The AL East will have a familiar look at the top and bottom of the Division with the Yankees taking the top spot and the Oriole's bringing up the rear. The middle of the AL East is where there will be changes. Look for the Rays to beat out the Red Sox & Blue Jays for 2nd place and the Wild Card. I wanted to put the Blue Jays over the Red Sox but couldn't so they will finish tied for 3rd and out of the running for the final Wild Card spot. The Red Sox have starting rotation issues along with injury and depth concerns in the bullpen. The hiring of Bobby Valentine has the makings for disaster. Just manage and quit trying to get brownie points from the Boston fans with front page one liners. It could be a long year in Beantown if the Red Sox get off to a bad start. The Blue Jays have a lot of pop up and down the lineup and if the bullpen improves they could steal the extra Wild Card. The Blue Jays lack of pitching depth keeps them from catching the Rays. The Rays however have amazing depth in there rotation so much so Wade Davis gets moved to the bullpen which in turn deepens it.  Carlos Pena's return helps protect a healthy Evan Longoria who will be driving in Desmond Jennings all year. Jennings is Carl Crawford (pre Red Sox) from the right side & should have a coming out party this year. The Rays dominant young starting rotation propels the Rays into the playoffs, finishing  a few games behind the Yankees. The all around depth at every position and pitching staff gives the Yankees enough fire power to hold off the Rays in a tough AL East. With Robinson Cano batting 3rd now he will take his game to another level earning Cano the AL MVP. Breakout Player to watch- Brett Lawrie 3B- Blue Jays The AL Central will be over right after Justin Verlander's first pitch on Opening Day. The addition of Prince Fielder gives Miggy Cabrera the protection needed with the loss of Victor Martinez to a season ending knee injury.  With a deep bullpen and dynamic young rotation headed by the reigning AL Cy Young & MVP award winner Justin Verlander the Tigers will breeze thru the season. The lack of competition in the AL Central will cost the Tigers in the playoffs as the Angels blitz by them. The Royals are the team to watch as they could sneak up and steal 2nd place from the Indians. The young Royals may be a year or two away from a long awaited playoff appearance. The Twins & White Sox will finish at the bottom of the division with neither having enough pitching to compete. The Indians have been injury prone & don't have enough to hang with the Tigers. Breakout Player to watch-  Eric Hosmer 1B- Royals The AL West is a 2 team race between the two time defending AL Champ Rangers and Angels. The additions of Pujols and Wilson help put the Angels on top of the division. The Angels starting rotation is arguably the best in baseball but the bullpen needs strengthening. Expect a deadline deal or two for a reliever by the Angels. The difference will come down to the Rangers offseason rotation changes moving Feliz to starter and Ogando back to the bullpen. Whether or not Yu Darvish can live up to the hype and $111 million total contract including posting fee. Pujols gives the Angels the punch needed to equal the Rangers powerful and deep lineup so it comes down to the pitching staffs. Advantage for now goes to the Angels with Weaver, Haren, Wilson and Santana. Rangers still make the playoffs winning one of the Wild Card spots. The A's and Mariners will fight to stay out of the AL West cellar. The Mariners have a talented young lineup led by Dustin Ackley but nowhere near enough to contend with the Angels and Rangers the big boys of the AL West. King Felix is the ace of the Mariners staff but with only a youthful inexperienced group behind him the Mariners are years away. The A's signings of Manny Ramirez & Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes will not help the A's contend but might help with ticket sales. A new stadium in San Jose is needed by the A's in order to compete in the future otherwise the trading of young stars like Gio Gonzalez every year will continue.   Breakout Player to watch- Jesus Montero C- Mariners AL MVP - Robinson Cano 2B- Yankees, Albert Pujols 1B- Angels, Prince Fielder 1B- Tigers AL CY Young- Justin Verlander SP- Tigers, C. C. Sabathia SP- Yankees, Yu Darvish SP- Rangers AL Rookie - Yu Darvish SP- Rangers,   Matt Moore SP- Rays, Jesus Montero C- Mariners

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