American League East
DF: New York Yankees
Despite another disappointing end to their season, the New York Yankees were one of baseball’s best teams last year. I don’t feel great about my choice here — as I like both the Blue Jays and Rays — but I’m taking the Yanks to win the East. New York’s starting rotation, even with the loss of Frankie Montas, is amongst the best. Aaron Judge is a superstar capable of leading New York to another huge regular season. It will come down to the wire, but the Yanks will ultimately win the East.
HA: Toronto Blue Jays
In what typically shapes up to be the most competitive division race, all five teams in the AL East are entering the season with high hopes. The last four years have been split between the Yankees and Rays, and it’s never a good idea to completely count out the Red Sox. Plus, the Orioles are on the rise as one of the youngest teams in baseball. That being said, it’s difficult to deny Toronto’s star power. With one of the most stacked lineups in baseball, the Blue Jays cross 100 wins for the first time in franchise history.
JF: Toronto Blue Jays
This is the year for the Jays. They’re loaded top to bottom — from the depth within the rotation to the acquisitions they made in lengthening their projected lineup. Kevin Kiermaier is a veteran with terrific defensive skills. Daulton Varsho has some pop — as does former Giants’ star Brandon Belt. In the rotation, the one-two punch of Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman is fortified by free agent pickup Chris Bassitt and longtime ace Jose Berrios. Then…account for the projected improvement of Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.
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