The AL East Among the Most Interesting Divisions in Baseball Right Now
If someone were to only watch a single division play baseball for the rest of the season, and they wanted to watch good teams play, they would without a doubt pick the AL East. Three of the best teams in baseball right now, as well as one on the cusp, sit there. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Orioles, arguably the worst team in baseball, have a lonely spot down at the bottom of the division.
When you look at the overall standings of the MLB, ignoring divisions, four of the top seven teams are in the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays are in first with a 35-20 record and will most likely finish in that spot with the most wins in Major League Baseball. The Boston Red Sox are in third overall with a 32-20 record and 1.5 games back in the division.
The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are sixth and seventh, respectively, in the MLB. They hold the third place and fourth place spots in the division but are 5.5 and 6.5 games back, respectively. Despite their outstanding seasons so far, the Yankees and Blue Jays are at risk of not making the MLB playoffs.
AL East Mixing Up the Wild Card Race
The Yankees and Blue Jays are definitely wishing the expanded postseason returned for 2021, but with the playoff field returning to 10, their playoff hopes are looking slim despite their impressive seasons so far. The Wild Card standings as of now bring the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians through to the wild card game with the Yankees and Blue Jays in fourth and fifth place in the wild card race.
There is plenty of baseball left, though, which means plenty of time to shake things up, and the Yankees and Blue Jays are most certainly not out of the running. Six games back is easy to work with, especially when you’re the Yankees or Blue Jays right now.
It is going to take a lot to catch up to the Red Sox or Rays right now, though. The Rays are not especially far away but have been playing just outstanding baseball and are showing they really want to win the World Series this time around. They lost six games in the month of May. Six games. They are only getting better. They’re not budging from the first place spot.
Do the Yankees or Blue Jays Have a Chance?
Not really. And it pains me to say so. The Yankees are struggling right now, and consistency has been a real issue in the month of May. Blame it on injuries or whatever you want, but the Yankees aren’t hitting like they used to. They got swept by the Tigers and scored only four runs in a three-game series. Is it a fluke? Not sure. It might just resemble the decline of the Yankees into mediocrity for the rest of the season. It’s a shame. The Yankees starters have finally sorted themselves out.
The Blue Jays might if they really step on the gas. They started the season off poorly and have been spending time making up the ground but are doing so successfully. If they can pull out wins against the Red Sox and other big-time opponents, they could have a shot. The Red Sox have a tough next three series before they play the Blue Jays, facing the Astros twice and the Yankees once. If they can narrow the 6.5 game gap in the meantime, they will have a fantastic opportunity to make the AL East and wild card race tight before the season hits the midway point.