American League East
There’s rarely a boring day in the American League East, not with names like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the mix. Can another AL East club step out of their shadows and emerge as a World Series contender?
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox appear to be making the jump from worst to first, adding Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to a stacked lineup and boosting a solid rotation with arms Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson. There is a lack of a true staff ace on this team, which could be remedied before the All-Star break.
New York Yankees: The Bronx Bombers may be that in nickname only with a lack of that familiar power in the lineup. It could be small ball for the Yankees in 2015, with an outstanding staff headlined by Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda and a deep bullpen towing the load in the late innings.
Toronto Blue Jays: Things once again look up for Toronto, but a strange spring training erased SP Marcus Stroman from the rotation and left OF Michael Saunders as a question mark for opening day. On paper, the Jays can compete with anyone. But they’ve rarely had their powerful lineup and promising rotation healthy at the same time.
American League East Previews
Baltimore Orioles: Some mainstays are gone in Baltimore, with Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis stripping this lineup of some major pop. The Orioles are looking to some returning young players and slugger Chris Davis to give them just enough offense so that this serviceable rotation can tread water. Baltimore’s bullpen may also take a step back from last year’s outstanding service without run support.
Tampa Bay Rays: The departed Joe Maddon’s worth as a manager will be on full display in Tampa. The Rays underwent a facelift in the clubhouse and on the field, leaving a young core of players and another season of hoping 3B Evan Longoria can play 160 games. Starters Alex Cobb and Chris Archer should keep Tampa Bay competitive at least a few times a week.
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