MLB Standings 2014: Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles Clinch Playoff Spots
The 2014 Major League Baseball season is coming to a close. Games are becoming extremely critical as we head into the final week of play in both the American League and National League.
Recently, the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clinched a playoff spot in the 2014 postseason.
This is the first time since 1997 that the Orioles have won the American League East Division. It's been a long time for Orioles fans. The Orioles currently have a 91-60 record, which is a staggering 14 wins higher than the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.
The biggest reason the Orioles clinched the AL East is because of their power hitting. The Orioles rank first overall in home runs with 196. The Colorado Rockies rank second with 170. Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis all have at least 25 home runs this season for the Orioles.
Wei-Yin Chen has been the most underrated pitcher this season. The 29-year-old Taiwanese left-handed pitcher is 16-4 this year. Bud Norris and Chris Tillman have also contributed double-digit victories for the Orioles pitching staff.
Over in the American League West, the Angels have taken complete control of the division. The Angels trailed the Oakland Athletics for nearly the entire season, but mid-season trade decisions changed the complexity of the AL West. The Angels now lead the Athletics by 11 games and have the best record in all of baseball at 94-57.
Although the Orioles rank first in home runs, the Angels have the more efficient offense. The Angels offense has produced the most runs this season with 739. Much of that is thanks to Mike Trout, who has scored 109 runs this season. There's a great chance that Trout will be receiving this year's AL MVP award.
Despite being 34 years old, Dominican first baseman Albert Pujols is having a bounce back season. Pujols has 164 hits and 26 home runs this season.
The American League Central has not been decided yet. This exciting division race is going down to the wire. Both the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals are separated by just two wins, with the Tigers holding the edge. The Washington Nationals have clinched the National League East division with 87 victories, as well.
The Angels and Orioles have played each other six times this season, with the Orioles winning four of those games.
Although the Angels and Orioles have both clinched a postseason spot, they are both fighting for the No. 1 seed. Getting the No. 1 seed is very important because it gives a team home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Presently, the Angels have three more wins, but the Orioles do have the head to head advantage.
Whoever finishes with the No. 1 seed will play a wild card team in the second round. The No. 2 seed will always play the No. 3 seeded team in the second round of the playoffs.
Other than the AL Central, we just need to wait and find out who wins the two American League wild card spots. That will determine who plays each other in the playoffs.
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