Poll time: who is the 'team to beat' in the AL East?

Tom Szczerbowski

I thought I'd ask if you folks had changed your minds about who is the 'team to beat' in the AL East?

With the Blue Jays bouncing around .500, you'd think we'd be falling back in the AL East but we are still just 2.5 games out of first. None of the teams in the division are doing all that much better than the Jays. In fact we are the only one of the AL East teams to have scored more runs than we've allowed. If we did the standings by pythagorean records we'd be on top with a 21-18 record, enjoying a 2 game lead on the Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles: 20-16, pythag record 17-19.

The top team in the division, and I'm not sure how they are doing it. They are last in the division in runs scored per game at 4.14 (Jays lead the division with 4.97 runs/game). Their pitching has been better, 2nd in the division at 4.28/game (we are 4.59). They have been good at the late game comebacks, their relievers are 8-2, but they've had 5 blown saves (same number as the Jays). 

On offense Nelson Cruz (.270/.338/.533) and Matt Wieters (.308/.339/.500) have been carrying them. Wieters just went on the DL, and likely will be gone at least a month, he'll be hard to replace. . Balancing that, Chris Davis has just been activated from the DL. 

Boston Red Sox: 19-18, pythag record 18-19.

4th in the division in runs score per game, at 4.16, but tops in runs allowed at 4.27.

The top of their rotation has been great, Jon Lester has a 2.75 ERA and John Lackey is at 3.57. Jake Peavy has a good ERA, 3.09, but a lousy FIP 5.07 and has 25 walks in 43.2 innings. Sunscreen boy has a 6.44 ERA. 

Mike Napoli (.274/.408/.460) and David Ortiz (.267/.370/.481) are leading the offense. The center fielders, Jackie Bradley (.218/.328/.327) and Grady Sizemore (.227/.296/.361) aren't hitting. At some point their offense will get going. 

The one team in the division with no significant injuries.I think they are the team I'm worried about going on a run and running off with the division. 

New York Yankees: 19-20, pythag record 17-20.

2nd in the division in runs scored at 4.38/game, last in the division in runs allowed at 4.73.

With 3 starting pitchers (CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova) on the DL it's hard to imagine that they could contend. Masahiro Tanaka has been great, 5-0, 2.57. Rookie Yangervis Solarte (.330/.405/.473) and Mark Teixeira (.275/.389/.563) (when he's been healthy enough to play) have been carrying the offense. Derek Jeter is doing ok, for a 40 year old shortstop, and he's already played more games than last year. 

Tampa Bay Rays: 16-23, pythag 18-21.

3rd in the division in runs score, 4.23/game. 4th in runs allow, 4.67.

I went into the season thinking the Rays would be the team to beat, but with Matt Moore out for the season and Alex Cobb out until end of the month, it is tough. David Price hasn't quite been David Price (4.53 ERA). Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi both have ERAs over 5. 

Their offense has been pretty decent, despite slowish starts from Evan Longoria (.278/.335/.417) and Wil Myers (.257/.317/.392).

So what team do you think, other than the Blue Jays, has the potential to run away with the division?

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