Sonny Gray is surging, but could AL East problems loom?

Sonny Gray is pitching the best he's pitched in awhile. Ben Margot/AP Photo

Once again buyers at the trade deadline, the New York Yankees acquired Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray for three prospects on Monday. Gray is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA this season and is under team control through the end of the 2019 season.

Summer surge

Yankee starting pitchers have been great of late, posting the third-best starters ERA in the American League since the All-Star break (3.68), and they now add a pitcher in Gray who has turned the corner after a slow start to the season.

In his past six starts, Gray has a 1.37 ERA with 36 strikeouts and allowed two earned runs or fewer in all six games.

Even better? Gray is getting ground balls at the highest rate of his career (59 percent of balls in play this season) and has allowed just three home runs in 10 starts since the beginning of June. Both bode well at the home run-friendly Yankee Stadium.

New AL East rivals

Gray thrived in his division with the Athletics (2.91 career ERA against the AL West), but he’s enjoyed mixed results against his new division rivals in the AL East.

Gray has a good track record against the Blue Jays (2.54 ERA in six career starts), but he hasn’t been quite as successful against the Rays (3.93 ERA in nine starts), Red Sox (5.16 in four starts) and Orioles (5.57 ERA in four starts).

That includes five starts at Camden Yards and Fenway Park in which he’s racked up a 7.88 ERA (21 ER in 24 IP).

Playoff prowess

Gray had a 2.08 ERA in 13 career innings pitched during the postseason with the Athletics. Both starts came in the 2013 ALDS, when Oakland fell to the Detroit Tigers in five games.

Time will tell if this move pays off, but the experts in the desert have certainly taken notice. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Yankees’ odds of winning the World Series went from 10-to-1 to 7-to-1 after acquiring Gray on Monday.