AL East 2021 Division Preview
AL East Division Preview
Here we are nearing the end of the division previews and also the start of the MLB Season. BTB has his MLB package available now that includes future picks, his MLB and KBO picks, and BTBJesse’s MLB picks daily. These articles examine a few different aspects and are NOT BTB’s future plays, if you haven’t read the other divisions, review all the past articles.
Tampa Bay Rays
Last time we saw Tampa, they had Blake Snell dealing, and Kevin Cash decided that it wasn’t worth getting the city of Tampa a Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, and World Series trophy in the same season. Fast forward to now, Snell is gone and so is Charlie Morton. The Rays always seem to make the most out of a limited payroll and hidden gems, so you can’t completely count them out. But for them, my focus is turning to just one player: Randy Arozarena. He set the record for most home runs in a single postseason, if he can do this against the best pitching, there is enormous potential. +350 is somewhat low odds but I’ll take that and hope that he can mash during the regular season (even with the domestic violence allegations likely to hang over him).
New York Yankees
Ah, the Evil Empire. The Yankees didn’t make that many big splashes this summer, but their biggest move may have been retaining DJ LeMahieu – a professional hitter that gives them contact and some pop. As usual, their season will rest on the ability of Stanton and Judge to stay healthy while having their less than intimidating starting staff keeping them in games. Still, they are the clear favorites to win the division, sitting at -200 and they have a win total hanging at 95.5. I don’t personally care to pin my hopes on Judge and Stanton and a rotation who’s number two is a guy (Kluber) who has barely thrown in the last two years, so I’m not taking a side. If I was forced, the over would likely be my play.
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto returned to the playoffs last season and has hope for the first time since Joe Carter swung his bat. Once again, their rotation is also nothing of dominance outside of Hyun Jin Ryu. They have some guys that will give you a few nice games, but most of the time, I’ll be checking for the over. George Springer was a great addition to the team, and the famous surnames that round out the rest of the lineup should continue to advance. I think the Blue Jays could absolutely finish second in the division. I like them to win 87 or 88 games which puts them over their win total.
Boston Red Sox
All will not be well in bean town this season. Aside from JD Martinez, should we expect anything productive from this team? Probably – they do have some decent players that replaced bigger names, but the chances are slim that they can contend with the Yankees, Rays, and even Blue Jays. I do like their rotation, even without Sale for most (if not all) of 2021, to be the best in the AL East. I think they will be comfortably under .500 though and I’m going to take under 80.5 wins.
Yes, there is still baseball being played in Baltimore! They are doing their best attempt at a Ripken-like streak of playing as many consecutive meaningless games as possible, and succeeding quite well. Will they lose 100 games this year? I think so. I’ll take under 64 wins. Realistically, if one of their players has trade value, why would they keep anyone that isn’t under team control for multiple years? If they can help a team win this year, expect them to help a different team via trade, not the Orioles.
- David Troy
Follow BTB site contributor at @FuturePrez2024 on Twitter!