The Orioles are in first place in the crazy-competitive AL East

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On the third day of the season, the Orioles were in first place, up by a half game. They’ve trailed someone or another every day since, at one point standing five and a half games back. That was twenty days ago. Now, as of this morning, they are in a virtual tie for first place with Tampa Bay, percentage points ahead of the Rays.

They’ve gotten there by going 18-8 while scoring 141 runs in the month of June. That’s 5.42 runs per game. The Blue Jays have scored more than them this month, but no one else in the American League has. Their ERA this month is 3.17, which is better than anyone else except Tampa Bay. The Yankees, who came into June looking pretty good, have skidded a good bit, with some starting pitching issues.

All of that taken together means that the AL East is a hot, wonderful mess. No team is perfect, but only Boston is truly bad. And as a result the top four teams are separated by only a game:

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The NL Central features a couple of better teams. But the AL East may be the most entertaining race we’ll see over the final three months of the season.