2013 Season Preview – American League East

1. Division Champions – Tampa Bay Rays


Last year: 90-72

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Desmond Jennings
2. LF: Matt Joyce
3. 3B: Evan Longoria
4. RF: Ben Zobrist
5. DH: Luke Scott
6. SS: Yunel Escobar
7. 1B: James Loney
8. C: Jose Molina
9. 2B: Kelly Johnso

Projected rotation:

1. David Price
2. Jeremy Hellickson
3. Matt Moore
4. Alex Cobb
5. Roberto Hernandez (fka Fausto Carmona)

This was the most difficult division to predict. Seeds All Day believes the Tampa Bay Rays will win the division, not because they will significantly increase upon their win total from last year, but because we expect the rest of the division to take a step back. The Rays pitch, defend and compete offensively. Their starting rotation is the best in the AL East. David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore are among the best 1-2-3 starting pitching punches in baseball. Alex Cobb is expected to compete for rookie of the year, and Roberto Hernandez is a big league veteran who can eat up innings in the fifth spot. And they should score enough runs to win over 90 games again in 2013.

 SAD’s prediction: 93-69 (AL East Champions)

2. New York Yankees

Last year: 95-67 (AL East Champions)

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Brett Gardner
2. RF: Ichiro Suzuki
3. 2B: Robinson Cano
4. 1B: Kevin Youkilis
5. DH: Ben Francisco
6. LF: Vernon Wells
7. SS: Eduardo Nunez
8. 3B: Jayson Nix
9. C: Chris Stewart

Projected rotation:

1. C.C. Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Andy Pettite
4. Ivan Nova
5. David Phelps

If it’s one thing Seeds All Day has learned, it’s to never fade the New York Yankees, no matter how bleak things may look for them heading into a season. The Yankees lost a ton of offense from a season ago. Nine of the team’s top-10 home run hitters are either no longer with the team, or will begin the season on the disabled list. The Yankees will open the season without the services of lineup mainstays Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. But Jeter, Teixeira and Granderson should all be back in the lineup by mid-May. If New York can tread water and keep from falling too far behind in the division in the first month of action, they should be in decent shape to compete for yet another AL East title. Even when healthy, this year’s Yankees team has more holes in its roster than normal. But New York is a consummate buyer, and will not be afraid to spend to plug those holes in June and July so long as they find themselves within striking distance of the Rays. Expect another playoff appearance for the Boys in the Bronx in 2013.

SAD’s prediction – 91-71 (Wild Card berth)

3. Toronto Blue Jays

Last year: 73-89 (missed playoffs)

Projected lineup:

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
5. DH: Adam Lind
6. C: J.P. Arencibia
7. CF: Colby Rasmus
8. 2B: Emilio Bonifacio
9. 3B: Maicer Izturis
SP: R.A. Dickey

Projected rotation:

1. R.A. Dickey
2. Brandon Morrow
3. Mark Buehrle
4. Josh Johnson
5. J.A. Happ

Talk about makeovers. The Toronto Blue Jays gave their entire roster a face lift with offseason moves, loading up on All-Star caliber talent. Additions of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson has created a formidable starting rotation. Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera will now be setting the table for power hitters Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. On paper, the Blue Jays look like the odds-on favorites to win the division. However, recent history reminds us that having a sexy team on paper is not always a recipe for success. The L.A. Angels and Miami Marlins tried to employ a similar acquire-All-Stars approach in 2012, and both missed the playoffs. Toronto hopes to buck that recent trend in 2013, but Seeds All Day thinks it will take at least one season for the new-faced Jays to mesh before they reach the postseason.

SAD’s prediction: 87-75 (no playoff berth)

4. Baltimore Orioles

Last year: 93-69 (Wild Card berth)

Projected lineup:

1. RF: Nick Markakis
2. DH: Nolan Reimold
3. CF: Adam Jones
4. C: Matt Wieters
5. 1B: Chris Davis
6. SS: J.J. Hardy
7. LF: Nate McLouth
8. 3B: Manny Machado
9. 2B: Brian Roberts

Projected rotation:

1. Jason Hammel
2. Wei-Yin Chen
3. Miguel Gonzalez
4. Jake Arrieta
5. Chris Tillman

That the Baltimore Orioles made the playoffs last year is simply inexplicable. Somehow, some way, they were able to win 93 games last season with a run differential of just +7. No other playoff team had a run differential of less than +56. The Philadelphia Phillies – who were closest to Baltimore with a run differential of +4 – finished .500 on the season. The Orioles found themselves in the right place at the right time too many times last year for Seeds All Day to believe they will have any type of comparable success in 2013. On paper, Baltimore has a decent lineup, and Adam Jones is on the verge of becoming a superstar. But they will have to put up more runs and hold opponents to fewer runs in 2013 to recapture the magic of last season’s run. We just don’t see that happening.

SAD’s prediction: 77-85 (no playoff berth)

5. Boston Red Sox

Last year: 69-93

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
2. RF: Shane Victorino
3. 2B: Dustin Pedroia
4. 1B: Mike Napoli
5. 3B: Will Middlebrooks
6. DH: Jonny Gomes
7. C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
8. LF: Jackie Bradley
9. SS: Jose Iglesias

Projected rotation:

1. Jon Lester
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Ryan Dempster
4. Felix Doubront
5. John Lackey

The Boston Red Sox are still trying to pick up the pieces from a disastrous 2012 season. They tried to deal way their problems at the end of the year, shipping off controversial starter Josh Beckett, injured disappointment Carl Crawford, and the expensive Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers. The 2013 lineup that the Sox have put together seems more apt to have to manufacture single runs than capable of hanging up multiple-run innings. Jon Lester is a deserving major league ace, and Ryan Dempster found great success as a starter in Chicago, but Felix Doubront is young and unproven, Clay Buchholz has been anything but consistent, and John Lackey has proven a waste of a $82 million since he signed with Boston in 2009. Boston seems the most likely candidate to finish in the cellar of the AL East for a second consecutive season.

SAD’s prediction: 74-88 (no playoff berth)

About Matthew George

Matthew George graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a bachelor of science in journalism. He spent three years writing sports for the Kentucky Kernel, the university's daily paper, and served as assistant sports editor. After undergrad, Matthew attended Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University where he earned his juris doctorate. He is now admitted to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana.

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