That sound you just heard was the USA Mens National Team bandwagon coming to a screeching halt after their loss to a much more organized Belgium team. Nice run, boys.
The only good thing that came out of this loss is it gives me more time to concentrate on the baseball team I root for. And I’m not exactly sure that is a good thing at this point in the season. Why you ask?
Well after observing this inconsistent club for three months now, I think its about time they decide who they want to be come late September.
Do they want to be the winner of this mediocre at best AL East? Or do they want to go all 2013 on our orange Kool-Aid drinking asses again and come up short on making the playoffs?
So with that in mind, lets take the first part of that paragraph first and ask you the Kool-Aid consumers, “How many wins will it take to win this version of the AL East”? Here’s where everyone sits.
At post time, the Birds sit 45-39 (84 games total) and just a measly 1.0 game behind the reeling Blue Jays in second place. The older than dirt Yankees are 41-42 and 4.5 back, while the defending champ Red Sox sit at 38-47 (8.5 back). And finally its the team I thought would win this division, the Rays, at 38-49 (9.5 back) sitting in the basement (Though they have won 7 out of their last 10, but it looks more and more likely their best pitcher David Price will be moved).
So unless anyone in the division makes a blockbuster trade deadline move, it looks like a case of “they are who they are” type situation in this division. So why not the Birds?
Well the pessimist in me would point back to the month of May where the O’s were in prime position to compile some wins on some bottom feeders, but instead missed out and finished a disappointing .500 for the month. June was a little better as they posted a 16-12 record and July they are off to a red-hot 2-0 start.
But will those .500 or a couple over months be enough to win this division? And how many wins will it take?
Well, according to my Towson math the winner of the AL East this year will have between 87-90 wins and here’s why.
No one is good enough in the division to get out and run away with it based on their current rosters. In fact, you could say the Blow Jays will come back even further and have played way above their pay grade to this point in the season. The Old Timers in NY? Please. Besides Masahiro Tanaka (who the O’s “own”), their pitching staff is garbage and if you think Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira aren’t going to get hurt then I have some ocean front property for you in Death Valley.
The Red Sox are in full blown “next year” mode as they have begun to start playing younger players and unless Jon Lester turns into Clayton Kershaw, they are done too. The Rays are still hanging around and with their pitching could get back into this, but I just think they dug a hole too deep in the beginning of the season to crawl out of and again Price will be moved.
So that leaves your Baltimore Orioles as the best bet to win this division. Problem is, the sharps in Vegas don’t see it that way as both the Blue Jays and Yankees are favored ahead of the O’s who are about 3-1 to win the AL East according to Top Bet.
The next couple weeks going into the All Star Break and right after will be crucial for the Orioles due to the schedule. After the punting Rangers head back to that hell hole Arlington, the O’s go to Boston for three, then take on the Nationals for the MASN CUP for four and then finish up the break with three vs. the Yanks at the Yard.
After the break, they head West (like yours truly) to Oakland (3), LAA (3) and then end the trip with 4 at Safeco vs. a better than you think Seattle team. Not exactly the likes of the Lastros, Rangers and Padres on that schedule.
In closing, I still think the winner of this division will have between 87-90 wins and if you pinned me down like Triple H I would say that winner will be…..The Orioles. #Homer
Image Credit: Keith Allison