The Orioles are off on Thursday night, but there are a couple of baseball games that may have interest to the fans in Birdland as they can have implications for the assorted playoff positions that the O's desire to reach.
The Indians sit one game behind the O's in the race for the second wild card spot. The O's, themselves, are 1.5 games behind Texas. Zach McAllister gets the start for Cleveland against Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer, who is going for his 17th win of the season against only one loss. Pitcher win-loss records are not the be-all, end-all, but when you're having a 16-1 season with a 2.85 ERA, you're having a good year.
A Tigers victory sends the team chasing the O's in the wild card race a little farther back.
Bruce Chen has a 2.03 ERA on the season and not too long ago he stymied the Orioles offense, giving up only three hits in six innings. Therefore, as we keep that distant dream of catching back up in the AL East, Chen will do everything in his power to dim those dreams a little more by finally giving up a ton of runs in tonight's game.
Because the Red Sox are never allowed to lose again, Jon Lester will rebound from a disappointing season to throw something like a complete game shutout.
A Royals win would put the Orioles 5.5 games back in the AL East. A Red Sox win would put them 6.5 games back, sitting in third place in the division.
The Orioles have played 114 games. After 114 games last season, they were in third place in the division race, 6.5 games back. Symmetry can be cool, but that won't be making me root for Boston tonight or any other night.
Also, a bunch of football teams will be playing games that don't matter tonight and large numbers of people who get money to act like they matter will be trying to act like they matter.