On Being Both A Nats And O’s Fan During These Sky-High Times

I don’t know that I was born an O’s fan, but I was raised one. From about 1985 it was all about the Birds, and then 20 years later the Nats happened.

I was still an O’s fan after baseball returned to D.C., it’s just that they took a backseat. Even though both teams more or less stunk these past seven years, we’ve followed them along the way, and this blog’s coverage of each reflects the pecking order: Nats 1 (595 posts), O’s 1-A (266 posts).

It’s been easy enough to root for both (again, because they haven’t been good), except for when they’ve faced off in interleague play. Then, we pretty much root for all to do well and none to sweep. It’s as fun as it sounds.

But this, both teams being in first place in September, this is fun. It also increases the chances that it will get really uncomfortable.

The Nats have a 7.5-game lead in the NL East, meaning they’re almost a lock for the division and probably have at least a 25-percent chance of winning the pennant. I can’t believe I just got to write that sentence.

The O’s are tied for the AL East lead, 1.5 games up in the Wild Card. The math’s a little murkier, but let’s just assume they earn the Wild Card and therefore have about a 12.5-percent chance of making the World Series (though I believe it’s actually quite lower than that).

That means there’s at best a three-percent chance these Nats and O’s meet in October. Meaning, there’s a three-percent chance I’ll be rooting for Washington but kind of hating myself for it. It would be the good kind of hate.

10 thoughts on “On Being Both A Nats And O’s Fan During These Sky-High Times”

  1. According to coolstandings.com, Baltimore has a 21.6% chance to win the AL East and a 31.8% chance to win one of the wild cards. Assuming a 50% chance to win each game in the playoffs (which, given recent history, is close enough), this puts the O’s’ chances of making the World Series at 9.4%. ((0.216+0.318*0.5)*0.5*0.5 = 0.375*0.25 = 0.094)

    Washington has a 97.2% chance to win the NL East and a 2.7% chance to win one of the two wild cards (meaning playoffs are all but guaranteed even with a late collapse). Thus the Nats’ chances of making the World Series are about 24.6%. ((0.972+0.027*0.5)*0.5*0.5 = 0.9855*0.25 = 0.246)

    Thus I would estimate the odds of a Nats-O’s World Series (and a future Ken Burns documentary covering the bloody Mister Irrelevant Comment Wars) at 2.3%.

    So yeah, 3% at best is right on the money. Not very likely, but likely enough for local sports media to discuss.

  2. My math says we should be thankful and happy we can revel in each and every day of relevant, pennant chasing, late season baseball. Im not going to let numbers or what-ifs spoil a better than expected/great season for the Nats and an out and out miracle season for the Birds.

  3. With an Orioles-raised DC suburbs upbringing, my philosophy all season long has been that I’m an O’s fan first, without any hesitation, but that I root for the Nats out of pride and love of the DMV.

    I’ve never questioned it because I don’t see how anybody from the area could hope for anything other than a Nats-O’s World Series. And for that to happen, both teams have to be sick, so unless they’re playing each other, I’m wishing the best for both.

    And I’d have no qualms hoping for an O’s sweep if it happens.

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