The American League East preview is here! This division could be a three team race, almost every team can compete for a playoff birth, except the Baltimore Orioles. Let’s get right into it
New York Yankees Preview
The Yankees look to be the team to beat this year, they bolstered their starting rotation which was their biggest weakness in 2020. They traded for Jameson Taillon, who is best friends with their ace Gerrit Cole. They also signed Corey Kluber this off-season to give them a solid top three arms in their rotation.
They traded Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox to clear up some of their payroll, but they still have a few gaps to fill in the lineup. Gary Sanchez is a below-average catcher who had one decent season. They were able to keep DJ LeMahieu which is huge for the infield, he can play a variety of positions and gives them options for the infield.
Prediction: This team will win the division, win around 95 games because of their ability to add starting pitchers this off-season.
Tampa Bay Rays Prediction:
The Rays have a great starting rotation, they traded for Blake Snell from the Padres and signed Michael Wacha to work with Chris Archer. Wacha had a horrible 2020 season with the Mets but the former All-Star from 2015 is looking to get his career back on track in Tampa.
They have a bunch of good hitters in the lineup with Kevin Kiermaier, Austin Meadows, and of course Ji-Man Choi.
Prediction: The Rays are a small market team that doesn’t spend big but finds a way to consistently stay relevant. I don’t expect them to fall off this year, they could also win north of 85 games and get into the wildcard game.
Toronto Blue Jays Prediction:
The Blue Jays, like the Mets were in on almost all of the big free agent names this year. They for sure got better on paper this season, adding key guys in both pitching and hitting.
They signed George Springer giving them a big bat and a solid fielder to lead them in the outfield. Between Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr, opposing pitchers will have a tough time getting through the lineup.
They added Steven Matz to the rotation from the Mets and signed Robbie Ray to go along with Hyun Jin Ryu for their starting pitchers.
Prediction: Their pitching staff alone won’t keep this team at the top of the division, if they go .500 that would be solid for the division they have, just not good enough to get a postseason birth.
Boston Red Sox Prediction
The Red Sox look like they are in a full rebuild mode for this season. They were able to keep JD Martinez, and have a few young guys like Rafael Devers, but their depth is not ideal for a playoff run.
They got Ottavino from the Yankees along with some prospects, but they took on his high-priced contract and have other area’s of need they could have spent on.
If Chris Sale can get healthy and be the dominate pitcher of the past, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball but that will not be enough to get this team over the hump.
Prediction: Red Sox will win 70 games and be on the outside looking in yet again
The Orioles are the worst team in baseball, they are barely a major league team and have a monster contract with Chris Davis on the payroll.
Prediction: FanGraphs has them as a 0% chance to make the postseason, not sure what else I can say. If they win 40 games I would be shocked.
TL//DR: The American League East Preview: Yankees win the division, but it will be a close race at the top between them and the Blue Jays.