2016 Record: 89-73 (2nd AL East)
Tonight we’re taking a look at the Baltimore Orioles. Much like the Tigers, the Orioles' writers apparently don’t much care for Deep Fried Bets so we won’t have anyone joining us.
The Orioles made it to the Wild Card game a season ago but left the best closer in baseball in the bullpen. I know you’ve heard that joke all offseason, but it still happened.
However, Zach Britton is back, and so is the rest of the Baltimore bullpen, so the O’s should be set in that department. In fact, I have the Orioles as my second rated bullpen in the American League just behind the Indians.
The starting rotation doesn’t project nearly as high as the bullpen does though. I’ve currently got the O’s starters ranked 9th in the AL. I am projecting good seasons out of Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy so don’t be surprised if you see their rotation finish in the top half of the AL.
Overall, I have the Orioles as the American League’s 5th best pitching staff. However, this is the year I project their offense will take a step back. It sounds crazy, but I have the Baltimore’s offense as my 10th rated unit.
I think the middle of their lineup will still be really good but outside of that I’m not too high on them. I’ve got their projected lineup 8th in the American League, but their bench is all the way down at 12.
Of course Buck Showalter will ultimately help the Orioles final score even if he did leave Zach Britton in the bullpen all offseason. Unfortunately for Baltimore their defense is nowhere near as good as their manager. I’ve got them as my 12th rated unit in the AL.
I think the Orioles will take a slight step back in 2017, as I have them rated out as my 6th best overall club in the AL. Last year Baltimore finished 4th in the league with a record of 89-73. I don’t think they’ll quite get there this year.
Vegas has their win totals set mostly around 80.5. Last year the Tigers finished with the 6th best record in the AL and their record was 86-75. I think you will see something similar in Baltimore this year, so I’ll take over 80.5 for the O’s.
I think their division will cost them a few more games than the Tigers last year so I don’t think they’ll get quite as high as 86. I’ll say the Orioles finish 83-79 in 2017.