It boggles my mind, and I can't believe I haven't read more about it. They have the 5th worst run differential in the American League. They are 15 games above .500, and no other team in MLB is within 5 games of .500 while having a run differential in the negatives. Yet the Baltimore Orioles have the 4th best record in the American League, and are only 2 games out of 1st place in the AL East. There has to be something else in the numbers to show what's going on in Baltimore.
The Orioles lineup is far from intimidating, but perhaps they are hitting way over their heads. Let's see...
fWAR - 9.9, 13th in AL (Yankees - 23.6)
wRC+ = 92, 13th in AL (Yankees - 111)
wOBA - .311, 10th in AL (Yankees - .339)
BA - .245, 10th in AL (Yankees - .262)
OBP - .309, 10th in AL (Yankees - .333)
SLG - .410, 8th in AL (Yankees - .453)
fWAR - 12.8, 9th (17.9)
FIP - 4.27, 8th (3.94)
SIERRA - 3.98, 7th (3.58)
ERA - 4.04, 8th (3.84)
WHIP - 1.32, 9th (1.28)
BAA - .253, 8th (.253)
So you're telling me the Yankees are better in every hitting and pitching category here, except for being tied in batting average against, but the Orioles are still threatening to take over the division lead from the Yankees?
The Rays must having the letters "WTF" swimming around in their heads as their run differential is +77, while they're in 3rd place. What do you think the Angels are thinking? They have a run differential of +45, but sit in 3rd place in the AL West with a 71-63 record. Over in the elder league, the Milwaukee Brewers have a run differential of +23 but are 16 games behind 1st place Cincinnati.
This makes more sense.
If this were June I wouldn't give Baltimore a second thought, as I'd never in a million years believe a team with stats like that could be a problem. But it's September 3rd, and although there's still time for things to right itself in the standings, I'm wondering if we're seeing something incredible here.