Who’s Gonna Take AL East: Yankees, Red Sox Or Orioles?

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,June 6, 2017 12:45, EDT in

The American League East has been a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish for the better part of the last five season, with each AL resident winning the division at least once during the five-year span. In 2016, the Boston Red Sox won the division, one year after Toronto took home the title in 2015.

In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles surprised everyone to win the AL East after Boston did so in 2013. Sure, you have to go back to the 2012 campaign to find the New York Yankees’ last division title, but again, four different division winners in the last five years says the AL East is as competitive as it gets in Major League Baseball. If you want to know whether the Yankees, Red Sox or Orioles (sorry Toronto) is going to win the division in 2017, then read on! Find the latest baseball betting odds here.

Who’s Gonna Take AL East: Yankees, Red Sox Or Orioles?

 

 

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox (31-25) got off to a slow start this season, but they’ve heated up nicely by winning 10 of their last 14 games and now have the look of a team really ready to challenge, not only for the AL East division crown, but for the American League Pennant.

Boston has been solid, if not overpowering, in ranking 10th in scoring (4.8 rpg) at the time of this writing, but the BoSox will likely get better moving forward when Hanley Ramirez (.253) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (.233) among others, start to heat up at the plate. Gifted shortstop Xander Bogaerts (.330) has been outstanding this season and he’ll only get better once he starts getting some protection from guys like Ramirez and Mookie Betts (.264).

The good news is that Boston ranks seventh in team ERA (3.84) and third in both, quality starts (33) and strikeouts (539). Newly acquired staff ace southpaw Chris Sale (7-2, 2.89 ERA) has been as good as advertised while the return of veteran lefty David Price and surprising pitching of Brian Johnson (2-0, 2.57 ERA)  could be the difference between Boston winning the AL East or not.

New York Yankees (32-22)

New York Yankees (32-22)

No one saw the New York Yankees getting back into contention this early in their rebuilding phase, but here they are and they don’t look like they’re going anywhere – at least not at the moment. While behemoth outfielder Aaron Judge is getting the lion’s share of the national media attention for his outstanding start to the season (18 HRs, .324) the real reason why the Yankees are winning is because they’ve gotten some fantastic pitching to rank  fourth in team ERA (3.77), fourth in WHIP, 10th in strikeouts and eighth in quality starts (29).

Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90 ERA) has been rock-solid in compiling a fine ERA, although he doesn’t have the wins to go with how well he’s pitched. If Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA), Michael Pineda (6-3, 3.76 ERA), C.C. Sabathia (6-2, 4.12 ERA) and most importantly, Masahiro Tanaka (5-5, 6.34 ERA) can keep up their competent pitching this season, the Yankees could surprise.

In addition to Judge, New York has one of the game’s best young hitters in Starlin Castro (.315) and another up-and-coming youngster in Aaron Hicks (.321).  It might be a bit too early for the Yankees to win the division, but don’t tell that to them. I think the vast majority of baseball bettors and fans are expecting the Yankees to start fading at some point in the near future, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen.

Baltimore Orioles (29-26)

While it looks like the Baltimore Orioles could challenge both, Boston and New York for the AL East title this season, I say it’s not going to happen and you need to start expecting the O’s to start fading at some point soon. First and foremost, Baltimore is ranked just 21st in scoring (4.4 rpg) and doesn’t have a single hitter that has appeared in at least 35 games this season, batting at least .300.

In addition to that, the O’s are ranked an uninspiring 18th in team ERA (4.34), 29th in WHIP and 28th in strikeouts (397). While Wade Miley (2-3, 2.82 ERA) and Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93 ERA) have both been solid for Baltimore so far this season, that’s about where the Orioles stop at quality starters.

Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.89 ERA) and Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.59 ERA) have both been absolutely horrific this season and Baltimore’s lack of quality arms will be what keeps them from winning the AL East in 2017. As it stand right now, the Boston Red Sox are the pick to win the AL east this season, but it won’t come without a dogfight against their age-old nemesis, the New York Yankees, who could be playoff bound as a wild card this year.