This is a good time to evaluate.
Houston is clearly the best team in the American League at this time. I do not expect them to fold. They have everything: hitting, pitching, bullpen, defense.
The American League East has the best record, and arguably is the best division in baseball top to bottom. Therefore, the Orioles schedule is brutal, compared to some of the other contenders for wildcard spots. We could still win the division, or finish out of the playoffs. Wide open.
We are on Pace for 87 wins. Typically that is not enough to make the playoffs. I expect other teams to improve at the trade deadline. Should the Orioles trade for a starting pitcher, and what do we have to offer other than Kim or Mancini, or Chance Sisco?
Individual performances vary. Bundy has been our best pitcher by far. I expect Gausman to have a big four months. Tillman is uncertain, could emerge or collapse. Miley is a serviceable number four. Asher seems like a reasonable bet to hold the number five slot, and could be a very important piece either in a trade or in a holding pattern.
The bullpen has held up remarkably well, given the absence of the top closer in baseball for almost the entire season. Credit the genius of Showalter on that front.
If Castillo continues with injury problems, I think we will call Sisco to the majors this year. Thank goodness for Caleb Joseph's resurgence.
Hardy represents a major ?. Because he can't hit at all and he has lost another half step in the field. He makes all the plays, but it keeps getting closer and closer to the end for him. If we had an infielder somewhere in the system ...
Mancini should play every day. Let's find out if he can hit all kinds of pitching. We're close to that point now. Put him in the lineup and forget about it.