Here are your odds for the American League Futures for 2014.
American League East
Boston +200 While it appears that Big Papi and the team have reached an extension, will his amazing bat be enough to get the BoSox back to the playoffs? Jacoby Ellsbury is in New York so his talent will be hard to replace. Pitching will be a question mark in terms of the rotation but the closer spot is locked down.
Tampa Bay +220 The Rays are the sexy pick right now for the East title because of their pitching from top to bottom and their offense which could, and I stress could, be really good if Evan Longoria can stay healthy.
NY Yankees +240 There’s no question the Yanks did not take kindly to their rivals winning another World Series title. They signed Ellsbury and picked up the latest Japanese pitching sensation in Masahiro Tanaka. Questions will revolve around the health of Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira in terms of whether they can hang in the division.
Baltimore +700 The Birds will look to repeat their success on offense from last year where they ranked in the top five in both slugging percentage and runs. The problem is on the hill where they ranked 25th or worse in many key categories. Manny Machado will start on the 15-DL too which won’t help.
Toronto +700 The Blue Jays had high expectations going into last season and those fizzled quickly. The pitching was for the most part atrocious and the hitting was middle of the road and left much to be desired.
American League Central
Detroit -225 The Tigers have already suffered a big blow when shortstop Jose Iglesias was shelved for the season with shin problems in both legs. Detroit should have plenty of talent to still take the division but let’s also remember Jim Leyland is gone. Brad Ausmus is the new man in Motown.
Kansas City +450 Much like the Rays in the AL East, the Royals are a very popular pick to do some good things this year. They have nice core with Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon to build around. They could be a very nice pick for the wild-card if not the division.
Cleveland +550 The Indians always seem to hang around and they did so surprisingly last year. They must get better production from the rotation because last year they finished 27th in quality starts. The offense wasn’t too bad ranking fifth in runs scored.
Chicago White Sox +1200 The South-siders were just brutal last season at the plate ranking in the lower half of MLB in most hitting statistics. That must get better in a division with Detroit. The pitching could also stand to get better as well.
Minnesota +2500 The Twins are in rebuilding mode and it might take some time. They just weren’t very good in 2013 ranking near the bottom in every pitching category and not much higher in the offensive realm either. This should be another long year in Minneapolis.
American League West
Texas +175 The Rangers were pretty good hitting the ball in 2013 and should get a little better with the addition of Prince Fielder who came into camp in the best shape of his career. Yu Darvish will anchor the rotation which is decent, but they must get more quality starts to take pressure off of the bullpen.
Oakland +200 The A’s didn’t hit for a great average in 2013 but they scored runs and they slugged the heck out of the ball. I look for that to continue as should the really good pitching from last season. Another trip to the playoffs is in the cards here but advancing to the World Series is the goal.
LA Angels +225 This team will go where Mike Trout can take it. The offense wasn’t really the problem last season because the pitching was. They were near the bottom in opponent’s batting average and ERA. Regardless of what the offense does if the pitching doesn’t come around the Angels are in trouble.
Seattle +700 $240 million later Robinson Cano is the toast of the Pacific Northwest. The question is can he produce the way the team and fan base expect him to? I expect Cano to raise the numbers offensively for this team but the pitching needs help too. King Felix can’t do it all.
Houston +5000 The Astros should have one goal in 2014 and that’s to be competitive in each and every game. Both the hitting and pitching cannot get much worse so I expect a little improvement in H-Town.