What you see above is a copy of the standings (via ESPN) from Friday afternoon. All 5 teams in the American League East entered play on Friday afternoon coming off wins, 4 of the teams riding win streaks of 4 or more. The Red Sox and Yankees played head-to-head, meaning one of their streaks ended Friday. The Jays and Rays, however, both won on Friday night meaning three of the teams in The Best Division In Baseball then rode 5 game winning streaks.
Predictably, the division is stacked. The Rays own oodles of buzz as the best team in baseball, with their lofty run differential, tidy defense, and ability to lay down for skinny gangsters from Stockton, CA. The Yankee juggernaut rolls on while the Red Sox operate on a plane of existence all their own. Much of the discussion over the weekend surrounded the BoSox woes and how on Earth would they catch the two juggernauts above them? Good question, but one thing: they trail three teams in their division.
Nobody in their right mind expects the Toronto Blue Jays to continue winning games at a .580 clip. That the Jays are doing so in the first place is something of a worsening miracle. Canada's team pulled this very trick last year, beating down the weak sisters of the American League for the first few months, patiently waiting for the Yankees and Rays to come to down and destroy their hopes and dreams.
Take hope, Beantowners. The Red Sox might scuffle now, but a quick run through the middle of the country and they'll be fine, trust me. They'll run roughshod over the A.L. Central horror show and find themselves riding a tidy winning streak. A nice West Coast trip, smacking around teams who will all finish within three games of .500 and each other by the end of the season.
The unfortunate side of this dominant division: it is also baseball's least competitive. Home to baseball's worst record (your 2010 OriLOLes!) the two frontrunners are already rendering this race over. The Red Sox —still shoe-ins to win at least 85 games— have less than a 5% chance of winning the Wild Card, according to Coolstandings.com. Rhetorical question time: is this competitive imbalance good for baseball? The universe at large? Should we break up these juggernauts in the name of all that is just or let these savages battle among themselves until the end of time and revenue sharing?