New York Yankees
The Yankees dealt with over 30 injured-list stints last season and still managed to win 103 games. Their outstanding record can be attributed to a dominant bullpen that can make close games a near-guarantee win. Organizational depth, something the Red Sox lack (as evident by the poor starting pitcher replacements), kept the Yankees afloat the entire season.
While they did lose in the ALCS to the Astros, they are a sure bet to come back stronger (please not Gerrit Cole, please no) in 2020 and the Yankees are the heavy favorite to win the AL East. After this past season there is little reason to believe the Red Sox can leapfrog their rivals to the division title.
With holes in the starting rotation and health concerns in the outfield, the Bronx Bombers definitely have some kinks in their armor headed into this next season. With more than $250 million still locked up in Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks set to miss the 2020 season, New York can’t fix their health issues in the outfield. Instead, Brian Cashman’s main focus will most likely be bulking up the starting rotation.
With Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole and plenty of others being connected to the Yankees, it seems certain the rotation will see some improvement. With seemingly every player injured last season (albeit many players over-performed) plus another top starter, it seems pretty likely that they will repeat as AL East champions and improve their record from 2019 to 2020.
The Red Sox compare pretty well to New York still, though. If healthy, Boston could have a better rotation if pitchers like Chris Sale and David Price can find their form. While they won’t outduel New York’s bullpen, the Red Sox have an offense that is comparable.
The Yankees rely heavily on home runs, mashing more than 300 in 2019, and with a less juiced ball next season, the Red Sox could have a better offense. While the Red Sox certainly have pop in their lineup they have more complete hitters. For example, Mookie Betts hits for average, speed, and power while Aaron Judge relies primarily on power. J.D. Martinez hits for a high average, walks, and mashes balls, (and plays a whole season) while Stanton relies mostly on his otherworldly power.
Overall, the Yankees are looking solid headed into 2020. The key for them to repeat as AL East champions will be for Brian Cashman to improve the starting rotation and the trainers getting their players on the field.