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2015 Baltimore Orioles Season Predictions | MLB Betting Preview & Odds

2015 MLB Team Season Previews – Orioles

The Orioles lost their 2014 big bopper, OF/DH Nelson Cruz, to the Seattle Mariners in free agency, but the restoration of health of some of the club’s either key pieces might be enough to pretty well mitigate that departure.

MLB Lines & Matchup Insight

2015 MLB Team Previews – Baltimore Orioles

AL East Odds: +300
AL Championship Odds: 14/1
World Series Odds: 33/1

A lot of people are down on the Orioles after GM Dan Duquette’s quiet offseason (transaction-wise; rumor-mill wise he was linked to a move to the Toronto Blue Jays early and often), but Baltimore is still a club that does everything quite well.

In a balanced AL East division, that could be enough to have success in 2015.

Baltimore’s pitching rotation will not blow anyone away, but it is solid. Chris Tillman is the nominal ace, Wei-Yin Chen led the team in ERA last year (4.01), Bud Norris can miss bats and the youthful Kevin Gausman throws the most heat on the staff, with a strikeout rate just behind Norris.

Still, compared to rotation depth that other teams enjoy, the O’s pitching staff is little more than average.

Losing bullpen stalwart Andrew Miller to the rival Yankees will hurt, though Miller is a candidate for regression.

Where the Orioles excel is in the power department. The O’s led the majors in home runs last year and could duplicate that in 2015 even without Cruz. Everyone in the one-through-nine lineup – plus bench bat Delmon Young – is projected for double-digit homers.

Catcher Matt Wieters and 3B Manny Machado should be playing more often this year as they should be healthy – their power will provide a boost. First baseman Chris Davis, the home-run king from two years ago, should rebound after a miserable 2014 that saw a slumping bat and a PED suspension.

GTBets

Designated hitter Steve Pearce came out of nowhere in ’14, and he proved he can mash. Adam Jones is as pure a five-tool talent (that isn’t named Mike Trout) that you’re going to find.

Even OF Travis Snider, one of the few thrifty acquisitions the brain trust made this offseason, should provide some pop. Assuming the lineup stays healthy, the offensive production will be impressive.

If Baltimore is in the hunt for the division or the wild-card spots in the latter portion of the summer, management could make some moves to put the O’s over the top. With the AL East being as close as it is, it makes it very difficult to forecast where they will end up.

Both Boston and Toronto have elite batting orders but profound questions with their pitching; New York and Tampa have the arms but suffer from either pop-gun or aging hitters.

The Orioles are the outlier in this division that handles all aspects of the game reasonably well – with plus power to boot.

Most of Baltimore’s highest-paid players (Davis, Wieters, almost all of the rotation) will be free agents next season, so the franchise will have to either open the purse strings completely or wave goodbye to talent in 2016.

This suggests that the window is open for Baltimore this season, yet strangely Duquette didn’t make a ton of deals. This means obviously the decision-makers have a lot of faith in the roster as currently constituted.

In order to play October baseball, the O’s must the steadying influence no other team can be in the East, as well as get full health behind the plate and a bounce-back performance from big slugger Davis.

It’s not in the realm of the impossible, but temper it in the realm of the unlikely.

2015 Baltimore Record Prediction: 85-77, 3rd AL East

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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!


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