Yankees – The “Evil Empire” was not an avid participant in the free market, but still have the core of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and “the Captain” Derek Jeter directing the ship. Pitching improved with the signing of Hiroki Kuroda and the backend of the bullpen is always solid with Mariano Rivera.
Rays – The starting rotation of David Price, James Shields, Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson is one of the best in the division, if not in the entire league.
Red Sox – Questions in the backend of the rotation and at shortstop lead to a third place finish. Also numerous sources are reporting Andrew Bailey is out until possibly the All-Star break so closer role has yet to be determined. Bobby Valentine is a good manager, but a manager is only as good as his players.
Blue Jays – Above average lineup with Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, and a good pitching staff, but not very deep, lead by their ace Ricky Romero. Will be an above .500 team but still does not have the talent to compete with the Red Sox, Rays or Yankees.
Orioles – lost to a community college team on Tuesday. Enough said.
Tigers – This team was favored to win the division before they signed Prince Fielder. The division title is not going to be the hard part. The hard part will be how far they go in the playoffs and that will be on the shoulders of Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer.
Indians – Love the mixer of youth and veteran talent on this roster. Asdrubal Cabrera is one of the best shortstops in the American League, and Jason Kipnis is a top prospect with a possible bright future. This team is still a few years out from winning the division.
Royals – At one time this organization was ranked as the best minor league system, but now those players are on the major league roster. They will continue to improve and this year could finish the season above .500.
Twins – Last season was full of injuries and a close to 100-loss season. With the loss of Michael Cuddyer to free agency, Scott Baker to the disabled list, and Justin Morneau, who might never fully recover from his concussion symptoms this team is looking like a 70-win team.
White Sox – Rookie manager Robin Ventura and a cast of rookies and has beens (Adam Dunn) is an invitation to the basement. Only bright spot is Paul Konerko.
Angels – This team was well balanced, both offensively and defensively before the signing of Albert Pujols. Now this team is built to make a strong push in the playoffs.
Rangers – this team might still feeling the pain of being within one strike of winning the World Series. The core of the roster is the same from year ago with the addition of Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan. When your rivalry get Pujols and you stay stagnant then that leads to a second place finish.
Mariners – Felix Hernandez is one of the best pitchers in the game, but the offense is still as weak as a year ago. Only addition to the help the offense was rookie Jesus Montero from the Yankees.
Athletics – Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” concept has not worked in 10 years. Maybe they shoud go with Plan B.
Playoffs: Yankees, Tigers, Angels Wild Card: Rays, Rangers
Wild Card Game: Rays defeat Rangers
Divisional Round: Tigers defeat Rays, 3-1; Angels defeat Yankees, 3-2
American League Championship: Tigers defeat Angels, 4-3
World Series: Tigers defeat Giants, 4-2