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AL East Preview and Prediction: The Best Division in Baseball?

Publish Date: 03/28/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

AL East Predictions

Once again, the Yankees are the favorites to win the AL East in 2023. New York won the division in 2022 as it ended one win short of 100 wins, while Toronto finished 2nd and Tampa Bay took third. All three teams made the postseason; although the Orioles didn’t, they battled hard for a Wild Card spot until the very last day. And finally, Boston Red Sox fans had another disappointing and discouraging year in 2022 that left them with little hope for success moving forward.

Odds to win the AL East in 2023

New York Yankees +125

Toronto Blue Jays +205

Tampa Bay Rays +340

Boston Red Sox +1500

Baltimore Orioles +2500


5) Boston Red Sox

The AL East is the strongest division in baseball, as three teams from it made the playoffs last year, and I anticipate 3 having a record good enough for postseason play in 2023, and the orioles could once again challenge until late for a wild card spot. The only team I don’t see making a run at the postseason is Boston, who is in a slight rebuild after losing numerous vital pieces this offseason. Their offense took a step down with Bogaerts and Martinez gone, while their starting rotation lost both its best pitchers from last season. Boston did improve on their bullpen last year, but having an all-star closer doesn’t make much difference when you’re not winning games!

In 2023, the starting rotation will be their biggest obstacle, likely preventing them from making a playoff push. With slim odds of finishing with a better record than the Yankees, Blue Jays or Rays, that leaves just the Orioles to contend for a place in the AL East standings. While Boston may be entering into a rebuilding phase, Baltimore just came out of one. So while I don’t predict Boston to win 80 games this season, that should put them near the bottom of the standings. Predicted win total 77

Video: Boston Red Sox 2023 Outlook

Boston Red Sox 2023 Outlook

4) Baltimore Orioles

Last season, the Orioles proved they wouldn’t quit until it was officially over. While they fell short of their ultimate goal of a postseason berth, their second half provided hope for a better year in 2023. One weakness from 2022 was starting pitcher John Means’ absence due to Tommy John surgery; thus, Baltimore looked towards free-agent signings Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin to fill his spot. Along with Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish, top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is expected to have an impact on Baltimore in 2023 as well.

On offense, their lineup will look familiar, with Adam Frazier as the sole new face. After struggling in Seattle and succeeding at Pittsburgh, this utility man brings plenty of experience to Baltimore’s lineup; Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Santander offer plenty of potential but must contend with AL East rivals that could prove too formidable to pass up. Baltimore should finish 4th place in their division ahead of the Red Sox. Predicted Win Total 85

Video: The Baltimore Orioles Are About To Be A HUGE Problem...

The Baltimore Orioles Are About To Be A HUGE Problem…

3) Tampa Bay Rays

Randy Arozarena was the star of Mexico’s team during the World Baseball Classic, hitting almost.500 but falling one game short of reaching the Finals. If the Rays can convince him that each regular season game is as important as a World Baseball Classic game, Arozarena can easily be named MVP for 2023. However, going from a sold-out World Baseball Classic game to Tropicana Field will be an audience of approximately 20,000 – so he may notice some difference. As for Tampa Bay’s 2023 season, they were relatively quiet during the offseason, only signing Zach Eflin as their 5th starter. Eflin rounds out an impressive starting rotation that includes Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen; their bullpen should also be excellent with Jason Adam as its star.

At the plate, Tampa Bay’s offense could be formidable if Brandon Lowe recovers from his down year and Wander Franco remains healthy. However, they ranked 21st in runs per game last season, so I don’t anticipate a dramatic improvement in run production this season either. As predicted last season, I anticipate Tampa Bay to earn another Wild Card spot and make another post-season appearance. Predicted Win Total 92

Video: Tampa Bay Rays 2023 MLB Season Preview

Tampa Bay Rays 2023 MLB Season Preview

2) New York Yankees

The 2022 season was exciting for Yankee fans as Aaron Judge broke the American League record for most home runs in a season, Nestor Cortes had an exceptional year, and Clay Holmes cemented himself as one of baseball’s premier closers. Unfortunately, their perfect season was cut short by an epic 4-game sweep by Houston in the ALCS. However, anticipation is high heading into Opening Day 2023: they made a major free-agent splash by signing Carlos Rodon and still possess speedy outfielder Harrison Bader who was acquired at the end of last season.

Unfortunately, both are expected to start the season on the injured list alongside Frankie Montas, Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino. Additionally, Aaron Hicks could potentially play left field; last year, he said he’d have a 30-30 season but instead hit.216 with eight home runs and ten stolen bases. I’m not too worried about the New York pitching staff being without Rodon for some time since they still have Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Domingo German and Cortes, who make up an impressive starting rotation for them. I envision an exciting race between the Yankees and Blue Jays for the AL East title! Predicted Win Total 94

Video: Yankees 2023 Opening Day Lineup Preview

Yankees 2023 Opening Day Lineup Preview

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto’s offense was unstoppable in 2022, and it’s easy to see why. Their lineup featured a potent lineup from top to bottom, with George Springer, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Alejandro Kirk combined to hit an impressive.279. As their lineup averaged the 4th-most runs per game, they only made one move: they acquired prospect Daulton Varsho – a power-hitting outfielder who will benefit from the shift ban. However, they had to part ways with fan favorite Lourdes Gurriel and catching prospect Gabriel Moreno, stuck at Triple-A.

Toronto’s offense was no problem, but their pitching wasn’t great. Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah make for an excellent 1-2 punch, but there’s no reliable 3rd or 4th starter to rely on; Jose Berrios struggled, Yusei Kikuchi was getting shelled, and Mitch White disappointed. To address this weakness, they signed Chris Bassitt to join their rotation alongside Anthony Bass, Adam Cimber, Yimi Garcia and Jordan Romano; hopefully, these new additions can carry the load for Toronto this season! The Blue Jays will squeak by the Yankees and win a very close divisional race. Predicted win total 97

Video: Blue Jays Offseason Recap - is 2023 The Year?

Blue Jays Offseason Recap – is 2023 The Year?

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