After the Baltimore Orioles brought out the brooms and swept the Angels this week, it became clear that there was little chance this team was going to fold under the pressure of the moment and had arrived as the class of the American League. They currently sport the second most wins in all of baseball and are showing few signs of slowing down as they have won five straight and seven of their last 10.
At this point, Baltimore making the playoffs is a done deal. There are still technically ways for Baltimore to not make the postseason, but those scenarios involve huge collapses by the Orioles that would defy logic at this point. However, it is now fair to start looking at what the Orioles' magic number is to win the AL East is as we enter the final weeks of the 2023 season.
Baltimore Orioles' Magic Number
With 23 games left to go, the Orioles do still find themselves in a relatively close battle with the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East as the Rays have played well recently. As of 9/8, the Orioles' magic number to win the American League East sits at 19. That means 19 combined Orioles' wins and Rays' losses would eliminate the Rays from the division race and, in all likelihood, give Baltimore the AL East crown. It is possible that the Blue Jays could go nuclear and force their way into this discussion, but the Rays' number will be the focus for now.
Over the next week or so, teams are going to start getting officially eliminated from the division race and playoff contention altogether. First up will likely be the Yankees who will be eliminated from the AL East with five combined Orioles wins and Yankees losses. The Red Sox will likely be up next on the chopping block just a couple games head of New York.
It is crunch time, Orioles fans. Everything is going to plan for Baltimore for the moment and soon we are going to get a much better sense of what the actual playoff picture is going to be and how the Orioles fit in it. This is going to be fun.