The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

It’s America’s team vs. the Orioles in the ALCS

(Paul Sancya/AP)
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The Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles open the American League Championship Series on Friday at Camden Yards in a matchup that virtually no one predicted before the season began. Despite that Baltimore’s last World Series title came two years before Kansas City’s only championship in 1985, the Royals, not the Orioles, have captured the hearts of the nation. (It probably has more to do with the fact they hadn’t been in the playoffs in 29 years than that their owner isn’t named Peter Angelos.)

More fans are rooting for the Royals than the Orioles in the ALCS in 47 48 out of 50 states (sorry Delaware, missed you there), according to this ESPN SportsNation poll:

D.C. is also pro-Orioles in the poll, but less so than Maryland (85% O’s) and Virginia (63%). Delaware is 60% pro-O’s. In lieu of voting in this silly poll, the O’s haters in D.C. are leaving comments on Bog posts about the team.

The Royals are the least hateable team in this year’s postseason according to the Wall Street Journal’s Hateability Index. Fox Sports baseball analyst and long suffering KC fan Rob Neyer called the Royals “America’s Team” during a recent radio appearance. The Royals may also be a team of destiny after becoming the first team in major league history to win three consecutive extra-inning playoff games. Kansas City came from behind to defeat Oakland in the wild-card game in 12 innings and won the first to games of its three-game sweep against the Angels in the ALDS in extras.

While most of the nation is behind the Royals, fans are more split on which team will advance to the World Series.

As you might expect, D.C., Virginia and Maryland residents are optimistic about the Nationals’ chances to advance to the NLCS. Six out of the 14 voters in Alaska like the Nats’ chances, too.