Despite his age and slight, if any, decline, losing David Ortiz will hurt for the Red Sox. Lucky for them, they still have a solid source of talent, added an amazing Leftie starter, and have no real competition within the division to challenge them.
The Rays are a shell of what they used to be. While they have a solid core, and good pitching, they don’t have what it takes. The Yankees are getting younger, and better, but haven’t made any major strides to challenge.
The loss of Encarnacion will be big for the Blue Jays. Not that they are severely limited, but he was a big part of that potent offense. They do return a very solid rotation, but I like the Orioles a bit more than the Jays.
I think the Orioles will continue their solid form. While the Yankees kids have looked good they aren’t quite there yet. Also, the Jays aren’t who they used to be. Encarnacion was their engine, and his loss will hurt more then if they lost Batista. Baltimore has been here before.
The Red Sox snag this division, despite the injury to Price, and the Orioles grab the last Wild Card spot in the American League.
Bryce Harper wants to Make Baseball Fun Again, and so do I. His Nationals sure are making it fun for the fans in DC (see what I did there? Some Big J Journalist stuff!). Anyway, they really are. A team that won 95 games last year got better too, adding Adam Eaton and Matt Wieters, who will improve an already all-around solid pitching staff.
The Mets return with their stellar rotation, which will have a healthy Matt Harvey. Despite this I think they will get a serious challenge from the Braves for second place in the division. Their lineup isn’t bad, or a liability, but I’m also not scared by it. They’re also competing against much better Giants and Cardinals teams for a Wild Card spot.
The Braves added some good veterans to a solid, young team. They have a good management team who isn’t looking to sign any $200m plus contracts. The additions of Bartolo Colon, Jaime Garcia, R.A. Dickey, Brandon Phillips and Kurt Suzuki will compliment and help a strong core of prospects.
The bottom of this division is about rock-bottom for the entire MLB. The Marlins are the Marlins, a lot of hope for the future, but not much outside of that. They added a few names, but it’s for show. The Phillies? Yeesh. The same boat, added even more than the Marlins, but nothing that will make them contenders anytime soon.
The Nationals take this one easy. I think they’ll have it wrapped up by July.