AL capsules to chew on

Mar 27, 2007 7:50 AM

BALTIMORE

’06: 70-92, 4-East

Mascot: Orioles

Series odds: 100/1

FYI: Spent most of its money on the bullpen, inking Danys Baez. and dealing for Jaret Wright from Yanks. More likely to finish fifth than third or higher.

BOSTON

’06: 86-76, 3-East

Mascot: Red Sox

Series odds: 7/1

FYI: "Dice-K" appears the real deal and listed No. 3 in the rotation behind Schilling and Beckett. Papelbon will close. Need Papi, Manny and J.D. Drew healthy.

CHICAGO

’06: 90-72, 3-Cent

Mascot: White Sox

Series odds: 12/1

FYI: Subtle offseason moves in gaining Erstad, P Gavin Floyd and C Toby Hall. Not making playoffs last year should light fire not there from 2005 Series winner.

CLEVELAND

’06: 78-84, 4-Cent

Mascot: Indians

Series odds: 20/1

FYI: Best sub.500 team in majors. Many think CF Grady Sizemore will have career year. If he does and Sabathia wins 20, Tribe would be a great futures pick.

DETROIT

’06: 95-67, 2-Cent

Mascot: Tigers

Series odds: 10/1

FYI: Gary Sheffield is the major addition to an offense that was already good. Verlander has had a bad spring. Staff is solid, but Kenny Rogers is 40-something!

KANSAS CITY

’06: 62-100, 5-Cent

Mascot: Royals

Series odds: 500/1

FYI: In baseball’s best division. New No. 1 battery is Gil Meche (M’s) and C Jason LaRue (Reds). Killed last year with early injury to Sweeney. Talented. A comer!

LOS ANGELES

’06: 89-73, 2-West

Mascot: Angels

Series: 10/1

FYI: Have heard some say the best team in baseball. On paper, perhaps. Colon must show his fastball is 95+ and stay off DL. Vlad is Vlad and Angels are glad.

MINNESOTA

’06: 96-66, 1-Cent

Mascot: Twins

Series: 25/1

FYI: Most think Tigers as last year’s Central champs, but Minny caught them. Must happen this year with Morneau’s contract up. Santana carrying big load.

NEW YORK

’06: 97-65, 1-East

Mascot: Yankees

Series odds: 4/1

FYI: Andy Pettitte has been great in spring, which means his bud Roger Clemens may abandon Houston by June. If Yanks fail again, kiss A-Rod goodbye.

OAKLAND

’06: 93-69, 1-West

Mascot: Athletics

Series odds: 20/1

FYI: A’s need lightning to strike twice with Big Hurt in Toronto and Piazza the new DH. Zito moved across the Bay to SF. Crosby, Chavez dynamite SS/3B combo.

SEATTLE

’06: 78-84, 4-West

Mascot: Mariners

Series odds: 100/1

FYI: Last to first is possible. P Jeff Weaver over from St. Louis. Ichiro and P Felix Hernandez are studs. 2B. P Washburn will be huge. No "putz" if J.J. can close.

TAMPA BAY

’06: 61-101, 5-East

Mascot: Devil Rays

Series odds: 500/1

FYI: OF Carl Crawford gives Mets’ Reyes a run as baseball’s most exciting player. 3B B.J. Upton and RF Delmon Young have huge upside. P Kazmir a dandy. Bet them!

TEXAS

’06: 80-82, 3-West

Mascot: Rangers

Series odds: 60/1

FYI: Back to future with Lofton and Sosa. Good pick for 1997. Young, Teixiera and Blalock are core, but Rangers beginning to stagnate. P McCarthy from Chisox may help.

TORONTO

’06: 87-75, 2-East

Mascot: Blue Jays

Series odds: 25/1

FYI: Need innings from Burnett to back Cy candidate Halladay. Scary offense with DH Thomas added to Wells and Glaus as 3-4-5 hitters. Ryan great closer. Solid.