by Adam Hostetter
After conquering the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles went on the play the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers gave little resistance to the Orioles who swept them 3-0.
After winning the ALDS, the Orioles move on to play the Kansas City Royals in a bout for the ALCS. The teams will play a best of seven games series for right to advance to the World Series and American League pennant ownership.
The Kansas City Royals’ playoff journey started with tiring out the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card game. This game went an amazing 12 innings until the Royals finally drove in two runs to win and move on. The Los Angeles Angels were next, and they were less of a challenge for the Royals. The Royals won in three, sweeping the series.
And now, the Orioles and Royals will meet for an epic battle for a shot at the World Series.
There are many factors that go into success in October. One of them being just luck, but the others is a combination of consistent starting pitching, productive offense, and clutch performances by the bullpen.
When it comes to starting pitching, the O’s and Royals are quite similar but a moderate edge would go to Kansas City. James Shields will obviously go in the one spot, and Yordano Ventura will occupy the number two spot but the rest of the rotation is uncertain for both teams. There are talks of maybe bumping off Chen, the only lefty in the rotation for the O’s, for Kevin Gausman, a solid righty.
The offensive situation is clearer; the Orioles have a considerable advantage in this category. The Royals have a very high team batting average but the O’s still have scored 54 more runs than them. This is because the Orioles have such a high slugging percentage. This allows them to drive in runs. If the O’s can hit the long ball, as they have done like clockwork during the regular season, they will be going to the World Series. A considerable edge goes to Baltimore.
When it comes to bullpen, not many teams are more solid than the Orioles, but the Royals are one of those teams. With relievers like Darren O’Day, Zach Britton, and Tommy Hunter the O’s have been inscribed as synonymous with clutch pitching. But the Royals have a bullpen consisting of Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Aaron Crow; the Royals have been more than exceptional. The edge goes to no one, as it is too close to call. It should be interesting to see these two stellar bullpens battle it out for the pennant.
In conclusion, I predict the orioles will win 4-2. Neither team will lose at home and it will be a tough to grab momentum, but the O’s will advance to the World Series and try to win it for the first time since 1983.