With another win last night and both the Jays and Yankees not playing, Baltimore has seen their lead grow to 8 and 7.5 games, respectively, over this season's AL East foes. This puts the club is great position and is about a 19 in 20 chances of making the playoffs. All across the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area, Orioles fans are putting away their high blood pressure meds and enjoying baseball as if they we kids without a care in the world. At the moment, life is nice as an Orioles fan.
What has turned into somewhat of a cakewalk (though keep in mind there is a 1 in 20 chance the wheels fall off), was thought by nearly all not to be the case back in March. We projected, after a Buck adjustment, that the team would make it into the first Wild Card slot with 90 wins. We were wrong about the playoff position, but with the club on pace for 94 wins we are comfortable with how well our model did this year. Of course, the success of our model may well just be coincidence.
It has been a long while since we last published a 40 man roster list with options. There are a couple changes on this one. I have included blue as players who have remaining options, but have more than five years of service which means they can only be optioned willingly. I have also designated Brian Matusz' final option as disputed. It has been said he can no longer be optioned, but based on my understanding of the MLB contract he signed at the draft he should have four total options. Only three have been used, so I am uncertain at the discrepancy. Finally, I do not understand what Jimmy Paredes has a fourth option.
I do look forward to the day when MLB, Baseball-Reference, or someone reports option years in an easily accessible format. One can dream, but right now I prefer to dream about baseball in October.