Games Back <= Weeks Left + 3What that equation declares is that it is highly unlikely for any club to be able to overcome a lead greater than that. To put it in more concrete terms, here is what it would mean for this season:
8/11 10 GBWith that in mind, the safe assumption is if the Orioles can keep their current lead for the next two and a half weeks, then we can all retire our anxieties until the post-season. Or, maybe even this week we could find comfort if the Orioles continue to win and the Yankees and Blue Jays continue to fall behind.
8/18 9 GB
8/25 8 GB
9/1 7 GB
9/8 6 GB
9/15 5 GB
9/22 4 GB
Of course, this makes me think about past years and whether any club enjoying a hearty 7.5 game lead, give or take a game, in mid-August wound up being relieved of first place. Below are similar instances over the past ten years:
2013Above are eight races and three of them were three team races. In all cases, the team with a lead similar to the Orioles' current lead held on to win their division with only two races narrowing. If the Orioles somehow do not hold on, then it will be relatively unique as far as I can tell. This is largely in part to a team having to be pretty dominant to be able to produce a lead this great.
Dodgers up 7.5 games over Diamondbacks, wound up 11 games up.
Reds up 7 games over both the Cardinals and Pirates, wound up 9 and 18 games up, respectively.
Phillies up 8.5 games over Braves, wound up 13 games up
Rangers up 8.5 games over Angels, wound up 10 games up
Yankees up 7.5 games over Red Sox, wound up 8 games up
Tigers up 6.5 games over White Sox, wound up 5 games up
Braves up 8 games over Marlins and Phillies, wound up 13 and 10 games up, respectively
Dodgers up 6.5 games over Padres and Giants, wound up 6 and 2 games up, respectively.
We can also compare all of this to ongoing models. The two most prominent ones in use in the general public are Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report and the Fangraphs' Cool Standings. Baseball Prospectus has the current Division crown chances as follows:
Orioles 92%Fangraphs has it as:
Blue Jays 4%
Red Sox 0%
Orioles 89%So those are the three ways we can look at the Orioles' current position. You can go by a napkin scratch, look at history, or use historical comparisons of players to construct team projections. However you do it, the Orioles look like they are going to enjoy baseball in crisp Baltimore weather in October.
Blue Jays 5%
Red Sox 0%