How do these look to you? This, courtesy of The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog:
Red Sox: 98-64
Blue Jays: 75-87
Last season, the same blog ran their simulations and the results said the division would play out as:
Red Sox: 95-67
Blue Jays: 70-92
Despite the losses on the team, the system appears to be a lot more optimistic than the fan base and local media. The Red Sox have clearly bettered themselves by both getting healthy and stealing talent from the Rays, but the rest of the American League has not a lot to improve outside of Oakland. As the author says,
Although it’s easy for lazy analysts to make the claim that Tampa Bay is going to be bad because they lost Carl Crawford and their whole bullpen, it’s just not true. They’ve won the AL East in two of the past three seasons, and they have a ton of pitching talent in the minors. Jake McGee looks like a potentially dominant closer. They also won 96 games last year despite getting very little production out of first base and DH. Losing Crawford hurts, but Desmond Jennings is another good prospect who has a chance to mitigate that a bit as well.
The Rays 2011 roster is not even finalized and the computers still gives the Rays a 37% chance of making the playoffs which is better than the 29% chance they were given last year. Keep your chins up, folks.