All right no more skirting the issue, it's time to show my ignorance of the happenings in the American League. I pushed it off a day beyond the NL to brush up, but most of what you are about to see is coming from my gut rather than any real factual information.
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees (Wild Card)
3. Blue Jays
5. Devil Rays
Yep, I think Dice-K is gonna make a difference, even with the adjustment period of pitching in MLB and to the best hitters in the world, I think he still wins 18 games and that's enough to bring home the East. All the news has been about this kid, but don't forget about Manny and Papi, a line up with boasting those two bats is going to win games no matter who is on the mound.
One thing I do know about the AL is that you must never, ever count out George and the Bombers. The Yankees are the only team in professional sports that considers a season a failure if they don't win the championship, and a footnote - A-Rod has a monster year and picks up the AL MVP.
The Jays are improved, but not improved enough to get to the head of this division.
3. White Sox
I don't think the Tigers were a fluke last year. Look at their line-up - Pudge Rodriguez, Placido Polanco, Maglio Ordonez and the addition of Gary Sheffield makes for a pretty potent offense, they aren't the best team in the AL but they are good enough to take the Central.
The Twins don't have any super-duper stars on offense, with the exception of Torrii Hunter, but the do have a pretty well rounded squad and will keep the division tight until the bitter end.
The Angel's run away with the West, solid pitching, Garrett Anderson and a big year from Vlad wrap it up very early.
The A's biggest move in the offseason was a step down from last year. '06 DH Frank Thomas, who had a big year was replaced by Mike Piazza, call me crazy but I expect a big fat zero from the one-time Met's backstop.
So, if you read my entry from yesterday, you know it's gonna be the Phil's from the NL - who's it gonna be from the land of the DH - the Yankees. Like I said, never count out George and the bombers, after just squeeking in to the playoffs as the wild-card the bats and arms come to life in the post season. A-Rod not only wins the regular season MVP, but is a beast in the post season as well, winning back the fans and squashing all thoughts of ever putting him on the market.
Yankees beat the Phillies in six, Torre gets his contract renewed and all is well in the world of pinstripes, until '08.
Well if you've gotta lose the World Series to someone, the Yankees would be the obvious choice. As they say, there's no shame in being beaten by the best, and honestly losing to the Yanks wouldn't piss me off nearly as much as losing to Joe Carter and the Jays in '93.