Baseball season kicks off in the American: don't bet your house on the Jays!

Baseball season start in the Americas: don’t bet your house on the Jays!” /></p>
<p>MISE À DAY </p>
<p><strong>It makes sense to wonder if this is finally the year of the Blue Jays. The Toronto club is betting on a well-balanced formation, on offense, defense and on the mound, but competition remains very fierce in the American League, particularly in the East Division.</strong></p>
<p> So nothing is guaranteed for the Jays, and here are the main reasons:</p>
<p>Without even doubting the potential of the Toronto team, we have to admit that there are high quality opponents. Among them, the New York Yankees could very well win the division title again after posting a superb 99-63 record in 2022. You have to go back to the 2015 campaign to list the Blue Jays' most recent championship in the East of the American in the regular season. Quebecer Russell Martin was there. It's been a while.</p>
<p>On the mound, it is hard to see how Alek Manoah, as good as he is, will be able to repeat his exploits of last season. The starter remains without a shadow of a doubt a top pitcher, but getting 16 wins while maintaining a 2.24 ERA doesn't come easily year after year. Manoah, 25, had only been edged out by Justin Verlander and Dylan Cease in the Cy Young Trophy race in the American. To compensate, the other starters will naturally have to contribute as well as the reliever staff.</p>
<p>Could the departure of Teoscar Hernandez, traded to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Erik Swanson, take the bite out of the Blue Jays' attack? Quite possible. That's one less hitter capable of hitting a 25-home run season… There remains Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette. We have already seen worse. In the Expos' final year, 2004, only Brad Wilkerson and Tony Bautista had hit more than 15 long balls. Nostalgia when you hold us ! Speaking of Wilkerson, he's now with the Yankees as an assistant hitting coach.</p>
<p><strong>A manager to match</strong></p>
<p>An interesting highlight for the Blue Jays remains the team's performance under manager John Schneider. After taking over from Charlie Montoyo last season, Schneider went 46-28 to wrap up the campaign. Such efficiency during a full schedule of 162 games would translate into a hundred wins…</p>
<p>While remaining an offensive threat, the Blue Jays' formation offers a more complete portrait than in 2022. Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho come to solidify the defense in the outfield. Chris Bassitt has been added to the starting rotation while reliever Erik Swanson will gain to be known.</p>
<p><strong>And Guerrero, him?</strong></p>
<p>Of course, Quebec baseball fans will keep a close eye on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Hampered by a knee injury, the star had to forfeit the Dominican Republic at the recent World Baseball Classic. He should, however, be reinstated for the start of the Blue Jays season.</p>
<p>In form, Guerrero Jr. could pass the milestone of 40 home runs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored. That's what he had done in 2021 before experiencing a slight drop last year, with 32 long balls, 97 RBI and 90 runs scored. Just that.</p>
<p>Montrealer Otto Lopez, also of Dominican descent, could also see action with the Jays. Last October, he finished the regular season with Toronto, recording six hits in nine official appearances. </p>
<p><strong>EASTERN DIVISION</strong> </p>
<h3>Blue Toronto Jays</h3>
<p><strong>› Manager:</strong> John Schneider </p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022:</strong> 92-70</p>
<p> < p><strong>› Rank: </strong>2nd in the East</p>
<p><strong>› Important acquisitions: </strong>Chris Bassitt, Daulton Varsho, Kevin Kiermaier, Erik Swanson</p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures: </strong>Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel fils </p>
<p><strong>› Manager: </strong>Aaron Boone </p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022:</strong > 99-63</p>
<p><strong>› Rank: </strong>1st in the East</p>
<p><strong>› Important Acquisitions: </strong>Carlos Rodon, Tommy Kahnle< /p> </p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures: </strong>Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Jameson Taillon, Andrew Benintendi</p>
<p><strong>Analysis:</strong> </p>
<p>Aaron Judge is one who set the bar high by hitting 62 home runs last season. Having also maintained an excellent batting average of .311, he won the title of most valuable player in the American.</p>
<p>Since the New York market is special with its Yankees, a bit like Montreal with the Canadiens, let's remember that Judge did not like the way the leaders did things before signing a 9-year contract for $360 million, in last December. In an interview with “Time”, the star player accused his bosses of putting pressure on him by leaking the details of certain offers made to the media.</p>
<p>Anyway, with Judge, the Yankees' situation is not worrying on offense. On the mound, the starting rotation is solid. The New York squad have lost a few big names in the bullpen (Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Chad Green), but Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lou Trivino and Michael King will do the job. If he played cards, manager Aaron Boone would start the season with a full game.</p>
<p><strong>› Manager: </strong> Kevin Cash</p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022:</strong> 86-76</p>
<p><strong>› Rank:</strong> 3rd in the East </p>
<p><strong>› Important Acquisition:</strong> Zach Eflin</p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures:</strong> Corey Kluber, J.P. Feyereisen, Brooks Raley</p>
<p><strong>Analysis:</strong> </p>
<p>Kevin Cash is one of the smartest managers and innovators of Major League Baseball. It seems obvious that the Rays will be able to accommodate, even take advantage of all the intricacies surrounding the new rules in major league baseball.</p>
<p>That being said, there are limits to what a manager can accomplish, depending on the tools at hand. The Rays don't have a bad formation, but they don't have the depth of the Yankees or the Blue Jays, either on offense or on the mound. Left-hander Shane McClanahan alone could win the Rays many games. In 2022, the starter had completed the season with a 12-8 record, but above all an earned run average of 2.54. Notably, he had 194 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings.</p>
<p><strong>› Manager: </strong>Brandon Hyde </p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022:</strong> 83-79</p>
<p><strong>› Rank:</strong> 4th in the East</p>
<p><strong>› Significant acquisition:</strong> Kyle Gibson</p>
<p><strong>› Significant departure:</strong> Jordan Lyles</p>
<p ><strong>Analysis:</strong> </p>
<p>Could the Baltimore Orioles surprise after so many years as the American League East's underdog? We wish them! Even posting a record above .500, as was the case last season.</p>
<p>The Baltimore club did not undergo a major transformation during the offseason. However, the team is counting on a few youngsters on the rise, starting with receiver Adley Rutschman, selected first overall in the 2019 draft.</p>
<p>Infielder Gunnar Henderson will be another prospect to watch for the Orioles in the near future, he who demonstrates great offensive skills, both with his slashing and his speed on the trails. On the mound, we'll have to see if Grayson Rodriguez can become a candidate for the title of rookie of the year in the American. </p>
<p><strong>› Manager:</strong> Alex Cora</p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022:</strong> 78-84</p>
<p><strong>› Rank: </strong> 5th in the East</p>
<p><strong>› Important acquisitions:</strong> Justin Turner, Masataka Yoshida, Corey Kluber, Kenley Jansen </p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures:</strong> Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha</p>
<p><strong>Analysis:</strong> </p>
<p>The Boston market is also demanding for its Red Sox than New York for its Yankees. However, Massachusetts baseball fans are not particularly spoiled these years. Bostonians are highly recommended to enjoy the Bruins in hockey and the Celtics in basketball.</p>
<p>Still a lot of imponderables for the Red Sox on the mound in 2023 with, within the starting rotation, the fragile <strong>Chris Sale</strong> and James Paxton. The departure of Xander Bogaerts for the San Diego Padres, as a free agent, does nothing to inspire confidence. The hiring of Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida is at least intriguing. The 29-year-old arrives in North America after weathering rain or shine in his native country, in the uniform of the Orix Buffaloes, a club located in Osaka.</p>
<p><strong>MIDDLE DIVISION</strong> </p>
<p><strong>› Manager: </strong>Pedro Grifol</p>
<p> < p><strong>› Record in 2022: </strong>81-81</p>
<p><strong>› Rank: </strong>2nd in the Centrale</p>
<p><strong>› Acquisitions significant departures: </strong>Andrew Benintendi, Mike Clevinger </p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures:</strong> Jose Abreu, Elvis Andrus</p>
<p><strong>Analysis:</strong > </p>
<p>Good old Tony LaRussa had his back wide to justify why the White Sox failed to live up to the expectations placed on them last season. It is true that the manager seemed overwhelmed at times, but the Chicago club were not spared from injury either.</p>
<p>Despite the departure of Jose Abreu, it is believed that the White Sox have this it takes to finish top of the American League Central Division. The new manager Pedro Grifol, who should bring a breath of fresh air, is counting on good elements, including several young stars.</p>
<p><strong>Dylan Cease</strong> and Michael Kopech are excellent starting pitchers while Lucas Giolito can still do well, even if he no longer dominates opposing hitters as much. At bat, several players remain enigmatic, but have enormous potential: Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada. Shortstop Tim Anderson is an established star while Andrew Vaughn represents the future of the White Sox.</p>
<p>< strong>› Manager:</strong> Rocco Baldelli</p>
<p><strong>› Record in 2022: </strong>78-84</p>
<p><strong>› Rank: </strong>3rd in la Centrale</p>
<p><strong>› Important acquisitions:</strong> Pablo Lopez, Christian Vazquez, Joey Gallo</p>
<p><strong>› Significant departures:</strong> Luis Arraez, Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, Dylan Bundy</p><!-- adman_adcode (middle, 1) --><script async=


