As exciting as Kansas City's young lineup looks, the Royals have big questions about next year's rotation. Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy will be in the mix. Reliever Aaron Crow will get a shot, as will hard-throwing lefthanded prospect Mike Montgomery. The Royals want to retain Bruce Chen, but he and fellow lefthander Jeff Francis are pending free agents. Don't be surprised if they trade prospects for Chad Billingsley or Gio Gonzalez.
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White Sox lefthander Mark Buehrle is another pending free agent. If he pitches 7 2/3 innings, he'll reach 200 for the 11th consecutive year -- a remarkable feat -- but potential suitors beware: He's given up 33 hits in his past three starts.
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Voters shouldn't just judge Justin Verlander's MVP candidacy on whether he reaches 25 wins. Consider that from early May through mid-August, the Tigers had a 50-40 stretch in which they went 17-3 in Verlander's starts and 33-37 in all other games. That set the stage for Detroit's recent teamwide crescendo. On Sunday, Verlander will try for his 12th win in 12 starts.