NEW YORK – It is scheduled to rain here throughout the day, and there's a 70 percent chance of rain when Thursday night's series finale against the New York Yankees is supposed to begin.
That's throwing the locals into a frenzy because of the possibility that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter's final home game could be rained out.
If the game cannot be played Thursday, it likely wouldn't be made up if it's a meaningless game in the standings. The Orioles are still chasing the American League's best record – and home-field advantage throughout the postseason – but they're running out of games to catch up with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels could clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason as soon as Friday. The Angels don't play Thursday, so if the Orioles lose Thursday, the Angels would clinch with their next win or the next Orioles loss.
If the Orioles and Angels end the regular season with the same record, the Orioles would win home-field advantage because they've won four of six head-to-head meetings with the Angels.
But if Thursday's game against the Yankees is rained out, and it is critical in terms of deciding playoff seeding, it could be made up Monday.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't want that. He's planned to give his players Monday off before holding workouts Tuesday and Wednesday. The Orioles play Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday at Camden Yards.
Tickets for Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium ranged from $243 to $336 on online ticket broker SeatGeek.com on Wednesday night.
Having said all of that, the teams will try to get the game in Thursday by any means. It's a historic day that the Yankees and their fans have been anticipating it for months. Legitimate ticket brokers would lose out because they'd have to refund money from sales.
Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen would be in line to start Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday, but Miguel Gonzalez also could fill that spot. Showalter has yet to announced it, and might not until the Orioles' opponent is known.
If Ubaldo Jimenez does get the start in Sunday's regular-season finale, Gonzalez would have already made his last regular-season start. Gonzalez last pitched Sunday.
A big question is how Showalter would get Gonzalez work between now and the ALDS. Gonzalez would be going 12-14 days between starts. Showalter has made mention of sending a pitcher to Sarasota, Fla., to get work in.
Regardless of who starts Sunday's regular-season finale in Toronto, most of that game will be pitched out of the bullpen to give relievers work and prevent them from going more than three days without getting on the mound.