10 Keys to Winning the AL East Title in 2012

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10 Keys to Winning the AL East Title in 2012
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Spring Training gets underway this week as teams prepare to make a run for the 2012 World Series.  Before that, however, they have to claim the title of division champs.  That's no easy feat in the American League East.

At the bottom you have the Baltimore Orioles.  Moving on, there's the Toronto Blue Jays who are another solid starting pitcher away from being serious contenders for the Wild Card spot.  The Blue Jays are poised to make a Tampa Bay Rays-like leap within the next season or two.

Speaking of the Rays, expect them to do the usual "how are they doing this with these guys?" trick.  Big years are expected from the players who made the jump to the majors last season.  Also look for Evan Longoria to get back on track.

Next, we have the perennial juggernauts.  The long-time rivals.  Wolverine and Sabertooth.  Bugs and Daffy.  Adele and her Ex.  Yup, Spring Training means it's time to start up the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry coverage.

The Yankees went out and revamped their rotation.  The Red Sox purged themselves of last year's epic collapse.  Now all they have to do is prove it on the field.

Any one of those last three teams can lay claim to the AL East title with the Blue Jays playing the role of spoiler.  All those teams need is to have everything fall into place.  

Now, here are the 10 keys to winning the AL East.

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