Baltimore Orioles and the Resurgent American League East


Jun 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) gives the thumbs up after getting the final out against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Orioles defeated the Phillies, 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles won their third consecutive game over the Phillies on Wednesday night 6-4. It marked also their ninth win in the past 10 games, and the 11th win in the past 13. This is a surge that was greatly needed after the O’s dropped to a season-worst 23-29 on June 3rd.  So, a total of 13 games later, the Orioles are now 34-31.

However, one would expect that when you go 11-for-13 in wins that you would pick up more than three games on the divisional leader. But that is all the ground the Orioles have been able to close – from five games behind to two games behind … and even that is a tie for third place.

All of this is because the American League East has been very recently living up to its long-time hype as the toughest division in baseball. Over this same relative span, the Blue Jays won 11 in a row, the Yankees eight consecutively, and the Rays have somehow continued to win games. Only the Red Sox have melted down – oh well, couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of __________ (insert your own insult).

Just looking over the past 10 games, the Orioles have the best record at 9-1, while the Jays are 8-2, the Rays 7-3 and the Yankees 5-5. The Red Sox literally bring up the rear at 2-8.

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A story in MLB this year has been how the AL East is a division that is down historically from their vaulted past. Though this is probably true to some extent, as with the famous line of Mark Twain, the story of the division’s death is greatly exaggerated.

The entire division got off to a mediocre start and by the middle of May was only performing at a cumulative .500 pace.  It got worse. By the beginning of June, the division was actually 15 games below .500!

But since that time, in just two and one-half weeks, the division has gone 48-26, and that includes games played against one another.

Here is a chart of the cumulative W/L record of the AL East division in the 2015 season so far …


Currently, as seen in the chart, the AL East is seven games over .500.  The AL Central is nine games over .500, while the AL West is one game over.

In the National League, the East is 27 games under .500, the Central is 13 games over, and the West is three games under.

All of this is to say that the AL East is not as bad as advertised, and the trend is decidedly toward the positive. The Orioles need to keep on winning, especially within the division where they are exactly one-half done with the schedule at 20-18. The other divisional foes have all only played either 31 or 32 games against each other, therefore they are slightly more poised to beat up on each other.

Just win!

Next: The crazy roster of the Baltimore Orioles