April 4, 2015

SB Nation: 2015 Predictions: Red Sox First, Yankees Last

Now, this is a divisional finish I can get behind!
1. Boston Red Sox
2. Baltimore Orioles
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. New York Yankees

1. Boston Red Sox

With the additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, though, the Red Sox have an outstanding, five-deep run in the middle of their lineup that's free of serious red flags. Ramirez, Sandoval, Ortiz, Pedroia, and Mike Napoli aren't locks for anything — never forget that baseball is awful and age is even worse — but they're all proven, reliable hitters. Now if Mookie Betts wants to break out? Sure, come along. Same goes for Bogaerts and Rusney Castillo. Happy to have you. The Red Sox don't have to have them do things they've never done before.

The rotation sure does bring up a lot of questions, though, so this isn't the lock of MLB. Every single pitcher comes with a "yeah, but," and those things can ruin the best-laid plans. Still, the Red Sox have depth upon depth upon depth at almost every position. They should be one of the more watchable teams this year. Other than the four-hour-game part. ...

5. New York Yankees

The Yankees have a rotation that's held together with twine and moist newspaper. CC Sabathia wasn't good last year, and then he missed time with a serious injury. Michael Pineda had serious shoulder problems, and Masahiro Tanaka's throwing ligament is partially torn. It's more likely that all three of them miss chunks of the season than they all make more than 28 starts, so the Yankees would have to figure out how to make pitching stew out of flour and warm Tab if anything went wrong. Ivan Nova and Chris Capuano are already hurt, too.

The lineup is filled with I've-heard-of-them players, but they're all a year older, and Chase Headley isn't enough to save an offense that was comfortably below-average last year. ...
SB's Awards section has me scratching my head: AL MVP: Jacoby Ellsbury & AL Cy Young: Masahiro Tanaka. ?!?! ... In the playoff picks, they have the Red Sox losing to the Angels in the ALCS. ... World Series: Pirates over Angels.

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