The Orioles dont want to talk about it. They still have 15 games left in the regular season.But, the postseason is a little over two weeks from now, and its time for us to talk.They havent clinched anything but a winning season. Six months ago, that would have been cause for celebration. Now, they want more, much more.The Orioles still trail the Yankees by a half-game, but theyve played them even this season, splitting 18 games.Theres no reason the Orioles cant beat out New York for the AL East title, but if the teams are tied for the AL East title, there would be a one-game playoff at Oriole Park on Oct. 4, assuming the Orioles have a better record against division opponents.If the Orioles beat out the Yankees, theyll advance to the division series. Thats best three of five. Currently, the Orioles have a better record than AL Central leader Chicago, but a worse record than the top team in the AL West, Texas.The Orioles would play their first two games at Chicago on Oct. 6-7 and return to Baltimore for up to three games Oct. 9-11.If the Orioles dont catch the Yankees and continue to trail Oakland in the wild card chase, they d play a one-game playoff at the O.co.Coliseum on Oct. 5. In order to capture the top wild card spot, the Orioles have to beat out the Athletics. Since Oakland won the season series, theyll get home field advantage if theres a tie.The Orioles have lost 16 of their last 19 games in Oakland.If they beat out the Athletics, but fail to best the Yankees, the Orioles host the wild card playoff game on Oct. 5.If the Orioles would beat Oakland, they would return home to face the division winner with the best record, Texas on Oct 7-8. Up to three games would be played at Rangers Stadium from Oct. 10-12.The winners of the two division series meet in the American League Championship Series from Oct. 13-21. If the Orioles were AL East division champs, they would host the first two and if necessary, the last two games on Oct 13-14 and 20-21.If the Orioles were the wild card team, they would host Games 3,4 and 5 on Oct. 16-18.The World Series picture is clearer. If the Orioles were AL champs for the first time since 1983, they get games 3, 4 and 5 at home on Oct. 27-29. Home field advantage in the World Series goes to the National League because of their win in the All-Star Game.The World Series begins on Oct. 24 in the National League city.While Orioles players dont want to talk about this publicly, the teams front office is busily preparing. Tickets have been printed, season ticket holders invoiced and promotions to sell season tickets for next season have been tied in with this years postseason. There will be a public sale on Saturday morning of remaining tickets.If youre buying tickets, the Orioles have set prices at between 20-100 for the wild card and Division series.Ticket prices for the League Championship Series and World Series are set by Major League Baseball. LCS tickets are between 40 and 175 and 70-305 for the World Series.Fans watching on television will notice a change, too. There wont be any local telecasts. Wild card games will be broadcast by TBS. The Division Series will be broadcast mainly by TBS, though on days with four games, the MLB Network will air one of the four.The ALCS will be shown by TBS, the NLCS is on FOX. The World Series will be shown on FOX.Fans who might be confused by this new format should be thankful. Without the addition of a second wild card team, the Orioles chances would be lessened.Manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette are excitedly making their own preparations. Showalter is allowing Miguel Gonzalez some rest so that he can be fresh for the postseason, and hes hoping that Jason Hammel can come back, too.The Orioles can use only 25 players in the postseason, and those rosters can be changed for each playoff series. Showalter has undoubtedly been experimenting with multiple combinations. The team is currently carrying 16 pitchers and will probably have four fewer on a postseason roster.The team has 35 active players, though two of them, Nick Markakis and Wilson Betemit, are hurt. The Orioles hope Markakis, who has a broken left thumb, could be back if they advance deep into the playoffs.Troy Patton and Jim Thome may be activated from the disabled list later this week and could be useful additions for the postseason.
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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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.
Reigning AL MVP @JoseAltuve27 has taken over as the @MLB overall leader in fan balloting, while @RaysBaseball catcher Wilson Ramos has surpassed Gary Sanchez of the @Yankees behind the plate. Visit https://t.co/Jd6REEkFYI to vote. #MLBVote pic.twitter.com/rPt4XQFrZI— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 19, 2018
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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