March 28, 2014

ESPN Picks Red Sox To Win AL East

ESPN's MLB Preview is here.

AL East
Red Sox    90-72  ---
Rays       89-73    1
Yankees    85-77    5
Orioles    82-80    8
Blue Jays  77-85   13
On the Red Sox:
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN: Turning the page on Boston's 2013 championship and refocusing for 2014 seems completely reflexive for the Red Sox players, given that a strength of Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli et al is to focus on each pitch in each at-bat in each game. They're ready for the next challenge.

David Schoenfield @dschoenfield: The Red Sox led the majors in runs scored in 2013, scoring 57 more runs than the Tigers, but you have to wonder if they will have that caliber of attack again. They must replace Jacoby Ellsbury's offense in center field, whether from Jackie Bradley Jr. or Grady Sizemore, who hasn't played a full season since 2008, and hope that 38-year-old David Ortiz can have another big season and that rookie Xander Bogaerts lives up to the hype. In the rotation, Clay Buchholz was stellar when on the mound and John Lackey had his best season in years. Can they be that effective again? Closer Koji Uehara had one of the most dominant relief seasons ever but has never had completely healthy back-to-back seasons in the majors. Still, Boston's depth in the lineup, bullpen and rotation makes it a solid favorite to return to the postseason.
AL Central: Tigers by 8 over Royals
AL West: A's and Rangers tied, 2 ahead of Angels
NL East: Nationals by 5 over Atlanta
NL Central: Cardinals by 7 over Pirates
NL West: Dodgers by 9 over Giants

ESPN is posting its individual predictions on Sunday.

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