LOS ANGELES DODGERS

It has been nearly 25 years since the Dodgers won the last of their six World Series but they are among the favorites now after new owners went on a spending spree. Among the Dodgers' recruitments were Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Zack Greinke, giving them the highest payroll in MLB history. Even so, they face a tough job just winning a division that includes the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

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WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Under the guidance of astute manager Davey Johnson, the Nationals posted the best regular season record of any team in the majors last year only to slip up in the playoffs against the St. Louis Cardinals. With Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals boast one of the best pitching rotations in the league along with the explosive hitting power of Bryce Harper as they chase their first World Series championship.

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DETROIT TIGERS

Last season's American League champions, the Tigers have all the ingredients to make another run at the World Series. Their ace pitcher Justin Verlander was named MVP two seasons ago and third baseman Miguel Cabrera won it last year after completing the Triple Crown. The Tigers have not won the World Series since 1984 but are among the early favorites this year.

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TORONTO BLUE JAYS

The Blue Jays have not made the postseason since they won their second of their World Series titles in 1993 but have emerged as contenders after an off-season splurge.


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Among the team's acquisitions are reigning National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and shortstop Jose Reyes, who helped the Dominican Republic win the World Baseball Classic last week.

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LOS ANGELES ANGELS

It could be a golden summer for California's major league teams, and not just for the San Francisco Giants andLos Angeles Dodgers. The Angels were the pre-season favorites to win last year after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson but missed the playoffs. They signed Josh Hamilton in the offseason and with rookie of the year Mike Trout leading the way, the Angels are shaping as a force to be reckoned with.