Baltimore Orioles’ Sweep of Tampa Bay Rays Threatens AL East

2012 Wild Card Orioles

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So far in 2014 the AL East has been one of the tightest divisions in baseball, but with their recent sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays the Baltimore Orioles have put themselves in a perfect position to distance themselves from the pack.

After their sweep of the Rays, the Orioles find themselves with an 18-14 record and .5 games ahead of the New York Yankees for the division lead. Next up on the Orioles’ schedule: the Houston Astros.

A three-game set with the struggling Astros over the weekend will provide the Orioles a good opportunity to try to string together their first major winning streak in what seems like a decade. The O’s have currently won three straight but a sweep of the Astros may be just what Buck Showalter’s Orioles need to give them the confidence to pull away from the competition.

So far this season the Orioles are yet to find much consistency but back-to-back sweeps will provide that consistency and will ensure the Orioles are playing their best baseball of the year as they welcome the Detroit Tigers to Baltimore. Detroit’s 20-10 record is best in the American League.

While the Orioles are playing the Astros their closest competitor, the Yankees will be in Milwaukee to battle the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers.

While the standings don’t mean much in May, it’s nice to control your own destiny no matter how early it is. Winning baseball games now will ensure the Orioles’ fate won’t be tied to how other teams do later in the season, and that’s a big deal.

David Atlas is a Baltimore Orioles writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter (@DavidAtlasRants) or add him to your circles on Google+.

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