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NY Daily News Season Preview

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They pick the Yanks to come in first, and the Blue Jays to edge the Sox for second.

Here is how they see the season more specifically:

PREDICTED FINISH

Yankees 96-66
Blue Jays 90-72
Red Sox 87-75
Orioles 80-82
Devil Rays 62-100

My only gripe is that I was sure the Devil Rays would win at least 64.

Here is their reasoning for their picks. Hack away at it if you will (I happen to agree with what they're saying, as I love that we held onto Melky after all the trade talk and jettisoned Sheffield and Johnson. I foresee a big sophmore year for Damon and Giambi knocking them out as he doesn't have to worry about defense. I also love the Pettitte for Johnson swap, but am, however, a bit worried about pitching injuries of course...ok onto your opinions):

Even minus Sheffield, the Yankees figure to be able to match the Red Sox in terms of top-to-bottom lineup firepower and have much more speed. With Andy Pettitte replacing Johnson, the starting rotation is a tad younger and more reliable, and the deep bullpen with Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth and Luis Vizcaino setting up in front of Rivera would also appear to give them a decided edge over their ancient rivals.

Yes, there are legitimate concerns about the back end of the Yankee rotation, but with Jeff Karstens' continued improvement this spring and the enormous promise of Phil Hughes, perhaps a half-season away at Triple-A, there should be viable alternatives as the season goes along.