In AL, it's Boston's year

The Yankees are still the AL favorite, but expect the Red Sox to represent the league in late October.

Updated: September 26, 2003, 11:46 AM ET
By Rick Sutcliffe | Special to ESPN Insider
The New York Yankees still have to be seen as the favorite in the American League, but the talent gap between the Yankees and the other playoff teams has closed significantly.

The Anaheim Angels won't have the opportunity to defend their Word Series championship, but they had their way with New York's starting pitching last year in the American League Division Series.

Roger Clemens and David Wells are both 40-something, and it's tough to compete at that age at this level. It's even tougher to compete at this time of year. They've both thrown lots of innings -- 205 for both Rocket and Boomer, good for the AL's top 15.

Rick Sutcliffe serves as an ESPN Major League Baseball analyst, appearing on Wednesday night telecasts, select ESPN Radio broadcasts, as well as Baseball Tonight.