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ESPN: “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”


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Baltimore Orioles

Record: 46-46 | Projected final record: 79-83

Playoff odds: 9%

What has to go right for them to contend: Ryan Mountcastle needs to stay hot, Trey Mancini needs to stay put, Jorge Lopez needs to keep shutting the door and the rotation trio of Spenser Watkins, Tyler Wells and Dean Kremer -- with a 2.46 ERA in a combined 20 starts since the beginning of June -- needs to keep dominating. Mostly, though, the Orioles just need to keep the good vibes going. They won 16 of 23 games heading into the All-Star break, including 10 in a row at one point, and amazingly find themselves at .500 while on the periphery of the AL wild-card race. -- Gonzalez

Which player can most help Baltimore's playoff chances? There's no question here -- it's Adley Rutschman, the former No. 1 overall pick who graduated to become the Orioles' everyday catcher near the end of May. The ability is clearly there, but Rutschman -- slashing .222/.302/.420 through his first 182 plate appearances -- hasn't fully clicked offensively just yet. If he does, this could get really interesting. He's the one person who can help the Orioles overcome more talented teams in Seattle, Toronto and Boston. -- Gonzalez


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