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Projecting the AL East


ChuckS

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I came up with this a simple way by ranking each team offensively and each team's pitching/defense.

Offense:

1. Toronto

2. Boston

3. Baltimore

4. New York

5. Tampa

Pitching/Defense:

1. Tampa

2. Baltimore

3. Boston

4. New York

5. Toronto

Composite Score:

2.5 Baltimore (1)

2.5 Boston (2)

2.5 Toronto (3)

2.5 Tampa (4)

4. New York

I'd expect a very tight division race this year! I rank Toronto and Tampa just below us and Boston due to the level of possible futility that their pitching and batting could achieve respectfully. I rank us ahead of Boston because of Buck, but I'd expect a lot of prognosticators to have them winning the division.

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Asking Orioles fans what the AL East standings look like. Shocker, most Orioles fans pick the Orioles coming out on top!

....and the Blue Jays near the bottom.

Buehrle,Dickey,Stroman really isn't so bad. If Sanchez or Norris materialize, that's a pretty decent rotation to go with a monster offense.

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Asking Orioles fans what the AL East standings look like. Shocker, most Orioles fans pick the Orioles coming out on top!

Gotta balance out the Steamer Projections. ;)

1. Baltimore - Despite having the most lackluster off season of the five teams, they've got the best team top-to-bottom on paper. Since it's hard to predict injuries and off field concerns, we can enjoy the optimism of Chris Davis with his adderall, Manny Machado with two bionic knees and Matt Wieters throwing from 120'. The pitching staff is solid and enjoys an excellent defense behind them.

2. Toronto - They've added a lot (Donaldson, Martin, Saunders) but also lost a lot (Cabrera, Lawrie, Lind). I've looked at them and they aren't as improved as some might think. But they are improved. The pitching staff still has questions, but again presuming health they will mash to an above .500 record again.

3. New York - Call this the Joe Girardi factor. They have no business finishing third but the division is weak and they squeeze out every victory they can. I like the direction they're going, getting younger and more defensively oriented, but it will take a couple more years to clear the bad money and reap the benefits. The rotation looks bad but the bullpen is top notch.

4. Boston - I am unenthused about their off season. Sandoval can't help in the playoffs if they don't make it. Ramirez is not as valuable in LF as he is at SS, where Xander Boegarts is struggling. Sure they'll score runs. The pitching staff still looks woeful -- they really need somebody at the top of the rotation.

5. Tampa - Maybe I'm crazy, but from a strict personnel standpoint I think they're a winning team. Their two biggest holes (C, RF) are fixed and their below-replacement-level SS from last year is gone. Several of their incumbents, most notably Evan Longoria, should bounce back from last year. The pitching staff is still the best in the division. The only reason why I'm putting them here is the loss of Joe Maddon. Losing Friedman will hurt in a couple years, but losing Maddon will hurt right now. I'm just saying, despite what we think, there's a chance this team rebounds in a big way.

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I still think Boston adds a big arm. Tampa won't be brutal but it is hard not to pick them last. NYY needs a lot to go right. I think the Orioles, Sox and Jays will finish in some order 1-2-3. Just not sure yet. I could see NYY hanging around but their age is a huge concern and who knows about Tanaka and CC.

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I still think Boston adds a big arm. Tampa won't be brutal but it is hard not to pick them last. NYY needs a lot to go right. I think the Orioles, Sox and Jays will finish in some order 1-2-3. Just not sure yet. I could see NYY hanging around but their age is a huge concern and who knows about Tanaka and CC.

I don't see the Yanks age as a concern really. Maybe for a player or two but not the whole team. And I think they are in a good position as anyone to win the division this year.

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