Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB Preview – Day 6 – AL East

Welcome to the Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB preview. Over the next few days you will get a team by team look at its key players, new faces, their potential MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year candidates, their possible starting lineup and rotation as well as a quick summary.

SOX & Dawgs 2015 MLB Preview - AL EastWe will also select a MVP candidate and Cy Young candidate for each team no matter what their predicted team outcome is.

And once again this year is some home stadium information along with dates the teams will play against the Boston Red Sox. The red shaded games are at Fenway; the blue shaded games are road games.

I hope you enjoy this look at the upcoming season.

Yesterday we looked at the NL East, Sunday was the NL West, Monday was the AL West, Tuesday we previewed the NL Central, Wednesday we took a trip around the AL Central and today it’s the AL East.

American League East

Last season Baltimore ran away and hid from the rest of the AL East winning the division by 12 games over New York. The biggest surprises in the division last year were the failures of Tampa Bay and Boston, who was playing as the defending World Series champions. I have Baltimore taking the flag for the second year in a row and making the playoffs for the third time under Buck Showalter. Boston has a resurgence after a terrible year, Toronto and New York will fight for the middle and Tampa Bay will struggle mightily.

  1. Baltimore – Manager: Buck Showalter (6th year/17th overall)

The Orioles were one of baseball’s elite last year and many had them ticketed for the World Series after a sweep of the Tigers in the ALCS but then they ran into the Royals in the ALCS and were swept. They didn’t do much in the offseason and they will not have the win total of last year but I expect them to repeat as division champs and should be challenged by Boston and possibly Toronto.

C Matt Wieters is questionable for the start of the season and may start on the DL.

Projected Record: 90-72

Home Field: Oriole Park at Camden Yards; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 1992; Capacity: 45,971

2014 Attendance: 2,464,473 (6th in A.L.)

Key Players: CF Adam Jones; 3B Manny Machado; C Matt Wieters; 1B/DH Chris Davis; SP Chris Tillman

MVP Candidate: CF Adam Jones

Cy Young Candidate: SP Chris Tillman

ROY Candidate: 1B/DH Christian Walker

Key Additions: OF Travis Snider; IF Everth Cabrera; C Ryan Lavarnway; RP Wesley Wright; IF Paul Janish; IF Rey Navarro

Possible lineup:

  1. DeAza LF
  2. Machado 3B
  3. Jones CF
  4. Weiters C
  5. Davis 1B
  6. Young DH
  7. Snider RF
  8. Hardy SS
  9. Schoop 2B

Adjusted lineup:

  1. DeAza LF
  2. Machado 3B
  3. Jones CF
  4. Davis 1B
  5. Young DH
  6. Snider RF
  7. Hardy SS
  8. Joseph C
  9. Schoop 2B

Possible rotation:

  1. Tillman
  2. Jimenez
  3. Chen
  4. Norris
  5. Gausman

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 17-20; April 24-26; June 9-11; June 23-25; September 14-16; September 25-27

  1. Boston – Manager John Farrell (3rd year/5th Overall)

After winning the World Series in 2013 the Red Sox finished last in the division for the second time in three seasons. When you combine that will the September 2011 collapse who are the real Red Sox? Are they the team who is floundering with young guys in key spots or are they the veteran championship pedigree team? There were tons of moves in Fens this offseason. The lineup and more so, the rotation were totally reworked and the bullpen was tweaked as Ben Cherington heads into the season hoping he has a team to contend.

Projected Record: 88-74

Home Field: Fenway Park; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 1912; Capacity: 37,071 (day) and 37,499 (night)

2014 Attendance: 2,956,089 (3rd in A.L.)

Key Players: 2B Dustin Pedroia; DH David Ortiz; 3B Pablo Sandoval; LF Hanley Ramirez; SP Rick Porcello

MVP Candidate: 2B Dustin Pedroia

Cy Young Candidate: SP Rick Porcello

ROY Candidate: CF Rusney Castillo

Key Additions: LF Hanley Ramirez; 3B Pablo Sandoval; C Ryan Hanigan; SP Rick Porcello; SP Wade Miley; SP Justin Masterson; RP Anthony Varvaro; RP Robbie Ross; RP Alexi Ogando

Possible lineup:

  1. Betts RF
  2. Pedroia 2B
  3. Ortiz DH
  4. Ramirez LF
  5. Sandoval 3B
  6. Napoli 1B
  7. Bogaerts SS
  8. Castillo CF
  9. Vazquez C

Possible rotation:

  1. Buchholz
  2. Porcello
  3. Miley
  4. Kelly
  5. Masterson

Season Opening Day Monday April 6 at Philadelphia 3:05 p.m.

Home Opening Day Monday April 13 vs. Washington 3:05 p.m.

  1. Toronto – Manager: John Gibbons (3rd year/8th Overall)

The Blue Jays made some moves to better their everyday lineup by signing FA C Russell Martin and trading for LF Michael Saunders and 3B Josh Donaldson.  Toronto could contend in the East if they can stay away from the injuries that seem to derail them.  They could still use some lineup help at DH and possibly in CF but the rotation and bullpen look solid.

LF Michael Saunders (knee) is projected to miss half the season.  SP Marcus Stroman will miss the season with a torn ACL.

