Would you believe me if I told you that the Orioles are having one of their better 10 game stretches of the season, record-wise, right now? Sure they got swept by the Mets and lost two of three to the Giants, but before that they took one from the Yankees and avoided a sweep by Boston. That’s three wins in their last 10 – a winning percentage of .300 that they’ve only bested in 21 of their 57 possible 10 game stretches so far (with a high of .500). The O’s average winning percentage over any random 10 game interval is .284. Unfortunately, since one of the three wins came in the furthest game of the stretch, the O’s need to win tonight versus San Diego to keep things as is. A few more winning (or lack thereof) related notes:
* Their longest winning streak is 3 games, which they’ve done twice: the sweep of Boston at the end of April/beginning of May; and the two victories against Seattle plus a win versus Cleveland a couple weeks later.
* Longest losing streak is 10 games, which occurred right up until the aforementioned win versus Boston, when Oakland, Toronto, New York, and (for two games) the Red Sox let the Birds have it.
* There was also that 9 game losing streak at the beginning of the season, when they were stuck with a one-and-blank record for a while.
* If you sat down to watch any random set of three O’s games from this season, 36% of the time you wouldn’t get a chance to see a single win. 25% of the time you wouldn’t get a victory in four games. Over 19% of five game stretches are winless. Almost 15% of six game stretches, and 12% of seven game intervals. Only once you get up to eight games does it go over 90% that you’ll actually see a win.
* If you take out those two horrible stretches, the team’s still only 18-29. That’s a .383 winning percentage that would be just a couple point better than Seattle’s for last in the AL, and a few point better than Pittsburgh’s. That’s right; remove 19 losses – pretty much three weeks of terrible baseball – and the Orioles still have the 3rd worst record in baseball.
* The team’s best stretch came in the first half of May, where they actually managed to win 8 of 14 games at one point. That one stretch – from April 30th to May 14th – is the only time all season that the O’s have played above .500 over the course of two weeks worth of games (out of 57 such possible intervals). That’s the best glimpse we’ve gotten of success and amusingly enough, the Orioles were actually outscored during that time, 58-57. That -1 is the closest the team’s run differential has gotten to parity over any 14 game interval.
* There hasn’t been a 13 game stretch where the Orioles have outscored their opponents. Or 12 games. Or 11, 10, or 9. Over 8 games they’ve done it twice: once, 36-33, as they swept Boston, got swept by New York (but not too badly), and took 2 from Minnesota; and then 30-28 starting with those two versus Minnesota on continuing versus Seattle and Cleveland. They lost 6-1 and 6-0 to the Twins and 5-1 to the M’s in the middle part of it, but finally came out ahead with an 8-1 drubbing of the Indians in game eight (their biggest win of the year). Both came during the above mention winning period.
* In all games occurring outside that magical (ie, just over .500) 14 game window, the O’s are 10-42. That’s a .192 winning percentage. They’ve been outscored in those 52 game by a grand total of 290 to 157 – almost two to one – which is absurd.
* In only 14% of the 64 possible three game stretches this year have the Orioles not been outscored. So basically, the Orioles have been pretty consistent this year.
Their underlying stats are now coming pretty close to being in-line with their record. They have 18, should have 19 based on runs scored/allowed, 22 based on advanced metrics (wOBA, wRC, xFIP, UZR). 22-44 would still be the worst record in the majors, by the way.
I’ll finish with some good news, relatively speaking; the Pirates* run differential actually has them with the worst record in the majors at 17-48, and their stats also have them as being worse than the Orioles. Of note; Pittsburgh is also the team keeping the Birds from setting the streak for most consecutive losing seasons (going on 18 now), since they started to tumble a few years before Baltimore did. No wonder everyone gets excited for those Ravens-Steelers match-ups.
* Really, if you re-did this exercise with the Pirates you’d get very similar results. They’ve managed to avoid losing streaks better though.