Monday, April 7, 2008

AL East Roundup - Baltimore On Top

Yes, that's right the Baltimore Orioles, pre-season favorites to finish last in the division, are sitting alone at the top of the standings. The Boston Red Sox, who many thought would finish first, are in last place. It's still early and things will settle down as the season wears on, but still, it's quite amusing.

The Yankees offense will definitely start scoring a lot more runs before long. The big question is will it be enough to keep their pitching staff afloat. I think what you've seen is what you'll get from the Yankees rotation the rest of the year. Pettitte will have better days, but he'll also have bad days and will miss starts due to injury. Wang will once again pitch consistently well. Kennedy will certainly have better days but will bomb frequently in his first full season as a starter. Phil the franchise will throw masterpieces from time to time, but expect him to get roughed up as well. Mussina will give up 4-5 runs or every outing and will need help from the offense. Joba will work his way into the rotation eventually. Farnsworth and Hawkins will continue to give up runs.

The Red Sox have hit well, but haven't been able to put together sequences to give them runs. They'll start tacking more points up on the board and will right the ship. It seemed to me they were the victim of some uncharacteristic errors and poor fielding this week. Toronto has been playing very well and definitely served the Sox a harsh wake up call. Beckett will get back into form and start lasting longer, giving Sox fans the quality starts they've been expencting. Lester will have his ups and downs. Dice-K continues to show he's the real deal Buchholz is going to have some growing pains. MDC might just be Boston's version of Kyle Farnsworth. The good news for the Sox is that they are playing winless Detroit next. Maybe Kenny Rogers will help the BoSox bats get hot.

Toronto has been on their game. Starting pitching has looked solid and their bats have delivered in the clutch. I'm thinking that they're going to give someone quite a battle for second place in the East.

Tampa had some strong outings against the Yankees, taking advantage of sloppy pitching and throwing some great games themselves. Despite their impressive start, I'm not buying into the hype or the few predictions that they're going to win 90+ games this year.

I don't have any explanation for Baltimore's success so far, other than to say somehow they score more runs than the other guy. It won't take long for them to find their place back at the bottom of the standings.

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