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AL East race incredibly tight near midpoint

Entering Monday, top four teams in division within one game of each other

The American League East has long been known as one of the most competitive divisions in baseball -- with four different champions in the last five seasons -- but it's been quite some time since any division in baseball was so close at this point in the season.

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Entering Monday, the Orioles (41-34) and Rays (42-35) were tied for first place, with the Yankees (41-35) half a game back and the Blue Jays (41-36) a full game back.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time four teams were within one game of each other in the AL East this late in the season was the morning of Aug. 10, 1993. At that time, Toronto was in first place, with Baltimore half a game back and Boston and New York each one game out.

The last time any division in baseball had four teams within one game of each other on June 29 was in 2006, when the Padres led the National League West, with the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants all one game back.

That race was close until the end, with San Diego and Los Angeles ultimately tying for first place. Both teams lost in the NL Division Series.

Since that year, June 29 has featured at least one division race with three teams within three games.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.