2019 Baltimore Orioles Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
Remember when the Baltimore Orioles were one of the marquee franchises in baseball? When Camden Yards opened in April 1992, the Orioles immediately became the envy of just about every other franchise with that beautiful ballpark that filled up every night (and started a ballpark revolution around the sport).
As recently as 2015, the Orioles won 89 games and reached the Wild-Card Game. However, it all went quickly downhill. The club dropped to 75 wins the next season and then was easily one of the 10 worst teams in MLB history in 2018 with a 47-115 record.
Baltimore finished a comical 61 games out of first place - they finished more games out of first than they or the Royals even won. The O's were just the second team since World War II to finish 60-plus games back of first place, and the fourth in that span to post a winning percentage below .300. The team never had a month where it won more than nine games … but somehow never lost more than 10 straight. The Orioles used a team-record 55 different players, 15 of whom had never played in the majors previously (another record).
Manager Buck Showalter clearly gave up during the season, and his contract wasn't renewed. GM Dan Duquette also was a goner, replaced by Mike Elias. Brandon Hyde was named the 20th manager in team history. He was Joe Maddon's bench coach with the Cubs last year. It was thought that Elias wanted someone with big-league managing experience. Well, Hyde has it. Sort of. He was a one-game interim manager for the Marlins years back.
Baltimore opens the season March 28 at the Yankees.
Orioles Projected Lineup
Manny Machado was traded during last season to the Dodgers for prospects, oddly none of them considered among L.A.'s best. Clearly, the Birds should have dealt Machado before the 2018 season when they would have gotten more. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop also was dealt last year. Center fielder Adam Jones and shortstop Tim Beckham both left in free agency.
I want to take a minute here to talk about Orioles slugger Chris Davis. Before the 2016 season, he signed a seven-year, $161 million extension with the team. Davis did hit 47 bombs and knock in 117 in 2015 and was solid again in 2016 with 38 homers and 84 RBIs. He regressed quite a bit further the next year and then, seriously, might have been the worst player in MLB history at least by salary in 2018 when Davis hit .168 with 16 homers, 49 RBIs, 192 strikeouts and a .243 OBP in 128 games. Davis was mired in a 1-for-37 slump before being shut down for the season.
Among hitters with the necessary 502 plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, Davis had the lowest batting average in baseball history. Davis became just the 17th player in history to qualify for the batting title with a sub-.200 batting average and had the 12th lowest on-base percentage. Obviously, he's not tradeable and owner Peter Angelos is too cheap to just eat all that money.
Honestly, I could only speak intelligently about a few guys in this projected lineup: OF Cedric Mullins, OF DJ Stewart, 2B Jonathan Villar, 1B Trey Mancini, OF Mark Trumbo (he's questionable to be ready for the start of the season off a knee injury), DH Davis, 3B Renato Nunez, C Chance Sisco, SS Richie Martin. Joey Rickard could figure into this, playing outfield with Trumbo at DH (if healthy) and Davis at first.
Orioles 2019 Projected Rotation & Closer
Baltimore finished with the worst ERA in the majors at 5.18 and had just 59 quality starts while allowing foes to hit .276. Starter Kevin Gausman was dealt to Atlanta during last season and former All-Star reliever Zach Britton to the Yankees.
At least we all know who Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb are - they front the rotation. Bundy (8-16, 5.45) is maddening because he can dominate one night and then be historically bad the next like when he allowed seven runs without getting an out on May 8 last year vs. Kansas City. He's still only 26. Cashner and Cobb were free-agent busts, although Cobb (5-15, 4.90) had a 2.56 ERA after the All-Star break.
As for spots 4-5, the projections are Nate Karns and David Hess, although Karns is no sure thing. He missed most of 2017 after surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome and didn't pitch in the regular season in 2018 with elbow soreness. Karns was signed as the club's only major league free agent this winter.
Not that he will have many ninth-inning leads to protect, but the job belongs to Mychal Givens (0-7, nine saves, 3.99 ERA).
Orioles Futures Odds
At 5Dimes , Baltimore has an "over/under" win total of 59.5 (lowest in majors), with the under a -130 favorite. The Orioles are +22500 to win the AL East, +10000 to win the pennant and +200000 to win the World Series.
Orioles 2019 Predictions
Obviously, I'm not going to bother addressing the playoff odds. The old adage in baseball is that every team will win 62 games. It's what they do in the other 100 that determines whether they are good or bad. This pitching staff actually isn't horrible, and the Birds will simply beat teams who are disinterested on some nights. They will win 62 games, so go over that total.
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