Fantasy Baseball Second Half Predictions: AL East


Jul 5, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) is congratulated by first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball is back after taking a break from the regular season to enjoy the festivities of the All-Star break. With the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game behind us, games are finally underway. Here is the final division to predict, the AL East. In case you missed it, here are the predictions for the NL WestAL WestNL CentralAL Central and NL East.

New York Yankees

The way Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are hitting reminds me of the 2009 World Series Season. Those two lead the team in home runs, 22 and 18 respectively. This along with the power surge of Brett Gardner and returning Jacoby Ellsbury can make for a dangerous lineup in the AL East.

Robert Refsnyder could finally be the answer the Yankees were looking for at second base since losing Robinson Cano. He played in just two games before the break, but hit a home run in the second one. He’s hit everywhere he’s played, so pick him up as a middle infielder.

Nathan Eovaldi is pitching well in recent weeks. He has allowed two or fewer earned run in four of his last five starts. That kind of consistency makes him a worthy add in most leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays

The way the Rays play baseball does not translate well for fantasy baseball. Steven Souza leads the team with 15 home runs. Unfortunately, he is in the middle of a DL stint with a hand injury. Evan Longoria is still a top third baseman, but his numbers would say otherwise. I think he’ll turn things around in the second half.

Chris Archer is only 10 strikeouts behind the strikeout machine Chris Sale, 147 to 157. He had three straight games of at least 11 strikeouts. It’s not as long as Sale’s but it’s pretty close. He had a couple of outings with five or less Ks, but more often than not he’ll get close to double digits. If you need strikeout pitchers, Archer is someone to target.

The closer position is a big question mark. Not because of injuries, but because everyone is healthy. Brad Boxberger leads the team with 23, but there are five other relief pitchers with at least two saves. Boxberger is the guy, but the others are worth owning in deeper leagues just in case.

Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis and Manny Machado are keeping the Orioles in the AL East race with their 19 home runs each. Machado is in the middle of his breakout season, 19 homers, 48 RBI and 13 stolen bases with a .298/.361/.525 line. This is only the beginning for Machado, so jump on now.

The Orioles are using Wei-Yin Chen as a real-life streaming option. They send him down for certain matchups and call him back up for others. As a result, he has a 2.78 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 12 quality starts. As a spot starter, you can’t do better than Chen.

Toronto Blue Jays

Josh Donaldson is making the case as a top-five third baseman. The Blue Jays are a dangerous lineup with Donaldson, Edwin EncarnacionJose Bautista and Russell Martin. As a result, the starting rotation is benefitting. They are even getting contributions from Devon Travis, a popular pickup over the last couple of weeks.

I’m not sure how, but Mark Buehrle continues to dominant opposing batters. He recorded 10 first-half wins with a 3.34 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He’s won three of his last four starts.

The Jays’ closer position is just as confusing as Tampa’s. Brett Cecil was the closer, but the team switched to Miguel Castro for a bit. After another attempt at Cecil, Toronto settled on Roberto Osuna. He has a 2.25 ERA since recording his first save on June 22.

Boston Red Sox

As a Yankees’ fan, it makes me smile to see the Red Sox in last place. As a fantasy owner who owns a Red Sox hitter, it’s stings to see the offense struggle. I grabbed Pablo Sandoval in the 10th round, thinking the offense and poor AL East pitching would help him. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Moving forward, I think the four days off helped Sandoval and others to get back on track. Most of the Red Sox hitters are buy-low options. The pitching isn’t great either, but some more run support can help them in the second half.

Eduardo Rodriguez is a Boston starter to own. Despite his two bad outings, he allowed four combined earned runs in his last 17.1 innings. He’s available in 40 percent of leagues and should be owned in more.

So there it is. My AL East predictions and previews for the second half. Again, the links for the rest of the divisions are at the top of the article. Let me know what you think. Am I wrong about a player? Do you agree with me on one? Conversation is always welcome.