The fact that the Orioles have to play another game against the Blue Jays almost feels like an afterthought. The big drama is over. There's nothing major left to clinch at home, until they get into the playoffs. They are seven games up on the Central division-leading Tigers for the #2 seed in the American League, which would mean three potential ALDS home games and four in the ALCS, if the Angels should falter against the Wild Card Game winner in their own ALDS round.
There's even still an outside chance of winning 100 games, although there's probably more value for the Orioles in resting a few players than trying to chase that goal. Somewhat more realistic is that they're three games back of the Angels for the #1 seed in the AL, but pulling back three games with 11 to play is a lot to hope for.
You want to win them all, obviously, but a hangover game wouldn't be unexpected, and given the celebration that they gave the fans after clinching last night, it'd be hard to be mad about one, either, especially with an off day on Thursday to get everyone back in gear for the final home series of the year, starting Friday night.
Christian Walker will be making his major league debut, batting seventh. Ordinarily, this lineup would cause a lot of forfeit lineup jokes. Jimmy Paredes leading off? Yeah, but the Orioles clinched the division last night, so who cares. Some players may not be in playing shape, others may be able to fake it but could probably use a day off. I ain't even mad. Just make sure you're sharp for the ALDS, fellas.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jose Reyes - SS||Jimmy Paredes - 3B|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Steve Pearce - RF|
|Edwin Encarnacion - 1B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Adam Lind - DH||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|John Mayberry - LF||Delmon Young - LF|
|Munenori Kawasaki - 3B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Josh Thole - C||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Ryan Goins - 2B||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Anthony Gose - CF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|J.A. Happ - LHP||Bud Norris - RHP|