On paper the Boston Red Sox are, arguably, the best team in the American League East. Most would probably say the Red Sox are the favorites to win the Division. However, I say, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Both the Red Sox and Yankees are going to hit the ball this season. However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to pitching.
The major concern for New York this Spring is the starting rotation. Sabathia will dominate. Phil Hughes is going to be what the Yankees always wanted in a solid third starter. Questions remain about Burnett. I myself am concerned as to which A.J. will show up on any given start. Burnett’s mechanics are intact, it’s really psychological. The Yankee bullpen significantly improved over last season with the acquisition of Soriano. Joba will be pitching for his life. The question remains as to who will be the fourth and possibly fifth starter.
The Red Sox questions seem to be the opposite of the Yankees. The starting rotation is strong. Matsuzaka, while overrated is effective. Lester’s team leading strikeout and win totals serve Boston well. If Lackey brings his ERA down, I believe the Red Sox will be more trouble for New York. Josh Beckett seems to be Boston’s Burnett when it comes to consistency.
Both teams will score runs, the question remains can either team keep a lead in 2011. I’m not going to say either team is favored over the other. I think more than in the recent past Boston and New York are equal. Let’s not forget that Tampa Bay will be tough. Under the leadership of Buck Showalter and the acquisition of Vladimir Guerrero, the Orioles will cause a little more heartburn to other division managers.
The AL East is going to be the division to watch this season. My prediction is the Yankees will edge out Boston, with a 92-70 record to Boston’s 90-72 record. Tampa Bay is 3rd.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical data from espn.go.com.