With only 18 games left on the regular season, the Baltimore Orioles do not have much time to get ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot. The good news is they are only one and a half games back with a four-game series next weekend against the Rays. With that being said, there are several AL teams that will want to prevent the Orioles from clinching a postseason berth because there is no question they are a team no one will want to face in October.
Baltimore has big-time slugger Chris Davis, who is having a career year. He is only one double away from being the first player in franchise history to record 40 doubles and 40 home runs in the same season. Not to mention, he is two homers away from breaking the record for most home runs in a single season by a member of the Orioles organization.
Meanwhile, Adam Jones is not far behind Davis in offensive productivity. Jones has posted career highs in home runs (31), RBI (102), doubles (32) and batting average (.293). The fact that there is still plenty more baseball to be played this season means his other numbers will become career highs as well.
Another player that is having an incredible offensive year is 21-year-old Manny Machado. The second-year player has only hit 13 home runs and 69 RBI. However, his 49 doubles this season are the second most in MLB history for a player that began the season at the age of 20 years old or younger.
The Orioles as a team rank first in the AL in home runs (194), third in RBI (651), fourth in doubles (263) and fifth in batting average (.262) this season.
As anyone can plainly see, Baltimore has enough fire power on offense to be a very dangerous team in the playoffs. What people may not realize is that the Orioles also have been very good on defense in 2013. In fact, they would have to really screw up not to break the record for the fewest errors by a team in a single season. As of right now, Baltimore has committed only 43 errors this year, with the record being 65.
At this point, the only problem is clinching a Wild Card spot. The Orioles do not have an easy schedule to end the season, which could be the only reason preventing them from punching their ticket. With that being said, if they can continue to play well then the AL is in for quite the treat.