Welcome to the 2nd edition of Sunday Smorgasbord. Today we will be looking at ananalysis of the week for the AL East.
Tampa Bay 49-32
Tampa went 5-1 this past week (off on Monday), to move into first place in the AL East. The pitching had a total 3.40 ERA over the week, and the offense scored 44 runs, an average of slightly more than 7 runs a game. They continue to tear up the AL East, and if they haven't proved it already, these guys are for real. Their ptiching is great, and they have found a nice rhythm with the bats as well. Look for these guys to do more of the same this week as they face the Red Sox in an intrguing matchup for first. Of the Rays win, they can very much extend that lead. Then they face the Royals, which should be easy for this now contending team.
Boston Red Sox 50-34
Standing at half a game behind the Rays are the Red Sox. Going a very modest 3-3 this week (off Thursday), the Red Sox have given first place momentarily over to the Rays. The ptiching had an ERA of 3.63 for the week while the Sox managed only about 4.5 runs for the week, not so stelte for the defending champs. This seasons has had its share fo inconsistency fort he champs, and they are probably grateful the interleague play is over, as they finish 11-7. This upcoming week consists of important series, as they face Tampa for first, and then the hard-charging Yankees right after, all games on the road. This will be a tough week, and we will check bak on their progress.
New York Yankees 44-38
The Yankees have really been coming on strong lately. Going 3-3 this week, and either losing big or winning big, the only thing keeping them in the division is that the Rays and Red Sox are rumbling with each other, enabling the Yanks to sneak up on them. A 5.54 ERA this week, the Yanks need to get it together, as they face Texas and Boston this coming week. Texas has been no pushover this year, and Boston is,well, Boston, and always tough for the Yanks to beat. The yanks will be there at the end of the year, but with the Rays in the mix, do the yanks have enough? If their pithcing keeps up weekly ERAs of 5.54, then the answer is a most obvious no.
Baltimore Orioles 41-39
Hanging around with a record slightly over .500 are the pesky Orioles. Also going 3-3 this week, they enjoyed wins aginst Chicago (twice) and Washington (once). The team ERA for the week was 4.24, and they averaged almost 6 runs a game. The Orioles are 7.5 back in the divison, but with Tampa playing Boston and New York playing Boston, the O's upcoming schedule, which consists of the Royals and Rangers, may enable them to cut into that deficit a bit. Don't expect the O's to be in contention for a playoff spot, but if certain things go their way, anything is possible. These guys can be a sleeper team in the AL East. We will keep our eyes on their progress.
Toronto Blue Jays 40-43
The bottom-feeders of the AL East, and the only team in the division under .500, the Jays have not lived up to their 3rd-place billing. They went 4-2 this month, but have no chance in their very tough division, and right now, are just looking to possibly position themselves for a Wild Card push, although that is even doubtful. They had a very imressive 2.83 ERA over the week, the ebst in their division. If they can keep playing with this consistency, anything is possible, although more than likely, they will be on the beaches come October. Their upcoming week they will be on the road, against the awful Mariners, and then the first-place Angels. Could be an interesting week, but they have alot of work to do, and are running out of time to do it. An 81-81 season is still possible, but in this division, that could still be only good enough for a last place finish. How the Jays season shakes out will certainly be interesting, and worth watching.
That is your analysis for this week. Over the next 5 weeks, we will cover the other 5 divisions. Next week: AL Central.
Enjoy your week and the upcoming 4th of July holiday.