orioles look to build upon what they had last year. They had the worst rotation in baseball a year ago and you know what they say, “You can only go up.” With such a young and inexperienced rotation they look to bounce back. They’re really isn’t any expectations on the Orioles to do anything so they can go out and play relaxed this year and I think this will help them jump ahead of Tampa Bay in the final standings. Plus, they have the best third baseman in the game in Manny Machado and “Crush” Davis in that lineup.
Tampa Bay Goes Back to the Cellar
Tampa Bay got rid of its only legitimate play in Evan Logoria when they traded him to the San Francisco Giants. The Rays have no one else now to even get all 10 people into Tropicana Field now, not even Logan Morrison because he’s gone too. They’ll have to rely on a shaky starting rotation if they want any chance of being in contention for anything. I think the loss of Longoria and Morrison will bring absolutely no buzz to that team. Back to the basement goes the Rays because they have no offense. So sad.
Think I’m wrong? Tweet at me (@RockyBerard) to tell me how your standings are different from mine.
Written By: Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)