2013 American League East Predictions
The American League East has long been considered the powerhouse division of Major League Baseball. That reputation has taken a huge hit with the former heavyweight Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees taking more than a few steps back this year.
Without revealing too much, my expectations for both are not very high.
Same goes for last year's Cinderella Baltimore Orioles--the clock has long struck midnight for their 2012 anomaly.
2013 is expected to feature a new face--and possibly an old one--to represent the division. Confidence is sky-high after the facelift given to the Toronto Blue Jays, but several of their players carry not only question marks moving to the offensive-minded East, but injury concerns to some extent.
Pitching will be front and center for the Tampa Bay Rays with plenty of reinforcements available if needed. While pitching wins championships, you need to have a strong offense. That could be the downfall for this baseball team.
In all honesty, the division could finish any number of ways. You could put all of the teams in a hat and pull any name for division winner; though the latter two I've discussed are more likely than the other three.
The following slides will reveal my worst to first predictions, but first let's look at the all AL East team:
1B- Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto
2B- Robinson Cano, New York
3B- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
SS- JJ Hardy, Baltimore
C- Matt Wieters, Baltimore
OF- Jose Bautista, Toronto
OF- Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
OF- Brett Gardner, New York
DH- David Ortiz, Boston
SP- David Price, Tampa Bay
SP- CC Sabathia, New York
SP- Jon Lester, Boston
MR- Jake McGee, Tampa Bay
SU- David Robinson, New York
CL- Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay
5- Boston Red Sox
High- The Red Sox forget Bobby V was ever here and the team rekindles the 'idiot' days along with a resurgence from Clay Bucholtz and John Lester.
Low- The team finds it still needs another year to recover coupled with underachieving newcomers.
4- Baltimore Orioles
High- The O's shock the MLB and make another magical run as they do have the tools to do it again.
Low- The O's realize that winning one run games isn't as easy as it was in 2012.
3- New York Yankees
High- The Bronx Bombers defy age yet again to make another run in October without significant injury losses.
Low- The team (literally) falls apart by July and a minor fire-sale ensues in preparation for 2014.
2- Tampa Bay Rays
High- The offense becomes a well-oiled machine and the team becomes unstoppable with elite pitching.
Low- They don't produce enough runs for the pitching staff and miss out on the Wild Card.
1- Toronto Blue Jays
High- Everyone plays at or above their level. RA Dickey stymies the AL, Jose Reyes wins the AL batting title, and the AL pennant comes back to Toronto.
Low- Injuries to key players and an underachieving pitching staff stall the climb to first resulting in another playoff-less season in Canada.