So here they come down the stretch! If you thought last year’s regular season ending was exciting, I think we’re in for a big surprise this year. I guess it doesn’t hurt that the Orioles are actually one of the teams in the playoff hunt instead of trying to play spoiler. Here is a quick breakdown for what the O’s have coming up:
As I sit here typing this, the Orioles are only one game behind the New York Yankees and a game and a half ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the battle for the American League East title. As for the Wild Card, the O’s have the second spot behind the Oakland Athletics, and are a game and a half up on the afore-mentioned Rays. The way it looks now, the A’s, Rays, Detroit Tigers, and Los Angeles Angels are all going to be duking it out for the Wild Card, so that will be interesting to say the least.
Baltimore has 28 games left on the season. They just took two of three in Yankee Stadium and Joe Saunders shut down the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Overall, the O’s have nine series left on the year, four of which are against teams with a winning record. They have one remaining series against the Yankees, a four-game set starting this Thursday. They play the Oakland Athletics on the road, which will be a very tough series, and then they have two series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the last of which will be from October 1-3 on the road.
Overall, the O’s are playing against teams with a combined winning percentage of .511. On paper it doesn’t look too difficult, but something tells me the Red Sox would love to return the favor this year. Boston comes to town Sept. 28–30, and one can only imagine how much they would love to do whatever they can to hinder Baltimore’s playoff chances, especially after the O’s did that to the Sox last year.
Of their remaining 28 games, 14 are home and 14 are away, but they have a tough stretch starting on September 14, when they head to Oakland. Both teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot, and we all know it’s never easy traveling to the West Coast. After three games against the A’s, they have three against the Mariners before they travel to Boston. After their nine-game road trip, the O’s come home to a double header against the Blue Jays.
I will say that the attendance has been up a little bit this year, but we can do better! Last year the O’s averaged 21,951 fans per game, whereas this year, they are averaging 24,549. For the first time since 1997, the O’s are making a run at the playoffs, so let’s get out there and show some love!!
by Andy Mindzak