The American League East is proven to be baseball's toughest division, with more teams over .500 than any other division (4 of 5). That has caused this division to be really tight, and it doesn't seem to loosen up. The Red Sox currently lead the division, with a 61-42 record, which ranks first in the American League. In second place, the second best team in the AL resides, the Tampa Bay Rays. They are white-hot right now, and have only lost three games in the month of July, giving them a record of 17-3 in their twenty July games. The Orioles (57-45), Yankees (53-48), and Blue Jays (45-55) follow the leaders, while the top three teams are separated by only 3.5 games.
Boston Red Sox -- 61-42 (Projected finish: 93-69)
The Red Sox are playing very consistent baseball, and seem to be in a very good position to make the playoffs, and perhaps go even further. Their current record would put them at a pace of 95.904 wins, and I think that they are a good enough team to finish at 96 wins. But, their starting rotation needs help. Their GM has practically made the rotation his first priority for the Red Sox to improve upon. Don't be surprised if they land Jake Peavy or another really good starter to help them down the road.
Tampa Bay Rays -- 60-42 (Projected finish: 95-67)
Yes, I believe that the Tampa Bay Rays are the team to beat in the AL East. Their rotation is superb, and will keep them in games down the stretch. Wil Myers has had the "Yasiel Puig effect" on the Rays, as he's provided the spark in this team. Now, the rest of the team is clicking, and doesn't seem to be slowing down. Although the Red Sox are ahead of them, they have four more games against Boston, which may be why this team doesn't win the division, if anything else. Keep an eye on the Rays, they could be your surprise team in October.
Baltimore Orioles -- 57-45 (Projected finish: 91-71)
Three teams in the AL East are projected to finish over 90 wins. The Baltimore Orioles are a good team, but they haven't played as good baseball as the teams ahead of them. The O's need to really fight for the second wild card spot, knowing that one of the two will probably come from their division. Francisco Rodriguez will help solidify the bullpen, so don't be suprised if you see the O's making a run down the stretch.
New York Yankees -- 53-48 (Projected finish: 83-79)
The Yankees will miss the playoffs this season, bet on it. Playing in the toughest divison doesn't help at all, and probably the most "unlucky" team in terms of injuries can't get any breaks this season. The New York Yankees are going to miss out, and have to wait until next year. Perhaps Alfanso Soriano could turn this season around, but it's highly unlikely that he can solve all the "big" problems that the Yankees have.
Toronto Blue Jays -- 45-55 (Projected finish: 70-92)
The Blue Jays were my pick to win the division earlier this year, because I thought they truly fixed some problems that they had, rather than just making a "Miami Marlins" splash. They just proved again that you can't go from worst to first by adding star players. You have to have the chemistry in some way or another. It's up to them if they want to do a "Miami Marlins" firesale at the deadline.