Remember when the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays were considered preseason favorites to make the playoffs again?Expectations in the American League East have flipped going into the season’s second half. The Rays and Red Sox are in fourth and fifth place in the division, respectively, and only Tampa Bay appears to have hopes to climb from the AL East’s depths, though its chances for making the playoffs remain slim.The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, have risen to the top behind the hot bat of Nelson Cruz and good-enough pitching. The Toronto Blue Jays, the division’s class for most of the first half, must overcome injury problems to threaten the current leader. And the New York Yankees, who looked primed to ride the momentum from their signing of right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, now must overcome a host of injuries to their rotation … including Tanaka.The division appears wide open, which should make for an interesting race in the months ahead. So far, it has featured three of the game’s best power hitters (Cruz, plus Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista) and two of its best arms (Tanaka and Tampa Bay’s David Price).More intriguing twists are sure to come.BALTIMORE ORIOLES (52-42)Reason for optimism:… Read full this story
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At the break: Expectations flipped in topsy-turvy AL East have 406 words, post on www.foxsports.com at July 16, 2014. This is cached page on Vietnam Colors. If you want remove this page, please contact us.