Updated AL East Final Standings Predictions After 1 Month of Baseball
The final standings may be hard to predict after one month, but it seems pretty evident that the top-three teams through the first month may be in the race all season long.
The AL East has been very competitive in recent years with the resurgence of the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles. With the additions the Toronto Blue Jays made in the offseason, it is now a full five-team race for only two or three playoff spots.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox need to prove themselves in 2013 with a team full of injured superstars and a horrid 2012 respectively, and so far they are doing just that. But will they keep up their torrid starts the rest of the season?
5. Toronto Blue Jays, 70-92
Current Record: 5th Place, 9-17
The Blue Jays' pitching staff is one of the worst in the majors. It is the fourth worst in the AL and fourth worst overall with a 4.46 team ERA through 26 games.
If this keeps up in the upcoming months, then the Blue Jays will continue to falter and their 2013 season will be a bust.
4. Tampa Bay Rays, 83-79
Current Record: 4th, 12-13
The Tampa Bay Rays are only a couple of games out of a wild-card spot after the first month and that is thanks to the 3.79 team ERA through 25 games.
Their offense has not helped much as they have scored only 103 runs through 25 games, which is about four runs per game. They have had a lot of close losses and that means that some of those games should end up being wins later on in the season.
3. New York Yankees, 87-75
Current Record: 2nd, 15-9
The New York Yankees will just miss a playoff spot after having a pretty good start to the 2013 season with a 15-9 record.
The Yankees are fifth best with 112 runs though their 24 games. Their team ERA is tied with the Rays at 3.79, but they are winning a lot of the close games.
The bullpen has been strong, but many of those runners that they have allowed have not scored. Eventually, the bullpen will blow a couple leads and the Travis Hafner's of the world won't be able to carry this offense forever.
The months of May and June will be tough on the Yankees and their record will drop some until the stars return later in the season.
2. Baltimore Orioles, 89-73
Current record: 3rd, 15-10
The Baltimore Orioles offense is second in the AL with 129 runs scored through 25 games. Their pitching staff has a 3.78 ERA and has won close games lately.
The Orioles have some luck with the play of Chris Davis, who has nine home runs and 28 RBI to lead the AL while hitting .349. If he can keep slugging the ball out of the park, then the O's will be contenders for one of the wild-card spots.
Their great record in one-run games in 2012 won't carry over in 2013 as they are already 4-5 in those types of games in April.
It will be a close race for the Orioles and Yankees for the wild card, but in the end, the Orioles will be the one team to achieve a playoff berth.
1. Boston Red Sox, 94-68
Current record, 1st, 18-7
The Boston Red Sox would have a better record except for a couple miscues in a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals and a huge blown save for Joel Hanrahan against the Baltimore Orioles in their first home series of 2013.
The Red Sox are right behind the Orioles with 128 runs in 25 games. However, the Red Sox' pitching staff has pitched to a tune of a 3.39 ERA, which is third best in the AL.
Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester have led the way with a 9-0 record and an ERA under 2.00 in their first 10 starts. They won't keep winning all of their starts all season, but it feels as if the Sox have a great 1-2 punch at the start of the rotation that will keep them in games all season.
Also, since Hanrahan struggled early on, Andrew Bailey got his chance as the closer for a couple weeks and picked up five saves in six opportunities while only allowing two earned runs in 12 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 20 batters in those innings.