- AL East Preview and Futures Prediction
- Blue Jays
- Red Sox
Coming into 2021 the American League East division has a very different makeup. The New York Yankees are ready to run it back this season in hopes of making the World Series.
The Boston Red Sox are usually known as a big-time contender in this division, but in the past few years have been slipping lower and lower in the standings.
Tampa Bay made it to the World Series last year, but might not even make it back to the playoffs this year. The Toronto Blue Jays have also been linked to almost every top free agent this offseason and they had plenty of success landing one of them.
The Orioles continue to be the Orioles, unfortunately.
AL East Preview –
New York Yankees (-200)
The New York Yankees come into 2021 as the clear favorite of the American League East and are also very high favorites to win the World Series. A major question mark coming into the offseason was if the Yankees would be able to keep second baseman and base hit machine D.J. Lemahieu from leaving in free agency.
First baseman Luke Voit was adamant to the media that he wanted and hoped that the Yankees would pay Lemahieu and the Yankees did just that. New York gave Lemahieu a six-year $90 million deal rewarding him for batting .364 with 71 hits and 10 home runs.
The Yankees also signed pitcher Corey Kluber and acquired Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates. New York didn’t forget about the bullpen either as they signed Orioles lefty Darren O’Day to give them a dangerous submarine arm out of the pen.
Tampa Bay Rays (+350)
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off an unbelievable run in 2020 where they just fell short in the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tampa Bay traded Cy Young pitcher Blake Snell to the Padres in a very confusing move. Snell was the clear number one for the Rays and it seemed like the Rays and Snell were not on the same page for a while.
In the World Series Snell was pitching a very good game and yet manager Kevin Cash pulled him and the rest is history. Tampa Bay also lost pitcher Charlie Morton but added former Rays starter Chris Archer back to the team.
Archer joins Tyler Glasnow as two of the top pitchers going into 2021 for Tampa Bay. Another bright spot from 2020 was the emergence of Randy Arozarena who was impossible to get out in the playoffs. Tampa Bay will be above average, but not nearly as good as they were in 2020.
Toronto Blue Jays (+350)
The Toronto Blue Jays might not be the favorite here, but if you are going to choose any team other than the New York Yankees. Toronto has called up three prospects in the past few years and they are going to make a major impact in 2021.
Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vladamir Guerrero Jr are going to take the next step after an already successful 2020. The difference for Toronto this year is the addition of George Springer. Springer signed a six-year $150 million deal with Toronto and will bring over experience to a very young lineup.
Toronto’s offense will power the Blue Jays this year and they are a team to watch out for.
Boston Red Sox (+2000)
Boston appears to have finally run out of gas and might be entering a rebuilding phase. For a team that had some much success of late shelling out top prospects for proven players and paying big money to free agents, it finally caught up with them.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia officially retired after battling injuries for the last few seasons and surprisingly traded outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals in a surprising move. Boston still has good players like Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts, but it is going to take time for Boston to get back to the top.
Baltimore Orioles (+5200)
The Baltimore Orioles have not been very good for some time. Baltimore’s best player is Trey Mancini who missed time in 2020 battling cancer. Mancini is now cancer-free and expected to return to the team. Besides Trey Mancini, the Orioles do not have many big names.
Power hitter Chris Davis is getting old and to put it simply….the Orioles do not stand a chance at winning this division. New York and Toronto are just too good.