Andrew Stetka: Probability suggests tide will eventually tilt O's way in ALCS

While the doom and gloom set in, and the dirt continues to be piled on the Orioles as the American League Championship Series shifts to Kansas City, a lot of reason and sense goes out the window. The chances of the O's coming from behind to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1983 have dropped drastically since the start of the ALCS. Those are just the numbers; it's simple probability and statistics of prior history. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I think the Orioles have a great chance of pulling this off, but I'm also not going to doubt them.

The Royals look like an absolute freight train right now. There seems to be no stopping this improbable team and this run that has produced six straight postseason wins without a loss. But they will lose eventually. Those same numbers that say the Orioles likely won't come back to win the series also back the theory that K.C. isn't going to run through the playoffs undefeated. The little things that have gone the Royals' way over the first two games of the series are the same things that could easily break the opposite direction over the next two -or perhaps five.

The Orioles also surprisingly had a few of the great things that got them here go horribly wrong over the first two games of the ALCS. Their starting pitching has yet to post a good outing after being such a strength this season, especially in the second half. The power from the lineup has yet to really show itself with three doubles and a lone home run from Adam Jones. Perhaps the biggest thing that experts pointed to coming into this series was the bullpens, another department that has tilted Kansas City's way so far. The back end with Darren O'Day, Zach Britton and Brian Matusz has been shaky to this point, while Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland have been strong for the Royals.

So while we all sit and lament the things that have gone poorly in the series so far, it's important to realize that probability would indicate that the tide will shift at some point. These teams are very evenly matched in most metrics, so eventually the breaks will have to start going the Orioles' way. It's a seven-game series, not five, so there is still time. The O's just need to make sure they won't need even more time to get the ball to bounce their way.

We've seen crazy comebacks and improbable things happen before. The Red Sox came from three games down to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, and the O's aren't even in that deep of a hole. Part of the beauty of baseball is that there is still time, because there's no clock. The Royals still have to win two more games to eliminate the Birds, and while they get to play the next three at home, the O's have played their best baseball away from Camden Yards this season. I still have hope because I think the ball eventually has to bounce the right way for the guys in orange and black. There's no reason to give in and stop believing. I know the players haven't, so why should anyone else?

Andrew Stetka blogs about the Orioles for Eutaw Street Report. Follow him on Twitter: @AStetka. His thoughts on the O's appear here as part of's continuing commitment to welcome guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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