2007 AL East Preview
In the American League East, the battle traditionally has been between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays, who finished second, were in the battle for first for a while. But unlike previous seasons, the second-place club did not win the Wild Card. That team came out of the Central Division. This year may prove to be the same. Only the first-place team will be in the post- season.
The Boston Red Sox return after finishing third last year. They’ve greatly upgraded the club with starting pitching and hitting. GM Theo Epstein is one of the best at what he does and manager Terry Francona is a good situation and player’s coach. Owner John Henry has been determined to keep the Sox competitive.
The New York Yankees are still one of the best teams around. They offer a roster filled with exceptional hitters. Their pitching is certainly good but many arms are aging. GM Brian Cashman is a true dealmaker and can pull off the big one at any moment. Manager Joe Torre is in the final year of his contract and will want to go out a winner. Still, every year for the past seven the Yankees have been picked to win it all, but they continue to fall short.
Last season the Toronto Blue Jays started to look like contenders as they expanded their payroll in an attempt to finally go to the playoffs. The plan didn’t quite work. This year there’s some added power in the batting order but health concerns for the top of the rotation and unproven talent in the bottom could be this team’s undoing.
In Baltimore, the Orioles may post their tenth straight losing season. The pitching situation is dire, especially when it comes to the bullpen. The Birds have tried to underpin their set-up situation, but it remains to be seen if they have solved that problem. There’s some hitting talent but not enough to go around.
Finally, the young Tampa Bay Devil Rays will end the season in the cellar. There’s some good talent in the outfield but very little in the rotation. The ranks are exceptionally thin on this team and chances are that the Rays will lose 100 games again this season.
American League East Predictions
Projected Order of Finish:
Click on team name for individual team preview.