As you probably already know by now, baseball's advanced analytics do not much like the Orioles this season.
But computers don't have feelings (except in "Ex Machina," but sadly, I don't think Alicia Vikander cares about Wins Above Replacement). They are unswayed my emotion. Servers have memory, but not memories. That's what separates us from a web of code: Human beings are given to sentimentality.
Like, remember the past four baseball seasons? When the Orioles won more games than any other American League team? The AL Championship Series appearance in 2014? Good times, man.
Even with a starting rotation that on Opening Day will turn to Chris Tillman, he of the 4.99 ERA in 2015, surely someone in the baseball media would pick the Orioles to win maybe baseball's most up-for-grabs division, just for old times' sake. Right? ... Right?
Nah. Of the 21 predictions I found online, none picked the Orioles to win the AL East. Zero. Here's the bleak breakdown, featuring "experts," number-crunchers and everything in between:
- ESPN: Fifth in AL East; Toronto Blue Jays division champions
- Buster Olney, ESPN: Tampa Bay Rays champions
- Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports: Blue Jays champions
- Jon Morosi, Fox Sports: Blue Jays champions
- USA Today: Fifth in AL East; Boston Red Sox champions
- Jonah Keri, CBS Sports: Fifth in AL East; Red Sox champions
- Jay Jaffe, Sports Illustrated: Third in AL East; Blue Jays champions
- Alex Chen, Sports Illustrated: Rays champions
- Yahoo Sports: Fifth in AL East; Blue Jays champions
- Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA: Fifth in AL East; Rays champions
- FanGraphs: Fifth in AL East; Red Sox champions
- Bleacher Report: Red Sox champions
- SB Nation: Fourth in AL East; New York Yankees champions
- The Big Lead: Blue Jays champions
- MLB Daily Dish: Fifth in AL East; Red Sox champions
- Will Leitch, Sports on Earth: Fifth in AL East; Blue Jays champions
- Chicago Tribune: Blue Jays champions
- Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post: Fifth in AL East; Red Sox champions
- Joe Giglio, NJ.com: Fifth in AL East; Blue Jays champions
- Paul Hoynes, cleveland.com: Third in AL East; Blue Jays champions
- Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic: Blue Jays champions
To recap: 11 picked the Blue Jays as AL East champs, six picked the Red Sox, three picked the Rays and one picked the Yankees. Of the 13 place-by-place picks, 10 picked the Orioles to finish last.
Enjoy Opening Day, everyone.