For a team coming off its third last-place finish in four seasons, expectations sure are high.
FanGraphs projected last month that the Boston Red Sox will finish with the American League’s best record in 2016. USA TODAY jumped on the bandwagon Monday with its projections, picking the Red Sox to win 88 games en route to an AL East title this season.
The Red Sox will edge the defending AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays, who will finish with an 86-76 record, according to USA TODAY. The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees both are predicted to go 83-79, while the Baltimore Orioles are expected to bring up the rear in the AL East with a 78-84 mark.
The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros will win the AL Central and AL West, respectively, if USA TODAY’s projections come true. Houston earned a wild-card berth last season, but Chicago finished 10 games under .500 (76-86) and in fourth place in the AL Central.
USA TODAY has sky-high expectations for the Chicago Cubs, who are a popular pick to come out of the National League this season. The publication thinks the Cubbies will rack up 101 wins on their way to an NL Central title, and that the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants will win the NL East and NL West, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images