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August 13, 2017

Manny Machado, first 80 games of the season: .215/.283/.418

Manny Machado since: .360/.396/.588

You can find multiple reasons why the Orioles are still in the AL wild-card race. Dylan Bundy’s finally starting to make good on his incredible potential— he's struck out a total of 20 batters in his past two starts and allowed three runs or fewer in four of his past five; for what seems like the zillionth year in a row, they’re winning a disproportionate number of closely-contested games (the O's are 9–2 in extra-inning affairs); and of course, the competition isn’t very good, which is how a sub-.500 ballclub can retain relevance this late in the season.

Still, if the O’s want to crash the playoffs with a Cinderella run the rest of the way, they’ll likely need Machado to keep hitting like Machado. That, or keep stealing good players off other teams’ rosters while offering nothing in return.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (58–60, minus-38, LT: 19)

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