The 2021 season is over for the Orioles and once again they won’t go to the playoffs. Maybe next year! With the end of the season comes the announcement of the winners of this year’s preseason competition. We had a total of 184 entries and, with all responses counted, three winners!
Congratulation to Bring back the money, pabirdfan, and Michimore Wizskins. You three answered 17 questions correctly, the most in this year’s contest! Five participants answered 16 correctly, including a guy who has been writing for this site for many years, Tyler Young. Great job, Tyler!
As for me, I run this thing and only manage 12. Oh good.
To see how you performed in the competition, check out the completed worksheet. It’s easier if you CTRL-F to find your name.
A note: one of the questions in the final section is which pitcher will get the most saves. Cole Sulser and CÃ©sar Valdez are tied, but I’m not smart enough to get both names correct. He currently only shows Sulser as correct, as that choice affected the winners. But if you picked Valdez (like me) add a point to your score. Tech support is on it!
Thanks to everyone who participated, asked questions, and helped format the spreadsheets (fart_shoes). I will see you all in 2022!
Make way for the answers.
Which will be the highest?
This is the heart of the preseason competition. During the early years, the whole competition consisted of these questions. It has since spread, but these are still my favorite.
Which will be higher …
- Pitching Staff ERA + or Hitters OPS +? OPS + (90 to 78). Of course, they were both below par, so really we’re all losers here. 72% of you have chosen OPS + intelligently.
- Team leader’s home runs or number of pitchers used? We try to use questions in this section that have historically close answers to each other. But the Orioles have gone mad in the pitching department this year, using 42 different pitchers. Even HR manager Ryan Mountcastle 33 the dingers couldn’t compete. 86% of you guessed correctly.
- Team manager for hits or team manager for strikeouts (as a hitter)? I like this question because the answers are strangely close in recent history. In 2020 the difference was only two (62 hits vs. 63 strikeouts) and in 2019 they were the same (176) and the leader of both was the same person. Things weren’t that close this year, and in a good way. Cedric Mullins led the way with 175 hits, which exploded Ryan Mountcastle’s 161 strikeouts. 58% of you chose correctly.
- Starting pitchers making 1 to 9 starts or starting pitchers making 10 or more starts? This one seemed for a while that it might end in a tie. There were seven pitchers who had made at least 10 starts and seven pitchers who couldn’t make 10 starts, with very few realistic options for a pitcher to make their first start of the year. But on September 26, Conner Greene began an enclosure game to become the 15th starting pitcher of the year and the eighth with less than 10 starts. It lasted every 0.2 innings. 78% of you chose correctly.
- More home runs, Anthony Santander or Trey Mancini? This became official on 9/28 when Santander was placed on the IL to end his season. He was behind most of the year, but we saw him get hot and hit a bunch of home runs in a few games. But in the end, Mancini 21 Home runs have passed Santander’s 18. 55% of you chose correctly.
- The ERA of John Means or the ERA of Alex Cobb? Cobb ended up with a higher ERA, from 3.76 to 3.62, but that sounds like a bummer considering Alex Cobb had an ERA of over 5 at the end of June with John Means ERA. less than half. But Cobb had a good second half (when he wasn’t injured) and Means struggled. 48% of you chose Cobb.
- CS Catchers% or total of team saves? The team’s main catcher, Pedro Severino, was just below par in catching the base thieves. The league average is 24% and Severino has caught 23%. But his backups (Austin Wynns, Chance Sisco, and Nick Ciuffo) captured a total of 45% of base thieves! This brought the team average to 34%, which was easily over 26 the team saves. 45% of you chose correctly.
- Starts at center field, Austin Hays or Cedric Mullins? When I wrote this question I assumed Hays would win if he could stay healthy. Whoops! Mullins made CF his this year and that question was concluded with the All Star break. 36% of you chose Mullins correctly.
- The Orioles who are making their major league debut against the Orioles who are IBB? Why would someone intentionally step on an oriole? Well it happened 12 times for some reason. But the team had a 16 players make their major league debuts in 2021. 71% chose correctly.
- No more questions in this contest, Mark or Stacey? Ack! Still foiled! Mark beat me easily with a score of 15-13. 28% chose Marc.
- Oriole Losses: 99.5 – OVER. Maybe next year will be the year of double digit losses. Only 22% of you expected them to be this bad.
- MLB roster players traded before July 31: 2.5 – UNDER. Paul Fry and Tanner Scott were supposed to be the big trading chips. Instead, they were both bad. Now, one is in the minors, the other is injured, and only Freddy Galvis was on the move at the deadline. 39% chose correctly.
