The Baltimore Orioles Fight An Avalanche Of LCS History

The Baltimore Orioles are really up against it tonight when the American League Championship Series resumes tonight in Kansas City. The Orioles are down 0-2 in games, which is serious enough, but those two losses have come at home. The number of teams that have rallied in such a circumstance to win a pennant? Zero.

The verdict of LCS history is bleak for Baltimore. So if you’re an Orioles fan where do you go from here? I think the answer is to turn some bad news into a positive.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the teams that got out to a 2-0 series lead on the road were able to finish the job in the middle three games at their home park, which suggests that Kansas City will wrap it up at some point between now and the early evening on Wednesday when Game 5 would end.
BaseballThere’s only one case where a team dug out of the hole to at least come back home, and that’s the 1993 Chicago White Sox, who eventually succumbed to the Toronto Blue Jays.
So where’s the good news if you’re a Baltimore fan? It’s that the issue is not so much winning four games in five tries, a task that seems imposing when you think about it. It’s more about stopping the momentum and not allowing your own spirit to be broken.
If I’m in the Oriole clubhouse, my answer to the verdict of history is simply to focus on winning two of three in Kansas City—a tough task to be sure, but not anything that would be considered a Herculean feat if these teams met in August. And then to point out that there’s very little in the way of historical sample size for series like this that make their way to a Game 6.
Furthermore, homefield advantage in baseball tends not to be an issue…until the back end of a series. This record is very pronounced in the World Series. It’s a little less so in LCS play, but the track record shows that the hardest close-out win to get is the one that comes late in a series and away from home. So for Baltimore, the message is simple—just get the series back to your own fans and your own ballpark and make KC do it that way.
Do I think they’ll do it? Well, that’s where I can’t be the one to provide optimistic thoughts. I predicted the Orioles prior to this series, but I think that was more my regard for Buck Showalter, and not factoring in that managerial skill is much less likely to matter in a short series than it is over the long haul. I suspect historical form holds and Kansas City wraps it up at home.