The AL East will be dominated by one team this season. The New York Yankees.
The Red Sox lost the offensive power to even stay close with the Yanks when they let Jason Bay walk this off season. And 37 year old, Mike Cameron is not going to be able to put up the same numbers he had in the NL last season, let alone come close to Bay's numbers.
So who else do the Red Sox sign to help their offense? Adrian Beltre, who hit a total of eight home runs for the Mariners a year ago, and was plagued by injuries. He is also prone to strikeout a ton, he's got over 600 more strikeouts in his career than walks, including last years 19 BB to 74 K's.
And some of their other players are getting old and aren't hitting like they used to. Namely David Ortiz, he's struggled through huge slumps the last two seasons, and as a result his power numbers are down and his batting average has fallen from .332 in 2007 to .238 in 2009.
J.D. Drew is always fighting through injuries, Jason Varitek can't even barely hit .200 and has been replaced. So they really only have two strong hitters that they can rely on, who are Youkilis and Victor Martinez.
The Yankees have the best offense in the Majors with a stacked lineup that blows everyone else out of the water. the Bombers led the Majors in almost every offensive category there was last season, and look in great shape to do it again, with Curtis Granderson coming over as well as Nick Johnson and the pending arrival of the Jesus Montero.
Pitching is a bit closer than the offensive side of the ball, and the Red Sox are banking on their staff to keep them in contention. They did add John Lackey this off season, who is a solid number three starter in their rotation. But what Clay Buchholz will we see this season, can Tim Wakefield stay healthy and still be a quality starter, and will Matsuzaka stay healthy and be consistent.
The Yanks added Javy Vazquez to bolster their staff, and he is the perfect number four guy, he eats a lot of innings and strikes out batters. But, just like the Sox, they have some questions as well, mainly who is going to be their fifth starter? Joba or Hughes, my prediction is that it will be Joba, because he doesn't have an innings limit.
As for the Bullpen, the check mark has to go with the Yankees. Rivera, Aceves, Robertson, Hughes or Joba, Melancon, Marte, it's just too much for the Red Sox to compete with.
The Yankees clearly have the upper hand heading into the season, we will have to see if it pans out this way though. That's why they play the game.
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