The American League South is going to be a dog fight. You have the ultimate powerhouse in Tampa Bay, the return of Florida, the "just trying to stay afloat" Austin, and the battered and beaten Little Rock franchise. This division will come down to Florida and Tampa Bay in the end. Tampa Bay and Florida were both busy beavers in the off season. The interesting fact about these 2 teams, they had a few trades among themselves. This may comeback to haunt one of them this season. Tampa has acquired dominant closer Welsh, power hitter Clayton, starter Ortiz, and Bullpen pitcher Nunez from Florida in 3 separate trades. Florida got back Gonzales, which they had a couple seasons ago. They also got Zach Charles, starter Mieses and reliever Sanchez from Tampa. With the fact that Tampa also added Kwon and Future Stud Almanzar in other deals, I would say Tampa is the lead horse in the division once again. Florida will win a wild card spot, and probably win the GC from Domi. Tampa Bay will win the division with room to spare.
Austin managed to get a few prospects from trades this off season. In the process they lost starter Tony Saunders, which they will miss. I think Florida and Tampa are way too strong for Austin to repeat last season's record (84-78). I think Austin will finish below that this season, much in part to the amount of teams getting stronger in the American League.
Little Rock will once again be the doormat of the division. They managed to get a starter in a trade who can help them in the season. With the strength of Tampa and Florida, it will not mean anything. Look for Little Rock to be the Nationals of the N.L. EAST (last season's Nationals). Here are the predictions:
Tampa Bay 108-54
Little Rock 59-103