The current standings of the AL East. The bolded numbers means that team has the best statistic in that particular category:
The Rays have the best stats in six of the thirteen categories as do the Yankees. That said, look at the categories the Rays are doing best in. They are preventing the most runs, they have the best winning percentage against AL East teams, the best road record, and the best record in one run games. Those are the four areas that typically do any contending team in and the Rays are excelling in those areas. Ironically, the Rays have the worst home winning percentage in the division after having the second best winning percentage at home in all of baseball over the past two seasons and the club is not playing as well against teams under .500 as the Yankees are. Consider the fact the Yankees have already played twelve games against the Orioles and just got the pleasure of playing three games against the Astros in New York; that’s one way to close a gap on a team.
On May 28th, the Rays held a 3.5 game lead on the Yankees and since that time, the Yankees have played the Indians four times, the Orioles six times, and the Astros three times. Those three teams are a combined 67-122 on the season (.354 baseball). The Yankees also played a three game series in Toronto and dropped two of those three. Meanwhile, the Rays have taken on Chicago, Toronto twice, Florida, and Texas who are playing a combined .510 baseball right now. It’s a long season so do not panic when you look at the standings and see the Yankees tied for first. Both teams have tomorrow off as the Rays go across the border to take on red hot Atlanta while the Yankees host the ice-cold Phillies. Let’s hope that the Phillies bring their bats with them to the Bronx or at least bring their bullpen binoculars.