Originally posted on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 9/15/12

The Orioles lost last night, meaning they have only 18 games remaining in their remarkable season to get to the next level. To me the magic number is 90 wins, meaning the Orioles need only go .500 the rest of the way to meet my playoff threshold.

The scenario as I see it.

This is, of course, barring any unforeseen nonsense or any team getting ridiculously hot/cold.

One wild card will come out of the west. At this point I think the Orioles west-coast cousin Athletics will make the playoffs in some capacity. The Angels are trying valiantly but I think their inconsistent play will sabotage them going forward during the remainder. The A’s are doing their damnedest to catch the Rangers, but they seem too powerful to be caught.

That leaves the Yankees, Orioles and Rays all vying for two playoff spots. At the start of play today the Birds and the Yanks are tied for first both three games ahead of the Rays. The Rays will take on the Yankees tonight and the A’s are, of course, hosting the Orioles – each will play two more games this series.

To get to 90 wins the Yankees and Orioles both need only to win nine games, the Rays need to win 12. All teams only have 18 games to play.  While it is very reasonable to imagine the Orioles and the Yankees going .500, the Rays getting to 90 might be a bit more troublesome for them.  The Rays have only had two stretches of 12-6, or better, play this year; Once at the beginning of the season from April 12 – May 29 (14-4) and again from August 7 – August 24 (14-4).  While their pitching is simply second-to-none their offense continues to struggle to score runs consistently.

The remaining schedules:

The Orioles: OAK 2, SEA 3, BOS 3, TOR 4, BOS 3, TB 3

The Yankees: TB 2, TOR 3, OAK 3, MIN 3, TOR 4, BOS 3

The Rays: NY 2, BOS 4, TOR 3, BOS 2, CHC 4, BAL 3

The Rays certainly have the toughest last week of the season with seven straight games against contending teams, one of them the team they are behind. They essentially have to win almost every series from here on, or at least play to an equivalent win- percentage, to crack that 90 win barrier. With those last seven games staring at them from the future they better get the wins the should/need to get against the low-hanging fruit of Boston and Toronto.

The Orioles really need to find a way to pull out a win or two against Oakland. The Orioles could handle losing the series in Oakland and not really skip a beat. Getting swept would be a bit more of an inconvenience with some possible long-term consequences. The Birds get a “soft” spot in September with 13 games against the Blue Jays, Mariners and Red Sox and seven of those games at home. If the magic number is truly 90 wins, then the Orioles have a more than excellent chance to reach that plateau with some room to spare.

Now, Tampa Bay could easily get white hot, the Orioles could get ice-cold and throw this whole theory out the window but I just don’t see that happening. And fi the Orioles can get to 90 wins it will take something phenomenally weird to keep them out of the playoffs.  The Orioles sit at 81 wins, with a three game lead over the second place Rays, If they can just win nine more games they will bring a remarkable close to one of the most improbable seasons in baseball history.

Just nine more wins.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker