Let the Party Begin: The Baltimore Orioles win the American League East!

It took nine years. It took five losing seasons, multiple with over 100 losses. Through that time, multiple high draft picks have been used. Mike Elias and company started a massive project in 2019. Last week it took a huge step forward by clinching a playoff spot. Tonight, they move forward again: winning the American League East.

Prior to the 2023 regular season, the Baltimore Orioles were projected to win 74 games. They took the league by storm a season prior, increasing their win total by 31 games (52 to 83). After struggling out of the gate, this team went on a tear. Led by young stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, the Orioles won their 100th game of the season en route to a division championship.

It wasn’t all Rutschman and Henderson. Starters Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer had career-best seasons, and the bullpen was rock solid. The O’s found diamonds in the rough like Yennier Cano and Jacob Webb. They also had a shutdown closer with Felix Bautista. Sprinkle in some more surprise contributors like Ryan O’Hearn and Danny Coulombe, and you’re looking at the 2023 American League East Champions.

The win secured their 9th division title all-time, as well as their 6th 100+ win season. The last time the Orioles won the division was 2014, when they went all the way to the ALCS.

It’s no surprise why the Orioles have had success this season. The O’s have a record of 52-29 on the road, tied for the best in the league (Atlanta Braves). They also have a home record of 50-27, and a +134-run differential. Baltimore has also had tons of success in the minor leagues, and it’s translated. Prospects like Colton Cowser, Jordan Westburg and Heston Kjerstad have all made a huge impact. It’s impossible to forget the impact of Gunnar Henderson, who’s the odds-on favorite to win the AL rookie of the year. Adley Rutschman’s impact goes beyond the box score, as he was the main leader in his first full season.

Two years ago when they lost 110 games, the vision remained clear. Through draft picks and key offseason pickups, the Orioles have won the division and are ready to make a postseason run.

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