The 'Tap Room' Grand Opening: Predict the O's finish and win total -

Connolly's Tap Room

The ‘Tap Room’ Grand Opening: Predict the O’s finish and win total


Opening Day is over and now you’re nursing that post-Opening Day baseball hangover. That’s what happens when you spend nine hours in a ballpark.

No worries; 2-for-1 virgin Bloody Marys today. Sure, it’s a tap room/beer joint. I’ll just serve the drinks in a fake pint glass. I won’t tell if you won’t. It is a special day here, after all.

So, WELCOME to the Grand Opening of Connolly’s Tap Room, where we’ll talk sports –primarily baseball and the Orioles — where we’ll argue sports — primarily baseball and the Orioles — and where we’ll just talk, occasionally, about random things. All about interaction here.

I’ve missed this. Hope you did, too, at least a little bit. Once we announced the new site, I received several inquiries through social media wondering whether we were going to have a bar-themed blog at

My response: “You Betcha.” (Hey, the Minnesota Twins are in town. Gotta talk the talk).

So if you’ve never done the bar thing with me before, or if you just turned a fake 21, here’s how this dive works: Come in, order a fake beverage (if you want) from me, the barkeep. Then I’ll ask a question and you answer it. We’re calling this the Daily Tap-in: (Tap Room, Tap-in, get it? They don’t just give a blog to anyone these days.)

Our first question is pretty straightforward – though I’m making it a two-parter (maybe three-parter). I want you to predict the Orioles’ record and American League East finish this year. And, as a bonus, give me your best guess at the 2016 World Series participants and who ends up as World Champions.

I have the Orioles winning 85 games and finishing third in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. I think Boston is solid everywhere and has a great farm system in case it needs to add some pieces via trade in July.

I’m not sold on Toronto’s rotation, but the Blue Jays sure can hit. The Orioles are Toronto Light, with a better bullpen and slightly shakier rotation. I’m not buying the Yankees, too old, too brittle; I have them fourth. Tampa Bay is the anti-Orioles, but I don’t like that offense or the bullpen. I’m predicting the Rays finish last, but barely under .500.


As for the World Series, I absolutely love the Houston Astros this year. And, like the Red Sox, the system is so deep the Astros can trade away a few prospects for a veteran to put them over the top in the second half.

I say the Astros win it all, beating the San Francisco Giants in five games in the World Series. Why the Giants? Great pitching, even year.

Now it’s your turn to dust off the taproom crystal ball. You’ll need to register here to comment. But you only need to do it once, it’s free and then you can comment forever. I’m expecting to have this joint open for a long time – or at least until I get a full World Series prediction correct at some point in my career.

I’ll keep this post around and we’ll revisit a couple times this year.

Tap-in question: Where will the Orioles finish in the 2016 AL East? How many wins will they have?

Bonus Tap-in: Give me your prediction for the World Series, including the winner.



  1. baltimoredave

    April 5, 2016 at 8:45 am

    The Orioles will finish third with 88 wins. Toronto will win the division.

    I’ll go with the Giants as my World Series champs over the Blue Jays in six games.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Welcome to the Tap Room. Sticking with the even-year concept. I like it. The Giants can really pitch and I think their O is underrated.

  2. SimplyRJ8

    April 5, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Orioles finish 2nd and grab a Wild Card spot with 87 wins.
    I have Astros over Nationals in six games for the World Series.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for stopping in RJ. I was talking to a scout yesterday that thinks this is the Nationals’ year. Finally. Giolito will make that staff even better when he is up.

  3. SteveInDelaware

    April 5, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Orioles get 85, miss second wild card by a game or two (I think Boston and Texas earn Wild Card births). I think Toronto wins AL East, Boston second, NYY fourth, Tampa last.

    World Series Cubs over Toronto, mainly bc of pitching

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Steve, Dogfish Head on me. That would be an unbelievably entertaining World Series. I just don’t know if a team can bash its way there like Jays must do.

  4. wack_city

    April 5, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Orioles win 88 games, and finish 2nd in the AL East behind Boston. They get 1st wild card spot.
    Mets defeat Astros 4-2 in the World Series. Mets starting rotation will dominate.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Welcome to the Tap Room. I think your prediction — at least the two WS teams — is the most reasonable pairing. I don’t see the Os making the playoffs. Hope I’m wrong.

  5. rebusgadfly

    April 5, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I must confess I don’t have a prediction just hoping the Orioles win more than they lose. Can I have a cup of coffee anyway? 🙂
    Besides every time I predict a winner I jinx the team.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Coffee it is. And a plus-.500 season. Welcome

  6. jho

    April 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Orioles win 92 games but lose the east by 2 to Toronto. NY and Tampa collapse down the stretch. I like the Astros in the AL and the Pirates finally make some postseason noise in the NL. Astros then in 6

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      I think everyone in this joint, heck, everyone in Maryland will take 92 wins. Can only happen if the starting pitching surprises. Thanks for joining.

  7. JohnBKistler

    April 5, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I’ll take my Bloody Mary with Old Bay seasoning.

    Os improve by 5 games and will finish 86-76, tied with Toronto. The Yankees (who never seem to die) make the playoffs on the last weekend of the season with an 88-74 record. Tampa in 4th. The Boston collapse continues.

