It is often argued that the American League East division is Baseball's toughest division. Baseball's two largest names currently lead the division, with the Boston Red Sox closely followed by the New York Yankees.
And if you thought it got any easier, it certainly doesn't. The Orioles, who forced themselves into the play offs in the 2012 season, are just 0.5 games behind New York and a comfortable 3.5 games in front of Tampa Bay, whom they pipped to the play offs last year.
Canada's only Major League representative, the Toronto Blue Jays, are at the foot of the AL East standings but have a roster capable of surging towards the top.
The Red Sox, who play at one of baseball's most iconic ballparks, Fenway Park, have produced a so far outstanding win percentage of .692 as a result of a superb combination of pitching and hitting.
Clay Buchholz, for example, has won five games out of five with an earned run average of just 1.19. Boston's hitting has also been pretty hot, namely David Ortiz who is at an outstanding hit average of .500 over 36 at bats.
Of course, the Red Sox are expected to cool off in the coming weeks after a wonderful start to the regular season, however, they are certainly contenders for this years play-off race.
The Yankees, MLB's most successful side with 27 World Series wins, stand two games behind the Red Sox as they go into their series deciding game with the Astros.
New York have, once again, been impressive with a win percentage of .615. The Bronx side have been blighted by injury at the start of the regular season, with key players missing such as Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.
The return of such players will light up the Yankees bats even further and they can be expected, as ever, to be in the play-off mix come September.
The Orioles follow and have also had an impressive start, although having to rely on hitting. In the early parts of the season, it was almost impossible for Chris Davis to miss the baseball and is at a healthy .442 on base percentage.
Could we see the Orioles making the post season for the second successive season?
Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays make up the last two positions in the AL East standings.
The Rays have had a stuttering start to the season, winning 12 of their 26 games. The Rays latest fall came at the hands of former pitcher James Shields, who pitched the Kansas City Royals to an 8-2 win over the Florida side. One of the main criticisims of the Rays this season has been their inability to pitch and hit well in the same game.
The American League Cy Young winner, David Price, is sure to come good after securing his first win of the season in Chicago and the hitting has got better, though still inconsistent.
The Rays organisation pride themselves on their pitching and they will have to maintain this throughout the season, while keeping key hitters healthy such as third baseman Evan Longoria to have a chance of reaching the post season.
Toronto have made a poor start to the season after making some nice acquisitions in the off-season. Toronto were expected to be a strong side in 2013, but have so far only posted a win percentage of .370. It should only be a case of the side gelling together and we can expect the Blue Jays to heat up, however they mustn’t leave it too late with Boston, the Yankees and baltimore all looking good.
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