Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MLB Preview (Part 5): AL East

Goddammit. The Yankees. We all hate the Yankees. The best way I have to describe my hatred of the Yankees is: of course, Lebron James cheers for the Yankees. Today we continue our MLB Preview with the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles 69.5 (69 wins)
Sean: Under. Maybe in another division.

Jon: Under. Another 100 loss year for the Orioles. Seriously, even the Blue Jays got better this offseason. Also, I just checked and they won 69 games last year (meaning they only lost 93). Who knew?!

Steve: Over. As any Red Sox fan will tell you, this team is unbelievably good. Fuck you Robert Andino.

Tampa Bay Rays  87 (91 wins)
Sean: Over. I see them winning 90 or 91 games with their pitching, but they don’t have enough offense to be in the same league as the Yankees or Red Sox.

Jon: Under. They have the potential to be the third best team in the AL (or better) and also in their own division, but there are some question marks. I think their run of luck ends this year, though, and they’ll end up around 85 wins. Good, but not quite good enough.

Steve: Over. Goddammit.

Toronto Blue Jays  80 (81 wins)
Sean: Under. They are Tampa Bay Version Two, which means if they are smart they will wait for their players like Brett Lawrie to develop and hope to make a couple smart trades. Also they have the Braves old middle infield. Fuck them, the Braves should have sucked it up and dealt with Escobar’s attitude and given 60 million to a left fielder instead of Dan Uggla. 4 more years of his defense, Tim Hudson is undoing is 28 inch belt as he reads this (and yes he reads The Whole 42 minutes).

Jon: Under. They’re a team that, because of their division, I’ll believe it when I see it. I do really like Lawrie though and think he’ll be very, very good even this year.

Steve: Over. I think they play about .500. So that’s 81. Fine.

New York Yankees  93.5 (97 wins)
Sean: Over. The only way they go under 93 is a major injury and their DH flexibility will help in this respect. I might be the only believer in Kuroda succeeding in the AL, but he’s a smart pitcher who hopefully won’t be affected by the pressure.

Jon: Over. Their pitching is so much better than last year, Mariano will seemingly be good forever, and they are spending almost 50M this year on a left side of the infield with atrophying skills and health concerns. They just also happen to have Texeira (on the downside but still very good), Cano (MVP candidate), Granderson (MVP candidate), Swisher, and even fucking Brett Gardner is good. Also, Ivan Nova is now their #4 starter. Goddammit I hate the Yankees.

Steve: Over. And by over I mean way way way under. Also, I’ll just throw this in here: Brett Gardner is overrated.

Boston Red Sox  89.5 (90 wins)
Sean: Over. Why would you bet the under here? This team has had two terrible injury plagued seasons in a row and they still won 90 and 89 games.

Jon: Over. September was a fluke. This team wins 93 or more games. They can hit. They can field. They can even pitch (presuming Buccholz, Lester, and Beckett hold up, which isn’t set in stone). I would watch the depression as these guys won’t be able to drink in the clubhouse anymore. Also, will they make sure to send Papi steroids in May again?

Steve: Obviously Over. What a horrible line. Two years ago they had every injury imaginable and they still won 89 games. This team will be better than that team and it’s unreasonable to predict that there will be THAT many injuries to key players.

Division Prediction:

Steve: It's gonna be the Yankees, guys. Fine. Like... their lineup is about as good as the Red Sox's lineup, and their pitching is way better. It's like... they're just better. The Yankees and Red Sox will both be in the playoffs, but the Yankees are the better team. Goddammit. The Yankees have like too many good starting pitchers. Last year people were all oh, do the Yankees have enough pitching? So they went out and got 2 really fucking good starting pitchers and dumped that asshole A.J. Burnett. Good job being a good organization, Yankees. I hate you. Oh hey Ben Cherington, why don't you trade away both our shortstops for relievers? It's okay, our 4th starter is Felix Doubront and his 35 awful innings in the Major Leagues. And the manager of the Red Sox thinks that Mariano Rivera is the best pitcher in baseball history.
This is a goddamn joke and I hate everything. We traded Jed Lowrie for Mark Melancon. Is he even that good? SIGN ROY OSWALT YOU GODDAMN IDIOTS

Jon: Yes, it’s the Yankees. Pineda is on the DL and Hiroki Kuroda might get crushed in Yankee Stadium and Pettitte missed last year and Rivera is 73 years old and their hitters are almost all on the wrong side of 30 and they’re still gonna win 95 or so. As Steve pointed out, the Sox pitching isn’t all that deep, but their hitting should be the best in the AL, especially if they get anything from Carl Crawford. Then there are the Rays who just seem to reload with more and more prospects, and the best collection of young pitching in the majors. That’s my concern though - young pitching is pretty variant, and I wouldn’t trust all their guys to produce at the level they’re being projected to. If they were in the AL Central, I’d project the Rays to win. Instead, I think they’ll be a fairly distant third. Also, Bobby Valentine as an analyst is bad enough, but WHO THE FUCK LET HIM WRITE ARTICLES?!?

Sean: This is a pretty obvious one, Yankees. They are the only complete team and despite their minor issues (age, defense), they will win at least 95 games. The battle for second place is what I’m really interested in. Third place in this division will probably not be good enough to top the Angels or Rangers (I’m guessing Angels) for the second wild card spot. It comes down to health for me, which team out of the Red Sox and Rays can have their stars stay healthy for the entire season. With Beckett already dinged up, Ortiz probably two years older than he says, and Youkilis being a fat schmuck third baseman with a stupid face, it’s likely the Red Sox will have to rely on suspect backups. The Rays are younger, healthier, and with Luke Scott and Carlos Pena replacing Casey Kotchman and Desmond Jennings playing an entire year, improved on offense. I expect Price v. Weaver in the one game playoff while the Red Sox shovel chicken and beer in their sad depressed mouths Dodgeball closing scene style.

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