Major League Baseball Predictions For 2016

Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans reach for autographs prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans reach for autographs prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Major League Baseball
Mar 15, 2016; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

If the American League East were defined by one player, it would be David Price. Heck, the man has already donned every jersey, but the pinstripes and an Oriole. Price makes a return to a league he is familiar with and where he has experienced a wide load of success.

The Red Sox signed him to a very large deal, eclipsing $200 million this offseason with high aspirations of returning to the postseason after enduring a couple of abysmal seasons after their 2013 World Series title. Overpaying for Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the previous offseason did not bode well for John Farrell’s squad, but Price alone may not seal an AL East crown for the Red Sox.

San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants /

San Francisco Giants

The bashers of Toronto, who lost Price, found a way to add depth this offseason and return one of the most lethal lineups since the Steroid era. If health is on their side, Toronto could reclaim its division crown in 2016 by offense alone. As for pitching, the acquistion of Jesse Chavez, re-signing Marco Estrada, and bringing back J.A. Happ may add depth to a Blue Jays rotation who will see a drop in success after a short rental of Price. Marcus Stroman will take over the head of the rotation and fill some big shoes.

Right when doubters write off the Yankees for not signing big free agents or making a well-desired trade by the media, Joe Girardi finds a way to spark his overpaid roster to get into the playoffs. Unfortunate injuries and bad contracts have the Yankees in a tight spot, yet they find a way to get the job done.

The Yankees have some young promising players in Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Rob Refsnyder who have all gotten a taste of the big leagues — or have it close in their sight. A homegrown bunch of these guys would be some of the first since the 1995 group of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada.

The Rays are a young team and when Maddon left, there was no telling how the organization would do. Struggling to fill seats in Tampa Bay, the Rays play all-out as if they had a capacity crowd on a nightly basis. Taking on other teams young guys and producing some of their own, they have surprised. Losing Price, Ben Zobrist, and others in recent years seemed the end of a talented core. But there is still hope in Tampa Bay.

A surprising offseason trade for offense, Corey Dickerson was acquired in exchange for bullpen arm Jake McGee who has battled injury in recent years. Evan Longoria who has looked like he’s been on the decline finally receives some help. And Tampa Bay’s offense received a jolt with a break out performance in 2015 for Logan Forsythe, the former Padres infielder.

The Rays have one of the best young rotations in the game with Chris Archer becoming a legitimate ace, followed by Drew Smyly, Jake Odorizzi, and a healthy Alex Cobb and Matt Moore. In a challenging AL East, Tampa Bay could find a way to creep up in the standing, with a ceiling as high as second, if all the different pieces fit and work out.

And what could be one of the most disappointing clubs in baseball right now, the Baltimore Orioles are looking for a new identity. Consistently providing offense, in recent years, the owner cannot seem to keep players in Baltimore.

Chris Davis tested the free agent waters, but was brought back on a hefty contract. Since 2015, the Orioles have lost Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, Gerardo Parra, and have had top prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman suffer injuries. Also, Matt Wieters cannot get his ailing elbow healthy and there is no consistency in their farm system. The Orioles lost a first round pick to acquire Yovani Gallardo as he had the pick as compensation attached to him. Needless to say the team is desperate.

But if there is a coach who can fix this, Buck Showalter is the guy. He has created ball players out of guys who looked like bench players at best. Caleb Joseph, Jonathan Schoop, and Jimmy Paredes are some of his recent projects. Adam Jones is in his prime and if they want to win a title, they will need to step up and get help from their pitching staff to find their way back into the thick of the American League race.

The AL East has a promising feel to it, and 2016 it is up for grabs.

Prediction –

  1. Blue Jays 93-69
  2. Yankees 88-73
  3. Red Sox 83-81
  4. Rays 80-82
  5. Orioles 76-86

Next: American League Central