I say part one just because today’s preview is only going to be the AL East. Monday I’ll take a look at the rest of the AL and then hit up the NL on Tuesday.
It all starts Sunday night, Easter Sunday specifically, with the Sox and Yankees at Fenway Park.
The rest of the division is going to be behind the Sox and Yanks. Sure the Rays will stick around till June or so, but they’re not going to be in the dogfight with the Sox and Yanks.
So you have Youk, Pedroia, Scutaro and Beltré for the Sox vs Teixeira, Cano, Jeter and A-Rod for the Yankees. As much as I love Pedroia and Youk, I don’t think the infield as a whole can match up to the Yankees offensively. But that’s OK because Theo is selling the fans on the great defensive team the Sox will field this season.
Cameron, Drew and Jacoby for the Sox vs Brett Gardner/Randy Winn Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson. OK, so neither one really gets your heart pumping. In fact I’d call it a draw in the outfield. They’re both a shade better than OK, but if Cameron continues to build on his hot spring I’ll give the advantage Sox.
V-Mart over Posada. Hands down. Offensively anyways. Posada is probably better defensively even though neither one can throw runners out. Hopefully with a whole spring with the staff V-Mart will have a better ERA with the staff. Advantage Sox.
Big Papi vs Nick Johnson. I’m taking Johnson. I’d love to be wrong and see Papi hit 40 home runs but I think his prime is behind him. Sure Johnson will strike out a lot but the Sox showed interest in him for a reason. Advantage Yanks.
I’m not going through all the names but I give the advantage to the Sox. They have three aces and not a huge drop off when they get to Wake and Buchholz. I just think that the Phil Hughes question mark on the Yankees side along with Pettitte’s age and the possible Burnett injury bug showing it’s head will derail the Yankees starting rotation. Advantage Sox.
Again, not going through all the names but I’m taking the Sox. Even with Papelbon struggling last season he’s still younger than Rivera who could be in his final season with Joba possibly taking the job starting next year. I’m just more confident in the arms in the Sox bullpen. Advantage Sox.
So pitching and defense go with the Sox, but offense to the Yankees by a lot. With that i mind I’m giving the division to the Yankees.
So my AL East preview breaks down like this:
Back Monday with the rest of the AL preview.