The 2021 MLB season is slowly approaching us. The AL East is one of the most interesting divisions in all of baseball. We have some teams moving in an upward direction. We also have some teams that are trending down, some less expected than others.
Looking at the 5 teams in the Division, we should see tons of battles between them. A full 162 game season is coming up as well, which puts everyone on an even playing field, unlike last year.
New York Yankees (prediction-1st)
The Yankees once again last year, drastically underachieved in the postseason. They went out in the ALDS to division rival Tampa Bay Rays. Even though it was a weird season, the Yankees still should have come out on top of this series. They had no problem hitting the long ball, but getting balls in play was something they struggled with outside of DJ Lemahieu.
They also struggled with pitching outside of Gerritt Cole. They added to the starting rotation this season by getting Corey Kluber and a few others. They also added to the bullpen depth as well. If everyone can stay healthy in the line-up, anything outside of a world series ring will be a major disappointment for this Yankee team.
Tampa Bay Rays (prediction-2nd)
The Rays are coming off of a fantastic season. They went to the world series where they eventually lost to the Dodgers. Despite that, they have a lot of young talent on both offense and pitching. They lost Blake Snell in a trade to the Padres, who was arguably their best starter. Any rotation that is losing him will obviously take a step back.
The thing to watch for the Rays is their prospects, which are among the best in all of baseball. They are a very young team that will only get better as the season goes on. The rays also added a familiar face in Chris Archer to the rotation. They should be back in the playoffs this year with easy security of a wild card spot.
Toronto Blue Jays (prediction-3rd)
The Blue Jays might be the most exciting young team in all of baseball. They are only getting better as well. Last year was a very different and interesting season for this team. They had to play all of their home games in Buffalo because of the travel restrictions to Canada. A situation like that would throw any team off but they still managed to stay above water for at least the first couple of months.
Vlad Guerrero Jr is one of the most special talents in all of baseball. He also claims that he lost 40 pounds over the offseason. If that is truly the case, he will be a nightmare for any pitcher in the league to deal with this season.
They also added to the pitching staff in the past couple of seasons with a perfect mix of young and veteran talent. This team should win the games they are supposed to win throughout the season. If they do, expect this team to be competing for a while card spot in the fall.
Boston Red Sox (prediction-4th)
Boston continues to be one of the most interesting teams in the league, for the right and wrong reasons. Around a year ago that traded generational talent Mookie Betts for prospects and some to the Dodgers. Many fans were not happy with this move, rightfully so. Heading into this year, there are once again more questions than answers with this Boston team.
They are getting some much-needed help back on the pitching side of things. Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are returning to the lineup as a great 1-2 punch. This team isn’t horrible by any means, but it’s fair to question how they will be able to keep up with the three teams projected above them. This will be one of the teams to look out for as a possible surprise team this season, despite all of the talents they have lost over the past few seasons.
Baltimore Orioles (prediction 5th)
For people who follow baseball closely, Baltimore has been at the bottom of the league for a pretty decent amount of time now. At the same time, they have improved in tiny steps season after season. The thing is, they are in such a small market. This makes it extremely difficult and near impossible for them to compete on the same level as these big market ball clubs.
The best thing for Baltimore to keep doing is to develop the young prospects they have. If they keep these guys around, they will eventually put together a team of veterans who will be able to compete. Until that happens, they will continue to be in rebuild mode, but there are certainly worse teams than them in the league.