Who’s going to win the AL East? | The Bandwagon
Yahoo Sports MLB writers Hannah Keyser and Zach Crizer take a look at the division standings - featuring the league’s top record and two other teams looking to take them down. Hear the full conversation on “The Bandwagon” - Yahoo Sports’ new baseball podcast - and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
ZACH CRIZER: Obviously, the Tampa Bay Rays have been an absolute juggernaut for the whole time the season so far. But starting today, Tuesday, May 16, from now until the end of the season, which AL East team will have the best winning percentage from here on out? So, it's between two for me.
HANNAH KEYSER: Can I guess the two?
ZACH CRIZER: Yeah, sure.
HANNAH KEYSER: I think you're going to say it's between the Rays and the Yankees.
ZACH CRIZER: I was going to say between the Blue Jays and the Yankees.
HANNAH KEYSER: Wow, no faith in the Rays.
ZACH CRIZER: It's not no faith in the Rays. I think the Rays are very good. I think the Rays could have the third best winning percentage and still win the division, because of the cushion they built up. But also, all of their pitchers are hurt.
HANNAH KEYSER: All of their pitchers are hurt.
ZACH CRIZER: So, that's worrisome to me. Not in a they're doing something wrong way, just in, that's going to be hard to keep winning at this clip way. So, it's not a lack of faith in the Rays. It's a acknowledgment of the difficulties the Rays are going to have to overcome to continue playing at a high level. I think they will do that. I still would pick them to win the division.
But I'm going to take the Yankees to have the best record the rest of the way, because they're playing pretty well with almost their core sliced in half. Aaron Judge missed time. Harrison Bader has played like six games and has been amazing in all of them. Anthony Rizzo is really the only guy who has been consistently playing both on the field and well, and some of the pitchers. But I think they're going to get enough back, that they will end up playing maybe at a slightly higher clip than the Rays, but not actually catch them to win the division.
HANNAH KEYSER: I think you're right. Having just seen them play the Rays, I thought, oh, this Yankees team is looking more like the way that we thought the Yankees team would look. I think they're going to be much better than they have been. I think they will certainly end up in the postseason. I am going to, for injury sake, stick by my earlier enthusiasm-- and also, I enjoy having this as a rooting interest-- and say it's going to be the Rays. They're going to go wire to wire, best team in baseball.
Yes, I am quite concerned about their pitching, as are they. But there's the trade deadline. That's what the trade deadline is for. It's for them. The trade deadline is for the Rays to pick up some starter you've never heard of, with three more years of team control, and turn him into Drew Rasmussen, just like they did with Drew Rasmussen. And I look forward to them doing just that and remaining atop the division.
I just think their offense-- I think their ability to find pitching in conjunction with the offense that they have that is not this Rays in piecing it together, I feel good about the Rays this year. Cool, we'll see how that goes.