2014-MLB-Baseball-Picks-and-Odds2014 MLB AL East Odds and Predictions – Vegas Odds to Win the American League East Division: The American League East has been without a doubt the toughest division in baseball in recent years. Last year alone, four of the five teams finished above the .500 mark, and the division-winning Boston Sox went on to win the World Series. Meanwhile, three different teams from the division have reached the World Series in the past six years, and the AL East has produced a wild-card team in each of the past seven seasons. Of course, perennial big-spenders New York and Boston help maintain the strength of the division, but the long-time rivals aren’t the only teams in the division capable of making some noise in 2014. With that in mind, here is a closer look at how the AL East stacks up heading into the MLB regular season.

1.      New York Yankees: It may be a temporary fix, but the Yankees added enough firepower in the offseason to get back to the top in the AL East. Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury should seriously bolster a lineup that will also be aided by the return of a healthy Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka will add a much-needed quality arm to a rotation that already has dependable starters CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda.

2.      Boston Red Sox: The defending World Series champs bring back a majority of the key players from their title-winning club from a year ago. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia are the most recognizable names, but Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli are among the other veteran bats returning. Meanwhile, Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts are a couple of young players that could break out in 2014. The real key to a repeat will be whether or not starters Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Jackey and Jake Peavy all have solid years once again. History says at least one of them will have an off year, but the Red Sox should be a playoff contender either way.

3.      Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria is the real deal at the plate, and Wil Myers could be the additional slugger the Rays have been lacking. However, Tampa Bay’s strength is its pitching, and the Rays will go as far as their arms will take them. For the time being, David Price is still around to anchor the rotation, and youngsters Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Chris Archer have all shown a ton of potential and should only get better. Tampa Bay’s bullpen is also strong, and despite the lack of offensive firepower, a wild-card spot is still obtainable.

4.      Baltimore Orioles: The resurgent Orioles will once again have some firepower to work with in 2014. Emerging slugger Chris Davis leads a powerful offense that also features Adam Jones, Matt Weiters and Manny Machado, along with newcomer Nelson Cruz. If offseason signees Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris can deliver on the mound, Baltimore’s rotation could be better this year, as well. Ultimately, the Orioles probably don’t have quite enough pitching, especially in the bullpen, to get over the hump in a tough division. However, they won’t go down without a fight.

5.      Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto enters the 2014 season with the same rebuilt roster that failed to live up to expectations last year. The offense should be stout with the likes of Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera dotting the lineup, but Toronto’s pitching is shaky. R.A. Dickey was up and down in his first year with the Blue Jays, Mark Buehrle isn’t getting any younger, and Brandon Morrow can’t stay healthy. Toronto’s offense is legit, but there just isn’t much margin for error in a loaded division, and the Blue Jays don’t have the arms to compete.

Prseason Odds to win the 2014 AL East Division
Boston Red Sox wins AL East +175
New York Yankees win AL East +300
Tampa Bay Rays win AL East +200
Toronto Blue Jays win AL East +700
Baltimore Orioles win AL East +900

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