Boston – A healthy Beckett and a return to form from Brad Penny, and the BoSox won’t be caught.
Tampa – Last year was no fluke, but not enough with Boston in their division.
New York – More bucks, more losses. Girardi may not last the season. Pressure on Teixeira won’t be pretty.
Toronto – Could have been vastly improved but for injuries to Marcum and McGowan.
Baltimore – By July, theHoundDawg may be their fourth starter.
Cleveland – Healthy Martinez, Hafner, and Pavano, and the Tribe is back.
Minnesota – Baker, Bonser and Neshek – too many injured pitchers.
Chicago – Would need BIG comebacks from too many to challenge.
Detroit – Best thing going is no more Sheffield, but pitching is too suspect
Kansas City – They seemed to be building on their young starters, but sending down Bannister and Hochevar while giving spots to Ramirez and Ponson are major steps backward.
Los Angeles – Second Best team in AL when healthy, and starting season with injuries to three starters should not effect division runaway.
Oakland – Much improved but too much depends on totally inexperienced starters.
Texas – As always, questionable pitching, but no longer the offensive machine of past few seasons.
Seattle – Ten more wins still means last place. Outfield was a disaster before Ichiro got sick.
Division series – Los Angeles over Tampa and Boston over Cleveland
Championship Series – Boston over Los Angeles
Los Angeles – Top-notch offense, defense, bullpen, but will go only as far as their starters will take them.
Arizona – Pretty much the same as with LA, but D’Backs have no Manny.
San Francisco – Reverse of division’s top teams – starting pitching and lots of question marks. OF and catching are set, but that infield?
San Diego – Improved from last year, but young talent not ready to compete for top three spots.
Colorado – Not the power-laden team of the past, and questionable pitching depth, but biggest problem is no more Matt Holliday, plus Jeff Francis gone for the season.
Milwaukee – Outstanding offense and despite loss of Sabathia and Sheets, staff has good mix of savey, dependable vets and young talent.
St. Louis – Return of Chris Carpenter solidifies starters, but big voids in bullpen, and infield looks like Pujols and three guys from central casting. Glaus return from injury is always tenuous.
Chicago – No team depending on Milton Bradley and Rich Harden will ever win anything.
Houston – Only health, depth of starting staff keep them behind Cubs.
Cincinnati – Overrated pitching staff won’t keep up with up-and-coming offense, plus too many questions in outfield.
Pittsburgh – Lots of young talent on the field, but lack of same on staff will keep them in cellar, unless Karstens and Ohlehdorf suddenly become major league pitchers.
Philadelphia – Improved pitching from start of season and except for Ibanez for Burrell, same team on field as last year’s champs.
New York – Addition of great closer more than offset by signing of worst person in baseball, G. Sheffield.
Atlanta – Will go as far as totally revamped pitching will take them, plus rookie CF Jordan Schafer must be for real.
Florida – Health of returning starters, poor defense, big question marks at 3B and entire outfield, all point to disappointing season.
Washington – Addition of Adam Dunn not nearly enough.
Division series – Los Angeles over Milwaukee and Philadelphia over Arizona
Championship Series – Philadelphia over Los Angeles
Boston over Philadelphia in World Series