The American League East was written off to start the year, but they are quickly climbing back up our MLB Power Rankings.
Assumption is a dangerous game in Major League Baseball. With a 162-game season that spans nearly six months there are just too many possibilities, too many cogs in the machine to waste time reading too much into a hot or cold start. The MLB season is a marathon and not a sprint, and we’ve seen contenders come and go during the dog days of summer.
So perhaps the media and pundits were a bit too hasty in burying the American League East and declaring 2015 as a down year in what has typically been baseball’s strongest division. On May 31st, the division was abyssmal, with only two teams over .500 (and one game over at that), and the other three all fighting through mediocrity and inconsistency. Here is how those standings looked just one month ago.
[table id=95 /]
That start left quite a bit of room for improvement, and the division as a whole jumped at the chance to do so. Entering play on July 1st, four of the five teams are now playing better than .500 ball and every team with exception to the Boston Red Sox sits within one game of first place. While every single team in the division has its flaw, they have all played to their strengths and used that to their respective advantages to assault the rest of the league and make their respective records much more palatable.
[table id=96 /]
With the trade deadline approaching and each of these teams in contention, the rest of the American League may regret not being able to bury the A.L. East earlier. They will certainly be players on the market and almost all will be in full buying mode.
How will that impact the power balance in baseball in this week’s MLB Power Rankings? Let’s take a look!
Next: 26-30: The Phillies dumpster fire burns without mercy