    Royals repeat in a six game series over the Cubs.

  8. Dan Connolly

    April 5, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    All of this makes sense. I think you are shortchanging the Sox with David Price, but otherwise it makes sense. The Yankees could be good, I just don’t see them staying healthy. 88 wins to capture the East would be something. And I’ll ve the Old Bay within reach starting today.

  9. TheWalkingEd

    April 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Dan, can I get an Orange Crush? Cheers.

    Hey Rebusgadfly, since you are in the business of jinxing teams with your predictions will you please post a prediction of a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS?

    I, too, an a horrible prognosticator but will throw out a Nationals-Astros WS.

    Orioles stay competitive but ultimately fall 7 games out of ALEast and 2 out of WC with 86 wins this year.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Ed: The frosty glass is yours. Everything seems reasonable. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you hit this right on. Welcome.

    • rebusgadfly

      April 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      I’ll get right on it! 🙂

  10. tanderson

    April 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I’ll take a Natty Boh…Old Bay on the rim.

    90 wins for me O’s in second place. Boston doesn’t scare me, the O’s can beat Price, Toronto does though.

    I think Astros over Dodgers in WS.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Welcome Tanderson. You’ve been Baysalted. I think the Dodgers will be a mess. An expensive, talented mess.

  11. stoxdude

    April 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Can’t argue with O’s third place and around 85-86 wins. Be nice to spoil the party for Bosox and Yanks. Houston looks great and could make it to the end. Cubs look really good this year. So it could be a pair of feel good stories in WS between never winning Strohs and long suffering Cubs with Cubs in seven.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks for joining Dude: Your scenario is the only one in which I can imagine the Astros could be seen as the bad guys. I mean, who can root against the Cubs, Joe Maddon and Jake Arrieta (except fans in other NL Central cities)?

  12. Rambojr03

    April 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    My prediction for the O’s this season is 88 wins with one of two things happening:

    1) Finishing 2nd to the Blue Jays but getting the 2nd WC playing Cleveland or Texas in the WC play-in game.


    2) Finishing 3rd in the AL East to both Toronto and Boston with us playing Boston in the WC Play-in game (similar to STL, PIT, AND CHC last season).

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      Rambo: I don’t see the playoffs for the Orioles, but I don’t think it’s impossible either. But I doubt 2 Wild Card teams come from the East this year. The West and Central are both very good.

  13. Creatively_19

    April 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I’m going big because I love this team and I don’t think the other teams in the AL East are as great as people want them to be. Also I think Tillman and Gallardo make big strides in taming the Jays this year which will be big towards boosting our win total.

    O’s 92-70 and 1st Place in the AL East

    And I’m gonna take the Cubs and Astros in the Series, with the Astros winning it in 7. Sorry Cubbies.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      If Tillman and Gallardo make big strides and Gausman and one of Wright, Wilson or Ubaldo can be solid, then the playoffs are reachable. This team will score runs and hold leads, but it has to get serviceable starting pitching.

    • Schwarzstop

      April 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I’m gonna drink with this guy (gal?)!!!

      I think the O’s starting pitching will be better than everyone thins they are going to be. While I’m good with Houston and the Cubs in the Series, I’m torn picking the ring winner, but comfortable with the Astros!

      I could easily talk about the O’s and Nats in the Series, however 🙂

  14. NYOsFan

    April 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Every Team in the AL East has its warts, thats why I think the O’s can win the East. I’ll go 90 wins for the O’s. Homer Pick for the WS O’s vs Cubs. Think it would be fun to watch Jake against the O’s and with the whole Fowler thing this offseason. Realistic WS: Mets vs Royals again and as long as the beer is cold keep them flowing!

  15. Dan Connolly

    April 5, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Beer is always cold in this joint — like the barkeep’s heart. Thanks for joining us and thanks for your enthusiasm and your realism. Like a double shot.

  16. nprat24

    April 5, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Hey Dan, I met you at your book signing in Frederick a while back and appreciated you taking the time to talk Orioles with me. Glad we can do it again!

    I predict that rotation woes will result in a missed playoff opportunity for the Orioles, although not by many games. Home runs, a shut-down bullpen, and a manager who gets the most out of his team will result in an 84 win club.

    As for my World Series prediction, the Pirates will upend the Royals to capture their first championship since they beat the hometown Orioles in 1979. The weak back-end of the rotation will become serviceable thanks to Ray Searage, and with a stellar bullpen and solid lineup, the Pirates will finally be able to escape the wild card game.

  17. StraightOuttaCamden

    April 5, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    May as well be optimistic when there’s no reality to contradict it yet…

    O’s rotation guys all have things they want to prove — Tillman that he he can get back to 2014 form, Gallardo that he’s not in decline as some have claimed, Jimenez that his improved 2015 was not a fluke, Gausman that he is the future TOR, and Wright and Wilson that they can stick in MLB. Not all of them will surprise on the upside, but enough of them will that, combined with improved hitting (which was already better last year than in 96-win 2014), the O’s crack 90 wins and get a postseason.

    May as well be optimistic. O’s over Mets in 7, long-delayed revenge for 1969. Postseason is a crapshoot, depends on who’s hottest at the right time.

  18. Steve Frew_CoolOsFan

    April 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    1st place, 100 wins

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