The American League East was supposed to be competitive last season. But instead, the Toronto Blue Jays ran away with the division, winning 93 games with the second-place New York Yankees winning just 87. After finishing last in 2015 for a second straight year, the Boston Red Sox should finally be able to return to respectability with two key additions: ace pitcher David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel.

Teams are listed in order of projected finish, based on win-loss records at Fangraphs.com.

Boston Red Sox

Projected record: 88-74

How they got better

Price, signed to a seven-year, $217 million contract, gives the Red Sox the ace they needed to become contenders again. He posted a 2.30 ERA for the Blue Jays down the stretch and has had success at Fenway, where batters hit .186 against with a 2.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

But perhaps the most encouraging sign is the increasing velocity on his fastball despite turning 30 years old in August.

How they got worse

The team could miss the depth provided by Wade Miley and Rich Hill. Miley pitched 193 innings that sometimes featured an unhittable change-up (.154 average against with 13 strikeouts in 35 at-bats) and Hill showed an ability to strike out batters when needed (11.2 per nine innings).

Player to watch

Pablo Sandoval was awful in his debut season with the Red Sox. A switch hitter, he batted .266 against right-handed pitching but just .197 against lefties, which created runs at a rate 79 percent lower than the league after accounting for league and park effects.

Projections have him taking a slight step forward in 2016 (0.9 to 1.7 wins above replacement) compared with his 2015 campaign (minus-2.0 fWAR), but if he doesn’t that could help undo all the complementary moves the team made on the pitching side.

Toronto Blue Jays

Projected record: 84-78

How they got better

The addition of Drew Storen gives them a closer who struck out close to 11 batters per nine innings while allowing just four home runs in 55 innings pitched. Plus, three out of his four pitches are becoming more effective at getting batters to swing and miss.

How they got worse

Price was the big subtraction (see Boston, above) but the bullpen also lost a pair of quality arms. Mark Lowe went to the Detroit Tigers in free agency and LaTroy Hawkins retired, projecting the Blue Jays to have the 12th best bullpen in baseball (3.4 fWAR). That’s only slightly worse than last season, but three of the four division rivals are now ahead of them.

Player to watch

Troy Tulowitzki, their 31-year-old shortstop, is projected to hit for more power in 2016 (20 home runs) and see an increase in his walk rate (7.1 to 9.2 percent) with a slight decrease in his strikeout rate (21.3 to 20.2 percent). Luckily, X-rays came back negative after he was hit on the hand during an at-bat on Thursday.

New York Yankees

Projected record: 83-79

How they got better

The Yankees upgraded at second base when they acquired Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs. He struggled last season in Chicago, but the move from shortstop to second base had a positive effect, bumping his OPS from .597 to .941 in those games. The Yankees got a combined .662 OPS from their second baseman last season.

How they got worse

The team is still relying on Jacoby Ellsbury to bat leadoff.

Conventional baseball wisdom suggests you want a speedy hitter at the top of the lineup, while analytics suggest OBP should be the driving factor. Ellsbury’s .316 OBP while batting first ranks 48th among the 94 leadoff batters with at least 40 plate appearances.

Player to watch

Luis Severino’s rookie season ended with a 5-3 record and 2.89 ERA, however, his peripheral stats suggest he wasn’t that good. His FIP, an ERA estimator based on league average results on balls in play and league average timing, was 4.37 and he walked 3.2 batters per nine innings.

His stuff, however, could provide some upside. His change-up held opposing batters to a .201 average and his slider wasn’t far behind at .222, indicating we haven’t yet seen the best this 22 year old has to offer.

Tampa Bay Rays

Projected record: 81-81

How they got better

The Rays acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson, who hit .304 with 10 home runs in 234 plate appearances with the Rockies last season. Even after adjusting for the rare air of Coors field, his production was 19 percent higher than the league average (119 wRC+) despite a limited role.

How they got worse

James Loney is still their every-day first baseman. A position traditionally known for producing power, Loney had four home runs last season and just 16 other extra-base hits, contributing to the Rays last-place ranking for isolated power (0.94) in 2015.

Player to watch

Kevin Kiermaier, a defensive dynamo, was credited with 42 defensive runs saved in 2015, almost double second-place finisher Andrelton Simmons (25). He also stole 18 bases, giving him 5.5 fWAR for the season despite batting .263 with just 10 home runs.

Baltimore Orioles

Projected record: 79-83

How they got better

The Orioles signed Hyun-soo Kim to a two-year, $7 million contract this offseason, giving them a left fielder they can count on.

Kim, who is called Korea’s Iron Man for appearing in most games in each of his nine-plus seasons, batted .326 with 28 home runs and 128 RBI last year while playing for the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization. Steamer and ZiPS projections have him producing between 1.6 and 1.8 fWAR for Baltimore this season, much higher than the minus-0.4 fWAR they got from the position last year.

How they got worse

Wei-Yin Chen, their most consistent starter, left in free agency. Chen set career bests in ERA (3.34), WHIP (1.22), and strikeout rate (19.3 percent) last season while pitching 191.1 innings. Chris Tillman, meanwhile, saw his ERA balloon from 3.34 to 4.99 in one season as did Miguel Gonzalaez, whose ERA went from 3.23 to 4.91. Ubaldo Jimenez continued the trend: his ERA doubled from the first half of the season (2.81) to the second (5.63).

Player to watch

After factoring in league and the park he plays in, Manny Machado’s production was 34 percent better than the league average (134 wRC+). He hit the ball harder than he has in his career while setting new highs in his strikeout and walk rates. Plus, he stole 20 bases, twice his total of the previous three seasons.