Around The Horn: AL East

Okay, so let’s take a look at what’s going on in the division. There’s a lot of stuff going on, actually, because we’re the AL East and there’s never a dull moment.

Basically, after that crazy April, May restored order to the world by putting those Orioles I write about and suffer along with back in last place. However, they’re only seven games back at this point, which is a lot less than I expected because usually by the beginning of June they’re about twenty games back and have no chance of competing with anyone. But they’re almost in this, which is stunning.

As usual, the Red Sox and the Yankees are competing for first place. Shocker. The Sox swept the A’s this past weekend, so they’re on the upswing, and they’re actually going to be playing the Yankees next. This’ll be a literal battle for first place. If the Sox win two and the Yankees win one, they’re tied for first. I’m not going to waste time going through every single scenario right now, though, because it’ll bore you and I’d never want to do that. The interesting thing about the Sox, though, is that they’ve been struggling with their bullpen on occasion this year, which led to Oakland almost taking one of those games (the Saturday one, where Papelbon blew a 4-run lead). Their starting pitching rarely causes problems, but with the bullpen being weak, if New York wants to win they’ll have to knock those starters out. Ironically, that’s pretty much what the Red Sox have to do to beat the Yankees, too.

Toronto and Tampa Bay are tied for third place right now, which is pretty much where they usually are. Again, they’re strong offensive clubs with strong starting pitching, which seems to be the theme here in the AL East. The Orioles at least have the strong starting pitching part, but since their offense is incredibly flat right now they’re in last place. As usual.

To further explore this, I turned to a true expert on the American League East.

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