Predictions are useless but are also fun to do. This week I will roll out my own dumb predictions for the 2013 season.
Not only did Toronto make the right moves this off-season, they made them at the right time. The Yankees are aging (falling apart), and the Red Sox are clearly not of the same caliber they once were either. I’m a bit worried about the depth of the Blue Jays bullpen, but there will be plenty of relievers on the trade market if they need to upgrade mid-season or sooner.
Best player by WAR (Baseball-Reference) Jose Reyes 5.2
Some people are predicting the Red Sox to finish in last place (again) this year, I just don’t see it. They do have a lot of question marks but they also have a lot of players who have been very good in the not so distant past. I expect Jon Lester to be a lot closer to a four or five win player rather than the near replacement level pitcher he was in 2012. Last season everything that could go wrong for the Red Sox did, it seems unlikely that will happen again.
Best player by WAR Dustin Pedroia 5.5
The Rays are one of the best teams in baseball at getting the most out of their players. Acquiring top prospect Wil Myers in the off-season sets them up nicely for the future. However, I’m concerned about their ability to score runs this season. I see a rather weak lineup, and have questions about the back end of their rotation. If Tampa struggles early they may look to trade David Price, which would create chaos at the front of their rotation as well.
Best player by WAR Evan Longoria 6.1
The Yankees are old and already injured. Just looking at their team on paper it’s hard not to predict them to finish in last place this year; however they are still the Yankees. They won 95 games last season dropping to the low 80s is a long way to go. I actually really like their pitching staff. I think 1-5 they are nearly as good as anyone in the American League, and I have little doubt that Mariano Rivera will return to form. They will need their pitching to carry them especially in the first half of the season when (Teixeira, Granderson, Rodriguez, and Jeter) will all be battling injuries.
Best player by WAR Robinson Cano 7.0
Baltimore surprised a lot of people (including myself) last year. Unlike the Red Sox, they seemed to have everything go their way. Several pitchers had career years (Gonzalez, Hammel, Strop), and they finished 29-9 in one run games, the best winning percentage in one run games since 1890. It’s unfair to say that their success was all luck, but luck certainly came into play. On the positive side I do expect Manny Machado to take a big step forward this season, and for both of their top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman to contribute later in the year as well. All three of those players should add wins that regression will likely take away from others.
Best player by WAR Manny Machado 3.5
The all AL East Team with my projected WAR (Baseball-Reference).
I think Adam Jones, Ben Zobrist, and maybe even Ichiro will all have better years than Cabrera. I went strictly by position rather than just picking the three best outfielders. Left field is rather weak in the division.
Several other starters will likely finish in Moore and Lester’s range. Buchholz, Johnson, Kuroda, and Tillman all come to mind, there will probably be a few more as well.
Those are my dumb predictions for the AL East. I’ll revisit them at the end of the season to see how many I butchered.
Follow me on Twitter @Rosscarey
Originally posted 3/25/13
Thumbnail AL East logo courtesy of bosoxinjection.com