Blue Jays 20 Rays 20 Orioles 2 Yankees 1 Red Sox 0Wild Cards
Rangers 24 Rays 13 Blue Jays 12 A's 11 Angels 10 Yankees 5 Red Sox 4 Orioles 4 Royals 2 Cleveland 1AL Pennant
Tigers 27 Rays 7 Angels 5 Blue Jays 4NL Pennant
Nationals 29 Reds 6 Dodgers 4 Atlanta 4World Series
Tigers 17 Nationals 16 Angels 3 Reds 3 Rays 2 Blue Jays 1 Dodgers 1AL MVP
Trout 14 Cabrera 9 Cano 5 Longoria 4 Bautista 4 Pujols 3 Fielder 2 Beltre 1 Cespedes 1AL Cy Young Award
Verlander 23 Price 5 Darvish 5 Weaver 4 Hernandez 3 Sale 1 Moore 1 Johnson 1AL Rookie of the Year
Wil Myers 12 Jurickson Profar 11 Jackie Bradley, Jr. 5 Aaron Hicks 4 Bruce Rondon 3 Leonys Martin 3 Allen Webster 1 Chris Archer 1 Kevin Gausman 1 Trevor Bauer 1 Dylan Bundy 1Looking at ESPN's AL East preview, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Yankees are picked to finish fourth. The bad news? Boston is fifth.
93 wins if ... New manager John Farrell mends clubhouse relations, a revitalized Jon Lester and a revamped pen (Joel Hanrahan and Koji Uehara averaged 10-plus K/9 in 2012) form the pitching core, and Will Middlebrooks' bat provides pop.Here are the projected East standings using ESPN's Dan Szymborski's "ZiPS projection system, in which seasons are simulated a million times using a Monte Carlo method":
79 wins if ... The changes aren't enough, Mike Napoli's injury woes continue, Shane Victorino's .245 BA in L.A. doesn't improve, and Ryan Dempster doesn't enjoy the AL East.
Unpredictability score -- 1.49: Boston did a mini-rebuilding job in hopes of competing again in 2013, but pitching was the big problem. If Lester and Clay Buchholz don't return to form at the top of the rotation, the winter additions will have been for naught.
Rays 10 Blue Jays 6 Orioles 3 Red Sox 1 Yankees 0Wild Cards
Rangers 10 Blue Jays 7 Rays 4 A's 4 Angels 3 Yankees 3 Red Sox 2 White Sox 2 Orioles 2 Royals 2 Cleveland 1AL Pennant
Tigers 13 Rays 4 Angels 3World Series
Nationals 9 Tigers 5 Angels 3 Rays 1 Dodgers 1 Reds 1
Red Sox: 5th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 5th Yankees: 3rd, 5th, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rdThe Providence Journal's three baseball writers' picks:
Red Sox: 3rd, 3rd, 5th Yankees: 4th, 4th, 2ndAlso: Jayson Stark asked "18 executives and scouts to nominate their baseball Elite Eight -- the eight teams with the best shot to win this year's World Series":
Fifteen different teams got votes. ... You know this is shaping up to be an all-time crazy season when the Red Sox get zero votes and the Yankees only get one. I remind you we've never had a season in the wild-card era where both of those teams missed the postseason. Obviously, people across the sport now believe that's more than just possible. It's likely.