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AL East Report – June 8

The pandemic is “over” and it is the first day that you return to the office.

You wake up late as you’ve been used to hoping on Zoom calls right after waking up. You notice you haven’t done laundry in some time, so you throw on your freshest clothing. You’re about to leave when you realize that you don’t have sox, so you run upstairs and throw on one white sox and one red sox and you make the bus in time. While the analogy leaves a lot to be desired, the Jays have a Sox-filled week as they play both the White Sox and Red Sox.

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This past week was another winning week as they went 3-2, yet the Blue Jays are still 6 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the division lead. Eventually the excuse of “it’s still early” ends and quite frankly, I believe we are already past that point as we’ve made it through a third of a season.

It is pivotal that they have a winning week as the Rays’ schedule is easy as hell. Furthermore, Boston is second in the AL East, so winning that series gives the Jays an excellent chance to make up games.

With all that being said, how did the rest of the AL East do?

Tampa Bay Rays:

The Rays had one of their worst weeks in recent memory finishing with a record of 4-3 dating back to last Monday. They split their series against the Yankees and won two of three against the lowly Texas Rangers. Yet, they have maintained their divisional lead by half a game against the Red Sox.

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Glasnow continues to pitch well to teams not called the Blue Jays as in his only start of the week, he went 7 IP allowing just 3 ER. Furthermore, they continue to win even though no play really hits for average. Nonetheless, they produce an average of 5 runs a game which is tied for third-best in the MLB. I attribute it to witchcraft, but it could also be because they absolutely stole both Meadows and Glasnow from the Pirates.

Looking ahead, they have the Nationals for a two-game set starting tonight as well as a three-game series starting Friday at home against the Orioles. Both are easy opponents and the Jays will have to have a good week to maintain the pace.

Regarding their strength of schedule according to Team Rankings, they have had the third most difficult schedule in all of MLB. I hate to say it, but I really don’t believe the Blue Jays will catch them this season.

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Boston Red Sox:

After starting the week off rocky losing their first 3 games, the Red Sox fired back winning their next five, including sweeping the Yankees which we’ll get into during their section. Like the Jays, they seemed to struggle against the filthy Astros, winning only one of three while only scoring four in their first three games.

They then beat the Yankees in their first two games fair and square with the third one being extremely controversial, again, I’ll get to it. Fin-ally, their last game was a makeup game against the hornless Marlins, easily beating them 5-3. 

Eovaldi dropped his ERA sub 4.00 with a good outing versus the Yankees on Friday, while Martin Perez’s ERA is 3.09 after a great game against the Astros where he didn’t allow a run in 7.2 IP. He is their ace.

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Bogaerts (which I have likely misspelled multiple times) and JD Martinez continue to rake the ball while Devers and Verdugo provide secondary offense.

After playing both the Astros and Yankees, they’ve moved up to have the 22nd hardest schedule in all of MLB. This will increase further as they play a three-game series against the Astros again as well as a four-gamer against the Blue Jays, both at Fenway.

This is an incredibly important week for both the Red Sox and Blue Jays as games could be made up (Jays a 5.5 GB the Sox).

Yankees:

After splitting the series against the Rays, they went and lost three straight against the Red Sox. 

The bulk of the Yankees section will be based on the horrible 3rd strike on Odor. I hate the dude, but man it was one of the worst calls of the season. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I am a huge fan of the phrase “roboumps.” whenever there is a missed call. The picture below was the “strike” in question.

This in no way should ever be called a strike. The old phrase “oh you need to protect the zone in a 3-2 count” doesn’t apply to a pitch that is nearly a foot out of the zone. This was a strike call in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on third. Call the game.

Here’s the thing though. Minus this awful call, the ump Gabe Morales actually had a great game according to @umpscorecards on Twitter as you can see below.

It’s important to remind the Yankees that they have also benefited from a generous third strike call that was way off the plate, this one against the beloved Jays actually ended the game, however.

Take this with a grain of salt, but according to Harold Brown on Twitter, this call and the proceeding loss made the Yankees sellers at the deadline. How credible this report is, we’ll see, but I truly do believe the Yankees aren’t a great team this year.

Starting tonight, they play a three-game set against the terrible Tlosses and a two gamer against the Philosers on the weekend. They are officially fourth in the AL East after their poor week, but this week’s schedule may be a lifeline for the overrated Yankees.

Baltimore Orioles:

We know the drill. They suck. The Jays still haven’t got a chance to play them and won’t until the 18th. Surprisingly though they actually had a winning week, finishing 4-2 this week (all against the AL Central) and absolutely demolishing Cleveland’s baseball team 18-5 on Sunday. This goes to show you that the AL East is by far the best division when the bad birds of the East are demolishing other division’s teams.

Honestly, if they were in any other AL division, I could see them finishing third if they got to play Detroit, Kansas and Minnesota or Los Angeles, Seattle and Texas more often than their AL East competitors.

Oh and John Means was taken out of his last start and was later placed on the IL. Screw baseball.

Conclusion:

This week is an opportunity to gain games on the Red Sox as they play a four-game set against them. To further help with their quest for second in the division, the Red Sox play against the Astros who they didn’t have a good series against last week while the Jays play the overrated White Sox.

While I don’t believe the Jays will catch the Rays, it is important to go 5-2 from tonight to next Monday to at least try and keep pace with the Rays.

Yankees suck.

If you want to argue with me like the Redditors did when I proposed the Groshans, Pardinho, Jansen for German Marquez trade, give me a follow on twitter @Brennan_L_D.