Via Jayson Stark -
I surveyed one baseball executive in all six divisions, including three who formerly worked for teams in the AL East. I also had Dan Szymborski project records for every team and every division in 2013. Then I did team-by-team, division-by-division power rankings. And, finally, I factored in payrolls, Vegas odds and all sorts of other data. So what’s the answer? Read on. …
#1 – American League East
No, I wasn’t trying to trick you. Check the hard facts:
Projected division record: 434-376, .536 (1st)
Projected record vs. non-division opponents: 244-186, .567 (1st)
Projected 90-win teams: one (Toronto)
Projected .500 or better teams: all five
Vegas rank: 1st
Payroll rank: 1st
Power ranking: 1st
Poll ranking: 1st
So the argument that the AL East is still No. 1 doesn’t require a degree from MIT to comprehend. It’s as basic as a 3-1 fastball: Top to bottom, it’s still the best.
Szymborski is projecting that this will become the second division in the wild-card era (along with the 2005 NL East) in which every team finishes .500 or better.
This means the Yankees are, at least, and 81-win team but not a 90-win team. And, it would not shock me if that was the case in New York this year.