With almost 50 games into the 2016 season, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles seem like the battle for the A.L. East crown will be fought until game 162.
For the past two weeks, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles have been going back and forth for either taking the lead in the A.L East or being in a tie. With that being said, it seems like this seesaw battle does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
In the beginning of the season, I was not expecting the Orioles to be performing the way they have been. Just like everyone else, I was expecting Boston and the Toronto Blue Jays to be fighting for the division crown in 2016. But as you can see from the standings, no team other than the Sox and O’s are above .500, making people think that Boston and Baltimore may be in it for the long haul.
So who do you think will be playing in October as the A.L. East Champs?
If you look at the numbers as of right now, it seems kind of obvious.
As we all know, everyone in the Red Sox order has been swinging the bat great. One way you can tell is that they are in first in almost every offensive category.
They are in first in batting average (.296), on-base-percentage (.359), slugging-percentage (.485), on-base percentage plus slugging (.844), RBI’s (245), triples (12), doubles (114), hits (464), and runs scored (256).
If you go back to the 2015 season where the Toronto Blue Jays were named the A.L. East champs, one thing that made them stand out from the rest was the offensive production and how consistent they stayed with piling on runs day in and day out. With the Red Sox mirroring what the Blue Jays did in 2015, if not better, I wouldn’t call you a risk taker if you said that the Sox would be playing October baseball as the division champions.
With Baltimore, like I said earlier, I am shocked that they are TECHNICALLY in first place based on their winning percentage. But can they keep it going? With all of the major offensive categories, Baltimore only leads in one, home runs. But you have to keep in mind that out of the 9 offensive categories the Red Sox are leading in, Baltimore is in second in 3 of those categories, being on-base-percentage, slugging-percentage, and on-base percentage plus slugging. Also, the pitching is nothing special either only leading in 2 categories, saves and fewest home runs allowed.
The last time we have watched the Red Sox be in a division race with only few games left in the season was in 2008 when they and the Rays were fighting until Tampa Bay ended up winning the A.L. East crown by just 2 games. It’s always fun (and stressful) to watch two teams go at it every day, hoping for one to slip and fall down in standings.
Now I understand, it’s early in the season and there is a lot of baseball left to be played. But when there hasn’t been a lead larger than 2 games in the division since April 24th, it is definitely something worth paying attention to because it doesn’t seem like either team will be giving up anytime soon.