Here is a quick look at the American league teams and their near term potential.I like to break teams down looking at their run scoring, starting pitching and relief pitching abilities.
Boston---Sox have really turned it around lately. Lots of hitting, starters have come around abit and relief pitching has stabilized. With all their hitting they just need some decent starting pitching and a lot of tickets will be cashed.
New York---Yankees hitting has started to come around, injuries to relievers have hurt as that has been a strong point.Bottom end of rotation hasn't been great.
Tampa---Injuries have hurt here also. Run producing is a concern. When they get healthy I think they will make a run.
Toronto---Relief pitching has hurt with lots of blown saves. Jays have potential, but consistency and late game clutch hitting and pitching have been a problem for years
Baltimore ---The O's have come back down to earth. Their obvious weak spot is their starting pitching. They still have a solid lineup and explosive hitting lineup and should provide some good value when they can get some solid starting pitching again.
Chicago---a little late here but team has been hitting the cover off the ball lately. Chris Sale looks amazing and providing great value also. Think he is almost an auto bet right now. Peavy and Quintana have been good also. Relief work solid.
Kansas City---Really nice dog team as they can produce runs on any given day. Really like to back them when Chen or Paulino are pitching.
Minnesota---they have started to hit abit now. When Walters and Diamond are on the mound they at least stand a chance.
Liriano pitched well today also. Think they are a good play selectively as dogs.
Cleveland---Injuries to their lineup are hurting, pitchers are starting to give up a lot of runs. Bad combo.
Detroit---Backers have taken a beating all season. Lack of clutch hitting, relief pitching has been so-so and starters have
disappointed. At some point they should get things going with that lineup, but they aren't a team to back right now.
LA Angels---Albert is heating up, solid starting pitching should keep this team hot now.
Texas---tons of hitting should keep this team winning, addition of Oswalt should help starters. Very good relief corps. Of course heavy chalk is a draw back, playing the runline selectively may be a good option because they do produce a ton of runs.
Seattle---consistent hitting is an obvious concern, but they can surprise as dogs. Vargas, Millwood and Hernandez provide solid starting pitching, relief pitching concern also.
Oakland---no hitting, young starters starting to get hit. They have already started a big rollover. Injuries have mounted also to their lineup.
Top 4--- the top 4 will probably remain the same for one
more year, I like Chelsea to eke out Man Utd for 1st. but I expect Man City, Everton and Tottenham to close the gap on the 4th spot.
2nd tier--Man City need to find the right team and upgrade their
back 4 before they make top 4 inroads. this team will be under
great pressure and the biggest wild card in the league. if they
get things right maybe 3rd if not maybe 8th or 9th with Hughes
getting sacked. really like the Everton side and are well coached
they should be 5th or 6th. Villa may struggle, not overly enamored
by central def and central midfield.
Fulham are a thin side staying injury free and not losing Hangeland are keys to another excellent season.
surprise team--Sunderland they have some money, Bruce at manager and an improving side. 9th or 10th wouldn't surprise me.
Bottom feeders--Burnley and Birmingham are my almost for
certains going down. Hull has made a flurry of signings this week
realizing the side they had was crap. Hunt and Altidore are good
signings. Portsmouth are very thin and have big financial problems
I think they will make the drop due to early poor start. Wolves
should do just enough to stay up.
couple of great early season games this week. Everton/Arsenal
Tottenham/Liverpool offer early look as to whether 2nd tier
teams can make inroads to top 4. will be great to watch.
any possible results here. all these teams have varying injury
issues so it will be interesting to see how they cope.
will literally crap my pants if Man Utd don't win by -1.5
Villa have had a nice preseason and should get by Wigan.
Fulham are good value @ 2.75 ti win.
Bolton/Sunderland smells of a cautious stinkfest tie 3.25
wolves/west ham looks like a possible tie also. West Ham have
one healthy forward but are well coached by Zola.