Baltimore Orioles: What will it take to get to the Wild Card game?
Even though the Baltimore Orioles just ended a six-game losing streak, they have not yet been eliminated from a spot in the Wild Card game.
After their win to end the series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles are 4.5 games back from the second spot.
Prior to the six-game skid, the O’s were near the top of the AL teams who continue to hover around .500.
The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are the two top Wild Card teams, but there are six teams within five games of each other. With 16 games left, the O’s still have a chance. But, a lot of things have to happen for them to get there.
The first is that the Orioles need to win. The second thing that needs to happen is that the team ahead of the Orioles need to lose. The O’s need to beat the Yankees in their last four games together as this would seriously move them up in this head-to-head play. The other thing that would be helpful for the O’s is if the Twins could lose to the Yankees when they face each other in a series that starts on Monday.
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The Angels are another team that needs to lose a few games to help the O’s move up in the standings. The biggest problem with the Angels is that they play the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners, as all three teams are ahead of the O’s. So, no matter who wins or loses, the teams will just swap places with each other.
The Kansas City Royals are also in the Orioles’ way of a Wild Card berth. But, with the Royals spending some time in Cleveland, they could find themselves with a few more losses. Then, they play easy games against the bottom-dwelling Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. So, they could fall behind and then gain ground on the O’s again.
The Mariners could move way up in the standings, too. They get a pair of pitchers off of the DL in the next few days and they play the Angels and Rangers in head-to-head action. But, they also face the tough Houston Astros.
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Even though the Orioles are still considered contenders mathematically, their chances of getting into the Wild Card continue to fall on a daily basis. Unless the pitchers like Wade Miley, Kevin Gausman, and Jeremy Hellickson need to do a lot better than they have been. The hitters at the bottom of the lineup like Seth Smith, Mark Trumbo, and Caleb Joseph need to start performing.