Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

American League: At a Glance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

American League: At a Glance

Article excerpt

In Toronto, they're hoping all the Blue Jays' dynamic additions add up to their first postseason appearance in 20 years.

There are higher expectations in Kansas City and Seattle, and a whole lot of anticipation in Detroit and Anaheim while they brace for the worst in Boston, Minnesota and Houston.

With the 2013 season starting tonight - a Texas tilt between the Rangers and the league's new addition, the Astros - here are a few questions to be answered over the next 162 games.

Are the Blue Jays really the AL East favorites?

Blue Jays ownership and GM Alex Anthopoulos won the winter by taking on salary and swinging major deals with the Marlins and Mets to add Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and reigning NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey to an already good nucleus.

They gambled on Melky Cabrera, signing him to a two-year contract, and bolstered their depth and clubhouse character by giving Carlstadt's Mark DeRosa a major league deal. But will it all add up to their first playoff appearance since their last world championship (1993)?

Is this the Angels' year?

By adding slugger Albert Pujols and lefty C.J. Wilson via free agency before the 2012 season, the Angels had the look of a serious World Series contender. But they finished third in the AL West last year, even with the stunning emergence of Mike Trout.

This winter, the Angels added slugger Josh Hamilton to their potent mix. They still have Wilson and Jered Weaver atop the rotation, but there are concerns about the club's pitching depth in a competitive division with the Athletics and Rangers.

Are the Royals flush?

The Tigers are the clear-cut favorites to win the AL Central. But the Royals finally seem poised to create some noise after nine straight sub-.500 finishes.

James Shields, Ervin Santana and Wade Davis were imported to front a vastly improved starting rotation, though Shields and Davis cost them super offensive prospect Wil Myers - now the property of the Rays. …

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