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MLB 2nd Half Predictions: AL East

2012 American League East Prediction

1. New York Yankees
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Toronto Blue Jays

I think it’s safe to say the Yankees are the top team in the division, maybe in baseball. The bullpen has been the biggest surprise thus far. Rafael Soriano gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for and more in place of Mariano Rivera.

Robinson Cano is the key to their offense, and they need him to continue raking in the 2nd half of the season. I expect CC Sabathia to come back and have a big 2nd half, and hopefully Freddy Garcia can continue to pick up the slack until Andy Pettitte returns in September.

The Baltimore Orioles have been a great story, I just don’t think they have enough offense to make it last. Maybe they make a splash in free-agency with Justin Upton, of course they’ll have to give up a young arm or two if that’s the case. Ultimately, I think the 2nd wild-card spot is in reach but it is for a number of teams as well. Baltimore will just miss the postseason in my estimation.

Tampa Bay will grab a wild-card spot if they can keep their line-up healthy, and they improve their defense in the 2nd half. They’ve got the best rotation in the division, and that’s enough to carry them to October.

The Toronto Blue Jays could look to make a run at that 2nd wild-card spot, but that depends on management. The pitching staff has been decimated with injuries, and unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be able to acquire much to help that situation at the deadline and who knows how pitchers Brandon Marrow and Sergio Santos will be when they return.

Despite the AL East being the best divison in baseball, with all five teams at .500 or better at the break, the Yankees will easily run away with another division title in 2012.

Aaron Kirn is the Director of Video for Rant Sports. Don’t miss his 2nd half predictions on the AL Central, AL West, NL East, NL Central, and NL West.

Follow him on twitter @AaronKirn