- Team ERA: 5.20 1??2 – MORE. This team is a shame. The 5.84 put up by the Orioles was worse in the majors. The Diamondbacks were second worst at 5.11. 28% chose correctly.
- Most races by the Orioles in a game: 13.5 – COMPLETED. Even a terrible team can score a lot of points on occasion. The 2021 team has passed 13 just once, when they beat Cleveland 18-5 on June 6. 57% chose correctly.
- Longest winning streak: 4.5 – LESS. This team has never even won more than three in a row. What embarrassment. 31% chose correctly.
Who will be the first …
- Oriole to hit a home run? Do you remember Rio Ruiz? It was him! His home run against the Yankees on 4/6 was the Birds’ first of the season. Only three people predicted it would be Rio, for good reason.
- Player to trade? Freddy Galvis! 8% of you chose correctly. The most common answer was Anthony Santander, which sounds very weird at this point.
- A minor leaguer called? Ryan McKenna, come down! Only one person had predicted it. Well done, QBurkitt. McKenna has had its ups and downs this year but entered 90 games this year. The most common answer was Yusniel Diaz, which makes me sad.
- A team to sweep the Orioles? After sweeping the Red Sox in Boston to open the season, the Red Sox returned the favor by sweeping them in the first series at Camden Yards. 20% of you chose correctly, most chose the Yankees.
- Team up with the Orioles sweep? After sweeping the Red Sox in Boston to open the season, the Red Sox returned the favor by sweeping them in the first series at Camden Yards. Most of you predicted it with the Red Sox being the most common choice (40%)
- Will the Orioles finish in last place in the AL East? A warm yes to this one! They not only finished last, they finished 39 games behind FOURTH place. 62% of you chose correctly.
- Will Chris Davis play a game for the 2021 Orioles? No, he didn’t, and with the announcement of his retirement in August, we also don’t have to worry about seeing him next year. I have to admit this one is a surprise. Most of you agree with me because only 16% answered correctly.
- Will the starter of an O (min 10 starts) have a WL record above .500? No they didn’t. This one finished the last game of the season when the 4-4 Bruce Zimmermann took the mound against the Blue Jays. But that dream fell apart when he allowed three runs in just 0.2 innings. Only 21% of you chose correctly.
- Will the Orioles attract at least a million fans? Between the team’s horror, starting the season at partial capacity, and the ongoing pandemic, it’s no surprise that the Orioles have only hosted 793,229 fans at Camden Yards in 2021. But even I was surprised at the low numbers day to day. 63% chose correctly.
- Will Adley Rutschman hit more than 20 home runs at all levels? Yeah he did! Rutschman hit 18 home runs with the Bowie Baysox and five more with the Norfolk Tides. Maybe next year we’ll have a question about how many shots he hits for the Orioles. 66% chose correctly.
- Which of these pitchers will lead the Orioles to saves? Your choice: Tanner Scott, Dillon Tate, Cole Sulser, CÃ©sar Valdez, Other). It was a tie! Sulser and Valdez made eight full saves. Very impressive. 20 people chose Sulser, 29 chose Valdez. The most common answer was Scott with 44% of the vote.
- Which of these pitchers will make the most starts? Picks: Jorge LÃ³pez, Wade LeBlanc, Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer, Bruce Zimmermann. LÃ³pez won this one and it wasn’t even close. He made 25 starts before being transferred to the bullpen. Next closest was Keegan Akin with 17. 19 people (10%) chose LÃ³pez, the most common response being Kremer (45%). Another disappointment.
- Which of these voltigeurs will have the highest OPS (min. 100 AP)? Picks: Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, DJ Stewart, Yusniel Diaz, Ryan Mountcastle. This question troubles me for several reasons. First, I didn’t even consider putting Cedric Mullins on the list. Second, the winner is a guy who has only started 18 games in the outfield. Whoops ! Ryan Mountcastle had an OPS of 0.796, second only in the squad behind the guy I left this question to. 77 people chose Mountcastle, second behind Santander who got 79 votes.
- Which AL East team will the Orioles have the most wins against? It’s the Yankees! The Orioles got a respectable 8-11 against the Yankees this year. If the Yankees had just beaten the Orioles as people probably expected, yesterday would have been a lot less stressful for them. Only nine people chose the Yankees. A whopping 74% of you have chosen the Red Sox.
- Who will be the representative of the game O’s All Star? Answers: John Means, Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander, Other. Another light Cedric Mullins! The 36 of you who chose âotherâ win the point for this question. The most common response was, unsurprisingly, Trey Mancini (62%).