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Opening Day 2005
Division previews: Predicted winners


David Ortiz
The Yankees and Red Sox are in the ring, ready to fight for the heavyweight title that comes with winning the AL East, while everyone else is off to the side, hoping to not get decked by flying debris. The Orioles, Blue Jays and Devil Rays endeavor to make an impression, but, invariably, they are like the kids with the rebuilt '68 Mustangs -- while the rich kids drive Ferraris. Full story >


Johan Santana
The improving Indians appear to be ready to race the Twins to the finish line this time, with the White Sox and Tigers looming as potential dark horses. But while Minnesota seeks to fill some gaps on the field, it still has a big edge: pitching, featuring a rotation led by Johan Santana and Brad Radke and a stingy bullpen that includes Joe Nathan, Juan Rincon and J.C. Romero. Full story >


Vladimir Guerrero
The Rangers figure to hit their way into the race, the Mariners added big-time power in Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson, and the Big Three-less A's are in a youth movement. But the Angels -- who brought in Steve Finley to join Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero and create the game's best outfield -- have it over the rest of the AL West on paper. Full story >


Tim Hudson
The battle for the NL East promises to be one of baseball's most hotly contested, and one of the most wide open. As they brace to keep their trophy room being looted, the Braves -- winners of 13 consecutive division titles -- find the Mets leading the siege, with the spirited Phillies and balanced Marlins in tight formation. But picked against Atlanta is always a bad idea. Full story >


Mark Mulder
To a rotation that already had four starters who won 15 or more games last season, Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty added lefty ace Mark Mulder, who won 17 games for Oakland last season and 72 over the last four years. That gives St. Louis a big leg up on the Cubs and Astros, who are hoping for the right answers to some very important questions in order to make a run at the Cards. Full story >


Barry Bonds
The Giants are hard to beat with Barry Bonds having two good legs underneath him, but with each passing day he's out they become more and more vulnerable. Which means the Padres, who mostly stood pat in the offseason because they believe in their maturing players, could be poised to take the division. And the Dodgers and Diamondbacks really shouldn't be counted out, either. Full story >