Felger & Mazz: 2013 Red Sox predictions

Felger & Mazz: 2013 Red Sox predictions
March 29, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Opening Day is just around the corner and Felger and Mazz couldn't be happier.

"I love the opening of baseball season," says Felger. "It's my favorite day."

With the pleasantries out of the way, it's time to move on to business: Prediction time.

The Red Sox brought in a lot of new faces this off season in an effort to completely erase any memory of last season. They're also hoping returning players like John Lackey, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz step up their performance and improve a rotation that was inconsistent at best and dreadful at worst.

So where will the moves get them in the revamped A.L. East?

"Third place in the American League East," says Mazz. "They're not going to be a playoff team. I think they're going to be respectable. At points I think they're going to be fun to watch.

"I just don't think they have quite the horses, particularly in the lineup, to be able to contend with some of the better teams in the league."

One thing is certain - the division is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Mazz says over the last 12 years, the gap between first and fifth in the AL east has been an average of 33 games. This year, most projections peg the difference at 10-15 games, which means there should be some great baseball all the way until the end of the season.

Among Felger and Mazz, the consensus is that the Blue Jays and Rays figure to take the top two spots, but neither team is without questions.

"Toronto has the best team on paper," says Mazz. "When I look at them, the one area I'm a little skeptical of with the Blue Jays is the bullpen, and I think that's a bad place to be weak."

For the Rays, the questions center around a lineup that figures to have Evan Longoria at the No. 3 spot, and Ben Zobrist as the cleanup hitter. There's not much pop to be found in the lineup, but with Tampa Bay's ability to turn out top quality pitchers almost at will, the Rays don't figure to need a lot of offense.

For more on the A.L. East, check out the video above.