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Orioles aren't a team of destiny, just a good team

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Orioles aren't a team of destiny, just a good team

Forget the talk about the Orioles being a team of destiny. Theyre just good.Its not a fluke when a team wins 14 straight extra-inning games. Very late last nightor very early this morning, the Orioles played themselves into a tie for first place in the American League East.Oh yes, it took 18 innings to do it.When the 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners was finally complete, the hardy few who stayed up to watch the five hour, 44 minute dogfight could catch a few hours of sleep before heading to work.The rest of the fan base was startled to find out the Orioles were just going to sleep about the team they were waking up.They also found out that Dylan Bundy was summoned from the Instructional League in Sarasota, Fla. to join the Orioles for their game on Wednesday night.Since the New York Yankees game with Toronto was rained out on Tuesday night, the Orioles are in a tie for the division lead. The Yankees and Blue Jays will play a split-doubleheader today.The Orioles (84-64), who are now 20 games over .500 for the first time since 1997, improved their wild card standing, too. Oakland lost to Detroit, and lead the Orioles by just one-half game. Los Angeles remains three games back.Taylor Teagardens RBI single gave the Orioles a lead and added a fourth run on Mark Reynold's fielders choice.Just before Tommy Hunter (5-8) began the 16th as the Orioles seventh pitcher, he was met by a seagull who relieved himself on the reliever.Everyone said it was good luck, Hunter told reporters in Seattle.Jim Johnson got his major-league leading 44th save. With his next one, hell tie Randy Myers for the club record.With an expanded roster, manager Buck Showalter wasnt forced to use Chris Davis to pitch. Davis won the 17-inning game in Boston on May 7. Hecouldn't have used him because hepinch-ran for Davis earlier in the game.NOTES:-Adam Jones, Matt Wieters andReynolds were a combined 0-for-21.-Joe Saunders (2-2, 4.30) pitches against Felix Hernandez (13-8, 2.92). Saunders is 8-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 14 starts against Seattle.-Showalter used four second basemen: Robert Andino, Ryan Flaherty, Steve Tolleson and Omar Quintanilla. He didnt use two position players: catcher Luis Exposito and outfielder L.J. Hoes. Exposito was the only position player not used in the 17-inning game.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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