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How much better will the AL East be in 2013?

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How much better will the AL East be in 2013?

Besides raised expectations for next season, what else will make it more difficult for the Orioles to repeat this year’s success in 2013?

How about a balanced American League East?

The Yankees likely will try to address some of their weaknesses exposed in the late stages of the season — a homer-or-nothing offense, not enough rotation depth — but as our member of the baseball cognoscenti, Rich Dubroff, points out, they have this Alex Rodriguez matter to deal with.

How likely is it that the Red Sox will be as awful again next year? It’s more likely we’ll find out just how disruptive a presence Bobby Valentine was by how Boston bounces back.

The Rays could lose B.J. Upton, which won’t help their often-anemic offense, but any team with that much pitching won’t fall far.

The Jays’ season was an injury-riddled mess — at one point, three members of their starting rotation were on the disabled list at the same time, and they lost Jose Bautista to injury for a chunk of the year. Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are a fearsome pair in the lineup.

As it was, the Orioles had to battle the Yankees and Rays to make the postseason. Add two teams that contend throughout the season, and the task becomes that much tougher.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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USA Today Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.