Dynamics Changing in the American League
With the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim going all in with the ten year, $250 million deal for St. Louis Cardinals superstar first baseman Albert Pujols, the dynamics of the entire American League look to be different as the Angels will join the New York Yankees as preseason favorites in MLB betting odds.
The Angels recently signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Fox for television rights to their games which all of a sudden gave them Yankee-type power and influence that they immediately put to work with the addition of Pujols, who was an instrumental leader in the Cardinals making their near impossible run as World Series champions last fall.
The past two years the Texas Rangers have taken over for the Angels as the dominant team in the American League West Division with back to back pennants but the Angels are looking to get serious about re-taking command of the division that they dominated for most of the early part of the past 10 years. Beyond the singing of Pujols, the Angels also acquired C.J. Wilson, who had his salary double from $10 million to $20 million.
Meanwhile, a perennial favorite in the American League may be checking out for a while, as the Boston Red Sox are coming off an embarrassing playoff collapse in which players were discovered eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games. The entire Red Sox management structure was blown up as manager Terry Francona resigned and general manager Theo Epstein bolted for the Chicago Cubs. ESPN windbag Bobby Valentine takes over a team that will need a psych exam as much as a reliable lineup and pitching rotation. Valentine is best known for winning a pennant with the New York Mets and for a personality that wears out its welcome in short order.
The Yankees of course will look to again win the American League East but the big question will be if the Toronto Blue Jays can finally break through past their normal mediocrity or if the Tampa Bay Rays can maintain their Wall Street stock market investment strategy of winning with bargain basement talent.
The American League Central looks wide open as there is no dominant team and nobody thinks defending champion Detroit is a lock to repeat the feat in 2012. One would figure the Minnesota Twins would be a "buy low" team in MLB betting odds after many were burned buying "high" last year on a team that was decimated by injuries.