It's Thursday and you know what that means, it's time for Orioles101's Throwback Thursday. Today, in response to several Baltimore Orioles fans already stating that this season is over, we will take a look at where the 2013 O's compare to their 2012 counterparts at this time last year.
Last season, Orioles Magic was reborn and the 14 year streak of losing seasons finally came to an end and resulted in the Birds' first postseason appearance since 1997. Baltimore won the first ever American League Wildcard one game playoff and took the New York Yankees to the brink, but fell short losing the decisive game five in the ALDS.
But where were the 2012 O's with 31 games remaining?
Baltimore was 73-58 after 131 games in 2012 and were two games behind the New York Yankees for the AL East lead and held the second wildcard spot by 2 1/2 games over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles finished their final 31 games by going 20-11 and securing the second wildcard spot and finishing two games behind the Yankees in the AL East.
Last season, the Orioles longest winning streak of the season was six games and their longest losing streak was also six games. Once 2012 was completed, the Orioles finished the season with just a +7 run differential.
OK, so the 2013 Orioles are a few games behind the 2012 pace as the O's are currently 70-61, but this year find themselves 7 1/2 games back in the AL East and 4 1/2 games back of the second wildcard spot.
If Baltimore were to repeat their 2012 feat of going 20-11 in their final 31 games they would finish the season 90-72, which would likely not be good enough to secure a playoff spot, but if they go 22-9 resulting in a 92-70 record, that would not only give them a shot, but would be very close to the number that would get into the playoffs, especially with so many of the teams in playoff contention playing each other over the rest of the season.
On the flip side, the O's longest winning streak this season is five games, so are due for a fairly long winning streak and a six game win streak would be a welcome occurrence for the Orioles. Baltimore's run differential this season is currently at +38, which is a huge improvement over last season, but the 24 losses in one runs games has done this team in thus far. Last season, the Orioles were historically good in one run games going 29-9, but this year's 14-24 record in those games has been a difference maker.
Overall, this team is pretty much in line with last year's squad, but the competition in the AL is much more top heavy and thus tougher to make the playoffs. Baltimore is by no means out of the playoff race and although the AL East should not be given much thought for the O's, they can still make the playoffs as a wildcard team.
What chances do you give the Orioles of making the playoffs this season? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment and let the debate begin.
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