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Revised goals for 2015: AL East

Situations change, and with them our expectations for the rest of the season.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the ultimate goal in baseball is to win the World Series. It's the pinnacle of the season, and it crowns baseball's champion. Everyone in the game hopes to get there. But as worthy a goal as that is, only one team can reach that incredible height each year. And because of the unpredictability of teams playing in a short series, that one team might not even be the best team in baseball, just the hottest.

Hell, many teams don't even start the season seeing the World Series as a realistic option. What's more, these goals shift and change throughout the year as teams over or underperform expectations, and what might have felt like a rousing success three months ago is incredibly underwhelming now. Ultimately, when we talk about teams having "a successful year," then, it can mean any number of things and is personal for each club.

We'll start with the AL East:

Baltimore Orioles

Current record: 62-62, 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race

Despite underwhelming for the first time in the Dan Duquette/Buck Showalter era, the O's are still in the hunt for a playoff spot thanks to a dynamite bullpen, the emergence of Manny Machado into a legitimate superstar, and the lack of truly dominant teams in the American League.

Original goal: The original plan was, just like last year, to win the AL East.

New goal: Win the 2nd Wild Card.

Can feel ok about settling for: With Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, and Wei-Yin Chen all ready to hit free agency, there is no other goal. This club has to make the postseason.

Boston Red Sox

Current record: 57-68

It was a disastrous 2015, just like 2014 before it, with every single veteran acquired underwhelming terribly.

Original goal: The Sox figured to defense and slug their way to the postseason with a mishmash lineup of veterans and young players and an underwhelming pitching staff. The pitching, instead, was awful. The defense was bad. And the young hitters were just not good enough yet.

New goal: Finish out .500 or so for the rest of the way.

Can feel ok about settling for: Letting the young kids play and marveling at David Ortiz's continued excellence. Remember when he was written off in April...again?

New York Yankees

Current record: 69-55, tied for the AL East lead/1st Wild Card

The Yankees have slugged their way back into postseason contention, in spite of an underwhelming rotation. Kind of like the Red Sox were supposed to do.

Original goal: Finish around .500, and maybe compete for a Wild Card with an aging roster of oft-injured veterans. That's largely happened, but A-Rod and Teixeira have been resurgent beyond anyone's projection.

New goal: Win the AL East and avoid the Wild Card play-in game.

Can feel ok about settling for: Winning the Wild Card and not suffering any more injuries to the depleted pitching staff.

Tampa Bay Rays

Current record: 62-62, 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race

The Rays have fought their way back from a disappointing 2014 to become respectable again behind a balanced and excellent pitching staff. And with Matt Moore about to come back, they're going to get even better.

Original goal: It would have been hard to envision the Rays as being much better than .500ish. Basically where they're at.

New goal: But with seemingly half the league within a few games of the Rays, the can hope to come out of the scrum with the 2nd Wild Card.

Can feel ok about settling for: Finishing above .500. Given where they were a year ago, and where they hope to be next year, there's no shame in 2015 being a building year.

Toronto Blue Jays

Current record: 69-55, Tied for AL East/1st Wild Card lead

The Jays have been energized by their July trades, winning 19 of their last 23 games, and figure to be a juggernaut in the postseason.

New goal: Built to win now, and bolstered to aid that goal, Toronto needs to take advantage and advance deep into the postseason.

Can feel ok about settling for: Toronto really did push their chips in at the deadline. This is the year. No backing out now.

Ok, that's the AL East. We'll be back later today to look at the NL East.