It's actually not that hard to beat. Don't go for a bunch of quality pitchers, just trade for a trio or quad of studs. I've tried that reliver strategy a few times and I've been beaten every time by pitching staffs like Zito, Pedro, and Oswalt or Schilling, Maddux, and Pedro. As long as you get a lot of innings and give up only a few runs (which is what the stud pitchers like Pedro give you ), you'll easily beat the reliever strategy since relievers are too unreliable and don't eat up enough innings to keep the ERA and WHIP down, and they won't win strikeouts or wins. Trust me, I've used Dotel, Santana, JC Romero, etc. Grab a couple stud starting pitchers and you'll be his nemesis.
The odds of the AL MVP coming from the American League are looking pretty good.