The AL East has been one of the best divisions in baseball for several years. Three of the four owners were founding members, and the fourth, Crabman, has won a championship last year and the AL crown three years ago.
This year, parity is the name of the game. Baltimore, New York, and Cleveland all of a chance of winning the East. And all three should be playoff teams.
The predicted standings for this season are:
Cleveland Indians 97-65 (Division Champ)
Baltimore Orioles 96-66 (Playoff, WC)
New York Yankees 94-68 (Playoff, WC)
Boston Red Sox 78-84
Baltimore Orioles (Crabman26, 13th Season)
Last Year: 101-61
Runs Scored/Allowed: 815/671
Players Added: ss Germany Adcock (Ana)
Players Lost: 3b – Aramis Jaquez (fa)
Preview: The Orioles took home the Kinsella World Series Championship Trophy for the first time in their history. Considering their success, the Orioles were long overdue. Baltimore now has a shot at their seventh consecutive divisional crown (the record of 11 division titles is co-held by JNew and his White Sox from seasons 10-21, and Oakland from 8-18).
Overall: The Orioles are running out the same team that won it all last year. A solid team looking to make another run.
New York Yankees (Overeasy, *Founding member, Commish)
Last Year: 89-73
Runs Scored/Allowed: 730/619
Players Added: 3b – Milt Howard (Tex)
Players Lost: 2b Rico Aquino (SF), sp – Norm Fowler (ChS)
Preview: OE finally pulled out of the tailspin and took the Yankees back to the playoffs via the wildcard. With the second best pitching staff, anchored by a solid defense and timely hitting the Yankees are back on the path to staying competitive for many years.
Expect a bigger year out of 23 year old Wade Dunn. Last season he took a step back (.878 ops vs .797 w/7 fewer hr). He still held a 3.6 war, and created 85 runs. Those numbers should be closer to 5 war, and 100 runs created. Milt Howard comes from Texas, and will provide some impact (last year .241/.295/.450). Damaso Jacquez’s development seems stalled, but he was still the best hitter in the Yankee organization last year with 103 rc, 5.0 war.
Starting pitchers Perez, Graves, and Mullins leads a formidable three headed monster. Norm Fowler took his talents to the White Sox.
Overall: The young guns didn’t progress as much as expected, but the Bronx Bombers are solid in every phase of the game.
Boston Red Sox (jclarkbaker, *Founding member)
Last Year: 82-80
Runs Scored/Allowed: 724/765
Players Added: 2b – Geraldo Hernandez (AZ)
Players Lost: 2b Fred Perkins (fa)
Preview: It came down to the wire for the Red Sox, but they didn’t have enough to overcome the Indians in their division. Playing in the toughest division in baseball can be very frustrating and times, and when team outplays their runs/scored allowed like the Sox did you know they gave their all.
Overall: The window is closing on the Red Sox and jclarkbaker. Last season they missed the playoffs after 82 wins, and it will be surprising to see them make that mark again this year.
Cleveland Indians (drichter, *Founding Member)
Last Year: 88-74
Runs Scored/Allowed: 810/747
Players Added: rf Javier Valdes (Min), 1b Eddie Douglas (ATL), sp – Rich George (aaa)
Players Lost: dh – Tito Owens (ChS), sp - Antone Durham (Min), rp - Rob Ramirez (Min)
Preview: Finally!!! We were all starting to think that God even hates FAKE Cleveland teams. Drichter steadily improved and made a terrific move to capture the wildcard in the AL. The team posted the most wins in franchise history with 88.
To begin the year, they pulled off a key trade with the Twins. Star slugger, Javier Valdes (.262/.345/.508, 5.5 war, 105 rc) was acquired for two young pitchers, Antone Durham (4.61 fip/1.55 whip) and Rob Ramirez (5.13 fip/1.50 whip). This trade entirely alters the face of the AL East, and provides the Indians with a remarkable amount of offensive fire power. Valdes looks to replace Tito Owens, and should contribute a difference of about 25 runs (or about 2.5 wins).
It’s unclear how much help free agent
Eddie Douglas will
provide for the Tribe. Last year he only provided about 29 runs for the
in limited action and $4 million seems an awful lot for a replacement
One key piece to the title run will be rookie pitcher Rich George. He can be considered a Cy Young candidate by the end of the season.
Overall: The Indians are gaining recognition as a possible World Series contender. I can’t argue with the talent on the team. Their pitching staff could be the best in the AL, and their offense actually got better. Everything hinges on how George performs, and if he can give them that 4th starter in the post-season.