The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in the American League East.
The New York Yankees have the biggest payroll.
The Boston Red Sox made the most offseason moves of significance.
And yet, when I look at this division – right now – I believe the team that should worry Orioles fans the most is the Toronto Blue Jays.
I nearly predicted the Blue Jays to win the division in the spring, but the season-ending knee injury to promising starter Marcus Stroman catapulted me from the Jays' bandwagon.
I went with the Orioles instead, and the Boston Red Sox second (I'm obviously off on that one) with the Blue Jays third.
These past couple of weeks have made me think that the two best clubs in the division are the Orioles and Blue Jays. And with a potential management change in Toronto looming, that group will certainly make moves to improve the club at the trade deadline.
But that's almost six weeks away. The matter at hand is the three-game series in Toronto that starts Friday night. It could tell us plenty about both clubs, which, incidentally, don't like each other very much.
We've written a lot around these parts about the Orioles' recent run, going from six games under .500 on June 3 to two games over .500 today. Well, the Blue Jays were seven games under .500 on June 2 and then won 11 straight. Both teams are hot. Both teams can hit and have pitching that can keep them in games.
So I think the Blue Jays are the club that can keep the Orioles from repeating as East champions. I'm not buying Tampa Bay's offense or the Yankees' health.
Now, I want your thoughts. Which team do you think is most likely to stand in the way of the Orioles in the next three-plus months?