Source: (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)

Source: (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)

American League East:

1. New York Yankees

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The Yankees land with the best rotation in this weak pitching division, led by Masahiro Tanaka. Luis Severino showed great promise for 2016, and CC Sabathia is hopefully going to have a bounce back year (even though we always say that, and it never happens), but hey, ya never know! Flamethrower Nathan Eovaldi had 14 wins last season and Micheal Pineda made strides (though he is still inconsistent). New York does not have a great staff all-around, but compared to the rest of the AL East, they have the most upside. There are plenty of question marks with the New York rotation, but if everything plays out in their favor, this could be a solid rotation, and perhaps the most complete group of starters in the division.

2. Boston Red Sox

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The Red Sox are second on this list only because of David Price. After signing Price to a mega-deal, the Sox now have an ace they can lean on during crunch time (except the Postseason) anyway, Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly need to both rebound after 2015 wasn’t so hot. Eduardo Rodriguez is a hit or miss, but is most likely a hit, and Clay Buchholz must stay healthy, in order for Boston to compete, they need Buchholz in this rotation.

3. Tampa Bay Rays

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

Tampa Bay has the potential to be the best staff in the division, but they have to prove it first. Chris Archer started the season off on fire in 2015, and was sought out to be a front-runner for the Cy Young Award, until a bumpy post All-Star break shut down those chances. Except Archer to have another Cy Young type season, but this time, continue it throughout the whole year. Drew Smyly and Matt Moore, are coming off of injuries and will be ready to go in 2016, and Erasmo Ramirez was a pleasant surprise in 2015, it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table next season.

4. Toronto Blue Jays

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

Toronto most certainly has the offense to make up for their pitching, but once David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox, the Jays did not find a replacement. Marcus Stroman will take over the duties of the ace of the staff and coming off an injury, you just hope that he can make it a full season. R.A. Dickey is aging and his success lies on how good his knuckleball is that day. Marco Estrada showed signs of greatness last season and Drew Hutchison averaged 7.7 K/9. The signing of J.A. Happ fills in only some of the hole, if the Jays want to win a World Series, they need a true ace to lead them there. It is still unclear if Stroman is that type of pitcher, but the Blue Jays will find out in 2016.

5. Baltimore Orioles

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The Baltimore Orioles are in need of pitching (sounds like a broken record), to most fans, and the club still has yet to go after that big name talent to take the hill in those crucial games. Ubaldo Jimenez or Chris Tillman, will likely be battling for Opening Day starter, Jimenez had a great first half, but we all knew that wasn’t going to last, and Tillman didn’t have a good year at all, even though we all expected him to improve off an impressive 2014. Kevin Gausman is a very talented young thrower, but he just needs to have that break-out season, Baltimore fans are hoping it’s soon. The O’s still have Dylan Bundy, but coming off a shoulder injury and previously having Tommy John surgery, you just hope for the best.

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About The Author

Matthew has been a baseball fan his entire life. Growing up in Southern Connecticut he emerged as an avid Mets fan. He recently graduated Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. He received a degree in Human Services and Development. Follow him on Twitter @MattyJKozlowski

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