Quebec baseball fans will have an interest in following this team more and more in the coming years because of the promising Édouard Julien. However, it is difficult to know if the young Quebecer will be able to break through the formation of the Twins, this season.

One thing is certain, Julien has found a mentor in Carlos Correa,during training camp, to help him with his infield defensive play. The trade that sent Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins, in return for Pablo Lopez, solidifies the starting rotation in Minnesota. It already counted on Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray, mainly.

The absence of Arraez will have to be made up for collectively, he who had maintained a batting average of .316 during the last campaign. If he stays healthy, outfielder Byron Buxton has the potential to be among major league baseball's biggest stars.


› Manager: Terry Francona 

› Record in 2022: 92-70

› Rank: 1st in Central

› Significant Acquisitions: Josh Bell, Mike Zunino

› Significant Departure: Austin Hedges

Analysis:&nbsp ;

The Guardians surprised many in 2022 by racking up 92 wins. Manager Terry Francona deserves a lot of respect, he always seems able to get the most out of his players.

Partly transported by Jose RamirezOn offense, the Cleveland team is betting on a certain stability for the new season when there are no significant departures, except perhaps Austin Hedges, replaced by Mike Zunino behind the plate. On the mound, starters Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill should regularly lead the Guardians to victory, while reliever Emmanuel Clase is among the best at closing games and making saves. It will ultimately be interesting to see if the Guardians will take advantage of the new rules in baseball, they who notably had 119 stolen bases during the recent campaign.


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› Manager: Matt Quatraro

› Record in 2022: 65-97

› Rank: 5th in Central

› Important acquisitions: Ryan Yarbrough, Jordan Lyles

› Significant departure: Zack Greinke


Bobby Witt Jr. is a young star on offense while pitcher Brady Singer looks set to fulfill the promise. Behind them, there is Vinnie Pasquantino who goes a little unnoticed.

As a rookie in 2022, Pasquantino notably hit 10 doubles and 10 home runs in just 258 official at bats. He could be an important offensive element for the Royals, alongside Witt Jr. and veteran receiver Salvador Perez.

Will the presence of young stars in the making be enough for the Kansas City club to maintain a record above .500? Probably not.

There is a lack of depth in the starting pitchers. Singer is not very well supported, despite adding gunners Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough in the offseason.


< strong>› Manager: A.J. Hinch

› Record in 2022: 66-96

› Rank:4th in the Central

› Important acquisition: none

› Significant departure: Jeimer Candelario 


The poor Detroit Tigers seem destined to post a losing record for the seventh consecutive season.

The team has totaled only 110 homers last season and scored 557 runs. No other team has done worse in the American League.

It's not much better on the mound: pitcher Tarik Skubal had to undergo surgery last August. Too bad because he was one of the only reasons to rejoice for Tigers fans. The Detroit club has one of the worst starting rotations in major league baseball. Even once-great reliever Gregory Soto couldn't help the Tigers well last season, going 2-11 with a 3.28 ERA. p>

The biggest recent change for the Tigers may be the appointment of Scott Harris as general manager. However, we will have to wait another two or three seasons before seeing any possible effects.



› Manager: Dusty Baker

› Record in 2022: 106-56

< strong>› Rank: 1st in the West

› Important acquisition: Jose Abreu

› Significant Departures: Justin Verlander, Yuli Gurriel


Reigning World Series Champions Houston Astros did they really need to add Jose Abreu to their roster? He will probably hit several homers at Minute Maid Park, where the fence is quite close to left field.