Projected Record: 82-80

Home Field: Rogers Centre; Playing Surface: turf/retractable roof; Opened: 1989; Capacity: 49,282

2014 Attendance: 2,375,525 (7th in A.L.)

Key Players: RF Jose Bautista; SS Jose Reyes; SP R.A. Dickey; 1B Edwin Encarnacion; 3B Josh Donaldson

MVP Candidate: RF Jose Bautista

Cy Young Candidate: SP R.A. Dickey

ROY Candidate: SP Aaron Sanchez

Key Additions: C Russell Martin; 3B Josh Donaldson; LF Michael Saunders; RP Marco Estrada; RP Scott Barnes; 1B/OF Chris Colabello; 1B Daric Barton; IF/OF Jake Fox; OF Ryan Kalish; SP Johan Santana; OF Dayan Viciedo

Possible lineup:

  1. Reyes SS
  2. Izturis 2B
  3. Bautista RF
  4. Encarnacion 1B
  5. Donaldson 3B
  6. R. Martin C
  7. Saunders LF
  8. D. Navarro DH
  9. Pompey CF

Adjusted lineup:

  1. Reyes SS
  2. Izturis 2B
  3. Bautista RF
  4. Encarnacion 1B
  5. Donaldson 3B
  6. R. Martin C
  7. D. Navarro DH
  8. Viciedo LF
  9. Pompey CF

Possible rotation:

  1. Dickey
  2. Buehrle
  3. Stroman
  4. Hutchinson
  5. Aa. Sanchez

Possible rotation:

  1. Dickey
  2. Buehrle
  3. Hutchinson
  4. Aa. Sanchez
  5. Norris

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 27-29; May 8-10; June 12-14; June 29-July 2; September 7-9; September 18-20

  1. New York – Manager Joe Girardi (8th year/11th overall)

I have the Yankees at .500 in 2015 as they have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Are C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka healthy? Can Nathan Eovaldi take the next step under New York pressure? Was that the real Chris Capuano last year? The lineup is very un-Yankee like with questions about who hits in the 3-4-5 slots and little to no offense expected from Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius. The bullpen may have the fewest questions and should be a strong point for them.

SP Ivan Nova may miss at least half of the season.

Projected Record: 81-81

Home Field: Yankee Stadium III; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2009; Capacity: 50,291

2014 Attendance: 3,401,624 (1st in A.L.)

Key Players: CF Jacoby Ellsbury; SP Masahiro Tanaka; C Brian McCann; LF Brett Gardner; SS Didi Gregorius

MVP Candidate: CF Jacoby Ellsbury

Cy Young Candidate: SP Masahiro Tanaka

ROY Candidate: RP Jacob Lindgren

Key Additions: DH/1B Garrett Jones; SS Didi Gregorius; SP Nathan Eovaldi; RP Andrew Miller; RP Justin Wilson; RP Johnny Barbato; RP David Carpenter

Possible lineup:

  1. Ellsbury CF
  2. Gardner LF
  3. McCann C
  4. Teixeira 1B
  5. Beltran RF
  6. Headley 3B
  7. Jones DH
  8. Drew 2B
  9. Gregorius SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Sabathia
  2. Tanaka
  3. Pineda
  4. Eovaldi
  5. Nova

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Sabathia
  2. Tanaka
  3. Pineda
  4. Eovaldi
  5. Capuano

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 10-12; May 1-3; July 7-12; August 4-6; August 31-September 2; September 28-October 1

  1. Tampa Bay – Manager Kevin Cash (1st year)

Since the 2014 trade deadline there have been a lot of changes in Tampa Bay. Many feel they got fleeced by Detroit in the David Price deal, they lost GM Andrew Friedman to the Dodgers, manager Joe Maddon to the Cubs and traded Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce and Wil Myers and not everyone they brought in matches with what they gave up. Former catcher Kevin Cash, takes over the team and his first season doesn’t look to be very pretty but they’re hoping in a couple years they can be back to near where they have been the last 5-7 years.

SP Drew Smyly (shoulder) and SP ALex Cobb (forearm) are expected to possibly miss the 2-4 weeks of the season.  SP Matt Moore is expected to miss half the season or more and RP Jake McGee will probably start the season the DL.

Projected Record: 72-90

Home Field: Tropicana Field; Playing Surface: turf/domed stadium; Opened: 1990;

Capacity: 34,078

2014 Attendance: 1,446,464 (14th in A.L.)

Key Players: 3B Evan Longoria; 2B/SS Asdrubal Cabrera; CF Desmond Jennings; RF Kevin Kiermeyer; SP Alex Cobb

MVP Candidate: 3B Evan Longoria

Cy Young Candidate: SP Alex Cobb

ROY Candidate: LF Steven Souza

Key Additions: Mgr. Kevin Cash; 2B/SS Asdrubal Cabrera; LF Steven Souza; C Rene Rivera; RP Kevin Jepsen; RP Ernesto Frieri; RP Jose Dominguez; C John Jaso; SP Burch Smith

Possible lineup:

  1. D. Jennings CF
  2. DeJesus DH
  3. Longoria 3B
  4. Loney 1B
  5. Souza LF
  6. Kiermeyer RF
  7. A. Cabrera SS
  8. R. Rivera C
  9. Franklin 2B

Possible rotation:

  1. Cobb
  2. Moore
  3. Archer
  4. Smyly
  5. Odorizzi

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Archer
  2. Odorizzi
  3. Colome
  4. Karns
  5. Smith

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 21-23; May 4-6; June 26-28; July 31-August 2; September 11-13; September 21-24

Tomorrow, in our final day, we will look at the big winners in 2015.

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