WHO WILL LEAD THE AL EAST AFTER JUNE?

WITH JUNE COMING UP FAST AND THE FIRST COUPLE MONTHS OF THIS BASEBALL SEASON IN THE BOOKS LETS TAKE A LOOK AT WHO HAS THE HARDEST ROAD COMING UP AND WHAT IT COULD MEAN FOR THEIR SEASONS.
BALTIMORE:
TO START OFF THE SEASON THE ORIOLES WERE ONE OF THE HOTTEST TEAMS IN BASEBALL AND AT ONE POINT WERE UNDEFEATED THROUGH THE FIRST SEVEN GAMES. WITH ANOTHER SEVEN WIN STREAK IN THE BEGINNING OF MAY THAT HAS COMBINE TO MAKE A VERY IMPRESSIVE 24-14 RESUME TO LEAD THE DIVISION THUS FAR. WHILE THEY HAVE PLAYED SOME GREAT BASEBALL IN 2016 WHEN I LOOK AT THEIR RECORD AGAINST SOLID PITCHING SO FAR IT HAS NOT BEEN TOO GREAT WITH LOSSES TO HILL (OAK), ARCHER (TB), SABATHIA (NYY), SALE (W SOX), AND STROMAN (TOR). EVEN WITH THEIR STRUGGLES AGAINST ACES THEY STILL HAVE THE SIXTH BEST BATTING AVERAGE IN THE MAJORS AT .266 AND ARE SECOND IN HOMERS WITH 57. ALSO ITS WORTH NOTING THAT THE ORIOLES ARE MUCH BETTER AT HOME THIS YEAR THAN AWAY WITH A 17-7 RECORD AT HOME AND A 7-7 RECORD ON THE ROAD. THE MONTH OF JUNE SEES THEM AT HOME MORE THAN AWAY BUT AGAINST SOME TOUGH PITCHERS ESPECIALLY WITH BOSTON AND TAMPA BAY’S PITCHING REALLY FINDING THEIR GROOVES AS OF LATE. WITH BETTER THAN AVERAGE PITCHING THEY WILL STILL BE A FORCE TO RECON WITH AFTER THE MONTH OF JUNE.

BOSTON:
THE RED SOX HAVE BEEN ON FIRE LATELY GOING 8-3 IN THEIR LAST ELEVEN GAMES AND ARE CURRENTLY FIRST IN RUNS, HITS, BATTING AVERAGE, AND RBI’S THRU OUT THE MAJORS. YOU COMBINE THAT AND A PITCHING ROTATION THAT HAS PRICE AT 6-1, PORTCELLO AT 6-2, AND WRIGHT AT AN ERA OF 2.52. ONLY IN SECOND BY HALF A GAME I CAN SEE THIS TEAM BUMPING UP TO THE TOP SPOT VERY EASILY AND PLAYING AS GOOD ON THE ROAD AS THEY ARE AT HOME IS A PLUS TOO. IN JUNE THEY HAVE A TALL ORDER THOUGH PLAYING SOME OF THE TOP TEAMS IN THEIR DIVISIONS WITH SEATTLE AND TEXAS ON THAT LIST. IF I HAD TO PICK A FLAW WITH THIS TEAM IT WOULD BE THE BACK OF ITS ROTATION WITH BUCHHOLZ STILL LOOKING TO FIND HIS BEARINGS BUT OTHER THAN THAT THEY ARE PLAYING GREAT BASEBALL.

