HomeTrending MLB NewsAL East preview: Yankees should rise in powerhouse division

AL East preview: Yankees should rise in powerhouse division

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The AL East may be the best division in the majors, with four teams having a legitimate chance at a playoff berth. 

Per FanGraphs, the Yankees, Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays have a 48% chance or greater of reaching the postseason, a mark no other division can approach. Even the Red Sox, the last-place team in the FansGraphs projections, have a 25.8% chance at making the playoffs. 

Here’s how we think the AL East will shake out. (Last season’s record and standing are in parentheses.)

1. New York Yankees (82-80, fourth)

The Yankees had one of their better offseasons in recent history, including the addition of left fielder Juan Soto as part of a complete makeover of their outfield. 

Outfielder Trent Grisham, acquired as part of the Soto deal with San Diego, and right fielder Alex Verdugo provide the Yankees with far more depth than they have had in recent years. Plus, the addition of Marcus Stroman gives New York another dependable starter in the rotation. 

The Yankees have questions, especially with starters Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, but they have improved enough to be favorites in the division.

2. Baltimore Orioles (101-61, first)

The Orioles would have been the favorites until a brutal series of injuries hit their rotation. 

Baltimore lost starter Kyle Bradish to a sprained UCL and John Means is a month behind in his throwing program. Bradish, attempting to use rest and rehab to return this year, is throwing pain-free from flat ground but still has a long way to go. 

Closer Felix Bautista, lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery, was replaced by Craig Kimbrel, a drastic downgrade in the ninth inning. Meanwhile, Corbin Burnes, acquired to be the top-of-the-rotation arm, may be one-and-done after 2024 with the Orioles.  

The lineup is good enough to make up for the pitching issues and the Orioles should be a playoff team, but a step back is to be expected.

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