For beginners, I want to thank my associate, Ricky Keeler of our sister site Yanks Go Yard, for having me on his podcast last night to talk about the Orioles. If you didn’t hear the show, you can feel free to visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yanks-go-yard/2014/03/12/ygy-state-of-the-al-east-2014-baltimore-orioles to do so. We talked about a wide array of subjects, including the Orioles’ issues with physicals over the off season, Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz, and we even touched a bit on Brian Roberts. However towards the end of the program Ricky asked me if I thought the Orioles would outdo what the early Vegas odds said they would put up in terms of wins in 2014…
…and my answer was a resounding YES. One of the early lines in Vegas predicted the Baltimore
Orioles as finishing with 80.5 wins. I’ve seen another betting line that suggested 76.5 wins. First off (as I said on the program), what’s half a victory? Is that what’s scored in the standings if you sweep a doubleheader, even though they don’t schedule doubleheaders anymore?! However that aside, both the 80 and 76 win total numbers seem to indicate that Vegas is buying into the whole anything that can go wrong for the Orioles will find a way to go wrong. Let’s be clear, nothing is out of the realm of possibility. Injuries happen, such as Matt Wieters‘ turned ankle the other day. However I can’t validate odds that are saying that a core group of guys that won 93 games two years ago and 85 games last year is going to regress that much.
To further this point, they had Toronto winning 86.5 games. Toronto supposedly won the off season last year, but yet they vastly underachieved and only posted 74 wins. So…after an off season that was vastly quiet north of the border they’re going to win 12 more games year-over-year while the O’s are going to flail in the wind. At least that’s what Vegas is saying.
Luckily, I’m not a betting man and I don’t place bets. However as I said on the podcast last night I see the Orioles finishing well north of 80.5 wins. Now in fairness the Birds do have supposedly the toughest schedule in baseball, however in effect they play the same schedule as the rest of the AL East. Incidentally, they’re also putting the defending champions (Boston) at 79 wins, which I don’t get. Time will ultimately tell one way or the other; it’s certainly possible that in October we’ll be saying that Vegas was right. But I don’t see the season shaking down that way for the Orioles, and it seems that most of the folks on ESPN, MLB Network, et al. feel the same way.
Speaking of wins and losses, I’ll publish the “official” season preview for the 2014 Orioles on Sunday March 30th. Florida Grapefruit League play closes on Thursday, March 27th, so we’ll tie up any loose ends from camp on Friday and Saturday, do the season preview on Sunday, and then push fully into the season with a game preview on Monday morning, March 31st – Opening Day in Baltimore.