This time last week we were applauding the moves the Toronto Blue Jays made before the Major League Baseball trade deadline. This landed them on our weekly American League Winners list. Now this time this week the team might be the hottest team in all of Major League Baseball and not just the American League.
The Blue Jays are currently riding an eight game winning streak while going 9-1 over their last ten games. This hot streak helped the Blue Jays move within 1.5 games of the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East while improving there over all record to 61-52
There latest stretch including winning all seven games they played during the first full week of August. The Blue Jays opened the week taking four straight over the Minnesota Twins. In that series the Blue Jays offense produced but it was the team’s pitching that stood out. The Blue Jays rotation allowed back to back one run games before allowing seven runs in game three but finished the series allowing just three runs.
After sweeping the Twins, the Blue Jays made a trip to New York to make up ground in the American League East. In the end the Blue Jays did exactly that sweeping the Yankees in the three game series allowing just one run in the three game series.
Now we will take a look at each of the three American League Divisions as well as how each team has played over the past week.
East Division: The American League East continues to be one of the more exciting divisions in all of baseball. The latest trends in the division point to the Blue Jays over taking the Yankees for the top spot while the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays can’t seem to make their mind up on what they want to do.
While the Blue Jays have been the hottest team in the division the other four teams have taking a slight step back. The Yankees managed to play to a 4-6 record over their past ten games while both the Orioles and Rays won five of ten. The last team in the division the Boston Red Sox played to the second best record over the past ten games winning six.
For the Yankees the week opened much like the weekend ended as they outscored the Red Sox 13-3 on Tuesday to open the three game series. After losing game two 2-1, the Yankees returned the favor with a 2-1 win. Unfortunately the teams luck ran out as they manage to score just one run over the three game series against the Blue Jays.
After the Blue Jays and Yankees, the Orioles currently sit in third place after the teams strong play last week. Unfortunately the team headed out west for a nine game stretch that started in Oakland. The Orioles managed take two of three before losing two of three against the Los Angeles Angels.
In the middle of the pack sit the Rays but after a strong 4-2 record the team could be playing themselves back into one of the two wild card positions. If this roller coaster ride continues over the couple months and who knows which teams will play themselves into the postseason.
Central Division: While the American League East continues to be an up and down division the Central division has become just a one team division. That team is the Kansas City Royals who are 66-44 but were only 5-5 last week. Luckily for them the second place team the Minnesota Twins are just 2-8 over there last ten games.
This current stretch run of play in the division allowed for the Royals to build a commanding 11.5 game stretch while the Twins have played themselves out of both of the wild card standings. For the Royals the week started off slow after a 5-1 win on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, the team would love the next two games before returning home to sweep the Chicago White Sox.
The rebound to end the week for the Royals just helped build their divisional lead while the Twins continued to struggle. The Twins managed to win just one game last week and are just 2-13 over their last 15 games. Unfortunately for them the team ran into a red hot Blue Jays to open the week losing all four games before losing two of three against the Cleveland Indians.
As for the rest of the division the Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians continue to struggle falling farther and farther behind the Royals in the division.
West Division: Out West the division is joining into the pack for one of the most exciting divisions in baseball to watch. Currently the Houston Astros hold a half game lead over the Los Angeles Angels while the Texas Rangers sit at 55-55 and are just 4.5 games off the lead.
Behind the top three teams are the Seattle Mariners who are 52-60 and the Oakland A’s at 51-62 but both teams have played well of late winning six of their past ten while the Rangers are 7-3. This type of play while the top two teams have struggled have moved them all within 10 games of the top spot in the division.
For us the team we are looking at is not the Astros or Angels but the Rangers. Despite being in third place before the MLB trade deadline the team didn’t sit still making a key move to land Cole Hamels. This was the type of move that not only could help them move up within the division this year but help the team in the future as Hamels will pair with Yu Darvish to form one of the top rotations in all of baseball next year.
These moved showed up this past week as the team went 4-2 for the week sweeping the Astros to open the week before losing two of three against the Mariners. Along with the Rangers, the Angels were able to turn around their recent stretch taking two of three over both the Indians and the Orioles.
For us our eyes will be on the American League down the stretch as we continue to look at which of these 15 teams will find themselves at the top of each division at the end of the season.