BALTIMORE – As play begins on Monday night, the Orioles are tied with the Cleveland Indians, two games behind Tampa Bay for the final Wild Card spot.
The Indians are playing Kansas City while the Rays are idle.
For manager Buck Showalter, it’s not even a game-by-game proposition.
“It’s hour-by-hour almost,” Showalter said.
“You hear a lot of the fodder about who this team plays the last week…this team on paper supposedly has a weak schedule.”
The Orioles’ final 20 games are against AL East teams, 10 at home and 10 on the road.
After four games with the Yankees, the Orioles play three games in Toronto, three more in Boston and four at Tampa Bay. They finish at home with three with the Blue Jays and three with the Red Sox.
“Scheduling, we could critique it for hours,” Showalter said. And, he’s spent hours looking at every team’s schedule.
“If you sit there, it will eat you up.”
Cleveland seemingly has an easier schedule. The Indians have six games with Kansas City, six with Chicago and four each with Minnesota and Houston.
Besides the four games with the Orioles, Tampa Bay has three with the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Twins and four with Texas.
“If we were going to be in the playoffs by one game and you could let me in on it right now, I’d have a hell of a time the rest of the way, but I’m going to have a hell of a time anyway,” Showalter said.