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Orioles clinch post-season spot after Angels lose

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Orioles clinch post-season spot after Angels lose

When the Orioles break open the champagne to celebrate their first playoff berth in 15 years, they probably need to send the Texas Rangers a bottle or two.
Texas rallied from a four-run deficit in the first inning to edge the Los Angeles Angels, 8-7, Sunday night in the second part of a split doubleheader. That victory clinched a playoff spot for the Orioles, one they nearly locked up in front of their fans earlier in the day.
The Rangers held a one-run lead over the Angels Sunday afternoon in a game which was in the ninth inning moments after the Orioles finished off Boston, 6-3, at Camden Yards. After that, the players stood out on the field watching a telecast of the Texas game and hoping the Rangers could finish it off and clinch the Baltimore playoff spot.
They were one out away, but the Angels scored twice in that inning to win and postpone the party.
But it wasnt for too long.
The Orioles now have made the playoffs for the first time since they went wire-to-wire in winning the American League East in 1997. They made it to the American League Championship Series, where the Cleveland Indians upset them in six games.
For now, exactly where the Orioles will be remains up in the air. They could win the division or land in the one-game wild-card playoff scheduled for Friday. The Orioles are tied with the Yankees for first in the AL East with three games left. New York will play Boston at home while the Orioles take on Tampa Bay in Florida.
Wei-Yin Chen (12-10) pitches for the Orioles in Mondays series opener against Alex Cobb (10-9). Miguel Gonzalez (8-4), one of this years pleasant surprises, takes on James Shields (15-9) in Tuesdays game.
The Orioles have yet to announce a starter for Wednesdays seriesseason finale. Jeremy Hellickson (9-11, 3.20) is set to pitch for Tampa Bay.
In addition, the OriolesYankees remain one game ahead of Oakland for the top spot in the wild-card race. Whoever gets the top spot hosts the one-game wild-card playoff. Oakland ends its season with a three-game home series versus Texas.
The big question now is if the Rangers can help the Orioles again.
If so, the Orioles will certainly need to send more champagne.

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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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