On July 17, I declared that the Orioles’ playoff hopes were dead.
However, since then, the Orioles have somewhat stabilized, and are now 6.5 games out of 1st in the AL East and only 1.5 out of a Wild Card spot. Therefore, as I thought they would drop completely off the map by the end of July as they struggled heavily, I must retract my previous statement: the Orioles are alive.
At least for now. They continue to be playing far better than their run differential suggest (they’d be 46-59 if their record reflected their run differential!), and, while they didn’t make any moves at the deadline and have had Jim Thome and Brian Roberts go on the DL, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they will at least somewhat remain in it so long as they can continue defying the gravity of their run differential problem. They are winning close games but losing blowouts.
It will, in the end, all come down to how they play against their AL East rivals. And in MLB’s toughest division, I’m wary of making predictions.