American League East Playoff Race

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American League East Playoff Race

James Kim, Staff Writer

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As October baseball is coming closer, the playoff chase in the Major Leagues is becoming tighter. While most division clinchers are already determined, the American League East still does not have a clear leader. The division is made up of five teams, four of which are in a legitimate race for first place.

The Boston Red Sox, currently in the lead, could possibly lose its position as the other three teams are showing their potential to clinch the division. They are in the lead for a reason, as they are filled with talent. Their starting rotation is led by all-stars David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Drew Pomeranz, and the promising Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez. Their other key players include Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia. They lead the MLB in team average, runs batted in, and on base percentage. It is clear as to why Boston is currently in first place.

The Baltimore Orioles are currently in second place in the division, two games behind Boston. They are home run producers as they have hit more home runs than any other team in the major leagues.  Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, Pedro Alvarez, Mark Trumbo, and Chris Davis are all power hitters, each has hit twenty or more home runs. Despite having a shaky rotation of pitchers, their lively bats give them a chance to make the playoffs.

The Toronto Blue Jays are in third place, two and a half games back from first place. The team has arguably the most valuable starting rotation in all of baseball. Their rotation is made up of Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada , and R.A. Dickey. They are one of two teams in the American League with a team ERA under 4. Their offense is also led by the bats of Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, and Russell Martin. The Jays’ group of excelling pitchers will possibly lead the team to the top.

The New York Yankees are in fourth place, the final team in the division who has a chance to become the leader. The first half of the season was slow, filled with inconsistent pitching and the inability to consistently score runs. At the trade deadline they gave up some of their best players, including Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew Miller. Rather than becoming worse, their record has improved dramatically. Masahiro Tanaka has consistently pitched quality games, almost ensuring a win for every start. At the plate, rookie Gary Sanchez, Starlin Castro, and Didi Gregorius have led the team to a solid record.

As the season is winding down, the AL East will be a division to keep your eyes on. Anything can happen in baseball, and there are several outcomes that may happen to lead to the postseason.

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