Sunday, September 16, 2012

The magic number

The Orioles lost last night, meaning they have only 18 games remaining in their remarkable season to get to the next level. To me the magic number is 90 wins, meaning the Orioles need only go .500 the rest of the way to meet my playoff threshold.
The scenario as I see it.

This is, of course, barring any unforeseen nonsense or any team getting ridiculously hot/cold. 

One wild card will come out of the west. At this point I think the Orioles west-coast cousin Athletics will make the playoffs in some capacity. The Angels are trying valiantly but I think their inconsistent play will sabotage them going forward during the remainder. The A’s are doing their damnedest to catch the Rangers, but they seem too powerful to be caught.

That leaves the Yankees, Orioles and Rays all vying for two playoff spots. At the start of play today the Birds and the Yanks are tied for first both three games ahead of the Rays. The Rays will take on the Yankees tonight and the A’s are, of course, hosting the Orioles – each will play two more games this series.

To get to 90 wins the Yankees and Orioles both need only to win nine games, the Rays need to win 12. All teams only have 18 games to play.  While it is very reasonable to imagine the Orioles and the Yankees going .500, the Rays getting to 90 might be a bit more troublesome for them.  The Rays have only had two stretches of 12-6, or better, play this year; Once at the beginning of the season from April 12 – May 29 (14-4) and again from August 7 – August 24 (14-4).  While their pitching is simply second-to-none their offense continues to struggle to score runs consistently.

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