This week the top three teams in the standings have some good news on the injury front. The added players can certainly help the top three gain in the standings. The Red Sox and Yankees are trying to catch up to the Rays as they continue their streak of great pitching and hitting. The Blue Jays are looking to gain some ground on the Yankees and Red Sox while the Orioles can showcase a possible trade piece.

Let’s dive into what each team in the American League East has done and where it leaves them in the standings this week.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

The Rays split their series against the Nationals. Tyler Glasnow pitched seven innings while giving up one run and 11 strikeouts. Yandy Diaz went 4 for 8 against the Nationals with three walks. The Rays struck out 21 times in two games.

As they face the Orioles at home for three games, Ji-Man Choi, who was out with a sore groin, could be ready as soon as Sunday or Monday against the White Sox. Everyone knew the Pace they had set over the past month couldn’t continue. 

BOSTON RED SOX

The Red Sox started their week by completing a sweep against the Marlins in the postponed game on Monday. J.D. Martinez returned to the lineup against the Astros after sitting out three days due to a sore wrist. He hit his 13th home run on Thursday night. The Sox lost the series against the Astros again with Martin Perez and Nathan Eovaldi not able to shut down the offense. The series finale was better for the Red Sox offense in scoring 12 runs but the pitching barely held on. The lead kept going back and forth until the Sox were able to add a couple of more runs to pad the lead.

Chris Sale was with the team this week as he starts to build up his arm and return to the team.  There isn’t an exact timetable on when he will return but late July/early August is the best guess. Sale mentioned that he wouldn’t mind entering the game as a reliever if it meant returning sooner. The Jays come into town for a four-game series. 

NEW YORK YANKEES

The Yankees started this week by taking the series against the Twins. Many fans were anticipating the matchup between Gerrit Cole and Josh Donaldson on Wednesday after the comments made about sticky stuff. Donaldson struck out twice against Cole. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered in the same game with Stanton homering twice in Wednesday night’s game. Stanton also hit a home run in Thursday night’s game. Five runs weren’t enough to complete the sweep. Aroldis Chapman blew the save giving up two 2-run home runs in the 9th without recording an out. Pretty horrible way to lose a game but at least the Yankees took a series after two weeks of not being able to. 

Today they have an odd off-day as they head to Philadelphia to face the Phillies for a quick two-game set. Jameson Taillon and Domingo German will be starting in the series and play under National League rules. Luis Severino has started his rehab assignments in Low-A Tampa. His next start will be on Saturday. 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

The Blue Jays lost the series against the White Sox. Bo Bichette has gone 5 for 12 and Marcus Semien went 3 for 14 against the White Sox. Alek Manoah pitched five innings giving up two runs, one earned, and had four strikeouts in the 6-2 win in game two. In the last 23 games, Vldamir Guerrero Jr has had 10 home runs, 22 RBI, 1.265 OPS, and his average has been .366. He is making a case for himself to be voted into the All-Star game this year and I will be shocked if he doesn’t make it.

They play a four-game series in Fenway this weekend that ends on Monday. Manoah and Eovaldi start the series finale. George Springer continues to work towards being healthy and playing with the team soon.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

The Orioles split the series against the Mets and in each game, the winning team scored at least 10 runs. Trey Mancini went 3 for 8 and Cedric Mullins went 3 for 8 with two RBIs and a walk. Matt Harvey pitched only three innings while giving up seven runs. The last six starts for Harvey haven’t been great. He is 0-5 with a 14.19 ERA and .406 BAA.

Maybe not an All-Star chance for him but he could attract some teams at the trade deadline if he improves. The O’s head to Tampa for the weekend series. They can be spoilers for the Rays as the Red Sox and Yankees try to gain ground. 

LET’S SPIN IT

Currently, the standings have the Yankees behind the Rays six games in the loss column and five behind the Red Sox. Second place can be interesting if the Yankees continue getting the big hits and winning games. The Red Sox and Rays have been 6-4 in the last 10 games. The Yankees have the worse record in the last 10 games going 4-6. The All-Star Game will be here before we know it and we know that anything can happen in the standings. This month should be interesting for the AL East. 

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MLB Pitching: A sticky situation