Mar 22, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Ryan Doumit (4) slides into second base under the tag of Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during the game at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Michele's 2014 AL East predictions

I don’t have a crystal ball. I’m not in possession of any inside information. I’ve never played the game. But that hasn’t stopped me from taking a stab at the 2014 AL East predictions.

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

The Sox have their work cut out for them. The Yanks have made off-season improvements, not the least of which is pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Rays are always tough to beat. There is no reason to doubt that they will continue to grow their under-the-radar talent.

MVP candidate: Dustin Pedroia
When I think of value for player it isn’t just numbers like batting average or RBI that come to mind. I think grit, heart, determination, and spunk. I’m fairly certain that those words sum up our second baseman perfectly.

Cy Young: Justin Verlander
This guy’s got some great pitches left in him yet. Whether or not Detroit will be able to capitalize on his talents to return to the playoffs is another matter, but that doesn’t diminish his skills.

ROY: Xander Bogaerts
Perhaps this is a touch more optimistic than realistic, but I gotta go with my gut here. There are some talented rookies in the MLB this year, James Paxton among others, but it just feels like this could be our shortstop’s time to shine.

Let’s hope I did a better job with predictions than I did with my NCAA bracket. Don’t get me started about that…

Opening Day is less than a week away. Our long winter slumber will be over and we’ll finally get to watch our guys play ball!

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Tags: Boston Red Sox

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