It's sunny and you're rich!

Monday, June 13 2005 @ 02:43 PM EDT

Contributed by: Pepper Moffatt

They're never too far
away from men who made the grade
out in a world of their own
They'll never come down
until the battle's lost or made

Standings as of June 13th, 2005

1. Baltimore    36-26 .581         (6- 7 2WK)
2. Boston       33-29 .532  3.0 GB (6- 7 2WK)
3. Toronto      31-32 .492  5.5 GB (4- 9 2WK)
4. New York     30-32 .484  6.0 GB (3- 9 2WK)
5. Tampa Bay    21-42 .333 15.5 GB (2-10 2WK)
A horrible week for the division, as all 5 teams played below .500 ball. Does anybody want to win this division? Wasn't this supposed to be the toughest division in baseball? Right now the division has a .484 winning percentage. Ouch! Somebody has to win this thing, though. But who will it be? According to, the percentage likelihood of each team winning the division is roughly:

Percentage Chance of Winning the Division

Boston:    36% (16% of winning AL Pennant)
New York:  33% (20% of winning AL Pennant)
Baltimore: 27% ( 9% of winning AL Pennant)
Toronto:    4% ( 1% of winning AL Pennant)
Tampa Bay:  0% ( 0% of winning AL Pennant)
Those Toronto odds look very low, while the Tampa Bay ones are far too optimistic. There are no odds listed for who is going to win the Wild Card, but there's a decent chance the WC winner will come from the AL East.

With 4 teams all with a reasonable shot at making the playoffs, it will be interesting to see what kind of moves each will make as we reach the trading deadline. By looking at the positions where each team has struggled over the season, we can get a sense of where they might try to improve.

Baltimore - 325 Runs Scored, 285 Runs Allowed

Eli Marrero should be a decent placeholder until Javy Lopez comes back. The regular with the lowest OPS is Raffy with a .255/.335/.410 line. Would they really bring someone new in and bench Palmeiro during a pennant race? I suppose anything is possible.

The rotation has been surprisingly effective this year, with Bedard and Chen pitching a surprising number of quality innings. The weakest starter so far this year has been Daniel Cabrera, but 62 walks in 67 1/3 innings is certainly impressive. The 33 walks, however, are not.

The pen has been a source of strength for the O's, with B.J. Ryan notching 16 saves and a 1.99 ERA. The Orioles may want to avoid picking up anyone named Steve, though, as both Reed and Kline have struggled this year.

Boston - 333 Runs Scored, 317 Runs Allowed

No real holes in the lineup to speak of, as they're scoring a pile of runs. Edgar Renteria is "only" hitting .265/.312/.380, but it's not as if they'd go out and get another shortstop. Millar is slugging .381, so it's possible the Red Sox might be interested in another 1B/DH type. But these days, who isn't?

On the pitching side, they've got a few more problems. Clement has been terrific and Arroyo and Wakfield have been solid. David Wells has not been spectacular, giving up 9 homeruns in 10 starts. His 30/4 K/BB ratio is Radkeesque, but 4.5 K/9 isn't anything to write hom about.

The bullpen is an area that could use some upgrades. Timlin and Myers have been spectacular, but Mantei and Foulke both have ERAs near 6. Neither one of them has a K/BB ratio above 2:1 and Foulke has given up 6 homeruns in 28 innings.

New York - 316 Runs Scored, 313 Runs Allowed

They look like a lower scoring version of the Red Sox this season, which is why they're likely to make some moves soon. Hitting only .239 with 3 homeruns, it may be the end of the line for Bernie Williams. It was a hell of a run, though. Tony Womack has turned back into a pumpkin as both his slugging and his on-base percentages are below .300. They could also use a DH. This is a team with a lot of holes which is being propped up by A-Rod's monster year.

Kevin Brown's peripherals look decent (though he could use a few more strikeouts), but his results have been doubleplusungood, as he has a 4-6 record with a 5.43 ERA. Jaret Wright has a 9.15 ERA in 4 starts. Johnson, Pavano, and Mussina have all been good, but not outstanding.

New York's third-best reliever this season has been Tanyon Sturtze. Rivera and Gordon have been excellent, though Gordon's ERA is better than his peripherals. Paul Quantrill looks done, with only 9 strikeouts (to 5 walks and 5 homeruns) in 25 1/3 innings. Stanton and Karsay both have ERAs at or over 6.

Toronto - 285 Runs Scored, 270 Runs Allowed

Will Toronto be a buyer or a seller? It's tough to say right now - I think we'll have to give it another couple of weeks. Orlando Hudson has been strugling with the bat, which is why I would be against trading him now - why sell low? Russ Adams is putting up rookie like numbers, but a .396 slugging against a .229 batting average is pretty good. What will he be slugging if he can get the average up to .270?

Pitching? I think we've used up enough bits on this site discussing Ted Lilly, so I won't do so any further.

Is it too early for itoldyousos on Schoeneweis? Then again, I was wrong about a pile of stuff this off-season as well.

Question of the day: Who will AL East teams trade for and what will they send in return? Be specific as possible, such as Larry Andersen to Boston for Jeff Bagwell.