AL East Predictions: Red Sox In The Hunt?


It’s time to turn our attention to the most competitive division in baseball and the one we care the most about; the AL East.  The five teams are already making headlines this spring.  There’s the obvious – how will the Red Sox rebound after the collapse and the Yankees are supposed to be good again.  Then there is the Tampa Bay Rays who have become the favorite in the division thanks to a strong rotation.  The Toronto Blue Jays tore through the Grapefruit League, chewed up the competition and spit them out, but will it translate into regular season success?  They have some pop in their lineups but can their pitching pick up the slack?  And of course the lowly Baltimore Orioles who are firmly entrenched in the basement of the division.

Aside from the O’s, the division is up for grabs according to the writers here at BSI.  Here we go…..

 

Derek:

1. Rays

2. Red Sox

3. Yankees

4. Blue Jays

5. Orioles

Call me crazy, but the Red Sox can compete believe it or not.  While the Rays have an outstanding rotation and will win the division, the Red Sox will be in the mix all season long.  This is almost the same offense as last year and for three quarters of the year this was the best team in baseball. And they did it with John Lackey, Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller and Kyle Weiland trying to fill in the back end of the rotation.  Surely Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront is an upgrade, so why can’t this team be the best team in baseball again?  The bullpen will be the make or break point of this club’s success and with the desire to win, the management could pull the trigger on a deal for another starter at some point of the year.  No offense Yankee fans, but this is the year I feel the age catches up to the club.  While the Jays are close, they aren’t close enough but expect major growth from this young and exciting team.  And Baltimore, well………

MVP – Dustin Pedroia

Cy Young – James Shields

 

John:

1. Rays

2. Red Sox

3. Yankees

4. Blue Jays

5. Orioles

Unlike the majority of baseball writers this year, I see the Rays as the top dog in the AL East. The Red Sox and Yankees have more firepower in the lineup but good pitching beats good hitting every time and the Rays are far superior in that department. With a 1-2 punch of David Price and “Complete Game” James Shields along with young stud Matt Moore, the Rays could have the best rotation 1-5 in all of baseball. The Yankees and Red Sox will battle for second and third but I feel the Red Sox and their potent offense will come in just ahead of the Yanks. While the Jays have huge potential, it’ll be a coupe years before the final pieces are in place and they make a run at the top spot in the AL East.  The Orioles are hopeless. It’ll be atleast a decade before they are able to come out of the basement in the division.

Cy Young- James Shields

MVP- Adrian Gonzalez

 

Rick:

1. Rays

2. Red Sox

3. Yankees

4. Blue Jays

5. Orioles

Tampa has the best pitching in the division, if not the entire Majors.  They offense is not comparable to Boston’s or New York’s but any lineup with Evan Longoria is good enough to score enough runs to win.  Boston and New York will battle for one of the two Wild Card spots.  With Michael Pineda out to start the season will be a huge loss for the Yanks to start the season.  How long in tooth will the Yankees be there year with Jeter, A-Rod and Mariano getting up there in age.  The Yanks should make Cano their clean up hitter but wont as long as A- rod is healthy.  The Red Sox are out to prove that last year was a fluke.  I think having two lefty’s in starting rotation is a plus with Lester and Dubront.  I think the Yankees age will give out to the Sox in the end.  Toronto will be stronger but still not good enough to compete for a playoff spot.  The Orioles will continue to linger in the basement, unless that can get their young pitchers to step up.

MVP – Dustin Pedroia

Cy Young – Jon Lester

 

Steve:

1. Yankees

2. Rays

3. Red Sox

4. Blue Jays

5. Orioles

New York will win the AL East again by default as the Red Sox will never hit a pitching groove all season and will likely be upended by another serious or at least nagging injury to either Lester, Buchholz or Beckett. Carl Crawford will not bounce back for quite some time. Ask Nomar Garciaparra and Jed Lowrie about wrist injuries. When Crawford does hit his stride it will be too late. Boston will fold earlier this year than last. Although their pitching will be good enough, the Rays will continue to score a paltry number of runs. Toronto and Baltimore will be, well, Toronto and Baltimore.

MVP – Jacoby Ellsbury

Cy Young – Ivan Nova

 

Conor:

1. New York Yankees

2. Tampa Bay Rays

3. Boston Red Sox

4. Toronto Blue Jays

5. Baltimore Orioles

The AL East is always a tough call and 2012 is no exception. Simply by the history involved, I would predict the Yankees to finish in first as they acquired starting pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda this offseason to go with their potent bats and join potential Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia. The Rays have great young pitching and have been able to dominate the AL East– I reluctantly would pick them to finish ahead of the Red Sox. The Red Sox have great bats– led by Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and one man who could win the AL MVP this year in Adrian Gonzalez. However, their pitching is shaky at best and full of question marks. The Blue Jays should be good soon– but as with the Royals, 2012 is not their year. The Orioles are just awful– that’s it.

MVP – Adrian Gonzalez

Cy Young – CC Sabathia

 

Stephanie:

1. Red Sox

2. Rays

3. Yankees

4. Orioles

5. Blue Jays

Why, the Red Sox, besides the obvious? I believe in Salty, and Jacoby, and Cody Ross, and Ortiz. I believe Valentine has some tricks up his sleeve like we could never guess. He has been very quiet and very confident . Makes you wonder what he knows that we don’t.  The Rays hands down have one of the best rotations in baseball. (We are waiting for you Luke Scott) Joe Maddon continues to be an excellent coach. If they sort out their catcher and closer situation I do not doubt that this year the Rays could pull ff their Cinderella story and take it all as the Wild Card.  The Yankees are a starter and a catcher short. They are a bit older. That’s not to say they are not still, the Yankees but, what the Red Sox and Rays have are fresh players and fresh ambitions.   Orioles have no big hitting averages to brag about. No big pitchers to show off and yet, I still don’t count them out. But the fact is, the guys they are up against a better stronger and faster. Efficiency is what they lack.   The blue Jays, great home run hitters not great against these kinds of big leaguers. Would I love to see them come out, of course ut against the Yankees Red Sox and Rays, it would mean almost a collapse of baseball!

Cy Young award- Josh Beckett

MVP – Jarrod Saltalamacchia

 

That’s it for the predictions, let the games begin.  It’s going to be a wild ride!

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Tags: AL East Bobby Valentine Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz David Ortiz Dustin Pedroia Jacoby Ellsbury Jon Lester Josh Beckett New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays