It's official: the AL East is a mess. Just 4.5 games separate the first place Orioles (18-14) from the last place Rays (15-20). The Red Sox, finally back at .500, are in fourth place - but just two games behind the O's.
The winningest teams in the American League are the Tigers and the A's - and they have just three more wins than the Red Sox. It may be only a month into the season, but this kind of parity keeps things exciting - and will keep a less than stellar start from the Sox from overwhelming their chances later on.
Meanwhile, the Rays should be thanking Bud Selig and co. for switching the lowly Astros to the AL, because without them Tampa Bay would be in the basement all alone.
The AL East standings are probably about to get more stratified, as Baltimore will welcome the Astros to Camden Yards to extend their lead, while the second place Yankees have to head to Miwaukee to face off against the Brewers (who are currently holding onto the best record in baseball).
The Red Sox won't have it easy if they want to continue to pick up ground; the Rangers might be in third place in the AL West, but they always seem to give the Sox trouble.