While the Baltimore Orioles were able to snag a win over the Guardians last night thanks to a stellar outing from John Means, things haven't been going smoothly for the Orioles lately. They dropped the first two games of the series with Cleveland and now find themselves with just a 1.5 game lead in the AL East over the Rays with seven games left in the 2023 season.
However, the Orioles schedule looks fairly soft the rest of the way with the Nationals and Red Sox coming up after Baltimore finishes up with Cleveland today. Even though the division race is tighter than fans want it to be, the Orioles are still in really good shape.
Baltimore Orioles Magic Number and Playoff Odds - 9/24
As of Sunday, September 24th, the Baltimore Orioles magic number to win the AL East sits at 5. The Orioles have already clinched a playoff spot, so there are no worries there and the lowest seed they can fall if Tampa manages to pass them in the division race is the fourth seed. Importantly, the Orioles do hold the tiebreaker over Tampa this season as they won the season series which effectively gives Baltimore another game in hand.
While the AL East race remains tight, the Orioles still have great odds to win the division. Fangraphs currently has the Baltimore with a 92.1% chance to win the division while Baseball-Reference feels very similarly as their prediction engine gives the Orioles a 91.7% chance of winning the AL East. The Orioles are also still technically in the running to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they are going to need some help from the Braves who are 3.5 games up there in order to make that happen.
Despite struggling a little bit lately, Orioles fans should not be worried. The Orioles could clinch the division as early as the middle of this coming week and even if the race with the Rays stays close, Baltimore is still in fantastic shape when it comes to their playoff position.