Are the winds of change blowing through the American League’s Eastern Division? The days of just rolling out the guaranteed Yankees vs. Red Sox series in September to decide the division title are long gone.
With the additions the Toronto Blue Jays have made in the off-season and the way Buck Showalter has changed around the Orioles – and of course those pesky Tampa Bay Rays, the A.L. East looks to be wide open in 2013.
First off, the Yankees seem to be in trouble. It seems like the injury bug just keeps jumping up in New York, including GM Brian Cashman.
According to the Mar. 4 USA Today, Cashman broke his ankle while skydiving for charity.
That doesn't sound like a good omen, but right now New York fans are more concerned about the on the field injuries that are piling up.
Sure, A-Rod may get booed in every stadium around the league, including the Bronx, but he has been a beast for New York the past five seasons as far as the numbers are concerned. If starting the season minus Rodriguez and Granderson (broken forearm) wasn’t bad enough, having Derek Jeter at less than 100% will put pressure on other players to step up their game. It may get sticky for manager Joe Girardi this summer.
In Toronto, the Blue Jays overhaul has them looking like the team to beat in the A.L. East. The addition of stars like Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey, along with Emilio Bonifacio, utility man Maicer Izturis and former Jays catcher John Buck returning to Toronto after two seasons in Miami, this team could do some damage in 2013.
Buck Showalter knows this season won't be as easy as last season when Baltimore snuck up on teams in 2012, but the Birds should be just as tough in 2013.
The Red Sox will enter their third straight season with a new skipper. The late August trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers has led to many questions of how 2013 will play out.
As for Tampa Bay, well they are the same ole Rays. Never a favorite in the odds makers world yet they have proven odds makers wrong time and time again by plugging in new players and playing good fundamental baseball.
Here is a look at the current odds as of Mar. 4, to win the 2013 A.L. East division, and my prediction of how the division will finish.
Odds to Win the 2013 AL East
- Toronto Blue Jays +160
- New York Yankees +225
- Tampa Bay Rays +350
- Boston Red Sox +550
- Baltimore Orioles +850
2013 A.L. East Prediction
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Baltimore Orioles
- Tampa Bay Rays
- New York Yankees
- Boston Red Sox