Orioles 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 Baltimore Orioles predictions? Team general manager Dan Duquette does an admirable job finding bargain basement contributors (Read: Cruz, Nelson) and manager Buck Showalter is regarded as one of the best in the business, but there is plenty of work to be done in Maryland this season if the O’s expect a good showing in the AL East.
MLB Rangers Predictions & Handicapping Insight
It’ll take more than a hope and a prayer.
2016 MLB Team Previews
- Orioles American League East Future Odds: +750
- Orioles American League Pennant Odds: +2000
- Orioles 2016 World Series Future Odds: +4000
L.J. Hoes – OF (Astros), Hyun-Soo Kim – OF (Korea), Mark Trumbo – 1B/DH (Mariners), Pedro Alvarez – DH (Pirates)
I won’t include offseason free agent Chris Davis on this list because he was on the team last year, but re-signing him at the eleventh hour was a major coup. Trumbo downright punishes a fastball (131 HRs since 2011) but that’s about all he can do.
Hoes couldn’t stick in Houston, so he’ll provide outfield depth here. Alvarez can be another impact bat, but his defense stinks.
Wei-Yin Chen – SP (Marlins), Gerardo Parra – OF (Rockies), Steve Pearce – OF (Rays)
Chen was named Miami’s Opening Day starter (only to limit ace Jose Fernandez’s workload, but still) and his 3.34 ERA over 191+ innings of work will be sorely missed by this rotation.
Parra was a decent power/speed guy that might thrive in hitter-friendly Colorado. Pearce had his moments, but he was nicked up.
2016 Orioles Predictions – Projected Lineup
- 1. Hyun-Soo Kim LF
- 2. Jonathan Schoop 2B
- 3. Manny Machado 3B
- 4. Chris Davis 1B
- 5. Adam Jones CF
- 6. Mark Trumbo DH/RF
- 7. Matt Wieters C
- 8. Pedro Alvarez DH/RF
- 9. J.J. Hardy SS
- *Caleb Joseph (C/DH)
This is a lineup that, with the additions of Trumbo and Alvarez, as well as the last-second retaining of Davis, has tremendous power potential. At least four guys (the aforementioned two plus Jones and Machado) profile for 25+ dingers.
Others, like Schoop, Joseph and maybe Korean import Kim, are dangerous situational hitters. Thus, offense will not be a problem in Baltimore this year.
Machado and Jones are two of the most feared at their respective positions in the major leagues, and Davis has a lethal power bat.
The lineup might be prone to many strikeouts, but that’s a trade-off you take when they can put numbers in the run column so quickly.
2016 Orioles Predictions: Projected Rotation
- 1. Chris Tillman
- 2. Miguel Gonzalez
- 3. Yovani Gallardo
- 4. Ubaldo Jimenez
- 5. Kevin Gausman
The starting rotation is where there should be more cause for concern with the 2016 O’s. Baltimore was 14th in the American League in staff ERA last year (4.53) and didn’t hang in there for many innings, putting undue strain on the bullpen.
Tillman and Gonzalez need a revamp at the top of the rotation, while youngsters Gausman and Dylan Bundy need to take the next step in their development as major league hurlers.
It’s not an enviable job being pitching coach Dave Wallace this year; unless he can turn them around, then he will look like a genius.
2016 Orioles Predictions – Projected Bullpen
- 1. Zach Britton
- 2. Darren O’Day
- 3. Brian Matusz
The bullpen has some effective arms in it, buttressed as they are by Showalter’s shrewd bullpen management. Despite not throwing hard, O’Day is an All-Star (when he isn’t pitching to Jose Bautista).
Matusz is a failed starter, but his stuff plays well in the ‘pen. Closer Britton is lethal on lefties (southpaws hit .145 against him in 2015). Brad Brach is another reliable arm in there.
2016 Baltimore Orioles Predictions
Nabbing Davis despite being held hostage by usurious agent Scott Boras was a massive boost to this club. Baltimore has an absolutely deadly batting order; they will score runs on anybody.
The problem is – will they prevent any?
The aforementioned Machado and Jones are two defensive gems at third base and centerfield, but there’s no defense against the long ball. This pitching staff – apart from Britton and O’Day – has to get its house in order, otherwise the O’s will get sunk in a murderous division.
I see Baltimore and Tampa Bay in a rather interchangeable four/five finish in the East, depending on how the Orioles can pitch.
If Baltimore’s starting rotation ends up being only slightly better than average, they will finish fourth or maybe even third.
If not, they’ll be in the cellar. That is the more plausible scenario, in my opinion.
But hey – they’ll be fun to watch when they are at the dish.
What do you think of our 2016 Baltimore Orioles predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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