The AL East is a beast again, how will the O's stack up?

Before the season some predicted that all five American League East teams could finish at .500 or better this year. As we approach the season's halfway point, all five are now at least two games above .500.

The East has five teams playing winning baseball while the rest of the league has four teams combined.

It seems like a year where no East club will win 100 games, but maybe they all will win between 85 and 95. If that does happen the race in August and September will be amazing to watch.

The Orioles ran into a red-hot Toronto club and got swept over the weekend. The three losses dropped the O's record under .500 against the AL East at 17-18.

The Orioles won nine of their first 14 division games in 2013, but are 8-13 since. They won four of their first five series in the division but are 2-3-1 in six series since.

Is this a sign of trouble for a team that played nearly .600 ball last year against the East, going 43-29 for a .597 win percentage?

Last season the O's played .500 or better against every division team for the first time since 1970.

The Orioles taking three of four from first-place Boston was impressive, but it was negated somewhat by the Toronto series.

Maybe a 17-18 record right now against this division is respectable and that record includes a 0-6 mark in two sweeps at the hands of Tampa Bay and Toronto.

The Orioles are in second place right now, just two games out of first. This is with a rotation that has been inconsistent, a bullpen not pitching as well as last year and some spots in the lineup not producing solid offense right now.

But a tremendous defense and a very good offense has offset some of that to produce a 42-34 record. The Orioles are on a pace to win 90 games.

It should come as no surprise to O's fans that the East remains a Beast. When is it not?

In a lesser division, the O's might be positioned even better for the next 86 games.

But how about in this division this year? Will the O's have what it takes to be in the mix at the end again?

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