MLB Divisional Preview: AL East

images via Wikipedia

images via Wikipedia

And then there were none. Six weeks later, I’ve given you a rundown of each team in baseball, and now it’s time for our final stop: The AL East.

AL East

• Toronto Blue Jays (93-69): The only team in the AL to win 90 games, the Jays had a phenomenal 2015, which only got better when they traded for David Price and Troy Tulowitski. But it was an all-or-nothing sort of deal for the Jays last season, and now with Price (and most of their farm system) gone, it’s hard to say that the Jays will repeat as champions as the AL East once more. However, I can definitely see a Wild Card berth in their future, especially with Marcus Stroman heading the starting rotation. Tulo and AL MVP Josh Donaldson make a great pair at the 5-6 positions, and we all know what Jose Bautista’s capable of in left. Defensive-phenom Kevin Pillar shouldn’t be underestimated either, and after a break-out 2015, Chris Collabello is definitely a player to watch this year. However, I’m a bit worried about their pitching. The bullpen and the rotation lack stability, especially if Stroman gets injured. It’ll be an interesting 2016 for the Jays, that’s for sure.

• New York Yankees (87-75): Ah, yes, my favorite team in all of baseball: The Yankees. With the three-headed monster they’ve got in the bullpen of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman, it’s gonna be tough to get to the Yanks if they’ve got the lead after the sixth—that is, if it holds. With the rumor mill abuzz with talks of trading Miller, and Chapman’s domestic violence suspension (which, you can of course read more about here) it’s hard to tell if the three-headed monster is going to be reduced to simply a sole ace-closer. I’ve also got a lot of problems with their second base situation. Every since they traded Robbie Cano to the Mariners, they really haven’t gotten anyone to fill the hole. They tried last year; Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, and a whole other myriad of utility men who simply couldn’t get the job done. They’ve acquired Starlin Castro from the Cubs (trading away Adam Warren, who, in my opinion, they desperately needed) but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough. There are also a lot of questions that arise with the team: Is the rotation stable enough? Well, the short answer is no—just look at last season: Ivan Nova, coming back from Tommy John’s surgery, who finished last season with ERA above five; Michael Pineda, was on and off the DL; Masahiro Tanaka, who practically lives on the DL; CC Sabathia, who was simply awful last season, with an ERA of 4.73; and Nathan Eovaldi, who also spent time on the DL. Here’s the reason that the Yankees were so good last year: Their players were. Sounds simple, right? But A-Rod, Mark Texeria, Brian McCann, and even Carlos Beltran had great years—but they are all over thirty (Rodriguez is forty, and God knows what those steroids did to his body; Texeria’s 35, and Beltran’s 38). If everything clicks, like last season, and the rotation stays solid, unlike last year, then the Yankees are going to be fine—but those are some extremely big if’s.

• Baltimore Orioles (81-81): The Orioles had a so-so 2015 season, just breaking even. The number one question heading into the season is their starting rotation. Without Wei Yin Chen, the team lacks a solid starter and Ubaldo Jimenez is a constant roller coaster of ups and downs. Yovani Gallardo could be just what this Baltimore team needed, but I’m still concerned about consistency with the rotation. The catcher spot is another cause of worry with Matt Wieters on unstable ground health-wise, and that big, splashy deal they signed Chris Davis to–another player going on 30 this season–was quite a mistake. Adam Jones and Manny Machado are the stars on this team, and will do well for the Orioles once again. But they don’t have solid corners in the outfield, and a lot of questions linger with this team after spending so much on Davis after letting a lot of their main-stay players walk in 2014.

• Tampa Bay Rays (80-82): The Rays are another team in the not-quite rebuilding mode, not-quite contending mode. With a formidable ace in Chris Archer and one of the toughest bullpens in baseball, the pitching of the Rays should stay the same (as long as they stay healthy, which was a problem in 2015, with Matt Moore and Alex Cobb). Defense will also not be a huge problem for the Rays, with Longoria at third and one of the biggest surprises of 2015, Kevin Kiermier in center. But the Rays are lacking offense, and haven’t made any big moves this season, which leads me to believe that they’ll have a similar 2016: Not bad, but not terribly good.

• Boston Red Sox (78-84): Oh, the Red Sox. Here we are again: Bottom of the division. After a horrendous 2012, the Red Sox rebounded and won the World Series in 2013. But 2014 and 2015 had them placing last both seasons, and with the mess that ex-GM Ben Cherrington made of the Lester deal, signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to big, splashy, highly unnecessary contracts, new GM Dave Dombrowski had quite the task on his hands. He’s made some good progress: Fixing a dull and worn out bullpen, by acquiring ace-closer Craig Kimbrel from the Padres, and making what I am officially declaring the best deal of the season with the Mariners, trading away the average Wade Miley for future All-Star setup man Carson Smith, and a solid pitcher in Ronas Elias. The Sox also signed David Price to a mega, seven-year deal, (you can read more about my distaste for the deal here) which solidifies the rotation. If Clay Buccholz can keep it together this year, the Red Sox will have a good one-two punch heading the rotation. The outfield also will be one of the best in baseball, with young stars Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo. But this team, much like the Yankees, has a lot of question marks. What kind of season is Dustin Pedroia gonna have, if he’s healthy? Is Hanley gonna actually decide to try this year? Will the Panda stop hitting up girls on Instagram long enough to hit a baseball? But this is David Ortiz’s last season, which is a fact that shouldn’t be overlooked. The reason I’m picking them to finish first isn’t because they’re amazing–it’s because the rest of the division isn’t. If this was, say, the NL Central, the Red Sox would be in the cellar for sure. But the AL East isn’t what it used to be, and I believe the Red Sox are going to take advantage of that.

Overall Standings:

1.) Boston Red Sox

2.) New York Yankees

3.) Toronto Blue Jays

4.) Baltimore Orioles

5.) Tampa Bay Rays


And now…for my postseason predictions! Before you scroll ahead, make sure you’re all caught up with my posts, which you can find by clicking below:

NL East

NL Central

AL Central

NL West

AL West



AL West: Astros

AL Central: Royals

AL East: Red Sox

AL Wild Card #1: Rangers

AL Wild Card #2: Blue Jays

Wild Card Winner: Rangers


ALDS 1: Astros-Rangers, Astros in 4.

ALDS 2: Royals-Red Sox, Red Sox in 4.

ALCS: Astros-Red Sox, Astros in 6.

American League Champion: Houston Astros


NL West: Giants

NL Central: Cubs

NL East: Mets

NL Wild Card #1: Cardinals

NL Wild Card #2: Pirates

Wild Card Winner: Cardinals


NLDS 1: Cubs-Cardinals, Cubs in 3.

NLDS 2: Mets-Giants, Mets in 3.

NLCS: Cubs-Mets, Cubs in 7.

National League Champions: Chicago Cubs


World Series: Astros-Cubs, Cubs in 6.