American League East Predictions
Posted by Ryan James
The Boston Red Sox ran away with the division last year. That success carried over to the postseason where they would eventually go on to win a World Series Championship. Boston dominated opponents from the start of the season with the leagues best offense, and a rotation that always seem to pitch good enough to give the team a chance to win.
The biggest surprise in the division was the collapse of a Toronto team that many thought would run away with the AL East in 2013. Instead, the Blue Jays finished the season with a 74-88 record and took last place in the division.
AL East Predictions (Odds to Win the Division from Bovada)
1st Boston Red Sox (+200) - The key ingredients to a successful season are a talented rotation, a solid bullpen, and a lineup that can produce runs. Those are all areas where the Red Sox will once again excel in 2014. The rotation features five pitchers that are all capable of mid-threes ERAs, and the bullpen boasts one of the best relievers in the league with Koji Uehara (12.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9).
2nd Tampa Bay Rays (+225) - Much like the Red Sox, Tampa Bay comes into 2014 with a talented rotation and a solid bullpen. They lack the offensive prowess that Boston brings to the table, but they are still a team that is very capable of winning 90+ games. It is going to take a couple of players catching fire with their bats, and a year with good health, but if that happens then Tampa Bay will contend for another trip to the postseason.
3rd Toronto Blue Jays (+900) – At 9/1 odds there is a lot of value on Toronto winning the division this year. The Blue Jays certainly disappointed in 2013, but the talent is in place to compete for the division. Toronto was actually not as bad as their record indicated last season. If not for an incredibly slow 10-21 start to the season they would have easily been division contenders down the stretch. They were also unlucky to suffer injuries at what felt like every position on the field. I don’t know of Toronto can stay healthy in 2014, but if they do they will be a tough team to beat.
4th New York Yankees (+200) – It is surprising yo see the Yankees at 2/1 odds to win the division considering they are coming off a tie for third place last year, and they only make one move in the offseason that benefits the team. They are without their stud closer, and will rely on an unproven Japanese talent to win games this season. I don’t expect any magic in New York in 2014 and expect them to send Derek Jeter out with a losing record.
5th Baltimore Orioles (+1,200) – The Orioles played well above their talent level in 2013, and I think they are going to be a storybook case for regression in 2014. Their bullpen by committee approach is a disaster in the making, and they lack talent beyond Tommy Hunter. The lineup will feature some big bats, but like we saw last season, that can only take a team so far.
More Team Predictions
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