One of the top divisions this season is expected to be the American League East. Loaded from top to bottom, the Tampa Bay Rays lead the way with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees bringing up the rear.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are in the middle and they are just as good of a team as anyone else in the division. There were multiple changes that MLB made this season in terms of the pace of play. They inserted a pitch clock, limiting the number of times a pitcher can throw to first and the number of times that timeout can be called in an at-bat.
While all of those were done for on-field changes, they also made adjustments to their schedules. Instead of the normal 19 divisional games that were played each year, they cut those down to 12 games a season, which allows the schedule to become more flexible and allows all teams to play each other in at least one series in the 162-game season.
Despite seven fewer games against divisional foes, the AL East has no shortage of talent on each team that will go toe-to-toe with each other. Through the first month-plus, several pitchers and hitters are off to strong starts that have been very beneficial for their teams. Some are at the top of the division with key contributions, while the teams at the bottom could be in a lot worse situation if not for the performances of some of their players.
With that said, here are three way-too-early-season MVPs in the AL East.