Each year I become less enamored of making predictions for the upcoming baseball season, which is no doubt obvious considering that I’m only getting around to them now, three days after the season has started. This is probably because each year I find myself more irritated by the predictions of the “experts,” and this is definitely because my team—the Baltimore Orioles—are consistently picked to finish last or next to last and are dismissed out of hand. This, in spite of the fact that
- At 444 wins since 2012, the Orioles have won more games than any other American League team.
- No one has qualified for the playoffs in the AL more than the three times that the Birds have done it in the past five years.
- Only the Orioles and the New York Yankees have not had a losing record over the past five seasons in the American League.
The Yankees this season are fielding a bunch of prospects, none of whom has a major league track record, yet they are picked by many to finish ahead of the Orioles. If those identical lineups were switched and the prospects all competed in Baltimore, the “experts” would holler, “Unproven!” and switch the predicted order of finish.
You would think that after five years of being wrong, that the math goobers who make these computations would realize that their formulas are missing something, but then the entire country seems bound and determined to repeat, rather than learn from its mistakes. I digress . . .
Here are my predictions and be forewarned that I have no formulas, I didn’t compute anything, and I firmly believe that when dealing with a group of human beings, i.e. a baseball team, that the total can equal more (or less) than the sum of its parts. Chemistry does mean something. Confidence does mean something. Clubhouse atmosphere does mean something, and even if all those things translate into only one game, then take a look at the two teams who qualified for the wild card last year in the American League.
AL East Al Central AL West
Boston Cleveland Houston
Baltimore Detroit Seattle
Toronto Kansas City Texas
New York Chicago Los Angeles (or are they Anaheim again?)
Tampa Bay Minnesota Oakland
NL East NL Central NL West
Washington Chicago Los Angeles
New York Pittsburgh Colorado
Miami St. Louis Arizona
Philadelphia Milwaukee San Francisco (my bold pick because, frankly, I’m tired of hearing that the Giants will “figure it out,” but the Orioles “haven’t done enough.”
Atlanta Cincinnati San Diego (surest last place bet in all 6 divisions)
Ask me around the All-Star break for play-off predictions, but if I had to pick the two World Series teams right now, a useless exercise, but whatever, I’d say the Cubs will beat the Red Sox.