Originally posted on SportsBlooded  |  Last updated 5/17/12

When you look at the standings in the American League East there is a surprising team on the top of the list, the Baltimore Orioles. Currently sitting at 25-14, the Orioles are a half a game above the Tampa Bay Rays and sit in the top spot in the Al East. We’re only a month and a half into the 2012 MLB season, but the Orioles are showing that they can actually compete in the toughest division in all of sports.

The two biggest reasons for their surprisingly good start is the strength of their starting rotation and their bullpen. Starter Wei-Yin Chen has been a huge surprise for the Orioles as he’s posted an era of 2.45 with 32 K’s and only 14 BB’s. Add Jason Hamel’s ability to post a 2.68 era after having a career era of 4.86 and the Orioles have upgraded their rotation in two big spots. Their bullpen has also been strong only allowing 34 runs in 139 innings. Closer Jim Johnson is a perfect 12 for 12 in save opportunities this year and set-up man Pedro Stroop has an era of 1.29 with 5 holds.

With the unbalanced schedule, the Orioles will have a tough road ahead for them to continue to contend in the AL East. So far, they’ve played teams in the AL East strong, posting a record of 13-7, but they’ve been crushed in years past because of the strength of the rest of their division. Last year they posted a record of 28-44 against the AL East and a record of 41-49 against the rest of the league. They’ll have to continue their winning ways against teams in the AL East if they want to have a shot at breaking their current streak of 18 years without a winning season. Being above .500 at the end of the year would be a huge accomplishment for the Orioles. Contending for the AL East title would just be the gravy on top.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker