The Baltimore Orioles have been one of baseball’s biggest surprises of the season. Entering the year, most analysts had the O’s as the American League East’s expected basement dwellers. However, if the season ended today, the Orioles would be in the playoffs.
Despite losing last night to the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles picked up yet another series victory. They’ve now won or split their last five series, good for a record of eleven-and-sixteen over that span. Baltimore finds itself tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for second place in the AL East and also tied with Tampa for the league’s first wild-card spot.
Despite their success this season, many are expecting the Orioles to collapse, or at least come back down to earth. Most of this has to do with their less-than-impressive run differential, -44.
Baltimore is the only team in the majors with a winning percentage higher than .475 and a negative run differential. Some point to this as the reason why the O’s run isn’t sustainable. Still, others attribute the funky stat to the fact that the club’s starters have struggled this season, leading to more than a few blowouts, while the bullpen has been a major strength, leading to more than a few victories in one-run games.