Dave Szymborski, an MLB analyst for ESPN, joins Scott and Jeremy to discuss the MLB standings as the postaseason approaches, including the Orioles’ chances of advancing.
When the Baltimore Orioles announced that third baseman Manny Machado would be out for the remainder of the year, the chances of the Orioles doing damage in the postseason—or even making it there—took a hit.
“It’s a six game lead. At this time of the year, a six game lead is very solid,” said Szymborski.
Recently, the dark cloud over the Orioles became a bit darker over the weekend, as they were swept by the Chicago Cubs, and most notably handled by former Oriole Jake Arrieta.
“I liked him a lot in his early days in Baltimore. I always waited for his stuff to be consistent, but it never happened, but the Cubs took a chance on him and they’re reaping the benefits of it now,” Szymborski said.
One of the reasons the Orioles struggled in Chicago is because they lacked offensive productivity. Players such as Chris Davis could not break out of hitting slumps.
“Davis has had a very up and down career,” said Szymborski. “He’s hitting .200 or less of late, and it’s not really sustainable.”
Though many in Baltimore are a bit panicked after Machado’s injury, Szymborski points out that every team has injuries, and many also have far worse scenarios as a road to the playoffs.
“Every team has injuries. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect. The Orioles’ advantage is that they have the clearest path towards the playoffs without getting in via wildcard. Because of that, the Orioles might be favored to get to the series,” Szymborski said.
One of those more serious injuries in particular is that of the Angels SP Garrett Richards’ leg. Richards has been a reliable ace for the Angels this season before going down with the year-ending injury last week. It will be impossible to replace a 13-4 season and a 2.61 ERA Richards had posted.
“I would argue Richards’ injury is bigger than the Machado injury. Richards has been their ace, and they really cannot afford to lose pitching on an already shallow staff. It’ll be tough to keep up with Oakland in the race in the west,” said Szymborski.