With the first two weeks in the books, Jays From the Couch will take a look at the American League East Division. Join us each week as we will breakdown for you how the Blue Jays are faring within the craziest division in baseball.
Week two is in the books for the American League East, and as you can see below the division, outside of New York, played exactly .500 baseball through Sunday.
Standings (Week 2)
The overall standing haven’t changed over the week. The only difference being the Orioles came down earth a bit from their hot 5-0 start.
Baltimore: The Orioles began their week by extending their hot streak up to seven games by beating Boston the first two games of their series. The rest of their week saw them dropping three of the next four, including their last game of the Boston series and two of three to Texas. They have been still hitting the ball extremely well and have averaged 5.45 R/G helped by their American League leading twenty-three (23) home runs. The pitching on the other hand has come back to earth by allowing 5.83 R/G over their last six games, and moving their overall average to 4.09 R/G. Baltimore was rained out on Sunday, have an off day Monday, but will open up a three game series with Toronto on Tuesday, and visit Kansas City for three over the weekend.
Boston: The Red Sox played .500 ball over the week. Starting by dropping two of three to the Orioles, but then taking two of three from the Blue Jays over the weekend, with one more game in the wrap around series on Monday. Boston has been excellent on the offensive side of the ball, and continued that this week; however their starting pitching has been suspect. As a group the starters have compiled an ERA of 5.70, which ranks fifteenth (15th) in the American league. After completing the Jays series today, the Sox welcome the Rays for a three game set, then on to Houston for three game set starting Friday
Toronto: The Blue Jays started their week by winning two of three from New York in a mid-week series, but saw their progression stopped by dropping the first two of a four game series to Boston over the weekend. The offense has shown some signs of life, including a fourteen hit game on Sunday which pulled them back to .500 for the week. There is still a lot of unpredictability in the lineup at the moment as seen by their slugging and on-base percentages which rank seventh (7th) and tenth (10th) in the American League, respectively. The starting pitching has the best ERA in the AL East at 3.44, which is also fifth (5th) best in the American League. What’s up is down, and what’s down is up, for the Jays at the moment. After wrapping up the Patriot’s Day game in Boston on Monday, the Blue Jays head to Camden Yards for three with Baltimore before heading home to welcome the Athletics for three from Friday to Sunday.
New York: The Yankees had themselves a pretty bad week this week. They dropped four of six to the Blue Jays and Mariners, with a run differential of negative (-11) eleven, scoring fifteen while allowing twenty-six. Unsurprisingly the Yankees bullpen has been solid with a 2.36 ERA, and a division best K/9 of 14.62. The problem for them early this season is getting to the bullpen. As a group the starting pitcher have averaged 5.5 IP/GS, which, even with their bullpen, is not sustainable over a six month season. It will be interesting how they look to manage this issue going forward. New York welcomes Oakland and Tampa to the Bronx for three games each this week.
Tampa Bay: The Rays has what the most even leveled week of anyone in the division. In addition to splitting their six games this week, losing tow of three to Cleveland before taking two of three from the White Sox, they also had a run differential of zero (0) over the week. Tampa’s pitching staff has been as advertised, they are now ranked second behind Toronto in ERA at 3.52, and lead the division as a staff with 10.62 K/9. The bullpen has also been solid early this season with a 2.62 ERA, which third (3rd) in the division and fifth (5th) overall in the American League. Where the Rays have really struggled is on the offensive side of the ball where they are currently averaging 2.83 R/G and rank dead last in the American League with a .212 team batting average. This week sees them hit the road for three games sets in Boston and Yankee Stadium.
Below is the divisional breakdown of hitting and pitching. Including rankings in the American League. You will find the Blue Jays highlighted for easy review.
Hitting After Week Two (Sorted by Average)
Overall Pitching (Sorted by ERA)
Starting Pitching (Sorted by ERA)
Relief Pitching (Sorted by ERA)
*Feature Image Credit: C. Stem under CC BY-SA 2.0
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.