When the New York Yankees open a brief two-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in Batlimore Monday night (7:05 p.m. ET, YES) it won't be unusual to see one of these teams leading the American League East. It will, however, be unusual that the team out front nearly one-quarter of the way into the season is the Orioles and not the Yankees.
The surprising Orioles are 22-14, a half-game in front of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The Yankees (19-15) are two games behind entering this week's series.
AL East Standings
Monday night's pitchers will be Ivan Nova (4-1, 5.02 ERA) for the Yankees and Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.09 ERA) for the Orioles. Tuesday night Yankees ace CC Sabathia (5-0. 3.51) faces Wei-Yin Chen of Baltimore (3-0, 2.68 ERA).
Baltimore is currently second in the American League in earned-run average, with a 3.46 ERA. Only the Texas Rangers (3.34) have been better. Offensively, outfielder Adam Jones (.291, 10 home runs, 21 RBI) leads the Baltimore attack.
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more coverage of the Yankees