Baltimore Orioles and the Tough AL East


Any idea what division in baseball has the most teams above .500? Any guesses? Yes, my friends, the AL East.

But wait, I thought this was the year the AL East would be down. That is what everyone said when the season started and no one was playing well.

The Yankees have continued to tread water and hold onto the lead, although tenuous at this point with the red hot Toronto Blue Jays on their heels.

The Baltimore Orioles are five games back, and the Tampa Bay Rays are six. Four teams within six games. And it is safe to say that each team is doing it their own way.

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The Rays are doing it the same way they always do, pitching, pitching and more pitching. Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Nathan Karns, Erasmo Ramirez and others have all done well for Tampa. The lineup and the bullpen have struggled, but that starting rotation is keeping them in it.

The Orioles, well they are doing it behind their stars, home runs and a good bullpen. Darren O’Day and Zach Britton make up one of the best back-ends of a bullpen in baseball. Then there are the stars, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Chris Davis, who are all contributing in a big way.

But, inconsistency in the rotation and season-long lack of contributions from the corner outfielders have kept the Orioles from being closer to the division lead.

The Jays right now have no weaknesses, although that hasn’t been the case all year. The lineup is on fire since Troy Tulowitzki joined the team. The rotation is also doing very well since David Price joined the starting rotation. The great work by the starters have helped mask a beleaguered bullpen, as has the number of runs.

Has age caught up with the Yankees? It is possible, as Alex Rodriguez has really struggled in August. The team struggled mightily to score over the weekend against Toronto, and that may be a sign of concern. However, it did come after a very hot period, so maybe it was just things evening out. The rotation is full of holes, especially with Michael Pineda hurt, so the lineup has to do well and give the top-notch back end of the bullpen a lead.

Everyone wants to anoint the Blue Jays as division champs, but it isn’t over yet. There are still a number of games to go for each team, and the O’s still have a chance to make their move.

It all starts with the starting pitching. That has been my decree since I started blogging here, and if the O’s get consistent starting pitching, they likely will be in the playoffs.

Next: Can the Orioles still threaten in the AL East?