At the start of the MLB season, the Boston Red Sox had sky high expectations as they came off of their World Series run in the previous year. The Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays were all projected to give the Sox a run for their money, while most predicted the Yankees to struggle tremendously due to increasing age and injury issues of their players.
After partway through the season, fans around the nation criticized the AL East as the worst division in baseball, but is that the case now? Here are a few points to why the AL East is actually one of the tougher divisions to compete in:
1. Toronto’s Bat Power
The offensive ability for the Blue Jays has been outstanding to say the least. Not only is Jose Bautista showing signs of life, but third baseman Josh Donaldson is on his campaign to become the AL MVP this year. The Jays have managed to achieve a winning record thus far, as they are currently 9-1 in their last 10 games.
2. Yankees Showing Little Injuries
Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka and Andrew Miller have been the only real impact injuries on the Yankees this season. With the return of Alex Rodriguez, and with Mark Teixeria blasting homer after homer, the Yankees seem unstoppable. The Yankees bullpen is arguably one of the best in the MLB, and everyone has yet to see the players’ age catch up to them as they hold a close lead in the East.
3. Rays Play Scrappy Ball
You know the mosquito that won’t ever leave you alone? That’s the Rays for you. Whether it’s day one or day one hundred, the Rays have continued to beat teams around the league. They are currently neck and neck with the New York Yankees for the lead in the AL East, they’re also known to complete upsets when projected to lose a series.
Overall, the AL East isn’t as easy as critics make it seem. With the trade deadline fastly approaching, it’s anyone’s division to take.