Well, I’ve compiled all of my rankings so far. However, it remains to be seen who is truly the best all around team in the AL East. To get there, I had to some plenty of math– calculating the average rankings of all position players, then twice calculating the rankings of starting pitching and bullpen once (assuming that the starters will pitch twice as many innings as the bullpen, which is reasonable). Once I got there, I combined them all to come up with what is likely to be the top team on paper in the AL East.
1. New York Yankees: Experience will win over youth according to my rankings as the Yankees take the top spot. The top team in the AL East still appears to be the Yankees as they led the division with an average ranking of 3. However, their well-rounded team featuring good offense and solid pitching was better than any one of the one-sided teams, if not by much. The Yankees had top rated positions at first base (Mark Teixeira) and second base (Robinson Cano) and had the third best overall pitching in the league.
T2. Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox look like they will rebound from a trying 2012 season and try to put things back together in 2013. The Red Sox tied for the second highest ranking in the division, with an average ranking of 3.11. They were generally middle-of-the-road in the offensive rankings and the only thing placing them this high is their excellent bullpen which ranked first. They had one other top ranking at designated hitter in David Ortiz.
T2. Tampa Bay Rays: Despite a below average offense, the Rays managed to tie for the second spot due to excellent pitching once again, with an average ranking of 3.11. Young, quality pitching is basically their mantra again as that won out over the fact that they only had one top ranking. That was Evan Longoria at third base, who is of course, a bona fide star at his position.
4. Toronto Blue Jays: According to my rankings, the Blue Jays won’t improve much in division standings despite a number of big moves this offseason. Their offense ranked first in the division, as did their starting pitching, but their fifth-ranked bullpen really hurt them in the end– moving them down to an average ranking of 3.14. At individual positions, they ranked at the top of the heap in left field (Melky Cabrera) and right field (Jose Bautista). If the Blue Jays pick up a reliever at the deadline, though, they could be a force to be reckoned with.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Even though the O’s weren’t tremendously far behind the rankings, with a 3.44 average, it seems like their 2012 season may be at least a bit of a fluke. Their offense still ranked relatively highly, and they were top rated in center field (Adam Jones), while ranking second or third in many others. Their starting pitching, ranked last, is what hurt them most and brought them down to the bottom of the pack. They should still be a good team though.
One of the things that jumped out to me during these final rankings is just how close everybody is. Of course, we already knew the AL East would not be a division like the AL Central, where the Tigers are the clear favorites, but all of the rankings came within .44 points. I’m not necessarily predicting that this is how the AL East will turn out, those predictions may come later, but it may be a good indication purely on paper of how well each team will do.