Orioles 2018 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2018 Baltimore Orioles predictions? With baseball season just two weeks away we’re breaking down all 30 teams and handicapping the futures market.
MLB Orioles Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Baltimore brought up the rear in the AL East in 2017. The O’s played well for the month of April and then the wheels came off. They lost 90 games when everything was said and done and return much of the same team in 2018.
2018 MLB Team Previews – Baltimore Orioles
- American League East +2000
- American League +4600
- World Series +7700
- OF Colby Rasmus
- RHP Andrew Cashner
In a relatively quite off-season, Baltimore was one of the quietest clubs. It re-signed Pedro Alvarez to a minor league contract, as well as Rasmus. But Rasmus projects to be in the mix for a starting outfield spot at the major league level.
Andrew Cashner was the big splash. He logged 166 innings in Texas last season and posted good ERA and WHIP numbers. Trouble is, those numbers were lucky. His BAPIP was .240 and the defense behind him was very good, in terms of the few number of errors it committed.
- SP Ubaldo Jimenez
- SP Wade Miley
- SS JJ Hardy
- DH Seth Smith
These losses are hardly that. All four guys have yet to be signed yet and while they are all very possible to do so, the fact that they are still without a club is a reflection on the fact that Baltimore really didn’t lose much. It didn’t have much to lose, either.
There’s also a chance any of the four could re-sign with the O’s and that they wouldn’t be losses at all.
Really, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of a difference.
Orioles Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- 2B Jonathan Schoop
- CF Adam Jones
- SS Manny Machado
- 1B Chris Davis
- LF Trey Mancini
- RF Colby Rasmus
- 3B Tim Beckham
- C Chance Sisco
There are only two new names in this lineup and they are Rasmus and Sisco. At this point, Rasmus still has some pop but he’s no longer the dynamic speed/power guy he once was.
He’ll take his walks and slug but he’s also a liability against left-handed pitching. He also has proven track record of being an injury guy and only played in 37 games last season.
Sisco is more interesting. He was a second round pick in the 2013 draft straight out of high school and has been working his way up the Orioles’ system ever since, thriving in fact.
Sisco finally debuted last season after playing in the Futures Game over All-Star Weekend. In 18 at-bat with Baltimore last season, he hit .333 with two home runs.
That means next to nothing, except for the fact that his quick stint didn’t overwhelm him and that we should have solid expectations for the kid in his career, as of this moment.
Cubs Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RH Kevin Gaussman
- RH Dylan Bundy
- RH Andrew Cashner
- RH Chris Tillman
- RH Gabriel Ynoa
Jimenez and Miley combined to throw exactly 300 innings last season. Now, the combined ERA was over 6.00 so it won’t be hard to replace those innings with better production.
Cashner may have been fortunate last season but he still had an ERA in the mid-3s. Gabriel Ynoa only started four games but looked good enough that the O’s have him slotted as the fifth starter as of now.
Gaussman and Bundy are workhorses at the top of the rotation but it just doesn’t feel like either is in a position to succeed, not has the talent to blame it all on the situation, either.
Bundy was fantastic in April and even into May and then he only finished with a 102 ERA+. Gaussman was below-average because he just can’t locate the ball.
Gaussman has the better stuff and the most potential if he can find command. He’s not a youngster anymore, though. So until I see it, I’m going to doubt he’ll ever be the ace he was once projected to be.
Cubs Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Brad Brach
Brach has a stranglehold on the closer position with Zach Britton out for the first two months of the season as he recovers from achilles surgery.
When Britton returns, and if he is strong, Baltimore will have a decent little 1-2 punch at the end of games.
Lefty Richard Bleier posted a 1.99 ERA in 63 inning last season.
2018 Baltimore Orioles Prediction:
Baltimore is the underdog in the East, as it should be. There’s little I can pick out that I like about any of the Orioles’ futures.
The lineup is more or less the same; the pitching hasn’t improved much at all; and the defense should only be worse than it already was.
The win total of 72.5 seems about right, though I do lean under. It just seems like things could really get away from Baltimore, which has been lucky, at least in terms of its final record against the Pythagorean Theorem, for the last few seasons.
What do you think of our 2018 Baltimore Orioles predictions?
Comments are welcome below.
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