Scott Garceau: AL East — And Then There Were 2
That’s the view from here after a wild finish to the non-waiver trade deadline. If the American League East is won by anybody not named the Baltimore Orioles or the Toronto Blue Jays count me among the surprised. Who would have thought that the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays could be dismissed with two months left in the season but that’s what I’m doing.
The defending champion Red Sox come into the weekend with an ugly 48-60 record and officially threw in the towel trading Jon Lester and John Lackey before the deadline. They’ll attempt to act like they care for the final two months.
Tampa Bay lost 14 of 15 games and was down and out in early June with a 24-42 record. Give Joe Maddon’s guys credit they’ve battled back to a 53-55 record and are only 7 games out. Much respect for the Rays but without ace David Price I can’t see them getting there. Speaking of Price couldn’t they have held on to him for now and got back just as much in an off-season or next season trade. The return on one of the games top lefthanders seems a little light.
I never bought into the Yankees this year and they’ve lived up to my expectations. Sure they’re only 5 games out so mathematically I guess you can’t count them out. They may get some of their injured pitching back, but right now I can’t see the pin-stripers getting much done. Their GM “The Cash-man” said he was trying to get Price and Lester instead he brought home .176 hitting Stephen Drew and Martin Prado.
If those three are out the Orioles and Blue Jays are in for a 2 month battle. After winning 6 straight the Blue Jays have pulled within a game and half of Baltimore. Toronto should get injured sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind back in the near future. The Orioles starting pitching a big concern coming into the season has been a strength in recent weeks. The Baltimore bullpen with the addition of power lefty Andrew Miller should be one of the best in baseball.
These two teams are good not great but better than the other 3 in the division. Who wins? Who knows, but I keep hearing Buck Showalter saying “I like our guys”.
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