What the New Playoffs Format Means for the Baltimore Orioles

The MLB announced a 16-team playoff format, and with 30 teams vying for one of those spots, could the Baltimore Orioles actually get one?

With the Baltimore Orioles tied with the rest of the AL East at .500, the likelihood of them getting a playoff berth is still rather low.

Unless the team plays like they did on Saturday afternoon.

It’s evident the O’s can hit, but can the pitching get the necessary outs? It’s left to be seen.

As Sunday rolls around, there are only two teams in the AL who have won all of their games or lost all of their games. The Astros are 2-0, meaning the Mariners are 0-2. That’s it. Everyone else is tied at 1-1.

The playoff format will include 16 teams split evenly between the AL and NL. But they are not simply the eight top teams in each league. According to Mike Petriello with MLB.com, they work out this way:

  • Division winners make up the top three.
  • Second-place finishers in division make up the four through six.
  • The two best records make up seventh and eighth teams.

With the Orioles in the AL East, they have some work to do if they want a chance to get into the seventh or eighth spot. But, with the weak AL Central and a stinker in the AL West, there’s a very small possibility. But, they’ve got to get the pitching under control.

Many experts are predicting that the AL top three will be the Yankees, Twins, and Astros. The second group will most likely include the Rays, White Sox, and Athletics. The battle for the seventh and eighth spots will be fascinating, with teams like the Angels, Rangers, and Indians possibly getting into the mix.

But, with only 60 games, some interesting things could happen. In many cases, a playoff berth could be lost based on a few COVID-19 tests. And, keep in mind that unlike a typical season, teams are staying within their geographic regions. So, our Orioles never have to face the Astros, Twins, White Sox, and every other practically complete teams.

Of course, the Orioles still have to get past the Nationals, Yankees, and Braves. Still I’m not going to hold my breath for a post-season berth for the Birds. As we saw on Saturday, the Orioles can beat the Red Sox, as the current record shows, every team in the AL and NL East has one win and one loss. Everyone on the diamond is human, and the records prove it.

More playoffs is good – in my honest opinion. It gives us more baseball, even if the Orioles don’t get to play the extra games.