Rob Long: AL East – Does Anyone Want It?
The American League East is showing signs of either being one of the weaker divisions in baseball or just so competitive that the teams are beating up on one another. Either way, the Orioles officially completed the first half of the season Sunday (81 games) and with a 42-39 record, they are on pace to go 84-78. Not really impressive but at this rate, that record will have them right in the thick of things in the division.
Here’s the skinny, the Toronto Blue Jays had everyone’s attention in May when they compiled a 21-9 record including nine straight wins. The Jays were racking up runs and pitching well and many thought that we were witnessing a team that was capable of running away and hiding with a mediocre division. Toronto is certainly as capable as anyone else to win the East, just not in May.
We’ve had Mel Antonen of SI.com and MASN on the show and he’s a firm believer that the Baltimore Orioles are the team that’s best equipped to when the American League East. Mel sites the line-up from top to bottom and noted that while the starting pitching isn’t the best in the division, it’s not a rotation that will hurt your efforts to win.
The O’s came into the weekend series with four games against a bad Tampa Bay Rays team. The problem was while the Birds were 21-13 against the East, they were only 18-18 at home. Dominance against the teams they play more than any other teams, but not dominant at The Yard.
The Orioles dropped three out of four to the Rays and missed out on a chance to take over the division. Toronto lost three in a row and the New York Yankees dropped the final two to the surging Boston Red Sox. Buck Showalter’s crew seems to reading from the same script that every other team in the American League East is reading from. It seems that mediocrity is the order of the 2014 season and the Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles are following those orders.
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