Red Sox: 2 Pretenders and 2 Contenders in the AL East

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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Pretender 1. Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore has been a blooming product that has been exciting to watch. With emerging stars budding from every position, it seems like the Orioles have finally taken the right steps towards the future within their organization. Players like Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Cedric Mullins have been the core pieces in the turnaround for the O's.

The Birds have one of the youngest starting rosters in the MLB and have been able to storm into the season early with a flourishing 28-16 record. If age is any barometer to speed, the Birds are the third-best team when stealing with a collective 41 stolen bases and an OBP of .330 on the season.

While the O's have been electric on the bases and have caught the attention of many within the MLB, the team lacks a prominent ace within its rotation. It seems as if the Orioles always boast onto the scene and collapes as the year moves on, with a young and inexperienced team mixed within question marks on the mound, expect the O's to miss the playoffs this season.

Pretender 2. Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have been able to spring together some impressive wins this season. The Sox have been scratched and clawed their way to a 24-20 record this season. The Sox have been resilient with ten comeback wins including three walk-off wins in 2023.

Despite the team's heroics, Boston has struggled within the division with a record of 7-7 in the AL East and still has 12 divisional matchups left on the season. One of the biggest question marks for the Red Sox has been finding consistency on the mound where they rank in the bottom half of the league with a team ERA of 5.00.

Although the team has been able to capture many come-from-behind wins this season, the bats will only be able to provide so much for the team moving forward. With tougher matchups down the stretch and not much confidence in the starting rotation, bank the Red Sox to be watching the playoffs from home come October.

Honorable mention: Toronto Blue Jays

It feels like every season we anticipate the Blue Jays to make a deep playoff run similar to their 2016 season, but the Jays have missed the playoffs four times in the last six years. However, this year seems a bit different with the team keeping pace in the hottest division in baseball with a 25-19 record.

The Jays' young phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr has done a great job of providing offense for the team this season with a slash line of .312/.385/.516, seven home runs, and 26 RBI. Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassit have been a tremendous one-two punch for the Jays combing for 125 strikeouts, seven wins, and a shutout.

Toronto ranks in the top half of the league in terms of pitching this year with a ERA of 3.93 on the mound, 12 combined saves coming from the bullpen and 398 punch-outs ranking seventh in the league for strikeouts.

With the Blue Jays ranking in the top half of the league for pitching and hitting expect these notions to stand as a great stepping stone towards the Blue Jays to reach the post season and could possible be the year the Jays make a deep push.