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AL East Getting Back To Normal

The best teams in the AL East are starting to once again take over.

The American League East had looked a bit strange for much of the beginning of the 2010 baseball season. The Tampa Bay Rays have been on top since the start. At many points, they had a significant lead over the rest of the division. That has since changed.

The Toronto Blue Jays had been rolling early on and making everyone believe the division would be a four team race. That has since changed.

The New York Yankees were right there with the Blue Jays and kept battling between second and third place.

The Boston Red Sox had been struggling to win games early on and therefore had been in fourth place for most of the season. That has since changed.

The Rays continue to stand atop the best division in baseball, but have fallen a bit of late and given the Yankees a chance to catch up. Tampa still remains a serious contender for the division and with an extremely talented roster, they should be in contention all year. They have been a .500 club their past ten games.

The Yankees have used the past couple weeks to gain some ground on Tampa Bay. Including today’s win over the Houston Astros, the Yankees have started June by winning eight of their eleven games. Depending on the result of Tampa’s game tonight, the Yankees will either be just a game out of first place, or tied with the Rays.

The Boston Red Sox have been one of the hotter teams of late and have pushed their way into third place, over taking the Blue Jays. Part of Boston’s success has come in inter-league play where they are 4-1 so far. The Red Sox have won six of their last ten. The improved performance by David Ortiz is one reason the Sox are right back in the AL East race, as we all expected when the season started. They are currently just 31/2 games back of Tampa.

Toronto was the surprise team early on. Their lineup has cooled a bit and their pitching is fallen back to earth. I am not saying this team is not talented, but fourth place was a realistic expectation when the season started. Toronto has won just four of it’s last ten games and are now 51/2 games back in the division.

In most divisions, Toronto would be in second or at least third place with their 34-28 record. Not the AL East. This is the best division in baseball and a .548 winning percentage is not going to get you very far against some of baseballs best teams.

I expect Toronto to continue falling gradually. The Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox are just to strong. The only team in the AL East with absolutely no chance is the Baltimore Orioles. They are just a disaster. From the top down, the Orioles have issues.

When the 2010 season started, everyone expected the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox to fight for the division and wild card. I don’t think anyone expected the Rays to get out to the lead they were able to develop.

The current standings are more like the expectations. A tight race for the division as well as the other two teams battling closely for the wild card.

This will likely be a three team battle to the finish. The Rays are a great young team, but the Yankees and Red Sox are gaining ground.

This is fun baseball. If you like baseball, you must follow the American League East.

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