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Orioles Perched Atop the AL: The Secrets of Their Success

The American League East has always been a tough division, but the Baltimore Orioles are off to another hot start this season, owning the best record in the entire AL by a narrow margin.

Orioles Have the Best Record in the AL

The Orioles also had the best record in the AL last season at 101-61. However, their championship hopes abruptly ended at the hands of the eventual champion Texas Rangers. Currently, they own a record of 27-14. As of this writing, they are in first place, with the New York Yankees mere percentage points behind them with a record of 28-15. After the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, they have now gone 105 straight series without being swept. The Orioles roster has so many talented young stars, such as Adley Rutschman who provided the Orioles with a walk-off home run and victory against the Blue Jays. Baltimore is also 3-1 against the red-hot Yankees to start the year, and more importantly, they are 14-5 against teams with an above-.500 record. They are getting the job done against their toughest competition.

Jordan Westburg also played well on Wednesday, hitting a solo home run, drawing a walk, and scoring two runs in their 3-2 victory. It would help any opposing team to get out to a big lead against the Orioles, as they have several big bats and it can take just one swing for them to steal a win from the jaws of defeat.

Behind the Orioles’ Success

The Orioles’ strengths mostly lie in their powerful offense, led by Gunnar Henderson, currently tied for second in MLB with 12 home runs this season. As a team, they lead the majors with 62 homers. But they also have solid pitching. They have several pitchers on the roster with respectable ERAs in both the rotation and bullpen, including Jacob Webb (1.47 ERA), Kyle Bradish (1.86 ERA), Albert Suarez (1.96 ERA), Yennier Cano (2.21 ERA), Danny Coulombe (2.30 ERA), Corbin Burnes (2.68 ERA), Cole Irvin (2.90 ERA), and Craig Kimbrel (3.86 ERA). Kimbrel recently made some history in his impressive return from the IL.

The staff has pitched a combined 366 innings, striking out 354 batters and compiling a 3.30 team ERA. Their bullpen has also notched 13 saves. In terms of fielding, Baltimore owns a .989 fielding percentage just behind the Atlanta Braves with a .992 fielding percentage.

Put the Brooms Away

The comeback kids did it again Wednesday as the Orioles’ late-inning magic struck once again. Thanks to Rutschman’s walk-off homer, the O’s avoided their first regular-season sweep in two years. This team just seems to always find a way to win, and it will be interesting to see if any team will be able to sweep them this season. Can they continue to own the best record in the AL? The season is only a fraction of the way complete, but odds are they will be right near the top by the end.


Photo Credit: © Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports


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