It has been a special season for the Baltimore Orioles.
The team wasn’t really expected to be a factor in the American League playoff race before the season started, but with a little under a month remaining in the regular season, Baltimore is still kicking.
It is ridiculously fun to still be excited about the Orioles in September.
— Darin J. McCann (@DarinMccann) September 7, 2022
Perhaps even wilder is the fact that the Orioles are still in the mix despite having lost multiple key players at the trade deadline.
They’ve been an incredible story this year, and they’d surely love nothing more than to add another chapter to the fairytale by making the playoffs.
In order to do so, however, the team is going to have to flip a switch as soon as possible.
Now Or Never
Time is running out on the 2022 regular season, which means the Orioles are going to have to make a move sooner than later if they want to steal a playoff bid.
Entering play on Friday, the Orioles are 4.5 games out of a playoff spot in the AL Wild Card race.
Baltimore is going to need to start making up some ground, and there’s no better time to start than Friday against the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox simply haven’t been able to put it all together this season, and as a result, they’re a very beatable squad.
Baltimore is about to open a three-game set against Boston, and the Orioles’ goal should be to take at least two games.
After facing the Red Sox, the Orioles will have two more winnable games up next, as they’ll play the struggling Washington Nationals in a quick two-game set.
After that, the real fun begins.
The Orioles will have a chance to make up some serious ground in a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays starting on Sept. 16.
Remember, three teams in each league will earn Wild Card bids this season.
In the AL, the three teams currently occupying those spots are the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, and Blue Jays.
Toronto is the team Baltimore is closest to catching (as mentioned, the difference is 4.5 games), and that’s good news for the Orioles because of the three AL teams currently occupying Wild Card spots, the Blue Jays are the only squad that the Orioles still have head-to-head games with.
The Blue Jays & Orioles are such an underrated rivalry in the AL East.
It’s essentially the two little brothers of the division going up against each other. But my god both little brothers are competitive.
Reminds be a bit of Saints-Falcons in the NFL.
— BioFreez (@BioFreezz) September 9, 2022
The O’s and Jays have that aforementioned three-game series beginning on Sept. 16, and they’ll also face each other three more times to finish the regular season.
However, in order for that three-game set at the end of the regular season to have any significance for Baltimore, the team is going to need to be within three games of Toronto before the series begins.
That’s why Baltimore’s upcoming games are so important — they have some winnable contests against the Red Sox and Nationals that they need to take care of, and they also have a major opportunity on their hands against Toronto.
The Orioles’ postseason dreams are far from dead, but they’re going to need to buckle down over this upcoming stretch and win some crucial games.