2024 Division Outlook: AL East

Two divisions down, four to go. The 2024 MLB Season is right around the corner, and it's time to preview and highlight the five squads that make up the American League East, a division that looks to be one of the strongest divisions in the sport.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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Toronto Blue Jays

MLB: Spring Training - Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays
MLB: Spring Training - Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays / VIEW press/GettyImages

Key Additions
- UTL Isiah Kiner-Falefa
- DH Justin Turner
- CF Kevin Kiermaier
- RHP Yariel Rodriguez
- DH/1B Joey Votto

Key Loses
- 3B Matt Chapman
- DH Brandon Belt
- UTL Whit Merrifield
- RHP Jordan Hicks
- LHP Hyun Jin Ryu

Wrapping up the AL East, let's check out the team up North. Toronto made the playoffs in '23, but lost two in a row to the Twins to find themselves on the couches quite quickly in October. Looking for more in 2024, Toronto has the roster to do it.

John Schneider's crew has the offensive tools to get the job done, but how many of them will perform their best is the question. We all know what Vlad Guerrero Jr. can do, but that isn't the question at stake, but rather how will he do. Guerrero had a good 2023 season by all means, but knowing what he can do, it was below expectations. This is especially true when we watched him put up 166 wRC+ and 6.3 fWAR in 2021. The Toronto faithful will look for Vlad Jr. to return to that offensive dominance put up a few years ago, which when combined with Bo Bichette's offensive capabilities, pushes Toronto's offensive potential through the roof. Veterans George Springer and Justin Turner will provide more consistent bats in Toronto's lineup, with Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier adding elite defensive prowess with some pop in their bats. Toronto also has an elite catching tandem up their sleeves, with Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen being able to get the job done both offensively and behind the dish.

Toronto will return with another strong pitching staff, headlined by no other than Cy Young contender Kevin Gausman. After a third place finish in the AL Cy Young race, Gausman is ready to return as an elite ace in 2024, a position he should easily hold. Chris Bassit, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi combine to make a strong roation behind Gausman, but the five spot is where the questions arise. After a superb sophomore season where he finished third in the Cy Young race, Alek Manoah fell apart in 2023. He posted -0.4 fWAR and a BB/9 of 6.08, proving just how all over the place he was last season. If Manoah returns to his true form, then Toronto has a second ace. On the other end, if Manoah faults once again, then they'll have to rely on their depth options, which does include top prospect Ricky Tiedemann. Even if Manoah struggles, Toronto can succeed, but any Manoah success just pushes Toronto's potential further.

Team MVP: Vlad Guerrero Jr.

Team Cy Young: Kevin Gausman

Team X-Factor: Alek Manoah

The Nationals will host the Blue Jays for a three game seires from May 3-5.

The AL East might just be the most competitive division in baseball in 2024, something that sets up the division to also be the most fun. I really don't have much else to say about the AL East heading into the year, so let's wrap it up with predicted division standings:

1. Baltimore Orioles (99-63)
2. New York Yankees (90-72)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (86-76)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (82-80)
5. Boston Red Sox (78-84)