It’s an annual tradition with the Baltimore Orioles. Projection models are once again picking against the Baltimore Orioles.
Projection modeling as per Fangraphs has been released which determines it model through an analysis of Steamer/ZIPs projection models with assignment of playing time for various players. The results for the AL East is as follows:
And they aren’t alone in terms of forecasting an unfavorable result for the team. MyTopSportsbooks.com, which offers unbiased reviews of online sports betting sites, has put together a compiled list of MLB Odds for winning the World Series. They have the Orioles placed at 40-1 odds or a 2.6% chance of winning the World Series. The Red Sox lead the division with 10-1 odds or a 9.1% chance of winning the World Series. The site does offer another betting odd in terms of the next curse within sports to be broken and they have entitled the Orioles title drought, “Curse of Jeffrey Maier”. How amusing.
So, the Orioles are once again in the same position they have been since 2012. A team projected to finish in last in the AL East a very tight division. However, there is some interesting tidbits in the projection model by Fangraphs that are interesting. The biggest change is that the team is forecasted to allow an increase RA/G from 4.41 to 4.98 in 2017. That increase of 12.9% runs allowed is odd with nearly the entire pitching staff returning in 2017. ERA estimators including xFIP and SIERA indicate that the Orioles didn’t outperform their ERA compared to these predictors. So which part of the pitching staff is destined to implode the Orioles chances next year?
Tillman is expected to take a step back with an increase in home runs allowed and a decrease in runners stranded on base (LOB%). The values are not outlandish as he has posted similar numbers in 2012 and 2013 in terms of HR/9. However, he also posted a 2.93 and 3.71 ERA during those years even with the increased HR/9.
Personally, I think Tillman ends up in the mid-ground between the projection model and last year. Tillman’s health entering into next year will be the critical factor. Velocity continued to decrease through the season with the injury in his shoulder. Rehabilitating that injury and watching velocity in Spring Training should be on every Orioles to-do list.
It’s still early and the Orioles can solidify issues with their projections in areas such as RF and DH that are projected at .1 fWAR and .3 fWAR respectively. However, the Orioles look like they are going to be predicted to be at the bottom of the projection models and Vegas odds. Don’t let it get to you Orioles fans. There’s plenty of wiggle room and deviation with any model. The Orioles have specifically proven that for the past five years. However, the models are eventually going to be right.