1. New York Yankees (96 wins)
Who’d you expect? Despite this being primarily a Yankee site, I’m not going to go into this too much. If you’ve been reading, you know why I think the Yankees will be good. But to sum it up: take the best team the second half of last year, keep them together, add a better manager, and win.
The Yankees last year had to run out lousy pitcher after lousy pitcher the first half of the season. They had many players under-perform (Damon, Abreu, etc), yet they still won 94 games and went to the playoffs. So I think 96 wins is a decent projection.
Most media people are picking the Yanks to miss the playoffs altogether. Since most media people are wrong, I think Yankee fans should be happy.
2. Boston Red Sox (91 wins)
The Red Sox have been declared the favorite, which is also good for the Yankees and almost certainly bad for the Red Sox. Schilling is out for awhile and Beckett has had back problems (and historically he’s injury prone). No one ever wants to mention it, but the Red Sox need their young pitching to produce just as much as the Yankees do.
3. Toronto Blue Jays (86 wins)
Toronto has a great pitching staff. As always, if they stay healthy, the Blue Jays should be very good. Just imagine how far they could go if they hadn’t decided that David Eckstein should get more at-bats than any player on the team. In case you didn’t know, Eckstein is a bad baseball player. He’s the Juan Pierre of shortstops.
But Halladay, Burnett, McGowen, Marcum, and whoever else starting with Accardo and Ryan in the pen? With a few good breaks, they can definitely compete.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (81 wins)
I think this will be the year the Rays get to .500. I still think their pitching will get rocked a lot of days, but you gotta love all the young talent they have.
They lose points though for the terrible name and uniform change, which are idiotic and boring respectively. Tampa Bay Rays is just an awful name and their news uniforms, while not being atrocious, are just dull and make them look generic.
5. Baltimore Orioles (61 wins)
Nice to know the Yankees will get some more home games at Camden Yards this year.
Though I will say, the Orioles got a ton in return for Bedard and if they could trade Brian Roberts for some more youth, this team could have potential in a couple years. What is the point of having Roberts around after dealing Tejada and Bedard?