Orioles are wild at heart

October 08, 2014|By Peter Schmuck | The Baltimore Sun

If you're an Orioles fan and you're concerned about the fact that the two wild-card teams have made it to the League Championship Series round of the postseason, there's no reason to fret about it.

I've always believed that the wild-card teams had a bit of an emotional advantage entering the playoffs, because they generally have to grind right to the final weekend of the season before punching their ticket to the playoffs. It seems logical and it has held true over the course of the wild-card era.

However, it's going to matter less in the LCS round because everybody has been playing tough, tight games through the first two playoff rounds. The Orioles finished their LDS sweep in heart-stopping fashion and have been playing tense games all year. They may have looked like they were jogging into the postseason because of their big lead in the AL East, but they were ready when the Detroit Tigers started throwing Cy Young Award winners at them.

The postseason also is unpredictable because of the spacing of the games, but every remaining team is in the same situation. Nobody got stretched to five games in the LDS, so everybody is going to fairly rested and ready to go.

The case can be made that the Orioles look more like a wild-card team than the Royals or Giants, since they have been playing without three of their top offensive players and have been forced to plug holes with role players throughout the season.

Since they've still been able to win more consistently than any team other than the Los Angeles Angels, there should be no concern about their intensity the rest of the way.

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