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Offseason has a distinctly different feel in AL East

For the first time in what seems like forever, the Yankees and Red Sox are the American League East teams with the most questions going into the offseason. Neither team can write a check and become the favorite for 2013. Meanwhile, the Orioles and Rays continue to build, while the Blue Jays hope for health and a few acquisitions. A look at AL East teams:

While questions abound, conventional wisdom means little in World Series

Justin Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, is the best pitcher in baseball. On average, he throws his fastball at a higher speed in the eighth and ninth innings than he does in the early innings. He has a 0.74 ERA with 25 strikeouts in the postseason. So given that he's on proper rest, the Tigers ace should mow through the

O's need a Sabathia-like, big-game pitcher while Nats must decide whether to bring back LaRoche

Thoughts as the League Championship Series get started: * The Orioles need a big-game, season-saving pitcher, ala the Yankees' CC Sabathia. The Orioles' pitching depth is nice, but a Sabathia-type pitcher would be ideal. Sabathia beat the Orioles twice in the Division Series, once with 120 pitches and another with 121. This offseason, the Orioles should sign Nate McLouth and renegotiate with Mark Reynolds -

What's to come for the postseason-bound Nats?

Now that the Nationals have become the new champions of the National League East, they have a chance to finish with the best record in the league. They are tied with Cincinnati for that position, and if they finish with the best record, they'll have home-field advantage if they make it to the National League Championship Series. If they tie, the Nationals have the tiebreaker

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