Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 American League East Preview

Well it's time for baseball season shortly and Sports Blogging Network or SBN for short is ready to start their 2012 MLB baseball previews. Today, we will look at the 2012 American League East which should shape into one exciting race before all is said and done for the 2012 season.

Baltimore Orioles: 2011: 69-93, fifth place, 28 GB, scored 4.37 R/G (seventh in AL), allowed 5.31 R/G (14th in AL)

Key losses: Vladimir Guerrero (DH), Luke Scott (OF/DH), Jeremy Gutherie (SP

Key gains: Wilson Betemit (IF), Endy Chavez (OF)

The Baltimore Orioles have been in the basement for a long time and for Oriole fans that will not change this season either it looks like. Now with the bad news out of the way the Baltimore Orioles are getting better. Catcher Matt Wieters is an up and coming star for the Orioles and should be around for a long time to come. The Orioles pitching is not good and the they just give up to many runs to compete in this division. Another long season for Oriole fans, but better days are ahead for them.

Toronto Blue Jays: 2011: 81-81, 16 GB, Scored 4.59 R/G (fifth in AL), allowed 4.70 R/G (11th in AL)

Key Losses: Jose Molina (C)

Key Gains: Francisco Rodriguez (RP), Colby Rasmus (OF, midseason last year)

Toronto is a ball club that you can count on to get you 80 plus wins a year. It seems every year they start out well only to fade down the stretch. The Jays never can seem to get over the hump and 2012 will probably be the same way for them. The Jays do have the best hitter in the game Jose Bautista, the American League’s best shortstop Yunel Escobar, but their downfall will be pitching. The Jays can never get enough consistent pitching throughout the year to be a factor.

Tampa Bay Rays: 91-71, 6 GB, scored 4.36 R/G (eighth in AL), allowed 3.79 R/G (first in AL)

Key losses: Johnny Damon (DH), John Jaso (C), Casey Kotchman (1B)

Key gains: Josh Lueke (RP), Luke Scott (OF/DH), Carlos Pena (1B), Jose Molina (C)

Tampa Bay maybe the best run club in the all of MLB. I have never seen a ball team get the most out of their players year after year. It seems no matter who they add to their roster they perform. The Rays are a team that could surprise people in 2012. Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson won the Rookie of the Year award last year, going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA and they will need similar numbers from him. The Rays have young players (Longoria, Zobrist, Shields and recently, Matt Moore) locked up long term so they will be around the top for some time. The Rays should give the top two teams in this division a tough way to go.

Boston Red Sox: 90-72, 7 GB, scored 5.40 R/G (first in AL), allowed 4.55 R/G (ninth in AL)

Key losses: Jonathon Papelbon (RP), Marco Scutaro (SS), Tim Wakefield (SP/RP), Jason Varitek (C)

Key gains: Andrew Bailey (RP), Cody Ross (OF)

The Boston Red Sox would like to forget the end of the 2011 season. They lost their manager and many things were going on behind the scenes that were not on the positive level. Bobby Valentine now takes control of the ship and he will get things done the right way. Boston brings back a good nucleus and can battle for the division title with the Rays and Yankees. The Red Sox chances could all hinge on how well they adapt to how Valentine runs the team.

New York Yankees: 97-65, first place, scored 5.35 R/G (second in AL), allowed 4.06 R/G (third in AL)

Key losses: Jorge Posada (C/DH), AJ Burnett (SP), Bartolo Colon (SP)

Key gains: Hiroki Kuroda (SP), Michael Pineda (SP), Raul Ibanez (OF/DH)

The New York Yankees are getting older, but that does not mean they won't be a big factor in the American League East. The Yankees are back and they need a similar performance from all of their players to repeat as American East League CHamps. Getting Andy Pettitte recently should be a big help to them as well.

2012 American league East Predictions

1. Yankees
2. Red Sox
3. Rays
4. Jays
5. Orioles

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