A_K wrote:Statistical outliers don't defy logic or contradict existing statistical rationale. Any valid data set has a small but identifiable group of outliers. At this point, that's all the Orioles are. What these numbers tell us isn't that the Orioles have captured some magical skill set that allows them to evade expectations, but instead that their true talent level is worse than the standings suggest. Of course that doesn't mean we, as fans, should enjoy it any less.
Your analysis is logical but I have a different take on those same numbers.
This has been a .500 team all season. That fact that they were, at one time, twelve games over .500 had a lot to do with the schedule and cyclical player performances.
The run differential deficit is symptomatic of the blow outs that come from developing young pitching and was, IMO, aggravated by those same young pitchers being unprepared along with the periodic lack of a long reliever. The FO's willingness (or ability) to acquire several more legitimate veteran SPs over the winter so that ALL of our young pitchers could have started the year working with Rick Peterson at AAA may
have mitigated some of those blow outs. Add to that a shaky and inconsistent defense and the numbers start to make sense. Unearned runs don't show up in a team ERA but they show up in a negative run differential.
If this team gels and becomes a consistently good at pitching, hitting, and defense over the next six weeks instead of the inconsistent one they have been all year then they could win between 90 and 92 games. That probably means a Wild Card spot. Otherwise, I see them finishing the year at around 85 wins.