Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 AL East Predictions

80 minutes and counting until 2011 kicks off! So I thought it was only fitting that we start the 2011 predictions. I have elected to break it up by league and Division and will try to post 1 new division a day for the next week or so. (In the end it will be a good test to my motivation, especially when we have to look at the NL).

Now for our own backyard. AL East standings at the end of this year (drum roll)

Red Sox 97 wins
Yankees 95 wins
Rays 88 wins
Toronto ~.500
Baltimore ~.500

Essentially, I have to go with the fact that the Red Sox had, on paper, the best off-season. It was a lot of fun to watch the line up last night (last preseason game). Jacoby, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez.... HOLY COW! Per the previous post, if the starters can improve slightly, the offense holds or improves, and the bullpen improves a lot we should be in good shape to take the East. Of course, this is barring the injury bug that crushed us last year.

Per X's point, the Yankees are too rich and have too much talent to discount. That being said, I do think they are vulnerable. They haven't had the injury bug in a while and they have some aging players. In the end, if they stay healthy I think they are a lock for the wildcard.

Tampa Bay will give it a good run, but will fade. Especially, after Manny hits 20 HR in the first half and checks out mentally. Their pitching is good, but young and that might work the first time around. But as hitters in the AL East get more looks they will start to lock in. So I see a pretty significant second half fade.

Toronto will be above average as will Baltimore. I think Baltimore has some up and coming pitchers that will make it interesting. But neither team has the depth to last deep into the season. I can't wait for the huge slump the O's will experience at some point in the second half. Showalter will blow his cool in some completely crazy way.

1 comment:

  1. 97 wins. That's a lot of wins. 8 more than last year.

    Part of me has a hard time believing they'll get there. The line up will be much better. Not only did they add Crawford and Gonzalez, but essentially they are adding Pedroia, Youk and Ellsbury who were out a large portion of last year. I believe this translates to more wins against better pitching. Even if they add 80 runs on to last year's total, run scoring was not their issue in '10.

    They did nothing to improve their rotation. So they don't improve there. Lester was great last year, and probably will be this year. Lackey might improve (but I argued that his numbers were just AL East adjusted last year, and I still believe this). Something is up with Beckett, and Daisuke is Daisuke. Also, I have a difficult time thinking that Buchholz will be as good as last year. This, of course, means nothing. He could be better than last year.

    They did improve their bullpen, and they have options at closer. I still think Papelbon is weak. Heck, take away his 8 blown saves last year and they are at 97 wins.

    Tampa is going to be very good again this year, as is NY. Toronto was an 85 win team last year and they have decent pitching, but they did lose a lot of offense this off-season.
    Baltimore will not be good, but they should be better (pitching is coming along...also, against this terrible team last year, the Sox went 9-9).

    Let's also factor in their games against the NL. They get Philly. They also play San Diego. However, they also get the Cubs and the Bucs.

    The Yankees having a similar season to last seems about right. They haven't done much to change. The Rays dropping that far, I don't know.

    In the end, I don't think it is crazy that they get to 97 wins, but pitching is still the key. I am not certain they've got enough in the starting realm.