Advertisement

Powerhouse Red Sox should hold off Yankees, Rays in AL East

Powerhouse Red Sox should hold off Yankees, Rays in AL East
Mookie Betts connects on a solo home run during a Boston Red Sox exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves on March 16. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

A look at every team in the American League East and their 2019 predicted order of finish.

1. BOSTON RED SOX

Advertisement

2018 | 108-54, 1st in East

Last year in playoffs | 2018

The loss of 42-save closer Craig Kimbrel and hard-throwing setup man Joe Kelly left holes in a bullpen that is probably the only question mark on a defending World Series-champion team that has one of the best rotations in baseball and a lethal lineup led by reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts, who had 32 homers, 80 RBIs and a 1.078 OPS last season, and J.D. Martinez, who had 43 homers, a league-leading 130 RBIs and a 1.031 OPS. The return of gritty veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia from knee surgery should provide an emotional boost.

2019 Boston Red Sox

Projected batting order

Player Position
Player1. Andrew Benintendi PositionLeft field
Player2. Mookie Betts PositionRight field
Player3. J.D. Martinez PositionDesignated hitter
Player4. Xander Bogaerts PositionShortstop
Player5. Mitch Moreland PositionFirst base
Player6. Dustin Pedroia PositionSecond base
Player7. Rafael Devers PositionThird base
Player8. Jackie Bradley Jr. PositionCenter field
Player9. Christian Vazquez PositionCatcher

Pitching

Pitching rotation Throws
Pitching rotationChris Sale ThrowsLeft-hander
Pitching rotationDavid Price ThrowsLeft-hander
Pitching rotationRick Porcello ThrowsRight-hander
Pitching rotationNathan Eovaldi ThrowsLeft-hander
Pitching rotationEduardo Rodriguez ThrowsLeft-hander
Pitching rotationCloser Throws
Pitching rotationMatt Barnes ThrowsRight-hander
Pitching rotationSetup Throws
Pitching rotationRyan Brasier ThrowsRight-hander

2. NEW YORK YANKEES

2018 | 100-62, 2nd in East

Last year in playoffs | 2018

Injuries to ace Luis Severino, who will miss April because of rotator-cuff soreness, and veteran CC Sabathia, who is recovering from right-knee surgery, could force the Yankees to open with youngsters Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German, who have combined to make 18 big league starts, in the rotation. Veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, limited by injuries to 66 games the past two seasons, replaces the injured Didi Gregorious (elbow surgery) in a potent Giancarlo Stanton-led lineup that led the major leagues with 267 homers last season.

2019 New York Yankees

Projected batting order

Player Position
Player1. Aaron Hicks PositionCenter field
Player2. Aaron Judge PositionRight field
Player3. Giancarlo Stanton PositionDesignated hitter
Player4. Gary Sanchez PositionCatcher
Player5. Miguel Andujar PositionThird base
Player6. Luke Voit PositionFirst base
Player7. Troy Tulowitzki PositionShortstop
Player8. Gleyber Torres PositionSecond base
Player9. Brett Gardner PositionLeft field

Pitching

Pitching rotation Throws
Pitching rotationMasahiro Tanaka ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationJames Paxton ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationJ.A. Haap ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationJonathan Loaisiga ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationDomingo German ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationCloser Throws
Pitching rotationAroldis Chapman ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationSetup Throws
Pitching rotationDellin Betances ThrowsRight-handed

3. TAMPA BAY RAYS

2018 | 90-72, 3rd in East

Last year in playoffs | 2013

Manager Kevin Cash, who last season made liberal use of the “opener,” a reliever who starts the game, throws one or two innings and is replaced by a long man, plans to begin the year with a three-man rotation of Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow and two openers. He just might have the bullpen depth to pull it off again. Most of the lineup, with the exception of center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and infielder Daniel Robertson, has turned over, but there are promising young hitters in Austin Meadows and Yandy Diaz.

2019 Tampa Bay Rays

Projected batting order

Player Position
Player1. Austin Meadows PositionRight field
Player2. Tommy Pham PositionLeft field
Player3. Ji-Man Choi PositionFirst base
Player4. Yandy Diaz PositionThird base
Player5. Avisail Garcia PositionDesignated hitter
Player6. Daniel Robertson PositionSecond base
Player7. Willy Adames PositionShortstop
Player8. Kevin Kiermaier PositionCenter field
Player9. Mike Zunino PositionCatcher

Pitching

Pitching rotation Throws
Pitching rotationBlake Snell ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationCharlie Morton ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationTyler Glasnow ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationJose DeLeon ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationRyan Yarbrough ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationCloser Throws
Pitching rotationChaz Roe ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationSetup Throws
Pitching rotationJose Alvarado ThrowsLeft-handed

4. TORONTO BLUE JAYS

2018 | 73-89, 4th in East

Last year in playoffs | 2016

A rib-cage strain will push the big-league debut of 20-year-old Vladimir Guerrero, one of the top power-hitting prospects in baseball, to at least late April, giving the Blue Jays a convenient excuse for delaying the slugger’s start date and pushing his eventual free agency back by a year. The lineup does not appear potent, but if Toronto gets bounce-back years from injury plagued veteran right-handers Matt Shoemaker and Clay Buchholz, the rotation could be good. Kevin Pillar is one of the game’s better defensive center fielders.

2019 Toronto Blue Jays

Projected batting order

Player Position
Player1. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. PositionSecond base
Player2. Brandon Drury PositionThird base
Player3. Justin Smoak PositionFirst base
Player4. Kendrys Morales PositionDesignated hitter
Player5. Randal Grichuk PositionRight field
Player6. Teoscar Hernandez PositionLeft field
Player7. Kevin Pillar PositionCenter field
Player8. Danny Jansen PositionCatcher
Player9. Freddy Galvis PositionShortstop

Pitching

Pitching rotation Throws
Pitching rotationMarcus Stroman ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationAaron Sanchez ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationMatt Shoemaker ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationClayton Richard ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationRyan Borucki ThrowsLeft-handed
Pitching rotationCloser Throws
Pitching rotationKen Giles ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationSetup Throws
Pitching rotationRyan Tepera ThrowsRight-handed

5. BALTIMORE ORIOLES

2018 | 47-115, 5th in East

Last year in playoffs | 2016

Things can’t get much worse for the Orioles, who in 2018 posted the club’s worst record since it moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954. Or can they? First baseman Chris Davis, who has four years and $92-million left on his contract, must rebound from a rock-bottom season in which he batted .168 with a .539 OPS, 16 homers, 49 RBIs and 192 strikeouts. Slugger Mark Trumbo, who had season-ending knee surgery last August and is only three years removed from a 47-homer, 108-RBI season in 2016, needs to stay healthy.

2019 Baltimore Orioles

Projected batting order

Player Position
Player1. Cedric Mullins PositionCenter field
Player2. Jonathan Villar PositionSecond base
Player3. Trey Mancini PositionLeft field
Player4. Mark Trumbo PositionDesignated hitter
Player5. Chris Davis PositionFirst base
Player6. Renato Nunez PositionThird base
Player7. Chance Sisco PositionCatcher
Player8. Joey Rickard PositionRight field
Player9. Richie Martin PositionShortstop

Pitching

Pitching rotation Throws
Pitching rotationAlex Cobb ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationDylan Bundy ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationAndrew Cashner ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationDavid Hess ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationYefry Ramirez ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationCloser Throws
Pitching rotationMychal Givens ThrowsRight-handed
Pitching rotationSetup Throws
Pitching rotationRichard Bleier ThrowsLeft-handed
Advertisement
Advertisement