State of the Division: AL East (Monday, April 18)

Introducing Just Baseball's newest podcast, a weekly look into every division in Major League Baseball.

Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Matt Chapman #26 and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after their MLB game victory over the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 17, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest podcast, The State of the Division, a daily podcast that will give fans an insight into each division in Major League Baseball!

The name explains itself, as our goal is to update you on the state of each division, once a week, so fans can be up-to-date on all of the different storylines and trends that are taking place throughout the 2022 MLB season.

Each day of the week is devoted to a specific division, with every show falling under one feed so it makes it easier for the listener to find it all in one place.

Today was the first State of the Division podcast, giving you a look into the American League East through the first week of the season.

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Our AL East show will be hosted by Peter Appel and Colby Olson, the voices behind Just Baseball’s Not Gambling Advice podcast, with new shows released every Monday.

State of the Division Lineup

Peter and Colby bat leadoff on Mondays, but we also have 10 more talented hosts from Just Baseball covering the other five divisions!

Here is your full schedule for the State of the Division podcast:

Monday: AL East hosted by Peter Appel and Colby Olson.

Tuesday: AL Central hosted by Jack McMullen and Ryan Miller

Wednesday: AL West hosted by Kendall Mckee and T Wright

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Thursday: NL East hosted by Aram Leighton and Ryan Finkelstein

Friday: NL Central hosted by Ethan Budowsky and Clay Snowden

Saturday: NL West hosted by Dusty Baker and Derek Johnson

Each podcast will be roughly 15-20 minutes, giving listeners a quick update on the state of each division from experts who are very familiar with play in each division. We will also have articles available on that same schedule, giving you a “State of the Division” in written form.

State of the American League East

The AL East is expected to be the most competitive division in the game this year, with four teams that have legitimate World Series hopes, and the Baltimore Orioles.

From the beginning of time, it has felt like the Yankees and Red Sox enter every season expecting to make the playoffs and to make a deep run once they get there. Over the last four years, however, it has been the Tampa Bay Rays that have become the class of the AL East.

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The Rays have won more games than any team in this division over that span, and have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. They also are the two-time reigning AL East champs. The Rays once again have a low payroll, but a team full of talent that is expected to be playing baseball in October.

What makes this division so exciting is that the fourth contending team that we haven’t mentioned yet might actually be the one who should be considered the favorites.

The Toronto Blue Jays have one of the most talented young cores in the game with stars like Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Over the last few years, they’ve added quality veterans like George Springer, Matt Chapman, Jose Berrios and Kevin Gausman, amongst others. Toronto could absolutely win the World Series this year.

Here is how things have stacked up through just over one week of play.

1. Toronto Blue Jays: 6-4

The Blue Jays are the only team in this division who are yet to lose a series. They won their opening series vs. the Texas Rangers, split a four-game set with the Yankees, and just beat the Oakland Athletics in a series over the weekend.

To no one’s surprise, Vlad Guerrero Jr. has gotten off to a fast start to lead Toronto’s offense. Guerrero already had a three-homer game this year, and is tied with CJ Cron for the MLB-lead through 10 games with five home runs on the season.

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This week brings a tough slate of games for the Blue Jays, as they are set to face the Boston Red Sox for the first time beginning on Tuesday. That three-game series will take place in Boston, which is the first stop on a six-game road trip that will end with a tough series against the reigning AL Champion Houston Astros.

2. Boston Red Sox: 5-5, 1 GB

The Boston Red Sox have gotten off to an uneven start to their season, having won just one series up to this point.

Boston began the year on the road playing against their rivals from the Bronx, who took the first two games of the three-game set. The Red Sox remained on the road, traveling out to Detroit to play in the Tigers first home series of the season. Boston was gracious enough to allow the Tigers to win their home opener, before settling down and winning the next two to take the series.

Last Friday, the Red Sox finally returned home to take on the Minnesota Twins in their own home opener, which they lost 8-4. Boston would go on to put themselves in a position to win that series, taking the next two games, but ultimately just lost on Patriot’s Day today 8-2 and split the four-game set.

The Red Sox will stay home for their next series, where they will take on the Toronto Blue Jays before hitting the road to play the Rays in Tampa over the weekend.

3. Tampa Bay Rays: 5-5, 1 GB

The Tampa Bay Rays burst out of the gates this season, taking advantage of opening their season against the bottom-dwelling Baltimore Orioles at home. The Rays swept the Orioles in that three-game set, but then began to struggle when the Oakland Athletics came into town.

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The Rays lost three of four games against the A’s, then lost two of three over the weekend in Chicago against the White Sox. A 2-5 week has the Rays down in the standings for now, but don’t expect that trend to continue for much longer.

Tampa continues this week on the road, where they are set to square off against the Chicago Cubs in a three-game set that begins tonight. The Rays will then have a day off on Thursday, before returning home to face the Red Sox.

4. New York Yankees: 5-5, 1 GB

Can you believe the New York Yankees just lost a series to the Baltimore Orioles?!

The shame of that alone puts them behind both the Red Sox and Rays in the standings despite having identical records.

All joking aside, the Yankees are sitting in a similar position as most teams in this division. They are still shaking off the rust and have too much talent to get concerned over a .500 record through 10 games.

As previously mentioned, the Yankees beat the Red Sox in their first series at home, then split a four-game set when the Blue Jays came into town. This weekend, New York struggled in their first road series, as their bats went quiet in two of the games, giving them their first series loss of the season.

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After losing that series in Baltimore, the Yankees needed a day off to reset on Monday. They will get back into the swing of things on Tuesday, when they continue their road trip in Detroit against the Tigers. The Yankees will then return home this weekend to face off against the Cleveland Guardians.

5. Baltimore Orioles: 3-6, 2.5 GB

There might not be many Mondays this year where Orioles fans can stick their chests out and walk into work with pride after watching their O’s over a weekend, but that is the case this week.

Orioles fans were able to enjoy a series victory over the hated Yankees this weekend. We will just spare them the embarrassment of mentioning the 1-5 start that got off to previously.

Baltimore will now try to carry that momentum onto the road, where they are set to begin a seven-game west coast trip this week. Tonight, the Orioles begin a four-game set against the Oakland Athletics, then over the weekend they will head to Anaheim to face the L.A. Angels.