The American League East is the hardest division in baseball, which is incredibly exciting and frustrating for every fanbase.
If you’ve followed the AL East for awhile, you’re used to this being the best division in baseball. For years, it was typically a battle between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. However, over the past decade, the Tampa Bay Rays have emerged as one of the favorites every year.
As it currently stands, that same thing is playing out this year.
The Rays were projected to be a playoff team this year, but nobody saw this start from them. They began the year 13-0 and are currently 21-5 entering Friday’s play. With a nearly perfect record at home, the Rays are the best team in baseball.
Despite their inability to spend like the Yankees or Red Sox, they’ve continued to stay competitive and very fun to watch. As a result, let’s take a look at the a bold prediction for each team in the AL East, starting with the Rays.
Bold predictions for each AL East team
Tampa Bay Rays: McClanahan Will Be Cy Young Favorite
After finishing sixth in Cy Young voting, while being named to the All-Star team last season, Shane McClanahan is slowly turning into not only one of the best pitchers in the AL East, but in all of baseball.
The 25-year-old is pitching so well right now that he’ll probably be traded in the offseason for a bunch of prospects and will be offered a $200 million contract by one of the giants. That’s just what seems to be in Tampa Bay. However, before we get there, let’s look at McClanahan’s numbers this season.
In four starts, McClanahan has a 4-0 record, 1.86 ERA, 1.034 WHIP and is averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
Based on his start, my bold prediction is that he’ll emerge as the AL Cy Young favorite after the month of May. He’ll be in tough company, as Gerrit Cole is currently the favorite to win and is pitching amazing so far, but I think McClanahan is just getting started.
He’s turning into a must-watch pitcher every time he steps on the mound.