The 2020 Major League Baseball season is unusual for a lot of reasons, including the truncated schedule and expanded postseason format. So it’s reasonable to assume the ’20 campaign might also feature an unexpected World Series winner…

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is unusual for a lot of reasons, including the truncated schedule and expanded postseason format. So it’s reasonable to assume the ’20 campaign might also feature an unexpected World Series winner…

Tommy Gilligan/Associated Press
After losing 108 games in 2019, the Baltimore Orioles were supposed to be the doormats of the American League East. Instead, the O’s have vaulted into the playoff picture thanks to an offense that ranks fourth in the game with a .783 OPS.
Standout performances from the likes of outfielder Anthony Santander (9 HR, 1.047 OPS) and catcher Pedro Severino (5 HR, 1.018 OPS) have kept the O’s in contention.
Is it sustainable?
There are red flags, including the club’s 20th-ranked 4.77 ERA. Other than Alex Cobb (3.77 ERA), no Baltimore starter has a sub-4.00 ERA.
If they play it safe and aim their sights on the future, the Orioles will sell assets such as reliever Mychal Givens, who has fanned 13 in nine scoreless frames, before the Aug. 31 trade deadline.
A four-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox that kicked off Aug. 20 could vault Baltimore back over .500 and set it up for a stretch-run sprint.
The safe money is on a flash-in-the-pan fizzle. But in the YOLO spirit of 2020, the Birds could shock the world.

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