Overview of the other sections: National West – National Central – National East – American West – American Central.
I turn now to the analysis of the Eastern division in the American. Will this be the year of the Toronto Blue Jays?
1. Toronto Blue Jays
A busy winter for the Blue Jays with the departure of Cy-Young Trophy winner Robbie Ray, the excellent Marcus Semien, Stephen Matz and Corey Dickerson, all of whom became free agents.
The Jays also traded Randal Grichuk to the Rockies and Reese McGuire to the White Sox.
In order to ensure that the hearts of the team, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, were properly surrounded, Toronto signed Kevin Gausmen, Yusei Kikuchi and Yimi Garcia, and they obtained Matt Chapman, Raimel Tapia and Zach Collins.
The addition of Matt Chapman is huge. A Golden Glove at third base, he will definitely improve the left side of the infield. His offensive contribution will be just as important since on the one hand, he will not be asked to be the 3and or 4and batting role, so less pressure, but in addition, he will play half of his games in Toronto in a stadium more favorable to hitters, and more profitable than in Oakland.
George Springer will start the season in good health which is very encouraging and will strike in the front row of a formidable formation. I also have confidence that Cavan Biggio can bounce back this year and contribute to the team’s success.
Kevin Gausman also solidifies a more than respectable starting rotation. José Berrios will be the number one starter, followed by Gausman and Hyun Jin Ryu. The latter did not have the desired season last year and we seem confident in the team’s entourage that he will be up to it this season. Alek Manoah has been excellent in his first season and Yusei Kikuchi will complete the rotation.
The Jays enter the 2022 season with much more stability in relief. Jordan Romano is the late game reliever and then several options are available to Charlie Montoyo including Yimi Garcia to set the table.
The question is, what will we do with Nate Pearson? Will he be used as a starter, as a reliever? Will he be part of the team on April 7? The quality of his arm is unquestionable and if he is found a role and he excels in it, Pearson could have a major impact on his team’s success.
At the start of the season, the Jays are equipped to go very far in 2022.
2. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox caused a nice surprise in 2021 with a 92-70 record when expectations were rather low.
Kyle Schwarber, Eduardo Rodriguez, Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Danny Santana and Hunter Renfroe who were from the 2021 edition are no longer with the Red Sox in 2022. They welcome for this season, veteran Rich Hill, Michael Wacha , James Paxton, Trevor Story and Jackie Bradley Jr for a second stint with the team. Story is obviously the key player who comes to give an even more formidable formation in attack.
Kiké Hernandez proved his true worth last year, Raphael Devers who is possibly the most underrated player in baseball, Xander Bogearts, JD Martinez, Story, Alex Verdugo, Bobby Dolbec…no doubt the offense will produce.
On the mound, it’s obvious the injury to Chris Sale isn’t going well. But a trio of starters who can do a more than honest job that includes Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta and Tanner Houck. Afterwards, it’s a bit like heads or tails?
What kind of return will we get from Hill and Wacha? James Paxton will start the season on the 60-day injured list. In relief, not sure yet who will be used to finish the games, but I have a fondness for Garrett Whitlock. Matt Barnes and Jake Diekman can also play this role.
The Red Sox have not been the most spectacular team this winter in terms of acquisitions, but the addition of Story allows them to have a formidable offense. Alex Cora seems to be working miracles with this team and despite higher expectations in 2022, I have a feeling we’re going to sing “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway Park on a regular basis with more enthusiasm in the 8and some.
This team is missing pieces to lead the division after 162 games, but the Red Sox will be in the race until the end and the important thing for them will be to secure a place in the playoffs.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
Once again, the Rays have demonstrated in 2021 that the creativity of this organization is incredibly effective and gives fabulous results. A record of 100 wins!
True to form, the Rays went through an array of changes, including the departures of Joey Wendle, Jordan Luplow, Mike Brosseau, Nelson Cruz, Chaz Roe, Chris Archer, David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Colin McHugh, Michael Wacha in addition to Austin Meadows just recently.
Corey Kluber was the biggest acquisition, followed by outfielder Harold Ramirez and Brooks Riley. Unfortunately, Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz, Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks will all start the season on the injured list, but once back will give the team a serious boost.
In attack, no real change, except that Wander Franco will have a little more experience. An offense that scored the most points in their division in 2021, more than the Jays. With a differential of +202, there is no doubting their ability to score points. A mix of speed, power and very athletic players.
