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2012 MLB AL East Predictions

Updated on March 30, 2012
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2012 MLB AL East Predictions

The 2012 baseball season is upon us. There really isn’t much better than going to the ballpark, having a beer and watching baseball. Each spring we all share the same feeling of energy and hope that “this is the year”.

Here are my predictions on the 2012 AL East:

AL East
Once again this is going to be a beast of a division. It appears that it will be the repeat race of 2011 with New York, Boston and Tampa Bay being the front runners and Toronto looking to make a case to be among the big boys.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles showed some life last season under Buck Showalter until they lost 14 of 15 in late June and early July and never recovered. Baltimore features the weakest rotation the in AL East and a average lineup that produces power threat Mark Reynolds and quality center fielder Adam Jones. Matt Wieters is probably the top catcher in the division. A weak rotation is a death sentence this barbed wire division. Expect Baltimore to struggle to win 75 games again this season.

Projected Rotation and Lineup

Rotation

1. W. Chen

2. J Arrieta

3. B. Matusz

4. 3. J. Hammel

5. T. Hunter

Lineup

1. 2B B. Roberts

2. SS J.J. Hardy

3. RF N. Markakis

4. CF A. Jones

5. 3B M. Reynolds

6. 1B C. Davis

7. C. M. Wieters

8. DH W. Betemit

9. LF N. Reimold

Key Injuries

SP Zack Britton

2B Brian Roberts

OF Nick Markakis

Boston Red Sox

Bobby Valentine is the new skipper for the Red Sox. Boston still has to make some decisions with their rotation, but they should have strong starting pitching again this year led by Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholtz. The Red Sox did lose Jonathan Papelbon in the off-season, but did acquire Andrew Bailey from Oakland to fill the void. There is a lot to like about Boston's lineup. David Ortiz is still bashing the ball, Adrian Gonzalez is an elite hitter, so is Pedroia and Youkilis. If Jacoby Ellsbury can come close to his 2011 production, Boston will lead this division in runs scored.


Projected Rotation and Lineup

Rotation

1. J. Lester

2. J. Beckett

3. C. Buchholtz

4. A. Miller

5. A. Aceves

Lineup

1. CF J. Ellsbury

2. 2B D. Pedroia

3. 3B K. Youkilis

4. 1B A. Gonzalez

5. DH D. Ortiz

6. LF C. Crawford

7. RF C. Ross

8. C J. Saltalamacchia

9. SS M. Aviles

Key Injuries

SP John Lackey

SP Daisuke Matsuzaka

LF Carl Crawford

RP Bobby Jenks

New York Yankees

New York’s starting rotation has improved with the addition of Michael Pineda from Seattle and Hiroki Kuroda from the Dodgers. Pineda and Kuroda only won 9 and 13 games respectively last year, but that should drastically improve with the run support they will receive in Pinstripes. New York's Lineup is going to look very similar to the 2011 squad with the exception of the addition of Raul Ibanez coming over from Philadelphia. Expect a lot of Homers and a lot of runs from the 2012 Yankees.

Projected Rotation and Lineup

Rotation

1. C.C. Sabathia

2. M. Pineda

3. H. Kuroda

4. I. Nova

5. P. Hughes

Lineup

1. LF B. Gardner

2. SS D. Jeter

3. 3B A. Rodriquez

4. 1B M. Teixeira

5. 2B R. Cano

6. CF C. Granderson

7. RF N. Swisher

8. DH R. Ibanez

9. C R. Martin

Key Injuries

RP J. Chamberlain

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay surprised everyone this off-season by going on a spending spree re-acquiring Carlos Pena from the Cubs and slugger Luke Scott from Baltimore. Tampa Bay has the strongest starting rotation in this division and that alone will make them very competitive. The Ray's had issues offensively last season, especially when hitting with runners in scoring position (where there finished 24th in baseball). The additions of Pena and Scott should help those numbers. With budding super star Evan Longoria and LF Desmond Jennings look for an improved Rays offense in 2012.


Projected Rotation and Lineup

Rotation

1. J. Shields

2. D. Price

3. J. Hellickson

4. M. Moore

5. J. Niemann

Lineup

1. LF D. Jennings

2. CF B.J. Upton

3. 3B E. Longoria

4. 1B C. Pena

5. 2B B. Zobrist

6. DH L. Scott

7. RF M. Joyce

8. C J. Molina

9. SS S. Rodriguez

Key Injuries

SS R. Brignac

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are a team that seems to have been on the brink of making a run for AL East title for a few years now. They have improved their rotation with guys like Rickey Romero, Brandon Morrow and Brett Cecil. They have one of the best hitters in the game in Jose Bautista and future All-Star Bret Lawrie over at third base. Toronto is a good baseball team. If they were in another division or the national league, they would be strong contenders for a division championship. Unfortunately for the Toronto faithful, they play in the AL East.

Projected Rotation and Lineup

Rotation

1. R. Romero

2. B. Morrow

3. B. Cecil

4. H. Alvarez

5. D. McGowan

Lineup

1. SS Y. Escobar

2. LF E. Thames

3. RF J. Bautista

4. 1B A. Lind

5. 3B B. Lawrie

6. 2B K. Johnson

7. DH E. Encarnacion

8. CF. J. Arencibia

9. CF C. Rasmus

Key Injuries

RP J. Litsch

How they will finish

  1. New York Yankees

  2. Tampa Bay Rays

  3. Boston Red Sox

  4. Toronto Blue Jays

  5. Baltimore Orioles

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