AL East Preview and Predictions

Baltimore Orioles – 2015 Record: 81-81

Notable Offseason additions:

OF Mark Trumbo(From Seattle), SP Yovani Gallardo(From Texas), and 1B Pedro Alvarez(From Pittsburgh)

Notable Offseason subtractions:

OF Gerardo Parra(To Colorado), OF Steve Pearce(To Tampa Bay), SP Wei-Yin Chen(To Miami)

Analysis: It was a quiet offseason for the Orioles as far as making big-time acquisitions. However, they did a good job of retaining their top players as they were able to retain Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, and Darren O’Day. The Orioles have a dynamic lineup, but the key for success will be everyone being able to stay healthy in 2016. Catcher Matt Wieters missed most of last season and they will need him to stay healthy. The main concern that I have for Baltimore is that they don’t have a good starting rotation. Sure, the Orioles signed Yovani Gallardo to be the number 2 guy on the pitching staff. However, they don’t have a consistent pitcher which could end up really hurting them. The Orioles have a good bullpen with Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz, and Zach Britton, but they might find it difficult for the starting rotation to be able to keep games close in order for the bullpen to succeed. Baltimore can outhit anyone, but ultimately their downfall will be their lack of starting pitching.

Prediction: 3rd place in AL East

Boston Red Sox – 2015 Record: 78-84

Notable offseason additions:

RP Craig Kimbrel(From San Diego) and SP David Price(From Toronto)

Notable offseason subtractions:

SP Wade Miley(To Seattle)

Analysis: The Red Sox finished last place in the AL East last season, but it is hard to expect the same result in 2016 after the two big additions that they made to improve their pitching. Boston struggled with their starting rotation in 2015, but by signing David Price to a 7-year contract this offseason then they now having a clear number 1 starter that is consistent. Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello are still decent pitchers and if they can be more consistent starters then the Red Sox could be a really good team. Also, the Red Sox traded for closer Craig Kimbrel from the Padres. Kimbrel is probably the best closer in the MLB as he strikes out tons of batters and pair him with Koji Uehara and the Red Sox suddenly have a tremendous late-inning duo. The Red Sox have a loaded lineup, but the key to success for Boston offensively will be getting better production out of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. This team always had a good offense, but now that they have a good pitching staff then this team should be very good.

Prediction: 2nd place in the AL East

New York Yankees – 2015 Record: 87-75

Notable offseason additions:

2B Starlin Castro(From Chicago Cubs), RP Arolids Chapman(From Cincinnati), OF Aaron Hicks(From Minnesota)

Notable offseason subtractions:

RP Justin Wilson(To Detroit), OF Chris Young(To Boston), SP Adam Warren(To Chicago Cubs)

Analysis: The Yankees made the playoffs last season after having a big year from Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner. However, I’m not very optimistic about the Yankees heading into this season. I like the Yankees lineup very much, but they have many aging players that are often injured. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Mark Teizeira are still really good players, but the problem is that they haven’t been able to stay healthy. If those guys are able to play a lot this season then the Yankees could be very successful. It is hard to rely on those guys to carry the offense in 2016. Also, the Yankees starting rotation is just a mess. Masahiro Tanaka is their best pitcher and he can’t even be counted on much to stay healthy. The Yankees will have a hard time stopping offenses if they don’t have the consistent production out of their starting pitching. I really like the addition of Aroldis Chapman this offseason as the team’s new closer and once he returns from his suspension then the Yankees will have problem the best late-inning options with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Chapman. The Yankees have a lot of issues heading into 2016 and it is hard to see old players carrying the Yankees offense.

Prediction: 4th place in the AL East

Tampa Bay Rays – 2015 Record: 80-82

Notable offseason additions:

OF Steve Pearce(From Baltimore), 1B Logan Morrison(From Seattle), SS Brad Miller(From Seattle), and OF Corey Dickerson(From Colorado)

Notable offseason subtractions:

OF John Jaso(To Pittsburgh), SS Asdrubal Cabrera(To New York Mets), and RP Jake McGee(To Colorado)

Analysis: The Rays have a really good starting rotation 1-5 led by Chris Archer, so it is clear that they can stop basically anybody from scoring runs. However, there is still a concern as to whether the Rays will be able to produce offensively. Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe, and Corey Dickerson figure to be the key offensive players. However, none of those guys are really that consistent. Losing shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hurts a lot since he was one of their best players last season and replacing him with Brad Miller isn’t going to end well. The Rays bullpen appears to be a big concern as well especially after they traded Jake McGee to Colorado. Hopefully the Rays starting pitchers can be really good because the other areas of their team will probably really struggle.

Prediction: 5th place in the AL East

Toronto Blue Jays – 2015 Record: 93-69

Notable offseason additions:

SP J.A. Happ(From Pittsburgh) and RP Drew Storen(From Washington)

Notable offseason subtractions:

OF Ben Revere(To Washington), RP Mark Lowe(To Detroit), C Dioner Navarro(To Chicago White Sox), and SP David Price(To Boston)

Analysis: It hurt the Blue Jays to lose number 1 starting pitcher David Price this offseason, but their rotation still figures to be decent. The Blue Jays re-signed Marco Estrada and they acquired J.A. Happ from Pittsburgh as well. It won’t be a very consistent pitching staff which is a concern, but it should be good enough considering how many runs they can score. Drew Storen should provide some more consistency as a closer for Toronto, but besides him the bullpen could be a big problem area especially after they lost Mark Lowe this offseason. Expect the Blue Jays offense to be dynamic once again with all-star caliber players Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Russell Martin. As long as those guys can stay healthy then their offense will be very hard to stop. The pitching probably won’t be great, but the Blue Jays offense certainly should make up for that.

Prediction: 1st place in the AL East

josh donaldson

 

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