The Baltimore Orioles currently sit a game out of the playoff picture in the American League. With less than two weeks to go before the regular season comes to an end, a playoff spot is no guarantee for them. However, should they get in there, they might just be the team that nobody wants to face.
The Orioles haven’t been leading the playoff parade in the American League, really at any point this year. However, when you look at this club and their makeup, both in the field and on the mound, it’s not difficult to see why this is a team that you’d want to avoid in the AL playoffs.
Baltimore boasts one of the better offensive clubs in the game. This is a lineup with so much pop, particularly in the middle of their order, that they are extremely difficult to stop. Chris Davis is a monster, Adam Jones should be an MVP candidate, and Manny Machado has flashed more power as the year has worn on. Not to mention the likes of J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters, as well as waiver trade acquisition Michael Morse.
They’re dangerous at the plate. What makes them even more dangerous is their ability to flash the leather in the field. The argument could be made that you’re looking at the greatest defensive team of all time right at this moment. The Orioles are dynamite with the glove. There are multiple players throughout this lineup that will be in the mix for Gold Glove awards, perhaps as many as five.
Their rotation isn’t anything to write home about. At the top, Chris Tillman has improved exponentially over the last couple of years, while Wei-Yin Chen presents a strong option as well. It’s a solid, if unspectacular, group. The bullpen is very good, despite the struggles of closer Jim Johnson.
Overall, it isn’t difficult to figure out why the Orioles might want to be a club that teams want to avoid come playoff time. They can hit the ball well, and field it better than anyone in baseball. If their pitching shows up, this is an extremely dangerous team.