TAMPA BAY:
AFTER STRUGGLING THE FIRST COUPLE MONTHS TO GET ROLLING THE RAYS SEEM TO BE FINDING THEMSELVES ON THE BETTER SIDE OF THE WIN COLUMN AS OF LATE. THEY HAVE BEEN LIGHTING UP OPPOSING PITCHERS FOR THE PAST FEW OUTINGS SWEEPING THE BLUE JAYS IN DOMINATING FASHION. MOST OF THEIR STATS ARE NOT THAT NOTEWORTHY OTHER THAN TWO, THEY LEAD ALL OF THE MAJORS IN HOME RUNS WITH 58 (ONE MORE THAN BALTIMORE) AND THEY ARE SEVENTH IN ERA FOR THE LEAUGE AT 3.62. BUT WITH ARCHER STARTING TO COME BACK TO HIS CY YOUNG NOMINATION SELF, SMYLY HAS BEEN SOILD THIS YEAR WITH THE LOWEST ERA ON THE TEAM AND ANDRIESE LOOKS TO BE A GREAT PART OF THE ROTATION SO THAT ERA I THINK MIGHT DROP TO BE IN THE TOP THREE. IN JUNE THE RAYS DO HAVE A FORMIDABLE SCHEDULE BUT THE WAY THEY HAVE BEEN PLAYING I THINK THEY WILL COME OUT ON TOP MORE OFTEN THAN NOT.

NEW YORK:
THE YANKS ARE PRETTY MUCH A LOST CAUSE AT THIS POINT, AT 17-22 THEY ARE IN FIRM CONTROL OF LAST PLACE IN THE DIVISION WITH NO SIGN OF CHANGING THAT. THIER HITTING IS ALL OVER THE PLACE BEING HOT THEN COLD BUT FOR THE MOST PART ITS COLD. THEY ARE SECOND TO LAST IN HITS AND 25TH IN RUNS WITH THE ONLY SEMBLANCE OF HOPE THAT THEY HAVE STUCK OUT LESS THAN MOST OTHER TEAMS, MEANING THEY ARE MAKING CONTACT WITH THE BALL BUT JUST NOT GETTING ON BASE. THIS BARRAGE OF BAD OFFENSE IS PAIR WITH THIER STARTING PITCHING STRUGGLES. WITH TANAKA AND SABATHIA HAVING OUTINGS THAT BARELY GO FIVE INNINGS AND THOSE APPEARANCES HAVE BEEN LESS THAN STELLAR TO SUGAR COAT IT. THIER RELIEVERS HAVE BEEN HOLDING THE TEAM UP IN 2016 WITH MILLAR REALLY DOING SOME HEAVY LIFTING WHILE CHAPMAN WAS OUT. IN JUNE THEY HAVE A FAIRLY EASY SCHEDULE PLAYING THE TWINS SEVEN TIMES AND THE STRUGGLING LA ANGLES FOUR TIMES BUT OTHER THAN THAT IT LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE A LOT OF L’S FOR THE BOMBERS.

TORANTO:
WHERE TO BEGIN WITH THE BLUE JAYS….. BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED EVERYONE WAS SAYING THAT TORONTO WAS ON THIER WAY TO A WORLD SERIES APPEARANCE WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? WITH A PITIFUL .233 BATTING AVERAGE AND THE FOUTH MOST STRIKE OUTS IN THE MAJORS IT IS HARD TO SEE THEM WINNING ALOT IN THE FUTURE UNLESS A MAJOR TURN AROUND. BUT IF DONALDSON AND BAUTISTA CAN GET ON A ROLL THAT WOULD CERTAINLY BE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR THIS TEAM. THIER PITCHING HAS BEEN SOLID WITH HAPP AND STROMAN DOING WELL SO FAR BUT WITH NO OFFENSE BEHIND THEM THIER STATS HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE. COMBINE THIS WITH THE TOUGH SCHEDULE THEY HAVE IN JUNE PLAYING SERIES AGAINST PHILLY, BALTIMORE, THE WHITE SOX, AND BOSTON THE BLUE JAYS HAVE GOT IT ROUGH.

IN SUMMARY THRU THE MONTH OF JUNE THE AL EAST WONT SHAKE UP THAT MUCH BARRING SOMEONE GETTING ON A ROLE AND BUSTING AWAY. MY PREDICTIONS FOR THE DIVISION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

BALTIMORE
BOSTON
TAMPA BAY
NEW YORK YANKEES
TORONTO

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