Remember that the Astros already have a core formed by Jose Altuve,Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker, not to mention Jeremy Pena, who particularly stood out during the recent playoffs.

Despite everything, the fight could be hot in the West section of the American since the Seattle Mariners seem to have taken it to the next level. The Texas Rangers are also ones to watch.

The loss of Justin Verlander among the starters is not necessarily worrying since the Astros are betting on Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia. The Houston club is also well off in the bullpen.


› Manager: Scott Servais

› Record in 2022: 90-72

› Rank: 2nd in the West

< p>› Important acquisitions: Teoscar Hernandez, Kolten Wong

› Significant departures: Mitch Haniger, Adam Frazier, Abraham Toro

< p>Analysis: 

Already revamped, the Mariners are adding a fresh coat of paint to the hull of their boat with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez
and infielder Kolten Wong.

Former Blue Jays, Hernandez will patrol the outfield with Julio Rodriguez, named rookie of the year in the American League in 2022. Offensively, Ty France and Eugenio Suarez will also have to contribute. Catcher Cal Raleigh is another who can easily hit 20 homers in a season. The Mariners starting rotation offers great depth with Luis Castillo, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds last August, then Logan Gilbert and George Kirby. Added to this trio of right-handers are left-handers Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales. There is also the Canadian Matt Brash who, used as a reliever for the moment, seems able to support them. Gilbert, 25, was particularly impressive last season, going 13-6 with a 3.20 ERA.


< /p>

› Manager: Bruce Bochy

› Record in 2022: 68-94

› Rank: 4th in the West

› Important acquisitions: Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi

Significant departures: Kole Calhoun, Matt Moore


By offering an audacious five-year contract for $185 million to pitcher Jacob deGrom, Rangers hope to have transformed their club. Still, deGrom, twice winner of the Cy Young trophy in the National with the New York Mets, must be healthy…

Otherwise, the Rangers topped the American League in 2022 with a total of 128 stolen bases. Trail running is of course only one facet of baseball, but it could help the Rangers surprise many this season, especially as the base size has increased (for real!).

It remains to be seen whether new manager Bruce Bochy, appointed at the helm of Rangers last October, will be as aggressive as his predecessors Chris Woodward and Tony Beasley. During his time managing the San Francisco Giants, with whom he won the World Series three times (2010, 2012 and 2014), Bochy did not hesitate to exploit his fastest runners. In Texas, he could be well served at this level by Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia, among others.


› Manager: Phil Nevin

› Record in 2022: 73 -89

› Rank: 3rd in the West

› Major acquisition: Gio Urshela, Hunter Renfroe, Tyler Anderson

› Significant departure: none


It's still crazy to see that the Angels bet on both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani,without, however, achieving greater success. Are they that badly surrounded?

Anthony Rendon, who had had a fair amount of success with the Washington Nationals, seemed like an important addition for the Angels, but he has been regularly on the sidelines since playing in Los Angeles.

Once again led by Trout and Ohtani, the Angels are hitting a lot of home runs, but they are still among the worst clubs in the American in the runs scored column. Newcomers Gio Urshela and Hunter Renfroe should be able to help the Angels, but only up to a point.

Aside from Ohtani, left-handers are in the spotlight in the pitching rotation , with Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez and young Reid Detmers.


› Manager: Mark Kotsay

› Record in 2022: 60-102

› Rank: 5th in the West

› Important acquisition: Trevor May 

› Significant Departure: Sean Murphy


It's sad what's happening in Oakland! In some ways, it's reminiscent of the last years of the Expos in Montreal.

The Athletics will be good one day. Maybe 2026 or 2027 once they move to Las Vegas? Who knows?

For the moment, the organization is replenishing its young hopefuls and accumulating defeats. More than 100 losses last year, and this situation could undoubtedly be repeated this season.

After the departure of several good pitchers, including Frankie Montas, it is veteran receiver Sean Murphy who lifted the veil following a trade with the Atlanta Braves. Murphy led the A's regulars last season with a .250 batting average. When your best hits for .250, it's hard! We pity the poor supporters of the Athletics. It's going to be a long season in Oakland!