Five Game Losing Streak? The Orioles are Doomed

The Orioles have now lost five games in a row, and people are jumping off the bandwagon left and right. General consensus seems to be that the pitching has gone from great to terrible;

W-L ERA FIP xFIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Last week 1-5 4.41 4.51 3.88 7.9 2.1 1.8
Full season 29-22 3.67 4.13 4.01 7.1 2.8 1.1

Lot of home runs (due in part to many more flyballs) and a .318 BABIP, but one could argue that the pitchers themselves have been somewhere around “fine”. Their K/BB ratio over the last week is 3.8 (compared to 2.5 overall), which is pretty darn good. Yeah they’re giving up almost a run more per game, but at least some of that is just normal variation.

The offense has had some trouble scoring runs too, though they’re not hitting any worse overall:

R/G BA/OBP/SLG wRC+ HR/G
Last week 3.7 .250/.332/.402 105 1
Full season 4.5 .249/.314/.435 101 1.5

The O’s have traded home runs for other types of hits (BABIP of .313 vs. .286), plus some extra walks (and K’s). The issue, which has been evident all along, is that when the team doesn’t hit home runs, they don’t tend to score much. So, even though the Orioles are hitting just as well, if not better, they’re scoring fewer runs per game. It was going to happen eventually, and it was always a questions how the team would off-set fewer balls leaving the yard.

It’s not surprising that the O’s have gone 1-5 over the last week, but it doesn’t really tell us a lot about the team. If you thought they were a 100+ win team before and you don’t think that now then, well, good – they were never a 100+ win team. Otherwise, things haven’t changed all that much from a couple weeks ago:

Play like a __ win team Finish with __ wins
68 76
70 77
72 78
74 80
76 81
78 82
80 84
82 85
84 87
86 88
88 89
90 91
92 92

The top end is down a little, but the chances of the O’s winning over 90 games were always going to be remote. Otherwise, they still have a solid chance of finishing over .500, even if it isn’t written in stone.