Just read an interesting article done by ESPN on the O's and their not so pretty run differential.
While I don't think the run differential tells the whole story I still find it's a nice snapshot of how a team has performed over the course of a year. If the Orioles make the playoffs with a run differential around minus 54 they certainly would have done something historically impressive.
My overall take on the O's and why their run differential is somehow worse than their record shows is related to all of the roster moves they've made this year. Their rotation has changed a ton and has had to rely on young pitching. The only consistent has been the surprising Wei-Yin Chen. At times they've played like a .500 or less team and other times they've played like a playoff team. Roberts was injured, then here, then inured again. They've had about 11 different people in left field alone. Markakis was out for a period of time and struggled to start the year. Wieters and Davis have both been streaky and we don't have a true third basemen. Their roster wasn't poised for a World Series run at the beginning of the year like the Rangers, Yankees, Tigers, and Angels rosters were. Many of our pieces are inconsistent which leads to some stellar wins but it also leads to being on the wrong end of some blow outs.
Duquette has made some questionable moves but you have to give him credit for all of his tweaking and tireless efforts to improve the team. I've never seen so many rosters moves in my life.
All in all, what this tells me is that we should all be excited about the direction and the future of this team. Our farm system is improving and many of our top young prospects are making progress. Some of our players currently on the major league roster won't be here next year but the core of this team is learning how to win close games under the pressure of the extra innings. For them to succeed in the AL east that is crucial and it's a very promising sign for the future. http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/ ... he-orioles