Yes, the Orioles are still the only remaining playoff contender with a negative run differential (minus-10), but as the O's continue to pile up wins into late September, they're becoming one prognosticating favorite to make the postseason for the first time in 15 years.
According to coolstandings.com, which uses various simulations to devise the likelihood of teams advancing to the playoffs, the Orioles have a 90.2 percent change of making the postseason. Only the Rangers (99.5) and Yankees (97.5) have better percentages,
But despite trailing the first-place Yankees by just a half game entering play tonight, the Orioles have just a 28.5 percent chance of winning the AL East. They have a 61.6 percent chance of earning one of the two AL wild-card spots.
By comparison, the struggling Tampa Bay Rays, who are now six games out in the division and 5 1/2 back in the wild card have just a 4.7 percent chance of making the playoffs.
The site also projects the Orioles to play near .500 ball for their final 13 games of the season, projecting the O's, now 85-64, to finish with 91.7 wins and 70.3 losses.
Here's an interesting caveat. In computing the projections, the site uses a variation of Bill James' Pythagorean method, which hinges greatly on run differential.
For example, James' Pythagorean win-loss for the Orioles this season is currently 73-76.
But with 13 games left to go, I guess you can't argue with a team that in reality is 21 games over .500 and 1/2-game out of first place.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times