We're almost a month into the season, and it seems an appropriate time for another trip "Around the AL East."
Here’s a look at a main storyline for each opponent in the Orioles' division as well as a look at who's hot and who's not on each club:
BOSTON RED SOX (16-7)
I’m not about to brag, because my preseason predictions overall don’t look so great. But I did go on record saying that, in the AL East, “each of the five teams could conceivably win the division — or finish last.”
Many people thought the Red Sox were the team least equipped to contend for the division title, but that sure hasn’t looked the case through four weeks of baseball.
Yes, it’s still incredibly early. If this were an NFL schedule, we’d only be through about two games. But it’s far enough along to wonder if we should start taking the Red Sox seriously, a question The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tackled yesterday.
It’s been an emotional stretch for Boston, and this new group of non-divas seems to be meshing. The real revelation, though, is that Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are both pitching like aces with their former pitching coach John Farrell back as manager.
NEW YORK YANKEES (13-9)
Yankees fans are never going to be overly impressed by a 13-9 record, but with the team they’re putting on the field right now, they probably should.
If the Yankees can continue to hover above .500 and get Granderson and Teixeira back soon, they could be right in the mix for the division title again. But the rate at which their players are going down has to be alarming.
Who’s hot: Robinson Cano (.319/.374/.626 with 7 homers)
Who’s not: The bullpen, which ranks 23th in the majors in ERA (4.37) and 28th in batting average against (.261).