Baltimore Orioles: Why remaining the two seed is wise

The Baltimore Orioles have a 7.5 game lead in the division, and are just two games back of Anaheim for the top AL spot.

The Baltimore Orioles have a 7.5 game lead in the division, and are just two games back of Anaheim for the top AL spot.

 

With just under 40 games remaining in the season, the Baltimore Orioles have continued to widen their margin over the rest of the AL East. Now up seven and a half games over the New York Yankees, the Orioles are also just 1.5 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second best record in all of baseball.

The Orioles have a three game cushion over the scorching hot Kansas City Royals for the number two seed in the AL playoffs. Likewise, the O’s are just two games behind the now first place Angels for the top seed in the playoffs. While the top spot would be quite a reward for the Orioles’ great season, they would actually put themselves in a better position were they to remain in the number two spot.

Think about it, if the Orioles were to overtake the Angels (or Athletics) for the number one seed, that would mean they would play the winner of the wild-card game. In a normal season, the wild-card play in game features a team who just was not able to win their division, but still possesses a good record, and a team that just managed to squeeze in to the postseason.

This year however, the wild card game will feature the team who doesn’t win the AL West (Angels or Athletics) and most likely either the Tigers or the Mariners, with the Yankees trailing both teams by three games. That means that both the Tigers and Athletics, two teams who made the most noise at the trade deadline to go all in for the postseason, would have to play each other to even get into the playoffs.

Given this information it is clear to see why the Orioles would benefit for being the number two seed. While Kansas City has been by far the hottest team in baseball the last two weeks, I know I would be much more comfortable with the O’s playing the Royals as opposed to either the Angels, Athletics, or Tigers in the ALDS.

Another part to the story is that the Orioles have struggled against both Oakland and Detroit. Winning just one game against Detroit and losing both series against Oakland, the O’s would benefit greatly from not having to see either team in the playoffs. However, the Orioles are playing much better baseball since they last played both teams and would have a challenging series against either.

On the bright side, the Orioles have looked great against the Angels, taking four out of six against Anaheim this season. This is good news because if the Orioles can avoid playing any of those teams in the first round, they face an opponent whom they have had success against in the ALCS.

All in all, things need to be taken care of first and the Orioles have to maintain their division lead for the next month and a half. From there, just the O’s being in the postseason is exciting enough and no matter who they face they have as good of a chance as anybody in the entire postseason and knowing Buck Showalter, the O’s will not take it easy through the rest of the season to finish intentionally as the number two seed.

  • Bmore Bird

    With nearly 40 games left these scenarios about where the Orioles need to be in the seeding are hilarious.

    First and foremost the writer doesn’t take into consideration that the biggest factor with the Orioles vs. A’s or Angels will be travel cross country vs. a short flight to Kansas City or Detroit. Another point is that the Orioles worst record against playoff contenders is the Tigers this season.

    …but hey let’s forget about home-field throughout because of a feeling.

    P.S. The surging Mariners aren’t out of the AL West picture either.

  • Romero Sandru

    You’re dumb! You put a lot of emphasis on wanting to finish second like that’s would be something any professional team would do? Your logic makes no sense either because if they get first place and Oakland wins that division, then it would be up to the angels and mariners probably to battle it out. I’m going out on a limb and saying Detroit does not get in. In this scenario I just mentioned, the angels and mariners do battle and we have a really good record against both home and away! Honestly the only team that I think will give the O’s any sustained problems would be Oakland. Trust me whenI tell you this hhowever, every Oriole orange and black bleeding fan wants that postseason match up with that team from the bay area. I see this as a growing rivalry for years to come as long as machado is an oriole.

    • Orange & Black Attack

      Easy there Romero. His argument is horrible. I do agree with you, however, that no professional sports team consciously considers TRYING to come in 2nd. But Ryan’s argument still holds water because the season has proven that we have fared much better against Seattle, Kansas City, and the Angels. Doesn’t mean we won’t take care of business against whomever we face in the playoffs. But statistically speaking, and we know Buck loves to play the statistics, it appears we’re built to handle the three aforementioned teams much more readily than either the Athletics or Tigers.

      • Orange & Black Attack

        First line should read, “His argument ISN’T horrible”. Sorry.

    • Ryan Morganstein

      The matchup with Oakland would be inevitable in any scenario. What you’re arguing is that you want us to play Oakland because of the animosity between the teams and either way, we will play them. So why not want to face them in the ALCS, after already winning an easier first round matchup? The Angels, Athletics, and Mariners all would present a more difficult series than the Royals, both competition and distance wise. So beat KC in the first round, and then face Oakland in the second like you said.