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Orioles vs. Rangers: American League Division Series at Camden Yards

The Baltimore Orioles enter the postseason as underdogs after a remarkable turnaround from a 110-loss season in 2021.

The Baltimore Orioles have defied expectations this season, going from a 110-loss team to the top seed in the American League playoffs. Outfielder Austin Hays reflected on the team's journey, describing it as satisfying and acknowledging the difficult days they faced. Despite not being the favorite in the AL, the Orioles have a young and versatile roster that has shown consistency and adaptability throughout the season.

The Orioles enter the postseason in an unusual position, as a sentimental favorite among neutral fans who enjoy rooting for the underdog. This is a result of their remarkable turnaround and the excitement surrounding their young and athletic team. Manager Brandon Hyde attributes their success to their athleticism and versatility, with players able to play all over the field.

The Orioles will face the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the AL Division Series, joining two other teams, the Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have also made it to this round after losing at least 100 games two years ago. This season has also seen a shift in the importance of payroll, with teams of varying payrolls making it to the playoffs. The Orioles, with a payroll that ranks 29th in the league, fit right in with this trend.

Despite hitting the fewest home runs among AL playoff teams, the Orioles have found success through their athleticism and balance. Players like Cedric Mullins and rookie Gunnar Henderson have showcased their defensive abilities, while also contributing offensively. The team's balance and depth have allowed them to avoid relying too heavily on one player.

The Orioles have had a remarkably consistent season, avoiding being swept in a series and never losing more than four games in a row. The young starting pitchers have also impressed, with Kyle Bradish finishing third in the AL in ERA and rookie Grayson Rodriguez posting a 2.58 ERA after the All-Star break. Manager Brandon Hyde commended their ability to maintain their performance throughout the season.

Now, the playoffs come to Camden Yards for the first time since 2014. The team and the city are ready for the return of postseason baseball, as evidenced by the fans who attended the open workout at the ballpark. The Orioles are grateful for the support of their fans and are excited to showcase their talent on the postseason stage.

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