Even with the extra playoff spot added to each league for 2012, 20 MLB teams will not make the playoffs. Two-thirds of MLB still will not gain entry into the most exclusive playoff in sports.
The major difference between 2012 and years past is that more teams are in playoff contention for longer time periods; more “bubble teams” are created.
This slideshow will discuss the eventual postseason fate of one such bubble team—the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore has not made the postseason since 1997. Since then, the Orioles have never finished a season with a record above .500, and have never finished a season higher than third in the AL East. Also, they have not scored more runs than their opponents in a season since 2004.
Through 108 games this season, Baltimore has a 57-51 record, which is good for second place in the AL East. If the season ended today (games through Aug. 5), the Orioles would not make the playoffs, though. Baltimore would hold the No. 7 seed in the AL playoffs, but with only five teams eligible for the postseason, the Orioles would miss out.
Fortunately for Baltimore, though, the regular season does not end until Oct. 3. The Orioles have 58 games remaining to earn a playoff spot. They are still very much in contention.
With that said, I think Baltimore will not make the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why the Orioles will miss out on the postseason.
*All statistics are updated through Aug. 5, 2012.