ALCS surprise? Orioles and Royals were the AL’s two best teams in the second half

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Obviously very few people expected an Orioles-Royals matchup in the ALCS and the ease with which those two teams dispatched of their ALDS opponents was even more surprising, but here’s an interesting tidbit I just stumbled across:

Baltimore had the American League’s best record in the second half at 44-24 and Kansas City was tied for the league’s second-best record at 41-27.

Every year a lot is made of which players and teams are “hot” heading into the playoffs and most of the time it means nothing, but it’s at least worth noting that the Orioles and Royals were playing really good baseball for months leading up to this surprising ALCS matchup.

Of course, the Angels were too. They were tied with the Royals for the league’s second-best second-half record at 41-27 and it didn’t stop them from getting swept. Detroit was just 37-34 in the second half. And of course the A’s, whom the Royals beat in the Wild Card Game, were 29-38 in the second half.