3. The Orioles Don't Have Felix Bautista
While scoring runs is crucial to winning playoff games, so is having the ability to close a contest out. Fortunately for the Rangers, the Orioles are without closer Felix Bautista, who must undergo Tommy John surgery and will likely be sidelined throughout 2024.
Bautista, a 2023 MLB All-Star, was integral to Baltimore's success this season. The 28-year-old hurler went 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA while posting a career-high 33 saves across 56 appearances. The O's finished with a 49-7 record whenever he made an appearance.
A Bautista-less Orioles team means the Rangers won't face one of the top strikeout artists in the Majors, who had an 84.6% save success rate. Meanwhile, Baltimore is 16-of-41 (39.0%) in save situations when Bautista isn't on the mound.
Even though the Rangers recorded the third-most blown saves in the MLB (33), we don't need to worry about tallying saves when we're busy scoring enough runs to put games out of reach.
History has proven that the Orioles can't close games without Bautista. With how dangerous the Rangers' offense can be at any given moment, it's clear that Texas is in a good spot to win the ALDS.
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