'Duk: Death, taxes and the Yankees getting the annual chance to roll the pitching dice in playoffs! While I've admittedly waffled all offseason about who would get my top spot in the AL East, I keep coming back to the Yankees after trying to assemble season-long cases for the Red Sox and Rays.Predicted Order of Finish
Brown: Oh, the Red Sox have no chance. Not "no chance" in the actual or even Coolstandings sense. But if I were betting my own money, I'd say the Rays would be a 60-40 probability, conservatively, to finish ahead of them in the standings. ... They're either too beat up or too fragile. They have too many mediocre players in prominent roles. Who is catching, who is playing shortstop? ... I like Bobby Valentine for entertainment value, but this is going to be a challenge for him to manage — fried chicken and beer bans notwithstanding. ... [Y]ou need 25 guys, or 30 guys, to make it out of the AL East wilderness. The Red Sox have about 15, maybe 20.
'Duk: Wait a minute. You're not OK with their plan to shore up their rotation which — last I checked — included rolling the dice on Daniel Bard's conversion from the bullpen and waiting around to see if Dice-K will be able to contribute anything (he won't)? While I think you're short-changing that lineup, I agree that the sources of consistent pitching are few and far between. It'll be their downfall again.
'Duk: Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles Brown: Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, Red Sox, OriolesAL East MVP
'Duk: Robinson Cano, Yankees Brown: Jose Bautista, Blue JaysAL East Cy Young
'Duk: David Price, Rays Brown: Matt Moore, Rays