On the mound, Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen are expected to be starters one and two with veteran Corey Kluber coming in next. Ryan Yarbrough and Luis Patino complete the rotation. That being said, there is always the option of a game opener with relievers, the Rays are no surprise. In relief, the manager Kevin Cash likes to juggle his relievers, but I have the impression that Andrew Kittred ge will be the late reliever, but the options are very real with JT Chargois and JP Feyereisen.
The eternal question with the Rays is whether this way of doing things will continue to produce? The creativity and audacity of the Rays have proven themselves. However, playing in the American League East Division brings its own set of challenges and the Rays have always overcome them.
But since I don’t have a crystal ball and it’s all just a game, I feel like it might be a little more difficult this year. That being said, I expect an extremely tight ranking between the top four teams.
4. New York Yankees
The Yankees have made some changes for the 2022 season. Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, Corey Kluber, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Wade, Rougned Odor, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Darren O’Day and Adrew Heaney among others are no longer with the Yankees. ‘team.
We will have a new right side of the infield with Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Not yet certain of the use of DJ LeMahieu, but everything suggests that he will be the reserve of luxury. Anthony Rizzo is back at first base and Kyle Higashioka will be the number one receiver for now and will be backed up by Jose Trevino.
The attacking role will be all-powerful with Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Rizzo and Donaldson. However, there are a few questions to ask. Gleyber Torres’ performance has been inconsistent for two seasons with a considerable drop in power. Aaron Hicks will be back after nearly a year away, can he bounce back? What about Donaldson’s health? Can he play 145 games? Joey Gallo hasn’t fully adjusted to playing in New York yet. Will he? And if Judge does not sign a contract extension before the start as he wishes, will he be bothered by this situation?
On the mound, we can rely on Gerrit Cole who, despite a slightly more difficult end to the season, is still among the best starters in baseball. The sequel could be excellent or it could be ordinary. I think Luis Severino will come back in great shape, having only pitched 18 innings in the last three years. However, can he regain his place and start 30 games?
Jordan Montgomery showed great things last year and everything indicates that it could continue in 2022. I know that the win/loss stat is not the best to evaluate a pitcher, but despite 30 starts last year, Montgomery has only won 6 games.
Jameson Taillon still has the potential to be a great starter, but injuries have held him back. Can he start more than 25 games? Wish him! Nestor Cortes was a pleasant surprise late in the season last year and could be an important part of the rotation, especially knowing Severino and Taillon’s injury history. Domingo German will start the season on the 60-day injured list.
Aroldis Chapman will be in his position and will be supported by the excellent Jonathan Loaisiga who became a real force in the Yankees bullpen late in the game. The depth of the Yankees’ relief will once again be a great strength for the team, despite the absence of Zach Britton. However, as mentioned, the difference in performance between the Jays, Red Sox, Ray and Yankees will be quite small which would indicate that a team that wins 88/90 games could finish in 4and division rank.
5. Baltimore Orioles
Very difficult situation in Baltimore. Long a top organization with a history of great players and great teams, but slow to compete with teams in its division.
It’s not easy either to fight with the four big teams in the Eastern Division, and the way to get there is to build with young people. It’s unfortunate that the team’s main prospect, receiver Adley Rutschman, can’t start the season due to injury. However, the Orioles can count on excellent center fielder Cedric Mullins and first baseman and 2015 Orioles first-round pick Ryan Mountcastle.
Anthony Santander, Trey Mancini and Austin Hayes will be the point producers in the roster’s core. The first five batters have the potential to hit 25+ home runs. Of the regular offensive role, only receiver Robinson Chirinos (37) is over 30 years old. Rougned Odor will be the team’s starting second baseman.
On the mound, John Means will be the number one starter, having a 3.62 ERA in 26 starts last year. Taking into account the Orioles stadium at Candem Yards, it’s a feat. Moreover, the fences will be further away this year in Baltimore which should help the cause of the rest of the rotation which includes Jordan Lyles, Tyler Wells, Bruce Zimmermann and Keegan Akin. In relief, there seems to be a trio of relievers to save games: Dillon Tate, Jorge Lopez and Paul Fry.
The good news is that the organization’s up-and-coming players two and three are knocking on the door of the majors, pitchers Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall. The Orioles will have no choice but to grow if they just want to give teams in their division some resistance. Next year the schedule will be different. There will be fewer games against teams in the same division which will give the Orioles a better chance of playing for .500
Prediction for 2022
- Red Sox (among 3 teams drafted for playoffs)
- Rays (among 3 teams drafted for playoffs)