The baseball playoff picture had a number of confusing possibilities for the Orioles, but now, the picture is slowly starting to come into focus.
The Orioles clinched their first playoff spot since 1997 on Sunday night when the Angels lost and now, the Birds and Yankees are tied for first place in the American League East with a 92-67 record. In addition, both teams are deadlocked for the first of the two AL wild-card spots, just one game ahead of Oakland.
The Orioles also are just one game behind Texas, who would be the No. 1 seed in the AL if the season ended today.
Got all that?
With three games left in the season, the Orioles have a shot at anything from the No. 1 seed and having the home-field advantage all the way through the American League Championship Series all the way down to having to travel all the way to Oakland for a one-game winner-take-all wild-card series.
So heres some of the very watered-down possibilities. The Orioles could win, lose or finish in a tie for first. Baltimore goes to Tampa Bay for three games while the Yankees host Boston for three games. One team could finish ahead of the other or they could still be tied.
If that happens, theyd play in a one-game playoff Thursday. Where would it be? As of now, looks like Baltimore because the two teams tied in the season series, 9-9 and the Orioles now have a three-game lead over the Yankees in the play in the AL Eastthe next tiebreaker.
As for the wild-card, the OriolesYankees still have the aforementioned one-game lead over the As. If the Orioles dont win the division and slip back to the wild-card, theyd need to finish in front of Oakland to get the game here. The As would win a tie-breaker because they beat the Orioles in the season series, 5-4.Or, if everything shakes out in a good way for the Orioles, they could get the top spot in the whole American League. They are one game behind Texas there, and who do the Rangers play? Oakland, out in the Bay Area. But this is much more remote.
Anyway, theres three games left. Lots of things could happen. Get locked in, boys and girls, it could be a wild ride.