In Buster Olney's latest blog, he points to faults in the four teams most likely heading to the playoffs: the Yankees, Tigers, Angels, and Red Sox. Without completely ruining the article for you, Olney talks mostly about the pitching problems, whether it be in the rotation or in the bullpen, for the clubs.
Yankees ace CC Sabathia will have to prove he can pitch in October when he likely will start Game 1 versus the Tigers. Tigers pitchers Jarrod Washburn and Nate Robertson have been hit with injuries, leaving the back-end of the rotation in question down the stretch. However, scheduling will play in the Tigers' favor as long as Verlander, Porcello, and Jackson can stay healthy. They could work with three pitchers in the divisional series, but definitely need Washburn and Robertson if they make it to the ALCS.
The Red Sox's middle relief is cause for concern because you can expect the Red Sox to be mindful of the innings of Lester and Buchholz. Lester pitched 237.0 innings last season including the postseason and is already at 188.0 this season. Including his time in Triple-A, Buchholz has pitched a career high 176.1 innings this season. Matsuzaka hasn't been able to go the distance this season, not pitching more than 6 innings this season. Red Sox ace Josh Beckett has a 12 million dollar club option next season that the Red Sox would hate to see go to waste if his arm falls off when the season is over (he already has 193.1 innings logged).
Angels closer Brian Fuentes has put up great numbers this season, but a September collapse has Mike Scoscia considering other options. Kevin Jepson will be used in certain situations, but Fuentes has played a key role in the Angels' late inning success this season. If he cannot find his form, the Angels could be in trouble.
So what do you guys think? Which AL team is going to the World Series?