Headed into this year, the Boston Red Sox appeared to be a lock to win the American League East. Yeah. Tampa Bay didn’t get on base enough. Toronto didn’t do enough to replace Edwin Encarnacion. And frankly, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees starting rotations didn’t look so hot. And yet, here we are May 12, with the Red Sox sitting in third place.
Certainly, not having David Price is a reason why the Red Sox are where they are right now. Could say the same about their overall lack of Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith. But on top of that, maybe the Orioles and Yankees were a lot better than people were giving them credit for.
Last year, the Yankees finished the year in 4th at 84-78, but what some might not remember is that they went 75-61 from May 6 onward. The first place Red Sox were about 76-58 in that same span. So yeah, they were just as good as the Red Sox for most of last year. Plus, they got a boost late in the year from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Plus, they can actually depend on Luis Severino this year to pitch well in their rotation–like he did last year.
They’re healthy too, so that’s a plus.
And the Baltimore Orioles were competitive all of last year too. The surprise here is that while Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching poorly, Wade Miley isn’t. Dude has a 2.45 ERA in seven outings thus far. Not sure if he’ll keep it up, but the point is that he was supposed to not do well, and that was gonna be the team’s issue: starting pitching. Obviously, there a team that has a lot of power, but they’ve been getting timely hits too, which is key.
There’s still reasons to doubt both teams, but not any to count them out entirely just because you’ve got bad blood with them.