I think the Rays are better than literally every other AL team besides those two, but this year, I can't see three playoff teams emerging from such a brutally difficult division with four good clubs (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Jays) stealing wins from each other all season. I'm expecting Tampa to win roughly 90 games while the improved Angels take advantage of a weak inter-division schedule and swipe the final playoff spot with around 92.
i'd pick tampa over the red sox, and that's as a red sox fan.
I've gone back and forth on which is better throughout the offseason. My mind keeps returning to the fact that the Sox were an incredible team last year aside from early April and September's collapse, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt entering this season.
Rays rotation is filthy. Moore is so sick, Price should improve on last year, Shields is a tank, Hellicksons BABIP should level off, and Niemann or Davis as a five is a great problem to have. When Niemanns curve is on, its money.
Yanks rotation has improved. Can eat some innings where they might see a few batters regress so they'll level off. Always have a few bats that cause fits. Bullpen still in good shape, bench players are solid.
Sox rotation has huge question marks, Gonzalez not quite as likely to put up same numbers as last year.
Jays are the "who knows" here. Solid roster, not great but enough to also ruin someones year. Should be seriously entertaining to watch.
The Jays had an 81-81 record last year with one of the worst closers (well, two closers) in baseball. I think the bullpen had 25 blown saves. No way the number comes close to that this year since the Jays have one of the best pens in all of baseball.