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Yankees Win Again, Tie Red Sox for AL East Lead

Posted by Gene Morris on July 21, 2009

The American League’s eastern division is far and away the best in baseball.  Just look at the top five teams in terms of run differential through July 20.

  1. LA Dodgers  +99
  2. Red Sox  +79
  3. Rays  +79
  4. Phillies +67
  5. Yankees +65

The Yankees have won four games in a row coming out of the all-star break, pushing their overall record to 55-37, the same as the Sox.  Tampa Bay is just 4.5 games back with a record of 51-42.

The Yanks lead the American League with 504 runs, but tonight won by a score of 2-1 for the third straight game.  On a day when Chien-Min Wang suffered a slight injury setback it was important to get good starting pitching from both Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte, and  both came through with strong performances.  (Chamberlain allowed only one run and three hits in 6.2 innings, Pettitte allowed only one run over 7.1 innings and had a season high eight strikeouts.)

Add in the fact that the Blue Jays are 9.5 games back but still have a +34 run differential, and the Orioles have an explosive offense led by young stars Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and uber-prospect Matt Weiters, and it’s easy to see just how good the Yankees, Sox, and Rays are.

At this point it looks like one of them will be the wildcard, but that’s testament to those three teams more than a knock of the rest of the league.

And before long the Orioles may jump into the same league as the top three teams because of the pitching prospects coming through their system as this article by Kevin Goldstein of baseball prospectus points out.

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