Baseball

AL East May Review

Eduardo Rodriguez
AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

It is time to look at the AL East Division race and boy its looks like it will be a fight to the finish as the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox look to be the front runners for the division as the sluggish Yankees continue to struggle. A couple standout players have been Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Alex Verdugo, and many more. The AL East has been one of the most exciting divisions this season with teams surprising everyone.

Divisional Race

It looks as if the 2020 World Series runners up Tampa Bay Rays are aiming to clinch another division title and even pursue for a championship in what was expected to be a tougher year for them. After trading All Star and former CY Young Winner Blake Snell in the offseason to the San Diego Padres, it looked as if the Tampa Bay Rays weren’t going to be as strong as many thought to believe. But boy they proved everyone wrong and are currently the best team in Baseball. They are currently leading the division with a record of 43-25 and 2 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, Ji-Man Choi, Wander Franco, Manuel Margot, Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermeier, Mike Brosseau all producing in every way whether it is on offense or defense. Expect a tight race to the finish.

Don’t jump to conclusions yet as the Boston Red Sox’s are back in business with manager Alex Cora who served a year suspension after he was part of the Houston Astros cheating scandal in which the Astros won one world series. back in 2017. The Red Sox suffered last year not making it to the playoffs, but this season with Cora back it looks the Red Sox are eyeing up a return to the playoffs. They are 2 games behind the Rays with a record of 41-27, and they are led by J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo, Nathan Eovaldi, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, Garrett Richards, Hunter Renfroe, Enrique(Kike) Hernandez. All of those players have been hitting and pitching really well in what seems a different Red Sox team and they look to grab a wild card or even a division title.

Underperformers

The New York Yankees are looking like they will have the campaign to forget as they just don’t seem to get on a good run. It is June now and these next two months are really crucial in terms of the playoff race and division race. Currently, the Yankees stand in third place with a record of 34-32, performing well below expectations. With star players like Gerritt Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, DJ Lemahieu, Aroldis Chapman, people would expect them to at least be up there in the division race. But injuries have held them back a little, but that shouldn’t mean that they should be 8 games behind first place. It is completely dreadful and if I were a Yankee fan, I would call for major trades at the deadline or the firing of the coach.

Underdogs

The Toronto Blue Jays are fourth in the AL East with a 33-32 record just above .500 but have a lot of talent coming through their ranks with the likes of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio all producing for their squad. But its not just them, offseason acquisition Marcus Semien has been playing well, Lourdes Guerriel Jr, Theoscar Hernandez, George Springer have all been a huge part in their decent start to the campaign. Pitching has been good too with Hyu Jun Ryu If they keep this up there is a real shot of them making the wild card spot. In my opinion, the Blue Jays have a bright future ahead of them with these prospects and will be contenders in the next few years.

Rebuilders

The team that won’t be in contention anytime soon is the Baltimore Orioles as they are last place in the AL East with a record of 22-44 and are one of the worst teams in the MLB. They recently drafted 1st overall draft pick Adley Rutschman who will definitely be coming to the majors in the next 2-3 years. Pithcer John Means threw their first no hitter in Oriole history and that will most likely be the highlight of their season. Orioles will be focusing on this year’s draft again as they will be looking for more prospects as they are aiming to rebuild for the future.

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