The NL East is shaping up to be a much more interesting race than we thought it would be.
With three of the four division winners set to play each other in the playoffs, the race to be the best team in the division has already been a little heated.
There are a few teams that could potentially sneak into the postseason this season, including the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies.
However, it is the Orioles that could be the biggest wild card in the conference.
The Orioles were the only team to finish the season tied for first place in the AL East, but they have fallen to a tie for fourth place with the Pirates in the NL Central.
With all three teams playing each other, the Orioles are the only division winner left in the race for a wild card spot.
The Orioles have been on a roll in the past couple of years, winning a record nine straight NL East titles.
The club has posted an impressive .932 winning percentage in those years, which has made them a strong contender in the West.
The Baltimore Orioles currently have a winning record in 11 of the last 12 years.
While it is likely that the Orioles will end up winning the division in a wild-card game, it will be hard to get over the hump against the Pirates.
With their bullpen already in the thick of things, it’s easy to see why the Pirates have been able to finish in the top four of the NL in wins.
Pirates starting pitchers Aaron Harang, Zach Britton, and Matt Wisler have all posted a 4.05 ERA in their last six starts, while relievers Kevin Siegrist, Alex Cobb, and Josh Harrison have all combined to produce a 5.06 ERA in that time.
While the Pirates are not expected to contend for the division again this season due to injuries to key players such as Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, they still have plenty of pitching talent in their rotation.
In fact, they could very well have a legitimate contender in this division.
For the Orioles, a wildcard spot is a major boost.
While they have had some struggles offensively, their bullpen has been able the past few years to make up for some of that by producing a .929 winning percentage.
That bullpen has helped the team stay within striking distance of the AL Central while also having the ability to get to the postseason.
The Pirates have not been able, and will not be able to be, an elite team offensively this season.
But with a starting rotation that could easily give up more than four runs in a game, the Pirates bullpen will be a real threat to get a playoff spot.
This will be the Orioles biggest chance to take the division this season if they can get through to the division title game.