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3 reasons why Orioles can win World Series

MLB.com Reporter @Britt_Ghiroli

Baltimore has proven the critics that predicted they'd finish last in the American League East wrong all year long. So, what's another few games of exceeding expectations?

Here are three reasons why the O's could get hot and win the World Series.

Baltimore has proven the critics that predicted they'd finish last in the American League East wrong all year long. So, what's another few games of exceeding expectations?

Here are three reasons why the O's could get hot and win the World Series.

1. The bullpen

Closer Zach Britton is perfect in save attempts on the season and generating legitimate Cy Young Award consideration. Brad Brach had a career season that included his first All-Star selection. And young arms like lefty Donnie Hart, righty Dylan Bundy (who could be in the 'pen for the postseason) and August acquisition Tommy Hunter forms a formidable group of relievers. Baltimore was at or near the top in the AL in ERA for most of the year and has the ability to shorten games and take away any late momentum from the opposition.

:: AL Wild Card: Orioles vs. Blue Jays coverage ::

2. The lineup's ridiculous power

How many teams boast a roster with six guys with 20 or more home runs? The Orioles have the ability to change things with one swing, and they can be incredibly dangerous when things are clicking. While Baltimore's bats struggled in September and have been inconsistent most of the second half, there's no telling what can happen if they get hot.

The Orioles led the Majors in home runs this season and are headlined by sluggers Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis and Manny Machado, who combined to club 122 home runs.

3. Buck

The O's never have to worry about being underprepared. Manager Buck Showalter thrives on all of the of decision-making aspects of the postseason and exposing every fractional advantage. This is the same guy who has twice brought two pitchers to the podium in advance of a playoff game, never wanting to tip his hand to the opponent.

In the AL Wild Card Game vs. the Blue Jays, Showalter surely will be an advantage. He's not afraid to do unorthodox things -- like having the bullpen warming in the first inning -- and his players have a lot of trust in him. Could this be the year he finally wins it all?

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.

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